Thursday, December 08, 2011

The song remains the same

Whenever you read a good piece of liberal journalism, or watch a liberal documentary, the facts are always pristine, but the classic conclusion is a call to action that is just left dangling out there, with nothing following it. A summary of most conclusions is “We must rise up and fight against this!”, but there is hardly ever an activist organization formed that can follow through, continuing to work against the problems detailed. Sometimes the authors will make a half-heartered attempt and give a link to a website where you can continue the discussion, but that’s not organizing a movement.

I wrote that when I finished reading Barbara Ehrenreich's book “Bait and Switch”, which coincidentally coincided with the beginning of the Occupy movement. Subconsciously, as a veteran of liberal/socialist protest movements that went nowhere, I think I reviewed Ehrenreich's book so -- when Occupy was inevitably shut down by our freedom-lubbing gubermint -- I could compare and contrast Occupy with past movements.

And I hate to be negative, especially when standing in the still smoldering embers of a movement that did more to change the national conversation about greed and inequality that the Democrat Party has done in a generation, but I'm still left with that familiar sour taste in my mouth.

I tasted this sourness after Nader and the Green Party didn't get 5% of the national popular vote in 2000 (which would have given the Greens access to federal funding in the 2004 election) and Bush blatantly stole the election.

I tasted this sourness after the anti-globalization protesters shifted their focus to anti-war protests in 2002 and 2003, yet we didn't stop the still ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I tasted this sourness in 2004 when nearly half a million people marched in the streets of midtown Manhattan to protest the Republican National Convention.

I tasted this sourness when I took my activism to blogging from 2003 - 2006, ending my run feeling like I was just uselessly wanking about politics to an ever-decreasing audience after my popularity had peaked.

And now that the Occupy movement has all but concluded at this point, that familiar feeling is welling up in the back of my throat.

"A summary of most conclusions is 'We must rise up and fight against this!', but there is hardly ever an activist organization formed that can follow through..."

Where do we go from here? What's the plan? What, exactly, are we going to do?

Will anyone ever answer these questions?

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