31st October 2011
Read it. Feel free to laugh.
Certainly the agitators behind this movement are far-left ideologues. But my sense is that the rank and file is not so explicitly ideological, and the overall message they have been sending is vague and incoherent. Part of what is driving the movement is Tahrir envy and Tea Party envy: left-leaning kids see other groups rising up in successful mass protests, and they don’t want to be left out of the fun. But the actual precedent for the movement is a series of protests and tent camps that sprang up in Israel over the summer, You see the same combination: inchoate economic discontent, organized behind the scenes by the far left, but with a purposely vague message that allows the protests to attract a larger audience, mostly drawn from the college-educated middle class and upper middle class.
The same goes for Occupy Wall Street. It is perhaps best understood as a form of children’s theater for middle-class college kids.