What I Saw at #OccupyWallStreet Last Night, and What I Saw When I Left…

I was struck by the “what’s their plan” question in a few ways. First because it was the first even vaguely critical comment about OWS I’d heard in the whole discussion — for half an hour these guys had been been talking about and around the protests, and everything they’d said was emphatically positive. Second because it wasn’t asked in a spirit of attack but a spirit of curiosity, and maybe gentle prodding — a central premise of the conversation I’d snooped on was that there’s no obvious fix for what’s gone wrong. For many on the chattering left “what’s their plan” is the rhetorical leadup to a dismissal, as if it’s the job of five hundred strangers in a park to come up with a concrete step-by-step proposal for reforming (or overthrowing) global capitalism. But here it wasn’t that. Here it was a real question: “What can be done?”


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