The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

The Failures of Occupy Wall Street

2 min read


The American corporate elite has been barraged with attacks and pressure from the Occupy Wall Street movement for months now. Mixtures of angry left-wing activists and frustrated working-class independents have taken a stance against this corporate state. No matter how large the crowds, how violent the police or how loud the message, the truth is the Occupy movement was a failure before it even caught the camera’s eye. Think I’m exaggerating? Think again.

One of the main ideologies of the Occupy protests has been individual liberty within a free and fair society. This is a view, though some Occupiers would vehemently disagree, the Tea Party shares. So ask yourself, why has the Tea Party, an umbrella term for a group of right-wing quasi-libertarian political organizations, been so much more successful in effecting policy in Washington? The answer is simple: money and leadership.

Occupy Wall Street began with the dream of being an organic grassroots movement of the people against the top one percent. The Tea Party has the same goal, although they are hypocritically funded my multibillionaires, like the Koch brothers, and have clear leadership. The Occupy movement, stuffed to the brim with anarchists and anti-capitalists, are actually staying loyal to that doctrine. This is killing the rebellion.

Leadership is key to a successful movement. Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader of a peaceful movement, and won civil rights for minorities across the nation. Gandhi was a leader of a peaceful movement, and he freed his country from the clutches of imperial Britain. Without leadership, a group of angry protesters is just that: an annoying, uncoordinated mob of people yelling different things in different directions.

Occupy Wall Street refuses to accept or recognize leadership. They claim that hierarchy means inequality. In some sense they are right, but they must realize that without hierarchy there is no true structure, no true direction and no true message. Without leadership, the Occupy movement will fade into the shadows of history as people get bored and go home. Occupy Wall Street will be all for nothing.

This is a message to Occupy Wall Street: ignore the potential divide, think of the potential success and elect leadership.

Or else anticipate catastrophic failure.