This video (via the PJ Tatler, to pick somebody for the honor) from the Occupy LA… whatever it is… has been making the rounds:
For those without video access: it shows a Commie* haranguing the crowd about how socialism is great, and how nonviolent revolutions pale in comparison to the bloody ones. I am almost impressed, to be truthful; even among the American Left it takes skill to find a crowd that will enthusiastically applaud somebody trash-talking Gandhi, but this guy apparently managed the trick. Truly, we live in an age of marvels.
The netroots, of course, absolutely hate it when we point out these people (almost as much as they hate it when we point out the people defecating on police cars); but what they should hate more is the conditions that allow us to point out these people in the first place. Let me explain what I’m getting at, here: imagine, for a moment, that a suitable analogue to Mr. Communist from the video – say, a member of Stormfront – showed up at a Tea Party event. No, this is not going to be a rant about how the media would never let us forget it; this is a more subtle rant. Anyway… Mr. Stormfront would not be given a podium. If Mr. Stormfront was too public about his more undesirable opinions, Mr. Stormfront wouldn’t be at the event for very long, either: nothing violent, but self-policing is one of the hallmarks of a Tea Party event. Both physical and, well, spiritual**.
And that’s the structural problem that the Occupy Whatever people have right there: it’s not so much that they allow filthy Communist agitators to talk at their events as it is that they have no real way to keep the filthy Communist agitators away from the microphones. In fact, many of the Occupy Whatever will refuse to admit that it’s a problem that filthy Communist agitators can get at the mikes; either because they agree with the filthy Communist agitators, or because they’ve deluded themselves that ‘this is what democracy looks like’ (when, in fact, this is actually what the Mob looks like).
Reason’s Tim Cavanaugh expands this point a bit more, in regard to Occupy Atlanta’s seemingly-inexplicable decision to not let civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis talk at their huddling place, despite the fact that if you went to each individual at said huddling place and privately asked his or her opinion the vast majority would have been OK with it:
One important characteristic of mob rule is that it tends to get the outcomes the ruler wants, not the outcomes the mob wants. In this case, the group clearly voted to let Lewis talk, even if that meant risking a slight breach of the day’s agenda. But the point here was not to get a voting result but hive-mind unanimity. Of course unanimity can’t exist among human beings, so the real purpose of the exercise is to keep checking the crowd’s “temperature” until you get the result you want. And what apparatchiks want, always and everywhere, is to put process above product.
What it all boils down to is that while it’s still pretty much an open question whether the Occupy Whatever movement has been taken over by the Hard Left or the Establishment Left, one thing is pretty clear: it hasn’t been taken over by the American people. If it had been, it’d be a good deal more well-organized.
And hygienic, frankly.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*I feel that the combination of praising socialism and advocating violent revolution by the working class is, as they say, diagnostic.
**At this point the Left starts pounding the table and shouting about Larouche Democrats and their habit of putting a Hitler mustache on Obama. Mostly so that you won’t hear the part about “Larouche Democrats.”