Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OWS's underlying ideology

Very interesting and sophisticated piece from the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti.

The key insight, I think - and this fact is clear the minute one visits an Occupy tent city (I've visited four) - is that the protests are not just about income inequality. They're thoroughly subversive. They're anti-middle class - not in the economic sense, but in the cultural sense. They haven't taken part in normal political processes because they reject those processes wholesale - that is, they oppose republicanism, whereby elected representatives determine policy within a defined sphere of activity, and seek to replace it with direct democracy, which is glorified mob rule and is antithetical to the constitutional order.

In any case, it's an interesting look at a very radical - but enduring, if never overly popular - political theory.

5 comments:

Will Rusche said...

What is the middle class culture OWS is said to be opposing?

alexrued said...

I think the media does a pretty good job of coddling the Occupiers.

Despite the outbreak of violence in Occupy Oakland territory, USA Today decided to focus on this:

"Take Ruby Rogers, 28, a nanny who was drawn to Occupy Oakland because she felt it needed her.

She says there wasn't enough 'fun -- playful and artistic energy…This is a very heavy movement, it needs levity.' Since she loves to organize whimsy, she's been coming to encampments with food, music and, sometimes, face paint.

On a recent afternoon at Snow Park in Oakland, Rogers and friends were trying to throw a party in a downpour. She'd arrived with brunch -- bread pudding and pie -- and a mix board.
"As soon as our DJ gets here we're going to start dancing," she said.”

Lachlan said...

Will, the culture I'm referring to is the traditional suburban, hard-working, law-abiding, monogamous, to an extent materialistic, two-car-garage caricature of middle class America.

Lachlan said...

And yes, Alex, the coverage has been shameful. It's almost a cliche to compare it to coverage of the (non-violent, clean, rapist-free) tea party protests, but the comparison does tell you all you need to know about the ideological state of the news media.

alexrued said...

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-november-16-2011/occupy-wall-street-divided