Monday, January 16, 2012

Bruce Springsteen’s latest studio album captures meaning of Occupy Movement

Apparently the Boss is angry again and his new album will vent some of this anger which closely parallels the emotions of the Occupy Movement.  Starting with Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, the crusade has literally moved all over the world.  But Springsteen remains grounded in his concern for the blue-collar group and liberal causes.  Although most of the album was written and recorded before the Occupy Movement started, it still reflects the sentiments of the fight for equality.

In an article where Princeton professor Cornel West describes the Occupy Movement as an “idea whose time has come,” Tea Party crackpot Michael Prell compares Occupy with the Berkeley Free Speech movement that took place in 1964-1965, “right down to the babbling incoherence of the participants.”  Now this takes the cake considering this man, who is a strategist for the TP Patriots, represents a bunch of blithering blockheads with double-digit IQs.

So what was wrong with the Berkeley demonstrations that resulted in the University backing off and allowing academic freedom with open political activity on the campus, with the Sproul Hall sit-ins eventually creating a place of open discussion?  Liberal, yes, and perhaps contrary to a conservative approach that hides its ideology behind the dogmas of religion and worship of big business.  Berkeley has gone on to represent a progressive attitude that has become a solid foundation of the left.

Sidney Tarrow, a visiting professor at Cornell Law School, believes the Occupy Movement will emerge as a “more potent national force” after cities get past the “encampment” issue.  And this may be the real connection between the Berkeley Sproul Hall sit-ins where you have to take a physical position to make your point.  Tarrow calls it the creation of a “communal basis for future social movement.”  So where do the “Occupiers” go and how do they make their voice heard without the bivouac?  Tarrow says they should “Move on” and “march to Washington.”

Bryan Boydston in The Humanist wants to know, “What Exactly Does the Occupy Movement Want?” when he refers to the Lennon/McCartney song, “Revolution.”  He also refers to the ideology “rebel without a cause” when commenting on the disorganization of the movement so far.  Boydston quotes Naomi Wolf in the Guardian asking the same question, receiving numerous responses she capsuled into the following three:

1.    Reverse the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court further allowing the influence of money in U.S. elections.
2.    The movement wants fraud and manipulation taken out of the U.S financial system.
3.    Prevent politicians from using their positions in Congress to benefit corporations they have invested in.

In addition to Wolf’s three Boydston has three of his own which he thinks may be more directly focused on what occupiers want:

  1. Reversing Citizens United is good but he thinks the Movement is more about the total economic inequality that exists in the U.S.
  2. He questions regulation as the “fix-all” for the financial community and thinks more of it would not have prevented the recession.
  3. With little evidence of insider trading by Congress and because they are already prohibited from passing laws that impact companies in which they hold any significant interest, this problem is probably already covered.

So one might assume from all this exposition that you can boil down what the Occupy Movement wants into one simple phrase: Balance the inequity of the economic system so that a more equitable arrangement exists for all.

I’ll leave you with Boydston’s quote from the Lennon/McCartney song, “Revolution,” which is actually appropriate for the Occupy Movement.
You say you want a revolution?
Well, you know, we all want to change the world.
…You say you got a real solution?
Well, you know, we’d all love to see the plan.

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