While I’ve admittedly mocked the Occupy protestors (more on Twitter than here), I haven’t been able to generate the least bit of anger for them. I’m often exasperated with them, and confused by them, and wonder what the heck they are thinking. If that sounds a lot like a parent talking, well, you wouldn’t be far off.
As the protest matures, however, I’m starting to view the various occupations as more than street theater. These are “teachable moments,” where mostly young people are learning through hard personal experience that so much of what they have been taught in school by tenured academics simply does not work in the real world.
Last week, we heard of a strike by the cooks of Occupy Wall Street that have been worked to the point of exhaustion by freeloaders they characterize as “professional homeless.” Another young Occupier from liberal Oregon seems to be learning as well.
Nick Hommen, 29, a volunteer from Salem, Ore., who was handling donations, said some demonstrators were taking advantage of people’s generosity.
“We can’t afford to keep buying new tents. It’s ridiculous the sense of entitlement people feel,” Hommen said.
And he distinguished between actual protesters and the growing number of homeless people invading the park, a rift first reported last week by The Post when kitchen workers revolted over working 18-hour days to feed “professional homeless” people.
“We can’t continue to be a homeless shelter,” Hommen said.
Will Hommen mature enough through his experiences to finally make the connection between the abuses of “free” services in the Occupy movement and the “free” services offered by government?
One can hope.
The surest sign that the Occupy protestors are learning the hard lessons of life outside of a Marxist-distorted academia will be their absence. Certainly, many protestors will leave the various protest sites as winter weather sets in, but many more will take with them lessons that they may not recognize at the time.
I suspect that most will leave the Occupy movement a little older, a little wiser, and a little more mature.
They will leave after learning that criminals thrive upon the idealistic and uninformed, and that there are always lay-abouts and shiftless losers that would rather live in squalor on handouts than actually work for a living. They are learning that ad-hoc law enforcement, court systems, and the mob rule of unrestricted democratic socialism is untenable, and that it leads only to shared misery.
In short, they are learning through a real-life learning laboratory that while the capitalism practiced in our Republic isn’t a perfect form of government, it is by far the best kind of equitable government that man has been able to live under in human history.
Perhaps in 5 or 10 or 20 years we’ll be reading about a a new conservative politician that got his or her start in politics as an idealistic young university-educated Marxist that began realizing the problems inherit to the beliefs that professors idolized, but never had to live under.
So from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Occupy Movement. You are doing far more good for this Republic than you know.