I will open this post by warning. As of right now most, if not all, of what I write on the post will be opinion based. Little of what I say in this post will represent what the movement may officially stand for.
I would like to say that I totally support a change in how government works in our country. Do I know how I would change it? No, not really. Honestly as long as there is even one person involved in the government, it wont work. Having said that, I also don’t believe a lack of government would work either. That would eventually just lead to a dictatorship.
I would also like to point out that I am not a democrat, republican, or whatever other political group you may assume I belong to. I don’t believe in voting, at least not in the government we have. I think it is just a waste of time that won’t get a civilian anywhere but on jury duty.
This past Tuesday, I accompanied a couple people I know to a general assembly for the Occupy Columbus portion of the Occupy movement. It is in it’s infancy, maybe even fetal, so I will try not to be too harsh with any judgments I make. I would love to give you facts about this movement but honestly I’m not sure the people that put it all together could give you many facts about it. What are they fighting for? Well I think change is something they would all agree on, but from what I have seen that may be all the more you can simplify it. What do they want to change about the government? Well, go ahead and ask each and every one of them. Since it seems like they all want something different. It seems to me that right now as long as everyone can show unity, and a desire for change, they can accomplish at least their current goal.
I think this movement is already a rather strong one, and I do firmly believe that it will get stronger from here. But, I think there is one clear and major threat to this group, a leader. Though I love their idea of making sure every voice is heard and giving everyone equal power. All in all, I think what this group has set up is MUCH closer to what most Americans think their government is. I can understand the idea of not wanting a leader, because you don’t want to give any one person or any group of people too much power. But you do have to respect the amount of power your group gains from having a few key leaders. Without a leader you are often times seen as an unorganized group of hacks who are just trying to rejuvenate the hippie movement. If you have one person that the people see, and that can tell everyone what is going on, everything is much easier. The group anonymous works much, if not exactly like, this Occupy movement does. Have you ever tried to find information from them? It is difficult to figure out anything of substance, because you have to deal with every member’s petty issues. Having said that, I too, completely support what anonymous does and how they are doing it. I am just pointing out how difficult things can be when done the way anonymous does it. Plus, a large movement like this is likely to draw impressionable people and power hungry individuals. You have to make sure those two groups don’t mix, or else you can find a cult within the group, or the entire movement take over a new meaning and become the next Weimar Republic. A leader may not be the ideal move to maintain the image this group has, but honestly I think the idea of having an equal organization without a representative being possible is just juvenile. Eventually, a lead liaison will have to emerge if this continues to grow. In fact, I am shocked one has yet to come about.
The other big issue I see with this group, is internal conflict. Now it hasn’t seemed to have been a big issue so far, but I feel it is an inevitable threat if occupations continue to grow. I think in the simplest terms, you have two kinds of protesters: Malcolm X and Martin Luther. Now this movement, though they have made few concrete declarations, seem to be a none violent group. The issue with a Martin Luther group, is that it only takes one Malcolm X to mess it up for everyone. Since I haven’t heard about any fights breaking out at Wall Street, I assume that the internal conflict isn’t to a high enough scale that it causes actual fights, but what I saw in Columbus still worries me. The group can so quickly turn on another element of the group, and if that happens, the passion of the group could cause the issue to escalate.
I guess all we can really do is see where it goes, and see how it works out.