A year ago at AFPFs Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington DC, I was street-level with the Occupy DC protesters in all their pathetic glory as they shouted, pushed, kicked and tried to intimidate activists leaving the Ronald Reagan Banquet at the DC Convention Center. [Watch video here]. Giant inflatable “Koch Brothers Fat Cats”, propaganda projected 100 feet wide on the sides of buildings, human traffic blockades, calls for violence and imprisonment, they had it all! And what was all this action REALLY saying? Ideas matter. And in a few weeks, AFPF GA members will join thousands in the conservative grassroots for a unified response – WE WILL NOT LIVE BY FEAR, we will not be intimidated, and we will not stand down when Liberty is on the line! This year we draw a line in the sand. (please join me in DC for the Summit – details are here).
Before it was a mob, the Occupy Wall St. movement was an idea. Don’t kid yourself. It has NOTHING to do with freedom. It is motivated by a full-scale misunderstanding of what Capitalism is and how it operates. This is what Nietzche, Sorel, Alinsky and their most recent mutation look like when their ideas are fleshed out in the real world. In a word, chaos.
“The spiritual life of the `Haves’ is a ritualistic justification of their possessions,” wrote Saul Alinsky, an early “Founding Father” of today’s Occupy Movement. The implication to Alinsky’s followers was stark, namely, “Capitalism is evil and we are meant to fight evil using whatever means necessary”. In reality, what Alinsky calls “ritualistic justification” in Rules For Radicals is more appropriately a consistent application, in most cases, of values that eventually lead to the accumulation of wealth. Justification may allow a person to maintain his claim to wealth he has acquired, but to accumulate wealth is an on-going process that involves the application of certain principles. Wealth accumulation (and I do not speak of monetary riches, here, but a much more holistic definition) involves a series of consistent and on-going transactions. Justifying your possessions, without truly creating value, does not reward the “Haves”. If you are accumulating wealth without creating real, or at least, perceived value, it is unsustainable at best and fraudulent at worst, and may, in fact, produce a negative impact on you over time. By the same token, the actions of the “Have Nots”, especially those given to an unproductive lifestyle, may well be seen as a ritualistic justification of the tactics they use to accumulate wealth at the expense of those they would demagogue as the “Haves”. This is on display in cities around America with the Occupy Mob.
Alinsky seeks to err on the side of angels when he preaches against the sin of self-interest. He claims that when we “divorce ourselves from the belief that our welfare is not related to that of others we will be able to remedy the languishing of the human spirit,” as if the languishing of the human spirit is easily eradicated by proper engineering. Unfortunately, artificially engineered inter-dependence upon one another is not only improbable but inadvisable. One cannot coerce virtuosity in man any more than man’s actions can eliminate the anguish of the human spirit. This is an internal condition impacted, at best, in a marginal way, by one’s physical environment, witness the spiritual exuberance of a third world person of devout faith in contrast to the spiritual ambivalence of some Westerners living in relative decadence today. This anguish of the human spirit is based on the health of one’s spirit and this comes largely from a series of intangibles.
While Alinsky may claim that “…laws are written for the common good and acted out on the basis of the common greed”, the only laws written for good and acted upon for greed are those which seek to legally destroy the balance necessary for equal opportunity to exist. To blame the rule of law for the greed that exists is patent absurdity though this is the fuel behind many of the Occupy Movement’s actions! Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida’s academic concept of deconstructionism becomes a chant, “`f*#* the police!’ and `This is our street!’” in the hands of Occupiers who are working to facilitate the breakdown of the rule of law when they challenge simple traffic laws to shut down busy intersections and intimidate peaceful citizens at private functions.
Greed is the profane yet natural result of man understanding the context in which he must operate, relative to the law. This relationship is, however, an inevitable outcome for some who engage in productive enterprise. To say law must not be fixed because it provides a context for greed and ambition is to ignore the reality that man will pursue his own ambition, regardless of the presence or absence of law. But whereas the former will provide recourse, the latter may give license to untold destruction. Saul Alinsky claims that “everything has its converse”, then seeks to ignore the converse as relevant to any equation in determining outcomes. This, it seems, is his ritualistic justification of and incomplete analysis of the way things are.
This August, the Liberty-loving grassroots will respond to the message of the Occupy Mob that sought to bar free speech and economic freedom in 2011. Our resolve to stand on principle and our presence alone speaks louder than the shouts of any mob.