When I was a child, my mother told me that "you are known by the friends you keep." That advice has served me well, particularly since I have started publicly stating my political views through this blog. I have made many friends, most of them good; a few I have had to defriend or put some distance between myself and them, because I do not want to be associated with their approach to change.
I bring this up because I found some of my libertarian friends being seduced by the Occupy Wall Street movement, its sister movement Occupy Together, and the latter's affiliates in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown (links on the Occupy Together home page).
Since the stated purpose of Occupy Together is to show solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, it is reasonable to assume that they share the same vision. So what is the vision of this movement that has held a continuous protest in New York City since Sept. 18?
We are unions, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent.
As members of the 99 percent, we occupy Wall Street as a symbolic gesture of our discontent with the current economic and political climate and as an example of a better world to come.
The previous day, they posted this message:
The language and rhetoric is redolent of union activism and leftist protest organizations.OccupyWallSt.org stands in solidarity without brothers and sisters in Boston who are marching on Bank of America.
Their symbol is a clenched fist, the historic symbol of the socialist movement. While they agree with us that the Federal Reserve Bank should be abolished, there is nothing in their demands, their rhetoric, or the way they operate that suggests that they are libertarian in any way. Rather, they mirror the leftist approach used in the protests against the Vietnam War and against Wisconsin's collective bargaining bill last winter. Their message is heavily laced with class envy.
They idolize President Obama, but think he does not go far enough.
Those who are familiar with George Orwell's novel 1984 might suspect that this is a case of Big Brother setting up his own Emmanuel Goldstein (the straw man representing the opposition, but who believed essentially the same thing).
At first blush, Occupy Wall Street really does appear to represent the "99%," but once you peel off the outer layers, you see that it fosters the same kind of socialism that President Obama wants to foist upon us.
We may soon experience revolution. Some of our people may even be desperate enough to want one. But if Occupy Wall Street and its friends are the vanguard of the revolution to come, we will get a dictatorship of the proletariat, and "dictatorship" is likely to be putting it gently.