The Times editors also screw up the origins of Occupy (it's not the Adbusters push for Wall Street's occupation last September). But no matter. I'm mostly amused at the left's aggressive attempts to mainstream Occupy. The occupiers are terrorists, frankly. The New York occupation began with day after day of anti-Israel extremism and fanatical anti-Semitic propaganda. In Seattle, Portland and Denver (just for starters) the full range of hardline communist revolutionaries marched day in and day out. And week after week we had reports of dead occupiers --- one murdered in Oakland --- of rape and sexual assaults, of rampant drug abuse and overdoses, of dirt and filth creating unsanitary conditions at the encampments, and basically the whole range of hate-America counter-cultural agitation. It's a shame that mainstream media outlets like the Times have latched on so aggressively. It's even more shameful since the editors are so completely ignorant of the true nature of the movement.
A few weeks back the MacIver Institute referenced the Organization for a Free Society. The group's website is all about Occupy as revolution, and they have a statement that's representative of what the movement's really all about, "Manifesto":
We imagine an economy in which people are empowered to manage their own affairs, there are no classes, the means of production of social wealth are owned by everyone together, we function in solidaristic communities, and peoples’ needs and desires are accounted for. Ultimately, we envision an economy that allows people to fulfill their human potential, that allows us [to] live and work in dignity and respect, and empowers us to express our true, human creativity.That's the complete and utter rejection of capitalism and merit-based competition as the organization of democratic society. And that's barely the tip of the iceberg:
We consider the economy to be an essential part of the way society functions as a whole, and think it should be as democratic as any other realm of public life. We imagine a classless society, in which we own together those things that produce the means of our existence. We imagine an economy guided by values of solidarity, equity, self-management, and diversity – in which our priorities in production are not based on the decisions of a class of owners and coordinators, but a thoughtful process of assessing social needs (such as the environment), community needs (such as more work here or a new park there), individual needs, and what it takes – on the part of workers, communities, the environment, and all other agents – to produce those things. We imagine an economy that is efficient, where efficiency means producing and living well, but not at the expense of other values such as equity. We reject the market economy, which sees efficiency in terms of profit for a minority at the expense of the social good, and squanders the vast majority of human potential.
We envision a world where individuals can define their genders and sexualities however they like, where gender is not fixed but a matter of choice, where people have the opportunity to be and grow into or out of whatever they want. We imagine a society where people are free to develop and define their sexual orientations without oppression, without constraint, without inhibition. We imagine a world where people are empowered and respected, and where the needs of people of different genders or sexualities are taken into account. We imagine a world where women and men treat one another with respect and equality, where gender oppression has been wiped out of existence, where there are a variety of different genders expressed and no one has to pick any at all, and where gender has nothing to do with power.That is the complete rejection of values, decency, restraint and traditionalism. And that's the core of the Occupy Wall Street societal agenda. No gender recognition. Pairing sexually with whomever it feels right and good, damn world historical norms of propriety and protection of the most vulnerable. As we saw in New York, women were unsafe at the Zuccotti Park encampment. They had to self-segregate to protect themselves against being raped. But that's all part of the movement, and no doubt man-boy love and polygamy as well, and only God knows what else. This is of course the end stage of the progressive agenda. This is what creepy radical leftists like Walter James Casper III endorse when they pump out brainless tweets exhorting commies, druggies, and hippies to "Occupy wherever you are." It's criminal. It's nihilist. It's deathly. For example, see James Panero's essay at The New Criterion, "Commune Plus One." Panero situates the Occupy movement in the experience of the Paris Commune of 1871, the historical event most widely recognized by communists as the epitome of the revolutionary manifestation:
We imagine a world where people can choose to express their sexual desires freely, partnering in whatever ways make sense to them. We imagine a society that is educated, informed, supportive, open, honest, and critical enough for choice to be meaningful. We envision a society where sex is something to embrace rather than be ashamed of, to be open and honest about rather than to hide and repress. We imagine a society where our bodies and different forms of sensuousness are things to be explored and discovered, where we are liberated to truly feel and experience what is around us, where this is seen as a creative process. We envision a sexuality where consent and respect are valued above everything else, where sexual aggression and violence are not tolerated or permitted against anyone anywhere.
Whenever Lenin wanted to suggest the success of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, he compared it to the mythical seventy-two days of the Paris Commune of 1871. For Lenin, the seventy-third day of Bolshevism became “Commune plus one.” “All through his life,” writes Horne, “Lenin studied the Commune: worshipped its heroism, analyzed its successes, criticized its faults, and compared its failures with the failures of the abortive Russian Revolution of 1905.” At his death, Lenin’s body was wrapped in the red Communard flag.
In 1964, a Soviet Voskhod even rocketed to space carrying a shred of an original Communard banner. By restarting a clock that ran for a couple of months in a Paris spring, the Communists consigned tens of millions of people to death and ruined half the nations of Europe. They then saw fit to celebrate these achievements by sending the Paris Commune into space before, eventually, their own idealistic creation came crashing down to Earth.
Marx called the Commune the first “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Lenin’s Bolsheviks identified closely with the Commune and shared the same name. Yet the Communists were far from the last to be taken in by its myth.
There is an undeniable romance in doomed idealism, even if the ends are worse than the beginnings. The deadliest form of idealism invites its own ruin, either from outside or within, so that the purity of the ideal can be measured against the severity of its destruction—cataclysm as a defense against compromise. “The Commune ruled for a brief seventy days before expiring in a holocaust of fire and bloodshed far in excess of anything perpetrated during the Great Revolution of 1789,” writes Horne, “but it left behind an indelible mark that was to spread far beyond the boundaries of France.”
The legacy of the Commune was an idealistic promise that can never be fulfilled. To resurrect the Commune therefore means to restart the countdown to ruin. Herein lies the deadly mechanics of the Commune and the movements it inspires. Listen closely and most of the failed idealism of the last century has the tick of that Commune clock, from the terror of China to Cambodia to many smaller time bombs including, now, Occupy Wall Street.