I sincerely believe there is plane of higher dignity that most of us fail to achieve. We are blocked from reaching it by our emotions and the limits of our ability to comprehend why others believe as they believe.
- By emotions, I mean the need to defend our esteem, who we are. Defending all that we have invested in getting to where we are, whether it was high minded or low minded. Saving face. Winning. These are bred within our souls as the method of survival in a world beset by beasts and fear of what we don't understand or can't control.
- By the limits of our ability to comprehend why others believe as they believe, I mean that we cannot, absolutely cannot, relate to the emotions that others feel or the events that comprise their lives. They are separate, different, each breath taken in a different place and time than our own. We can only overlay our own experiences to make a guess as to what they have had to deal with. And it is certain to be wrong.
The failure is shown in this superb photograph taken by Chris Francescani at an Occupy Wall Street confrontation with police on November 18, 2011.
Where in this scene is the dignity of man as an intellectual being?
What you see is anger, esteem being defended, misunderstanding, failure to respect. Not compassion or a search for understanding or patience or the kind of courage it takes to turn the other cheek. Not dialogue or deployment of intellect. You see muscle and pain and challenge and fear, shock, dismay. You don't see cool or rational or generous. You can hear the shouts, feel the chaos.
It is the worst of us. Absolutely the worst of us. And all done in the name of righteousness.
I dislike the Occupy movement. I think it is crass and disrespectful of the ideals of the United States. It makes the US appear cheap, no better than an angry Arab uprising or mundane Philippine coup. It stands side by side with deceitful political wrangling done by the US Congress as a misguided way to create a healthy, vibrant national community.
Is America a police state, as many Occupiers suggest, because the police come out to greet their unlawful acts?
No, it is a nation of laws. Laws are rules which define where our personal freedoms end in respect of the rights of others to safety, security and fairness.
A nation of laws that are not enforced is not a nation of laws. It is a nation of anarchy. Of a way of living where each individual professes to know what is best for others. It is the lowest form of living we can know.
It is the world of Occupy, where good is defined as bad and bad is defined as good. Where frustration with the goods delivered by capitalism impels people to rip the foundations from capitalism, with no replacement system in place or even in mind. It is the behavior of a child throwing a tantrum on the floor to try to get the broader world to begin to circle on a new axis that spins directly through the Ego of the tantrum thrower.
No, the Occupiers are not like the Tea Party. Not in the least. One is wrapped up in some emotional high stolen from the Arab Spring and exhibited in snarling confrontation on the streets. The other is wrapped up in ideals and an approach of peacefully but forcefully banding together lawfully to influence elections and outcomes.
The irony, to me personally, is that I don't subscribe to the Tea Party ideals of small government, no matter the price paid. I subscribe to the democratic ideals of regulation to channel the fruits of capitalism to build a balanced, healthy life for the most people. I lean more toward the intellectual platform of the Occupy movement.
I simply detest the method. It is a disease, and it is growing.
This is a modern era. Well connected through technology and the internet. It should be a thoughtful, considerate world. Forceful communities can be built on line. Rallies can make a public statement peacefully. Instead, we have the snarling seekers of "a better way" finding some kind of perverse righteousness in physically bringing down the financial framework that builds the wealth that feeds their families and employs their friends.
What kind of animal is it, that eats its own? Teeth gnashing, bones crunching?
Just go back and look at that picture.
I fail to accept that this is a proper America, or that this is a constructive movement.