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Collectivism without collective responsibility? The #OWS defenders have a problem

In doing some research about what the Occupy movement is all about, I’ve watched many a youtube video, monitored the #OWS twitter feeds, read related blogs and have seen the arguments going on in the comments sections regarding the appropriateness of the movement and what it’s really about. What jumps out at me is a tendency for its defenders to say, when faced with overwhelming evidence that regardless of how it started, it has been co-opted by rent seekers, that those are just some fringe idiots or isolated incidents, and don’t represent the movement’s general character and aversion to cronyism, but no real issue with capitalism itself.

Now we are seeing rioting, vandalism, striking and disruption of commerce (a terrible thing to happen to innocent people who are trying to work to feed their families) while carrying large banners reading “Death to Capitalism” in unmistakable bold red lettering. Despite all this mounting evidence to the contrary of the movement being 1) peaceful and 2) for capitalism, but against cronyism, we are told we are the ones with the real problem for painting the movement with a large brush labeled “socialist revolutionaries.”

It seems like the OWS defenders now have a bit of a credibility problem. For many of us there is a sense of honor and personal responsibility involved in our associations that we do not take lightly. It’s an implied personal responsibility for the goings on of organizations and movements that one empowers even if simply by presence. What we hear when the defenders come out to fight off the onslaught of bad press is really just a tacit acquiescence to such happenings in the fervent disavowals of what is taking place, stopping short of disavowing the movement itself. What it really comes down to is one cannot hitch their wagon to a collectivist movement and escape responsibility for what comes out of it. Saying “It’s not me,” or “I don’t believe that,” is not an effective argument against the facts of what this movement has become. If that isn’t them, and they don’t agree with violence, destruction of property, and denial of income to innocent working people, or with the sentiments of an overwhelming number of the participants who want to nix capitalism and take what is not theirs, then why are they still there when the reality of the movement is simply indefensible?

I was sympathetic toward the movement in the beginning because I understand where most of the people who were there were coming from. I have the same kinds of problems from this economic disaster as everyone else. But there is no way I could voice any kind of support for it now that it has moved way beyond the pale of appropriateness into lawlessness, violence and leftist anarchy. The facts about what is taking place remain indefensible, and if its defenders do not wish to be a part of something that looks to be turning quite ugly, or be implicated in socialist revolution, they should get out now and find some other way to deal with the sorry state of affairs of our once great nation that doesn’t hurt anyone.

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