I am a great fan of the occupy movement. I love it. I particularity like the way the great diversity of opinion and lack of coherent, single issue, manifesto leader led style confounds and confuses the vested interest groups that are unnerved by it. It is like a group expression of teenage rebellion, that hormone driven maelstrom of pooled discomforts that grump and grumble as a rumble of scowls that hates ….. well …. stuff! Its not a single issue thing its juts a groundswell of discontent at more or less everything and that its not fair and it all being stacked against you while everyone else parties.
The absence of a single agenda and specific manifesto means that the usual defence tactics of the vested interst groups – the 1% - cant directly challenge and unpick it so it confuses them. Yiou can almost see th frowns and thoughts of “How can this be? Our usual media management techniques of vacuous words and supposedly rational argument about this is the best and only way – dont work.” Here we have the 99% saying we the majority state the systems broke. You the 1% with the levers to change it must change it even if its harms your privileged position. Physician heal yourself or else.
There is undoubtedly a younger demographic very much embracing this. Many would say the Gen Y's (I hate the labels) You hear many in that group declare that what has brought them to this is action is the fact that the promises made to them have been broken in that they were promised opportunity and told to aspire and now its all been taken away.
I would say – as a baby boomer / Gen Xer ( The fact I could be either shows how daft the terms are) twas ever thus. Its not that is is not true it just we have all been there. We all have dreams and ambition. We are all told to aspire, that things are possible, the world is your oyster, the good and honest prosper etc etc, only to find that actually it aint so. We discover life passes quickly, that the things we are told we should have require taking on commitment and debt and that the need to service this demand means holding onto dreadful jobs with hateful organizations that exploit and degrade you because you need them more than they need you. Liars and charlatans often get on and lying is a necessary evil. Of course none of this needs to be so but the system sucks you in and grinds you down and soma to deal with this deep disappointment is the council of “Well its life. That’s the way it is. Its growing up.” Some console themselves with that other opium, religion – it will be better in another life. But even that seems to be unravelling as “grown ups” in the privileged west come to understand that the whole edifice is not as sounds as it seemed.
Personally I never bought that “growing up”idea. Inequality and lies still leave me angry. So I say to the disgruntled youth – your experience is not unique.
What is unique however is that we have a real opportunity to genuinely challenge the “status quo”. Never before have the 99% had such possibility to rapidly come together, organise articulate and act in concert to bring about change. The appetite to do it has always been there, but now we have to tools. Lets make the change actually happen.