Today I see a headline reading “Occupy Wall Street Reaches Ireland,” and I can’t be arsed to even click it.
There’s a fundamental problem with the Occupy Wall Street protests, and I’m certainly not the first to see it: a clear goal is missing. This movement has all the passion and persistence a good protest needs, without the end result to work towards. It’s all the fire of a fight without knowing where to land your fist.
It’s easy to understand the base trigger, as the public is just flat out unhappy with their position. We’ve been lied to, taken advantage of and generally kicked around for quite some time now and we just don’t know what to do about it. For so long we have sat by and watched with discomfort the wealthy and powerful receive amnesty and leniency from the law and from economic policies while we get both the short end of the stick and the long end of the whip.
The problem then becomes where to hit the beast where it hurts. How best to attack something so vicious and cunning without inevitably having to confront its claws.
I won’t be so hyperbolic as to assume there’s a conspiracy to fleece the public of the world, but I can’t deny a certain ominousness surrounding the apparent lack of improvement in people’s lives compared to that of the wealthy elite.
Simply put, though, threatening a punch without ever striking does little when you are the underdog. Some cohesive statement needs to be made for a reassessment of priorities. Without this, we can’t hope for anything more than a temporary fix or distraction and a swift return to the status quo. So what will it be? A band-aid for a vicious neck wound, a shiny bauble thrown far enough away to get us running, or a hard right hook to the jaw of the damned thing? I hope the public won’t knuckle under and take the easy route, but then again I’m not holding my breath.