Thursday, June 07, 2012

An article from Reuters asks "Can Occupy Wall Street Survive?"

"More than eight months after Occupy Wall Street burst onto the global stage, decrying income inequality and coining the phrase "We are the 99 percent," the movement's survival and continued relevance is far from assured. Donations to the flagship New York chapter have slowed to a trickle. Polls show that public support is rapidly waning. Media attention has dropped precipitously.

"...Even its social media popularity, a key indicator of the strength of a youthful movement, has fizzled since its zenith last fall."

It could be that the Occupy movement is in trouble or its decline could be more apparent than real, a manifestation of the movement's inherently loose organization.

Perhaps the question should be whether any of the factors that fueled the Occupy movement initially have been resolved or become somehow irrelevant, less vexing?   Was the movement little more than a frivolous outburst of dissent, discord, dissatisfaction?

What is commonly thought to have fueled Occupy - inequality in wealth, income and opportunity - marked by the rapidly growing gap in economic and political power between the public and a very small group of oligarchs certainly continues to worsen.   Western society is becoming more fractured along both wealth and generational lines.   Is it realistic for that to simply go away?

The greater concern might be if not Occupy, then what?   Occupy has been a great vehicle or outlet for expression of dissent.   It has empowered a force demanding reform.   Yet it has been overwhelmingly peaceful and incredibly patient.

If Occupy fails, that growing discontent and frustration will only build until something else comes along to harness it to different means and purposes.   And that could be ugly.

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