Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An OWS Protester and a Communist Walk Into a Bar

I've commented a little on some of my thoughts about the Occupy Wall Street movement. As someone who values personal freedom and liberty, I'm at odds with many of the OWS ideas, natch. Still I can empathize on many of their complaints and desires to make our nation better. However recently someone made the statement to me that to describe OWS as class warfare was laughable. I don't think that was a very intelligent statement. Sure many Republican pundits like to use the term class warfare way too much, but that doesn't mean the term is always invalid.

So is class warfare applicable to OWS? Well let's imagine a hypothetical OWS protester and a hypothetical modern Marxist. Why a Marxist? Because class struggle is a key component to Marxism. What would a Marxist think of statements like "We are the 99%" and "we are getting nothing while the 1% is getting everything"? I think the Marxist would agree with these statements. Once the Marxist realized that proletariat was an outdated term with a lot of negative connotations, I think he would be quick to switch over to saying "the 99%" instead. Who would be more likely to say "capitalism has failed democracy", the OWS protester or the Marxist? Seems like both. Who would encourage participation in general strikes? Who would be more likely to say "Join the global revolution?" Ok maybe that's too easy and meaningless. Who would favor using the force of the government to take from one group (the 1%) to give to the other group (the 99%)? Now don't get too angry about that statement. I'm not saying that this should or should not be done, just that it is a statement that I think both an OWS protester and a Marxist would agree upon.

My point is that on many issues, it is impossible to distinguish between an OWS protester and a Marxist. Does that mean that OWS protesters favor class warfare? No, it does not. However it does suggest that there is plenty of room for a reasonable person to think that OWS does indeed favor class warfare. Of course OWS is notorious for its fractured message, but I've tried to pull all of the above from its main websites and events. It seems to me that everything I've quoted would be things that the majority of OWS protesters would agree with. Those just happen to be the same things that a Marxist would agree with.

9 comments:

Divine Theatre said...

It would be nice to know what, exactly, they stand for...or against, in order to comment in any regard.

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