Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

     I applaud the Occupy Wall Street protestors and their growing cohorts around the world.  I absolutely and one hundred percent believe in what they are saying and their right to say it as loud as they can (without hurting anyone, of course).  Incidentally, it's also nice to see the the once utterly obscure Zuccotti Park (which I used to live next to) suddenly become the focal point of a worldwide movement.
     But I'm deeply dubious; not of anyone's motivations or commitment which are all proving to be quite clear and strong.  I just wonder if we have come to a point in history where this kind of action can no longer have the lasting effect that it needs to.  Once upon a time, this was how you affected change -- where would the 1960s have been without it?  But our attention is so diffracted, our wealth so concentrated, our laws so lenient, I don't know if the raised voice of humanity can topple the corporate walls any longer.  Clearly, public sentiment is not sufficient reason to get corporations to change how they do business.  For things to genuinely change the way they need to -- the way the protestors want them to -- we need an array of regulatory laws drafted the likes of which have not been seen, or even considered, since Ronald Reagan blew them to Hell.  This means that government has to respond to the outcry and be able to wriggle out from under corporate pressures to draft such laws.  Given that government interests and corporate interests are so inextricably wound together now and that the corporations will claim that such regulations will mean huge shut downs and mass relocation of factories to places that will prove less costly and that this will all inevitably lead to massive job cuts . . .
     I want to believe that our voices make this big a difference.  I want to believe that enough people, banding together can change the world.  I want to believe.  I just need some proof.     

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