POLITICAL observations & opinions

Hertzberg in The New Yorker … for Occupy Wall Street, the process, not the platform, is the point … LMW: that process has already changed the nature of the American political dialogue, very much for the better

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 23, 2011

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Hendrik Hertzberg writes in The New Yorker (10/17/11) …

  •  What Occupy Wall Street doesn’t have—and is under some pressure, internal and external, to formulate—is a traditional agenda: a list of “demands,” a set of legislative recommendations, a five-point program.
  • For many of its participants, this lack is an essential part of the attraction. They’re making it up on the fly. They don’t really know where it will take them, and they like it that way.
  • Occupy Wall Street is a political project, but it is equally a cri de coeur, an exercise in constructive group dynamics, a release from isolation, resignation, and futility.
  • The process, not the platform, is the point.
  • But its implicit grievances are plain enough:
    • the mass pain of mass unemployment, underemployment, and economic insecurity;
    • the corrupting, pervasive political influence of big money;
    • the outrageous, rapidly growing inequality of wealth and income;
    • the impunity of the financial-industry scammers whose greed and fraud precipitated the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression;
    • a broken political system hobbled by a Republican right willing and usually able to block any measures, however timid and partial, that might relieve the suffering.
  • If Occupy Wall Street can continue to behave with nonviolent restraint, if it can avoid hijack by a flaky fringe, if it can shake the center-left out of its funk, if it can embolden Democratic politicians (very much including President Obama, who, lately and belatedly, has begun to show signs of fight), then preoccupied Main Street will truly owe Occupy Wall Street.
  • Big ifs all. It’s too early to tell, but not too late to hope.

Read the entire article at … http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/10/17/111017taco_talk_hertzberg

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