Cost to live in a hippie tent city with your mates: Free.
Cost of the food farms and churches are donating to keep you alive: Free.
Hippies learning the lessons that history should have already taught them: Priceless.
At issue in today’s occupational army, how many hours a day should drummers drum. You can’t have a lefty protest with several things: Women who don’t shave, giant papier-mache puppets, Che T-shirts, incoherence, and drum lines. I’m a drummer myself, so I have no objection to drums per se. But the things are noisy and if some fool is beating on them 24/7, well, it’s a mass headache waiting to happen. People can’t think, let alone sleep. So the 21st century revolutionaries had pull a Ben Franklin and do something about it.
Many non-facilitators were infuriated by the decision and claimed that it had been forced through the General Assembly.
“They’re imposing a structure on the natural flow of music,” said Seth Harper, an 18-year-old from Georgia. “The GA decided to do it … they suppressed people’s opinions. I wanted to do introduce a different proposal, but a big black organizer chick with an Afro said I couldn’t.”
To Shane Engelerdt, a 19-year-old from Jersey City and self-described former “head drummer,” this amounted to a Jacobinic betrayal. “They are becoming the government we’re trying to protest,” he said. “They didn’t even give the drummers a say … Drumming is the heartbeat of this movement. Look around: This is dead, you need a pulse to keep something alive.”
The drummers claim that the finance working group even levied a percussion tax of sorts, taking up to half of the $150-300 a day that the drum circle was receiving in tips. “Now they have over $500,000 from all sorts of places,” said Engelerdt. “We’re like, what’s going on here? They’re like the banks we’re protesting.”
A percussion tax! Leave it to liberals to try and solve all their problems with a tax. The thing is, though, that you need some sort of basic order to make any of this work. You can’t levy a tax without the ability to collect it. You can’t lay down a rule without someone willing to enforce it. So the anarchy is giving way to a kind of oligarchy, as I predicted back on Oct 4.
The inevitable raids on their stuff by homeless addicts vomiting their way across the makeshift camps has already given rise to a kind of Occupy camp security, the most basic duty of a government. And note, one that isn’t being performed well on our border, but the Occupiers don’t care about that.
Next will come a kind of feudalism, as various Occupation (without vocation) voices vie for power and control and minions form factions. And after that, the revolution will become just another institution. That’s the arc of history, being played out by college students who probably don’t even know enough history to be able to grasp the irony of it all.
Until the Occupiers vault from their primitive state to a Leninist oligarchy (a process which should take another week or so), supposing they don’t just dissolve once they realize that camping out in urban parks paid for by others is no way to go through life or feed yourself, let’s enjoy their principled devotion to Luddism.
And so forth. The Luddism of that time was shown in how they chant speeches rather than use a mic and amp. That has all settled into a kind of cult-like charm, but the thefts and freeloading remain ongoing and unsolved issues. And cleaning. Some occupiers are into picking up after themselves, others are not. Tension results and violence follows.
And as I spoke to Michael Glaser, a 26-year-old Chicagoan helping lead winter preparation efforts, a physical fight broke out between a cleaner and a camper just feet from us.
“When cleanups happen, people get mad,” Glaser said. “This is its own city. Within every city there are people who freeload, who make people’s lives miserable. We just deal with it. We can’t kick them out.”
In response to dissatisfaction with the consensus General Assembly, many facilitators have adopted a new “spokescouncil” model, which allows each working group to act independently without securing the will of the collective. “This streamlines it,” argued Zonkers. “The GA is unwieldy, cumbersome, and redundant.”
Within every city there are people who freeload. Indeed. These people represent a park full of them.
Perhaps the occupiers won’t evolve into a Leninist collective after all. They would have to stay together and at least be adult enough to agree on something to do that. Or, the strong would have to grab hold of the power to kill, and if that happens the occupiers will be reminded what a puny little movement they really are.
Instead of becoming anything unified, they may just keep atomizing into smaller and smaller groups until they’re all a big faceless protest army of one. In any regard, if they had a clue they would have just seen all this coming and stayed home. But if they learn a thing or two that their parents and kindergarten should have taught them, that’s not a bad thing.