Bill Murchison

Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi, different leaders of varied labor unions -- pour it on, folks! Show your political solidarity with all the "occupations" going on around the country! Speak to us in anguished tones about the awfulness of free market mechanisms like banks and the horror of earning more money than someone else.

While you're at it, tell us what you're going to do about the horrors of free enterprise and the profit motive. The explicit Marxist-Leninist remedy seems out of favor these days. That leaves, what? Congeries of yelps ("Stop Corporate Greed," "People, not Profits") from the ragtag occupation armies enjoying the autumn sunshine in venues from Wall Street to the West Coast.

Many times over the past couple of years, I have had occasion to drag out the immortal piece of wisdom, "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad." Truer words surely haven't been spoken (apart maybe from "There's no such thing as a free lunch"). Those "progressive" commentators and politicians egging on the occupation forces have conceivably taken leave of their senses. Whether the majority of occupiers ever had senses to take leave of is a matter, shall we say, for discussion.

The mainstream media, ever alert to possibilities for provoking a cat fight, have been prowling the various centers of "occupation," striving to make ordinary Americans think something real and vital (as opposed to fake and febrile) is going on around the land. Supposedly, to listen to the occupiers and their well wishers, the country is in revolt against heartless capitalism. As the website of CBS's "The Early Show" informed us Monday, "Americans are frustrated and making their voices heard." News machines like "The Early Show," are frustrated with the heavy lifting involved in sorting through proposals for actual, useful economic reform that would create jobs while reducing media sound bites.

The 1960s flavor of the occupation movement is unmistakable, though the occupiers themselves reference the Arab Spring movement as inspirational: Take over a public square or something and villains will topple.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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