March of “The Fuzzies”

Vague, Half-baked Utopian Ideals Sweep the Planet

Oct 17th, 2011 | By Coco Cabrera | Category: Featured

Protesting the pervasive not-niceness of things.

A mass movement with a “feelings message” that things are generally wrong and that somehow they should be different and everyone should be happier, has gone global.

“It started with Obama’s election campaign,” believes University of Newfoundland at St. John’s Professor of Political Economy Carl Johnson, “and specifically with his ultimately meaningless slogan ‘Yes We Can’.  No one bothered to ask what exactly it was they could do.”

The rise of The Tea Party was the next manifestation of hysterical mass fuzzy thinking.  “It’s supposedly a grass-roots movement that is actually funded by plutocrats and exhorts common people to change Washington in some unspecified way so that they sooner become serfs in a new type of Corporate Feudalism.  They haven’t got a fucking clue what they are saying. I wager their 99% don’t even know what the Boston Tea Party was about.”

Internationally the new “down with everything so things improve for me” impulse was seen in the so-called Arab Spring.  “Yes, it’s another example of the urgently felt need to change the channel.   But nobody knows what they want to watch next.  It’s inevitable and tragic that soon those people will be fighting over the remote. Not to mention that all the new shows look like the old ones.”

The latest examples of general rejection in the hope of unknown improvement are the various “Occupy” movements mirroring the original on Wall Street.  “That came from a poorly considered cri de guerre from an Adbusters magazine article,” notes Johnson. “But what if the institutions they are ‘occupying’ fell.  What then?”

Notions of what systems should replace the current ones, failed and otherwise, require a knowledge of economics and governance that seem too onerous for most protesters. When asked what economic model should be used to replace floundering late capitalism, Jacob Finny an occupier of a small patch of parkland in Vancouver answered, “Check out this new app on my iPhone, man, it’s so cool.”

The smartphone application, “occupI”, is a game wherein placard-waving protesters make their way through a labyrinthine street scape towards a glowing “Bank” in the distance.  No matter how well the player navigates the streets, the “Bank” gets no closer.

“Unless the Corporations voluntarily surrender treasure the only remedy to the inequalities being decried is to socialize wealth,” said Johnson. “That means fundamental changes to the tax system, strict regulation of trade and the nationalization of some industry. No one wants to talk about that, let alone do the heavy lifting.”

 

– with files by Paul Moth and Heber Dolphy

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