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(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tough Topics #25: The Occupation

A lot of people have been asking me to "chime in" on this Occupy Wall Street business.

I tend to agree with the NY Times editorial that pointed out it is not the protester's job to draft legislation. See, I think a lot of critics are trying to pull a reverse ad-hominem attack, here.

In a regular ad hominem, the actual points in an argument are ducked and dodged in cowardly fashion, and instead an attack is made on the person advancing the points. As a way to avoid dealing with the points themselves. Critics of this movement say the movement is leaderless, they say it lacks any clear agenda, advances no clear points of action to solve the problem. These critics would love to have some leader step forth and articulate points. The critics could then say, these enraged and discontented people are following this leader, and this agenda of points. Then they can take those points one-by-one and demolish them! They want to attack the actual points, and so avoid having to deal with the enraged and discontented people.

It's a reverse ad hominem, and a trickily-insidious one! I strongly doubt anyone but me has even noticed it, or pointed it out.

But what a dodge that is! As if that will help! As if it will help, to demolish points. The points are not the point! The point is: people are mad, and their madness is real. It is valid. It's a troubling sign.

Don't quibble over "points!" FIX IT.

1 comment:

dogimo said...

I'm just saying. You want to tell people they can't be mad unless they have a solution outlined in bullet point form? Maybe you better take a closer look at the situation. These people don't care WHAT the solution is. There is always a solution: it is called fire, and blood, and death to the weakest among us, death to the elderly and the sick and infirm and poor, death to those holding unpopular minority views, death to whoever is on the wrong side of the revolution, whoever fares worst surfing the societal collapse.

Think the rich and powerful will fare worse than the poor and powerless, as things start to fall apart?

There is always a solution, and that solution is ON THE TABLE. It is on the table RIGHT NOW, as it always has been for the past 235 years. That solution is on the table. Revolution.

Nothing you say is going to take it off the table. You want to say you can't come up with anything better than that? It will not come to revolution, as long as more attractive options can be on the table. Anything is better than "there is nothing we can do" and it keeps getting worse.

You can put something more attractive on the table, or you can stand back with your arms crossed and complain that people are mad. No burden on you, except for a burden of opportunity!

But if you don't come up with a more attractive solution, somebody will. And what do you want to bet their solution will be a slick fiction that seduces a lot of angry people into getting behind something that won't fix things in the long run? But something that will provide a huge outlet and release for them! To make all this rage do something, to make them feel like they're making progress. Change. Probably something irreversible and bad.

"Mad with no solution" does not equal "mad for no reason." People are not stupid. Politics is stupid. People who would dearly love to live their lives focused on work, on friends, on family and on living are not STUPID. They have their priorities STRAIGHT. They have every right to feel rage that politicians and financiers are so fucking incompetent that they can't milk the cow without KILLING IT.

So now regular people who don't even want to get involved have to rouse themselves and GET involved. All people of good will need to be coming up with some solutions here, for surely all people of bad will are looking for a way to harness this force to their benefit.