In a desperate bid to remain relevant (come on, people--"occupying" is so 2011), Occupiers are expected to take their protest to the very halls of Congress on Tuesday, the first day the House is back in session after the winter break and the four-month anniversary of the start of the Occupy movement itself.
Thousands of Occupy protesters from across the country are expected to converge Tuesday on Capitol Hill to take their message to the halls of Congress, in what some observers say is the movement’s overdue moment to engage the American political system.
Protesters already have set up camps in public spaces, taken over foreclosed homes and shut down key shipping ports, but for the most part they have shunned the political system, viewing it as beyond salvation. ...
“Often the complaint that I hear is that, 'you guys are targeting the wrong people.' And so we have that discussion about you know whether or not Wall Street is the source of the problem or really Congress is," said Aaron Bornstein, a 31-year-old neuroscientist and member of the Occupy Wall Street Think Tank, which will hold discussions at the event.
“They're really two sides of the same coin,” he continued. ”You can't have the corruptive influence without both the people who are doing the corrupting and the people who are corrupted.”
First of all, MSNBC's interpretation that the Occupiers have for the most part "shunned the political system, viewing it as beyond salvation" is giving them much too much credit: they just never thought things through that much, instead giving in to the intellectually cheap, populist/socialist/hippie resentment of the wealthy. Now, however, I wonder if--gasp--a teeny, tiny bit of logic might be penetrating the haze of marijuana smoke and body odor cocooning most of these Occupiers' brains from reality.
While I still think that "occupying" is a particularly dumb way to accomplish absolutely nothing, it seems that at least a few of them might be starting to realize that the problem is not private businesses and wealthy individuals, but rather big government. When a powerful and encroaching bureaucracy provides opportunities for private entities to rent-seek, you can pretty easily predict that people are going to rent-seek. The solution is to prevent any one authority (the federal government) from becoming too central, which forces merit-based competition instead.
When the federal government can just decide to provide big businesses with taxpayer-funded bailouts so that they can merely continue their bad economic behavior, of course people should be angry; but they should direct their ire at the too-big government. Kind of like... hey! The Tea Party! (Oh, the horror! A much-less-edgy-and-cool group that managed to peacefully organize and actually elect new representatives to office, instead of loitering in public places and breeding filth, crime, and ignorance. I can really see why the lefty media hates those racist, scumbag Tea Parties so much. ...Not.)
Anyhow, I digress. Apparently, "thousands" of Occupiers are going to descend on Capitol Hill today--updates to follow.