So, what’s the point of Occupy Wall Street?

As the Occupy Wall Street movement faces eviction from their humble abode smack dab in the middle of the city that never sleeps, it has truly been a beast of a different feather.  Even should the eviction happen, I suspect they’re just find somewhere else to be.  But what exactly is the Occupy Wall Street movement?

The real answer is that no one really knows.  A list of demands took to the web, but it was quickly discounted by many as “unofficial” when non-supporters began lambasting those very demands, and there in lies the genius of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

When the Tea Party first coalesced, despite its leaderless nature there were very real goals.  There were some universal ideas that spread throughout the Tea Party, and the Tea Party acknowledged it.  The Tea Party was anti-bailouts for one, and it was against tax increases as well.  It stood for some very real thing that anyone who was at a Tea Party as a participant – and not just as a spectator or rabble rouser – was likely to believe.

However, Occupy Wall Street has a built in defense mechanism.  When someone lists a demand as “Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment,” and opponents jump on it, Occupy Wall Street supporters can say, “Oh no!  That’s not a demand.  There aren’t any demands!”

You see, without any demands, they don’t actually have to do anything.  They don’t have to work towards any goals, because they don’t have them.  They are protesting, but no one seems to know what they actually want, and that amorphous nature allows them to adapt to any situation.  All they have to say is that they are representing “the 99%” and to soldier on.

The problem is that, without anything approaching demands, they won’t really accomplish anything.  Oh, they can take credit for any reform measures they want to, but the reality is that those measures will be fueled by people who actually know what the hell they want and have at least an inkling of how that should come about.  It will be from groups with real, defined goals and an ability to organize that exceeds “Hey, let’s go to Wall Street” and then let’s go.

That’s not to say that Occupy Wall Street is all bad, because it’s not.  As someone who has a serious problem with bank bailouts, I very much agree with those in the movement who protest the idea of our tax dollars being funneled to make some bankers richer.  I’m right there with them.  If that were all that was being protested, I might well join them.  However, no one really knows exactly what all’s being protested, and because of that I’m not even close to interested.

The above linked list of “demands” wasn’t official, but so far I haven’t seen anyone within the movement claim it was unofficial because it was dumb.  That tells me that many in the movement actually agree with the demands, even if they’re not really “demands”.  That’s all I needed to know.

So no one knows what Occupy Wall Street really is…including Occupy Wall Street apparently.


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.