For some of us, it’s difficult to take the Occupy movement seriously. However, for once, let’s do just that and ask the simple question, “What if the Occupiers take power?” To answer that, I need to first address what they would need to do to rise to power (I will address the consequences of them in power in a later post). We need to understand the means through which the Occupiers will reach their ends — communism or anarchy. The answer can be discerned from the perspective of experts on mob mentality and mob rule.
To stand any chance at gaining control over our nation, the Occupy movement would first need to disrupt our current system of governance and commerce. Jim Rawles, editor of Survivalblog.com, New York Times best-selling author, and a former US Army Intelligence Officer, offers a historical perspective on the matter by referencing the International Workers of the World (IWW) protests of the 1920s and 30s.
“In that situation, The IWW relocated people from very long distances. They intentionally overwhelmed the local police by relocating large numbers of protesters. It’s analogous to the military massing their firepower for an offensive…If there is an overreaction on the part of the police or conceivably the military, if the protests grow to a large scale beyond the police’s ability, there’s the potential for a lot of violence.”
Further violence from the Occupy movement is not a far-fetched expectation; it’s something we have already seen. Historically, mass sit-in protests, such as those of the 1960s or the Veteran’s Bonus Encampment of 1932, have the capacity to generate a violent and confrontational end result. After all, Occupy has already attempted to disrupt our economy on Black Friday through mass action protests (and miserably failed). History does repeat itself, by the way, as the IWW is heavily involved with the Occupy protests.
Jerry Ahern, an expert and author of dozens of fiction and non-fiction books on survival, firearms, and defensive strategies proposed another possibility for disruption:
“If [the Occupy movement] continues to grow and branches out into other areas beyond their current movement and if it’s still around when the conventions occur, you will see some really, really nasty demonstrations not unlike the riots we saw at the ’68 conventions.”
With winter on the horizon, there should be a wane in the energy of the Occupy protests. As spring and summer return, a resurgence within the movement is certainly reasonable to expect. In reality though, the only way the Occupy movement could garner power would have to be through direct, possibly violent, confrontations with authority figures. Their demands are too absurd to be accepted by the general public en masse. Even then, action from a potentially sympathetic White House will most likely fail to deter, and could seek to encourage, the protesters. Our President has shone the utmost respect and support for what is a very violent and disruptive movement — not dissimilar to his support of mob rule in Libya, Syria, and Egypt. Even then, OWS’s ranks have failed to cause a significant enough disruption within our system — something that could be proven wrong if they are aided by other organized factions during their upcoming planned disruption/”shut down” of West Coast ports on the 12th.
Naturally, I had to ask (to satiate the left’s palette), could the right wing be the one to initiate a violent upheaval?
“The majority of the right wing is not looking to change much of anything, nor is it into confrontation. By the same token, the left wing wants to change things. The left wing accepts confrontation as a necessary tactic for bringing about sweeping social change. For instance, a topic brought up in Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ is it’s OK to lie. The political or social goal you want to achieve is so much more important than something as mundane as the truth. It doesn’t matter what you do to accomplish your goal because the goal supersedes all else. When you have a situation like that, it becomes very dangerous.”
Therein lies the issue: For Occupy to have power in this country, they may very well have to destroy the very system that, ironically enough, ensures their survival. They will have to disrupt our commerce (which they have tried to do) or garner sympathy from a largely apathetic general public. For now, the consequences of those actions are left up to “when” Occupy takes power.