The Backlash to Occupy Wall Street Is Going to Be Powerful-And Polarizing
I'm feeling like a Cassandra again, just as I did in 2008 when Obamamania was at its height and everyone was insisting that politics had been transformed for all time. I'm sure I'll be just as unpopular now as I was then, but here goes:
While I love Matt Taibbi and I think this piece is right on in many ways, I hope that people involved in Occupy Wall Street don't start to bullshit themselves into believing that there is not going to be a reaction to all this and that the reaction is likely to be powerful --- and polarizing. The people in power know very well how to push the buttons that need pushing.
This is a beautiful moment full of promise. And we should do everything we can to maximize the numbers and create solidarity while the reaction is gathering its forces. But the idea that it is so transformative that the laws of politics, power and human nature don't apply is a familiar form of self-delusion that's frankly reminiscent of the Obama campaign ... and the Tea Party. I thought we'd learned our lesson.
The likelihood of this going unanswered is virtually nil. It doesn't mean the people can't win. But it's rarely a cakewalk.
I urge everyone to read Corey Robin's The Reactionary Mind to remind yourself about who and what it is we are really fighting here. It's not about political parties but it is about opposing worldviews. And the one that has all the money and power has a centuries-long, successful track record of activating certain lizard brain reactions in people.