Well, no, actually. That would be calling attention to a conservative movement, and MTV likely wouldn’t want to have any part in legitimizing that.
But if you support what appears to be an anarcho-Marxist movement that still has no concrete platform, and is “hanging” out in Zuccotti Park, MTV may want to profile you.
It should be interesting to see how many applicants MTV gets, given that the network exists solely to make a profit by marketing corporate products to our nation’s youth. Good luck with the cognitive dissonance on that one.
I think the mistake you make is to assume it’s an anarcho-Marxist movement. Again, that’s using 20th century labels to brand a style of activism. I suspect over 90% of the protesters are in favor of market capitalism, and have no problem with corporations making profits. I suspect many of them work (or for the youth will work) in corporate America. They just think the system now is unbalanced by giving too much power to giant financial institutions and corporations, and what it reformed, not overturned. OWS is not a radical Marxist or anarchist movement, and treating it as such misses the point behind the protests.
Problematically, some of the OWS protesters tend to present it in terms that could be identified as Marxist.
One of the problems with being an amorphous entity is that you wind up like Anonymous; anyone can speak for Anonymous, because Anonymous openly claims to be everyone. Except for when they have to regularly issue statements telling people that someone/something is, in fact, not associated with them.
Except that maybe it is. Because there is no leadership, and that could just be another faction of Anonymous decrying the actions of a faction they don’t like personally.
I’m sure you can see the complications this causes.
Without a defined leadership and set of goals, functionally anyone who is at an OWS protest becomes a spokesperson for the movement, and much like the Tea Party’s struggles with racists attaching themselves to that movement, OWS will have its own struggles with Marxist barnacles.
Marxacles. I love it.
It is hard to tell when a movement has no clearly defined mission. All one can do is look at that organization’s actions. Because the movement is so amorphous, it seems anarchic. Because it attacks corporations and refuses to abide by a property owner’s reasonable rules, it resembles Marxist. Even commenters on this site who support the movement have indicated it is about communitarian principles that naturally extend Marx’s concept of dialectical materialism. Furthermore, Big Labor has been a string supporter of and a participant in this movement. So far, those are really the only data points I have to work with. Perhaps the movement will change over time, but only time will tell.
Scott, you say you don’t think they want to overturn the banks. Based on? Is there anything we truly know about OWS in terms of what its wants and full intentions are? How do we know they don’t want to topple Bank of America, or Wall Street altogether?
We don’t, because the people behind OWS have not declared what their wants and full intentions are. Because of that, it’s easy for us to project ourselves (or the opposite of ourselves) onto them. When I say they’re mostly lazy and useless, or when you say you think they just want reform, isn’t that projection at worst, conjecture at best?
I think we should acknowledge that at this point we really have no facts at all to say whether OWS wants a complete social and financial breakdown, or just a few reforms, and until they get truly organized we still won’t know. Sorry, I know this has already been said a bunch but I think the statement still stands.
Here’s a question, however, that I think hasn’t been posed:
Is this Occupy Toronto attendee a mentally handicapped or stoned individual who just wandered into a rally, or is he so angry at Wall Street and how they robbed him of his future he chooses to sneak into girl’s tents and smell their feet at night in order to comfort himself?
They have purposefully avoided stating specific issues or goals because that’s not what this is about. It is about citizens wanting more of a voice in a system dominated by big money and big government. It’s about people pointing out that the power elite have been rigging the system. I am absolutely convinced that most protesters want a reform of the system not some kind of radical destruction. But what you don’t get is that this is not a 20th century kind of protest with a key ideology or set of demands. That’s what makes it different and potentially very effective. It’s already surprised a lot of people with its ability to organize (the protests in NYC are so well organized its like a little city) and be sustained (often with people doing two or three day shifts in between their jobs and other responsibilities). Even if one disagrees with them, I think one has to respect what they’ve accomplished.
Same for the Arab spring — was it driven by young modernizers, Islamic extremists, or Arab nationalists? It got interpreted in different ways because it had different participants. In fact I recall remarking to a colleague that you can tell a lot about the political perspective of someone by how he or she interprets the protests in Egypt. Seeking cognitive consistency people interpret these in a way that fits their world view. Since it is so diverse, there will be evidence for diverse interpretations. I think the same might be true for the Tea Party and OWS.
Bringing up the Arab Spring is a grotesque mistake on the part of OWS. First off, it was a broad movement with a very narrow communal goal; OWS is a narrow movement with very broad communal goals. It aspires to become a broad movement, but the clock, frankly, is ticking.
It’s all well and good to protest in late summer and early fall, but when the temperature drops and the snow starts falling… People will go home. Lots of people.
Secondly, the Arab Spring had/have a concrete, clear-cut issue to get behind, one with little to no moral ambiguity, and one that pretty much everyone could agree was a problem that needed fixing, even the people who did not actively take part in the protests.
“Corporations are evil” is an oversimplification at best, and an outright lie at worst. And yes, I know, they don’t all think corporations are evil. The problem is that it’s hard to write “a combination of overly lax and overly restrictive regulations, coupled with an atmosphere of anxiety in the financial world, have caused the nation’s corporations to embark on a course which we do not agree with, one that simultaneously combines the robber-baron mentality with a hedging of bets that prevents the creation of new jobs and community reinvestment, and can be clearly seen in the tendency towards a winner-takes-all approach to executive pay, in which a handful of executives at the top of the company have gained the vast majority of the pay increases garnered in the past twenty years” on a sheet of foamboard and wave it in protest.
You would need one hell of a placard.
There are differences and similarities. Some of the organizers of OWS were involved in the Egyptian uprising and used that as a model. In terms of political science, I see this as a new form of social movement, reflecting new media and methods of mobilization. But while a claim “corporations are evil” would be a lie, frustration over the nexus between big government and big money is real. Nothing seems to break it. Obama was supposed bring change, but he’s close to Wall Street, even the differences between Republicans and Democrats are relatively minor. So if you think that big government and big money are in bed together, with the system undercutting the middle class and damaging democracy (which most in OWS believe), and politics as usual hasn’t made an iota of difference, isn’t this protest a rational strategy?
Moreover, it’s effective. It’s gotten massive media attention, it’s gotten the politicians to take notice. It’s mobilizing people world wide. It’s putting this issue on the front burner, and getting especially the apathetic youth involved. Where it will go is still unclear, but I think just as the critics of the Tea Party had to acknowledge their efficacy in the 2010 elections, the critics of OWS have to admit that this movement has been remarkably successful given that even its organizers didn’t expect it to persist.
I’m not so sure it’s as effective as all that, really. Admittedly, I don’t watch much TV, and functionally no news programs, but of the sites I usually frequent for the news that I read (BBC Online, the Washington Post for some bizarre reason, and Reuters), there really hasn’t been all that much coverage. Some on the bigger events, but nothing one would call sustained coverage, and that includes the Washington Post.
On the BBC News site as I’m writing this, for example, there’s almost no visible mention of the protests.
Fascinating. The Economist had this on its blog yesterday for what it is worth,
That Economist blog just reminds me even more of this scene than usual…
Wow! This says it all. It really does!
Hmmmm, misdirected rage, nonsensical arguments… I’d say that the Tea Party was well represented by Jersey Shore.
Or OWS. It’s really hard to tell with all that hair. 😉