By A. G. Moore November 21
Is it possible to shut down Occupy Wall Street? By all accounts the movement lacks definition, leaders and a cohesive message. Right now, the protests more resemble the venting of energy than the establishment of a political platform. So how would one go about containing such an amorphous entity?
The nature of Occupy Wall Street is perhaps more clearly comprehended by observing those who object to it rather than those who voice protest. The iconic image of a well-healed Wall Street honcho looking from an office perch at the OWS rabble below speaks to the dynamic of the movement.
Freud famously wrote, “What does a women want?”. Unable to decipher the apparently irrational nature of the female gender, Freud attributed to all women the motive of envy. His nineteenth century blindness toward social oppression is a telling analog to the Wall Street honcho’s incomprehension of Occupy Wall Street’s complaint.
To Freud, and the honcho, the system works fine. These captains of fortune hold all the cards and they prescribe the rules of the game. Those voices from below, those who want to shake up the closed system, threaten the very existence of Freud’s–and the honcho’s–universes.
Maybe Nora, from the Doll’s House, and Emma, from Madame Bovary couldn’t trace the origins of their discontent. But they knew they were suffocating. Occupy Wall Street may not know exactly who its leaders are. Perhaps only a formless discontent is driving the movement. But the lack of definition in no way undermines the significance of Occupy Wall Street.
At the heart of the protest is an organic, gut awareness that something is wrong: a whole lot of people are hurting and a very few people are not. Along with this perception of skewed resources is a belief that the system is rigged so that imbalance will not only continue but get worse.
Mayor Bloomberg can clear out Zuccotti Park under the cover of night. The EU can thwart Greek popular will by stopping a referendum. But none of these measures address the grievances at the heart of Occupy Wall Street and its parallel expressions across the globe.
The discontent of these organic uprisings will ferment and, like a toxic jello, ooze through the cracks that exist in any suppressive apparatus. No matter the stranglehold the banker class has on the global political and economic system, the 99% will have its day. That day can come with a gradual ceding of control by the 1% or it can come with the unpredictable messiness that is implicit in any uncontrolled release of energy.
Emma Bovary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Bovary
A Doll’s House http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Doll%27s_House