There’s a lot of good writing out there about what the Occupy movement is about. Did someone say we need a unified voice? Did the people in Tahrir Square have a unified voice? The international reports gave the boiled-down story as “Mubarak must go,” yes, and most of them seem to have agreed on that, but they had plenty of disagreement about what else and what next. Social movements only look tidy from a distance. So the writers don’t all agree, but it’s fascinating to watch them converge on the key points. Here are three short pieces, clear and thoughtful.
A few months ago, Doug Muder wrote an essay about how the Tea Party had it backwards but could turn it around by replacing the word “government” with the word “corporations.” “They know they’re under somebody’s thumb, but they’re confused about whose thumb it is,” he wrote. “So when they strike back, they swing at the wrong guys.” When, the next month, people began occupying Wall Street, it struck me that someone had at last said, “Right, let’s turn it around and put that same energy into acting on the real sources of our problems.”
One Word Turns the Tea Party Around, Doug Muder
The Buddhists, bless them, remind me to have care and compassion for the entire 100%.
And Lemony Snicket is Lemony Snicket. Joy and I have been trading favorite lines from this piece. At the moment mine is “There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself.” (I said I had compassion for all 100%, not that I couldn’t be sarcastic about any of them. And the Buddhists and Snicket are united on this point: we none of us created our situation all by ourselves.)
Like Muder, I think the Tea Partiers are on to something, and I’m very hopeful now that a lot of people seem to be running the right way. A full 55%, in a poll I read this morning, think inequality is a significant problem in America; only 21% see it as no problem or not much of one. ABC News is running a story, “Should You Join the Credit Union Boom?” The reporter’s answer: yes, probably.