October 26, 2011
Anatomy of an Occupation
By Robin of Berkeley
If you're wondering whether I was at Occupy Berkeley on October 15, the answer is no. I didn't have to attend; every day around here is Occupy Berkeley.
Because every moment of every day, I am surrounded by people who believe the insanity spewed by the occupants of Occupy. When I listened to the well-crafted video produced by three intrepid, Bay Area tea partiers at Occupy Oakland, none of what I heard surprised me. I thought, "Just another day in Berkeley or Oakland.
Around here almost everyone thinks like these Marxist spewing militants. While in your neck of the woods random strangers may comment, "Nice day if it doesn't rain," around here the words would be, "Nice day for a revolution."
While the video didn't shock me, it did disturb. What troubled me wasn't just how widespread is the diatribe, but that up until a few, short years ago, I believed all of it. Before Obama came on the scene, I could have been interviewed, mumbling and bumbling, just like those other frothing-at-the-mouth leftists.
I would also have parroted the Third-World loving party line. I too would have angrily and self-righteously proclaimed that the US was the root of all evil in the world.
To me, capitalism was bad, communism good (which I discovered after watching the handsome Warren Beatty in the sweeping thriller, Reds). I envied Cuba, home of the finest health care system in the world (thank you, Michael Moore). And I, like our current occupiers, ranted and raved about the racist, patriarchal, capitalist system with its millionaire fat cats (which I learned from reading books by those millionaire fat cats, Noam Chomsky, Al Franken, Gloria Steinem and the late Howard Zinn.)
I believed all of this despite the now glaring inconsistencies in my argument. For one, I (like most leftists) had mutual funds that invested in the horrible corporations. While I was never flush with money, I wouldn't have minded being so. And just like those demonic capitalists, I got a kick out of procuring a big-ticket item, such as a car with that wonderful new car smell.
So how did I fall so deeply into the progressive chimera? Given that I am (I hope) an intelligent person, with the potential to see the light, why did I drink the Kool-Aid for so long? In the service of shedding some light on our current occupiers, I offer the following observations:
Monkey see, monkey do: Leftists follow the leader. Since most progressives believe the anti-capitalist nonsense, the majority will follow in lock step. In liberal areas, there is groupthink -- cult-like behavior, where people must chant the same old tired mantras. To step out of line will undoubtedly bring social condemnation and shunning.
Indoctrination: While I thought I was an independent thinker, it never occurred to me to look outside the moveon.org box. All of my media was leftist; the so-called independent bookstores (the ones that celebrate "Banned Books Week") ban conservative books. So while Noam Chomsky is always welcome to give a book reading, Ann Coulter would never be invited within 50 miles of here.
The programming is particularly acute in the schools. In Berkeley, we have Malcolm X Elementary School and Malcolm X Park. Just to make sure that the kiddies get the message to emulate Mr. X, public school students (and all city employees) get Malcolm X's birthday off (same with Indigenous People's Day, aka Columbus Day, and International Women's Day).
While most areas aren't so extreme, there are hard-core activists all over this nation's school systems with union jobs for life. It's not a coincidence that Bill Ayers is a tenured professor of education; he knew the power of brainwashing kids when knee-high. With youth and their parents subscribing to the Party Line, it's not difficult to lead the progressive sheep to slaughter.
Of course, leftists are badly misguided about what a revolution actually entails. They weren't told, for instance, that Che Guevara, whose handsome face is emblazoned on their fashionable t-shirts, was actually a psychotic killer. Che got such a thrill from watching executions that he had a picture window installed in his office, and had the butchery conducted below.
And then there's another historical fact that eludes our gullible revolutionaries. After a revolution, the activists and militants themselves often get offed. Of course this would be the case; why would the regime want troublemakers and insurrectionaries in the populace?
The Cool Factor: Obama was elected, in part, because he was viewed as cool (though most of us on the right saw him not as cool, but cold). Being a leftist/revolutionary/radical type is viewed as hip and trendy. Simply consult your thesaurus to see the negative words associated with being a "conservative" versus a "liberal." And aren't we a society enamored by anything and anyone who is considered cool?
Alienation and the Search for Meaning: People of all ages, but particularly youth, have an inherent need to find meaning. With spirituality shunned, people look to the secular religion of progressivism to fill the existential void. By fighting against "The Man," capitalism, and America, the radicals believe that they are good people who live lives of value in an otherwise nihilistic world.
An increasing number of people feel alienated in this culture. They are Americans, yet are told that America is bad. They may have a hunger for God, and yet turn away because believers are mocked.
This sense of alienation from God and country compels many people to look to political movements for their raison d'etre . Being leftists offers the lost souls a sense of belonging and identity.
60s Fever: There's a hunger to relive the 60s, even though the Hollywood, sanitized version didn't exactly happen. I've heard young people bemoan the fact that they were too young to enjoy San Francisco, adorned with flowers in their hair.
Of course, the Bay Area in the 60s was besieged by drug overdoses, rapes, the gangster Black Panthers, and radical terrorist bombings. But given that the Baby Boomers wax rhapsodic about the good-old days, both grey haired and youth take to the streets to relive a reality that never happened.
Delusion: The radicals misunderstand the nature of reality. They believe that life should be fair, that hierarchy and differences among people shouldn't exist. It is a form of delusion to embrace utopia and perfection in this human realm.
But, again, this secular society has trashed religion and deconstructed history, the realms of which would explain the way life works. Instead, people on the left live in a fantasy world; and they go ballistic on opponents because truth threatens their dreamworld.
Control: Occupying the streets allows participants to feel good about themselves, noble, as though they are saving the world. In contrast, it's a buzz kill to realize how little control one has over this life. To feel insignificant, like a little cog in the wheel, is depressing. How much more exciting to elevate oneself into the role of some revolutionary involved in a movement to radically transform America.
Generation Me: Scores of studies show the same thing: that today's youth are more narcissistic than ever before. While previous generations of the l8 to 24-year-old crowd prioritized family and meaning, today's young want six figures and they want it now. They have been raised to feel special and entitled, particularly those in supposedly disenfranchised groups (which, incidentally, is most of the American population). And if they have to take some of your hard earned dough to live the good life, no problemo.
Greed: Despite the leftists' lofty claims about fairness, isn't socialism all about greed, about coveting thy neighbor's house? Can't the essence of progressive politics be distilled to this: wanting money, money, and more money?
While those on the left profess to be anti-capitalists, they are the real capitalists. They are so preoccupied with capital, and envious of those who have it, that they want it through any means necessarily. Even billionaire Warren Buffet must be less obsessed with cash and the things it can buy than these love-of-money leftists.
The Need for a Scapegoat: Human beings know instinctively that there is both good and evil in the world. But the moral relativism inherent in liberal education tells people that everyone is good. When people are robbed of the knowledge of good and evil, they will create scapegoats.
Of course, Obama, Pelosi, and the left are masters at pointing fingers rightward, and insinuating that conservatives are racist/Nazi-like subhumans. Whenever there's a lunatic out of control somewhere in the world, the left impugns conservatives. It's no wonder that there's such anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and anti-conservative vitriol all over the airwaves. Not surprisingly, a mob mentality ensues, with angry, violent, and demonic mobs taking to the streets.