The kids are at it again. For a while it seemed as though they would never get off Facebook and the Xbox long enough to fulfill their generational responsibilities, but I needn’t have worried. Although they no longer teach civics in sixth grade, the idealism of youth is perennial. As is music, sex, and, oh, yes, the fear of crushing debt, no jobs, and no future.
After a few Kent State moments with the duck-stepping White Shirts, they’ve been joined by fellow traveler unionists, old-timey activists and camp follower celebrities. It’s beginning to look as though we might have something going on.
And It’s spreading: first they occupied Wall Street, then Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, and Miami. According to http://www.occupytogether.org/ there are now planned protests in over 840 cities. The movement’s already stimulating the economy. Think of all those boxed lunches.
As with most revolutions, it’s the children of the middle class who eventually rise up to rearrange the furniture. The poor– the hunters and gatherers if the world– exist in survival mode with neither time nor energy to challenge the status quo. It’s the bourgeoisie, puffed up with pride from full stomachs and curtains on their windows, who finally decide that the Comte de Exon is no better than they, droit du seigneur is unconstitutional, and their sons can no longer be pressed into wasteful and unjustified wars. Oh, and stop poisoning the wells, please.
Commenting on the starvation marches on Washington during the Great Depression, Gore Vidal said, rather regretfully, that the New Deal had prevented a socialist revolution in this country. The Republican right might do well to remember that. Consumer desperation is not good for corporate profits, and it’s very clear that when the conservative majority of the Supreme Court refers to right to life, they’re talking about corporations.
As another great American said about the middle class, “they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?”
One of the hollow-cheeked vampires of CNN (the ones who couldn’t pass the stringent Fox IQ test) asked if this could this be the start of a liberal tea party. Could be. But it will be green tea. Loaded with anticorporatetoxidants.