Deciphering the Occupy Wall Street Movement

How are we to understand the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement?  Is it, as many on the left insist, a commendable reaction to "obscene" inequalities in wealth?  Or is it, as according to the right, a union-financed, thinly disguised Obama-supported ruse to stir up egalitarian envy?  Both interpretations are partially valid, but let me offer a different take, and one that links OWS to countless similar political outcroppings that have flourished since the 1960s. My descriptor is "recreational politics" and as such lies somewhere between, say, the well-organized ideologically driven Communist Party USA and the spontaneous, disorganized 1992 LA "Rodney King" riot.  The ancestors of today's recreational politics would include a small portion of the civil rights movement and much of the opposition to the Vietnam War.    As a biologist might identify the key characteristics of new species, here are the Occupy movement's essential traits. First, the ideological...(Read Full Article)

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