Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oh Occupy, I Miss You

Murphy didn't like "Power to the People" either. The phrase had deep roots in earlier protests, but Murphy said echoing it now could mean repeating history's mistakes. "I don't see any benefit from anything that's ever happened in the past. I think it's only served to just reaffirm the system." In Murphy's view, all systems are bound to fail; he'd rather scrap the economy and the government altogether and move back to primitivism

Wow.  Haven't had much to say about Occupy, largely because it has become irrelevant (just as I predicted it would).  But hell, why not remind people that these lunatics would rather see us all go back to a time before mankind knew how to make and use fire?  That sounds fun!  And remember, him scrapping society means it goes away for all of us, not just him...and that's his goal.  

Perhaps more amusing is the fact that "primitivism" wasn't apolitical.  Rather, it was dominated by tribes and families with pretty clear cut hierarchies that were unchallengeable due to taboo.  This dovetails nicely into an excellent book I just finished, Karl Popper's The Open Society and Its Enemies, Volume 1.  Highly recommend it. 

I want to get rid of crony socialism as much as anyone, but the only way to do it is to limit the power of the government to spend our tax dollars.  It's almost cute how people cite Citizens United as a cause of corruption; the case is only two years old, but all of history is full of politicians using their position of power to financially help family and friends at the expense of subjects and citizens.  The spoils system most certainly out dates election spending; the monarchs and oligarchs of old, who never once stood for election, used their powers to be corrupt, too.  Getting rid of campaign contributions doesn't change who the government will abuse its power for.  

The whole project just amuses me.  Direct consensus democracy can accomplish almost nothing; unanimous votes are incredibly rare, especially among large groups.  Yet this was seriously proposed as a goal, not just for the movement but for the nation!  It's proof of how deluded these folks are.  They have gotten it in their heads that not only are they right about designing societies (a tall order), but that everyone else recognizes they are right.  Hell, even people on their own side find problems with their solutions!  Welcome to reality, where dissent and faction are the order of the day and every day.   Believe it or not, Utopia is not something we can just choose to do, and many problems are not the acts of conspiracy by an oligarchy but rather an inherent bug caused by human nature, of which all human institutions are based upon. 

My greatest disappointment with Occupy is its total lack of a stated vision.  "Power to the People" is a pretty meaningless statement.  Getting rid of the 1% who has influence is also nonsensical, as influence on government will never be perfectly equal or anything resembling it.  Society is hierarchical and people are unequal.  That cannot be changed, and every attempt to do so has been both horribly bloody and ultimately a failure to even achieve the stated goals.  

Reduce the power of the government to pick winners and losers, create equality under the law (aka same rules for everyone, which does not imply same results as people are not identical, just like a game of chess), and respect the fundamental rights of Life, Liberty, and Possessions.  These things can bring far greater happiness to our lives without resorting to bloodshed and anarchy. 

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