I write with the purpose of explaining why despite my admiration for the rather broad, abstract cause I gather to be your rallying point, you do not represent me as a member of the “99%” nor do I think you’re accomplishing as much in your crusade as you seem to believe. First off let me be clear in that I am politically moderate, but tend to lean towards the left in my belief system. I am also well experienced in having to defend an unpopular ‘leftist’ point of view having attended a high school most notorious for producing Bill O’Reilly and a college whose student body more resembled a J.Crew catalog than the idealistic youth typically associated with higher education.
On the other hand, in your defense I should also acknowledge that my opinion is that of an amateur, and that I don’t have a fix all for the current shitstorm we’re in. I can not lay forth a plan to guarantee you a job or bring justice to the Gordon Gecko worshipping Wall Street elite still bringing in bonuses worth more than the majority of us make in a three-year span, but what I can do is tell you why I think you’re misguided and what I think would be a more effective way of accomplishing what I interpret to be your end-goal.
My biggest question is, what exactly are you trying to accomplish? I know I’m not the first person to bring this point up, but how are you going to accomplish anything without a clear stated purpose? I get it that the catchphrases thrown around with #occupy (inequality, greed, discrimination) are all inter-related and probably come together to form your goal, but if shouting about a series of things you’re unhappy with is the plan, you will never change anything. I have read what you pass off as a “mission statement” and I think it reads more as a list of every complaint ever uttered against a government than a clearly stated mission of intent or ideological summary. So what does that tell us about your goals?
So far you’ve interrupted the 99%’s way of life more so than that of the 1%. I want to know how sitting in Zuccotti Park and all the satellite “Occupy” locations is actually going to help our country. I want to know the reason that the Zuccotti Park Greenmarket, something that seemed to be a beacon of the sort of place you would want to live in, had to be disrupted for you to “occupy” the area? If you’re going to take down the best sort of movements that the “99%” have, you damn well better have a clear stated intention of what you’ll be doing for those people you claim to represent, and how the inconvenience will benefit them in the end.
Another flaw often pointed out in your “movement” is the lack of leadership. I know you claim to be a “leadership-less” movement, which is cute, but to me that’s really just blind idealism. You need leadership. Any group of people who have successfully made a difference has had clear leaders to represent them. What you’re talking about seems to be more like a lot of people who grew up idealizing the movements of the 1960s, currently unhappy with their lot in life, acting out a “safe” way to be able to eventually tell their own story of their days as a revolutionary. There are people coming down to the protests like it’s a tourist attraction, and meanwhile the people who you’re trying to gain the attention of, your nemeses, are only mildly annoyed by your presence. You’re the dirty hippy classmate that these wall streeters brush by in the hallway going to class and then laugh at once they’re sitting at the lunch table. The people involved in the civil rights movements that you are trying to imitate were dangerous. Not in an outwardly violent way, but in the way their opinions and their GOALS were clearly sinking into the overall mindset of the American people. That clear goal and the way they delivered their message is what led to the success of their own tasks at hand.
That brings me to my next point. Just as our country is desensitized to war and violence, we are equally so to mass protest. In essence, the whole #Occupy movement is little more than a trending topic. Sure its getting plenty of tweets and the occasional celebrity appearance, but what is it really accomplishing? While you tweet about how many other people are tweeting about what you’re doing and how “occupy” events are spreading across the country, your movement is still an afterthought to the majority of the country. It shares equal memory in your average American’s mind with #Glee, #ConradMurray and #ThisisWhyImSingle.
Even worse, Wall Street is continuing on with little more than a quick quip at the water cooler about you. Here’s your proof of how much effect you’re really having at the moment. We live in a new time where the amount of information transferred every minute has turned us into a generation with unbearable A.D.D. If you want to make a difference, you have to figure out a way to move past trending. There has to be the sort of element to your campaign that makes you dangerous without being violent. I wish I knew the answer as to how to accomplish this. I don’t. Maybe if you guys had an organized leadership and not just an ongoing party, they could deliberate on what that next level of protesting evolution should be, and how you could use it to advance your cause. There is a lot of highly educated individuals in this movement. Why aren’t you taking advantage of that fact?
Being that this is the age of A.D.D., I promised myself I would keep this diatribe at, or around 1000 words. I am already over my allotted count so in closing, I would like to apologize if this came across as an attack on #occupy or acceptance of “corporate greed”. The intention of this letter is to let you know why I don’t consider myself well represented as a member of the 99% you claim to be fighting on behalf of. I view your movement as unorganized, unmotivated and ineffective. I would love to remove the “un’s” and “in” from that statement, but until you have as much of a damaging effect on Wall Street’s day-to-day operations as you do on the Zuccotti Green Market’s, I will never be able to fully understand what it is you hope to accomplish.
Regards and Best of Luck,
.001% of the 99%