Woman’s Mind; The Mysteries of “Occupy;” the Libertarian Side of the Movement; Syrians

My wife of more years than she cares to remember just told me calmly that I had “low standards” in “women and in food.” It seems that she thinks I could have done better than her. Makes me think because, by and large, I trust that woman’s judgment. Got to take a second look at myself. As far as the food is concerned, she had a conflict of interest when she made the statement. Recently, she bought some expensive rice than I am not allowed to eat because, she says I “would not appreciate it.”

I keep learning about those fascinating creatures. It’s never boring, not ever or not yet! Feminists will maintain with a straight face that this kind of stuff never happens, that it’s all in my mind. Normal women, on the other hand, don’t even raise an eyebrow at this kind of story. “Been there, done it,” their impassiveness seems to say. (And, contrasting feminists with normal women was not a slip of the tongue. I barely ever have those. If you follow my musings, you will realize that I am coldly calculating.)

I keep an eye on the “Occupy Santa Cruz “ street site. (See my posting on this: “Occupy Wall Street, and Santa Cruz, and Democrat Electoral Desperation,” from October 11) I noticed today that there were three times more people there at 11 AM than at 10 AM. Why would that be? As a far as I know this differential showing corresponds to no major work schedule.

Another source of puzzlement: There are more “Occupy” tents than there are ever occupiers present on the site where all the signs are stored or shown. Some of the tents can shelter more than one person. How can this be? Do some tent dwellers go to their job in the morning and come back in the evening to demonstrate against inequality and against the corporations by sleeping in a tent? Too many unanswered questions.

My faraway friend, Kay Day, a prolific conservative columnist and blogger and a woman I admire greatly, recently published a piece fairly sympathetic to the “Occupy” movement. (http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-national/on-the-ground-at-ows-new-york-no-formal-leadership-is-the-point) First, I am not completely surprised and second, I have some comments.

I am not surprised because the movement does have an anarchist flavor and the word “anarchist” means about the same as the word “libertarian” but with a different connotation. People who call themselves “anarchists” tend to have vague ideas about the sources of government oppression they denounce. They have trouble imagining that the government (technically the “state” ) is inherently oppressive. Libertarians are often anarchists who understand the market idea. Scratch a libertarian and you will often find a former anarchist; educate an anarchist and you will frequently get a libertarian; scratch an anarchist and I have no idea what you will find. And the movement itself has an anarchist form. It’s probably true that, as I write, it has no leaders.

Kay interviews a young media woman, “M” who is herself part of the movement in New York City. The young woman describes what she sees in terms that would also turn me in the movement’s favor. I don’t believe “M” distorts anything, nor does she need to. What she reports I would probably also observe if I were on the ground. Rather, I suspect that “M”’s mind contains the typical mixture of sophistication and naivety one usually finds in young people with semi-advanced degrees from good universities: They know enough to gather facts selectively in order to build a coherent story but their conventionalism finally shows through. In this case, “M” pointed out to Kay that “media typically interview or profile white males although this constituency is ‘far from the majority of the group.’” There is zero evidence that either part of the statement is true, of course. And in New York City, specifically, if reporters are biased I would bet that it is by interviewing females preferentially (and any hapless black female within reach, fifty times a day until she is forced to go home to escape the harassment).

This is not to deny the anarchistic and potentially libertarian potential of the movement. My objection is this: Any group, however diffuse, however little of a group it is, that denounces the political process while demanding change that is both radical and quick is ripe for capture by various forms of fascism.

I thought MoveOn was a fascist organization serving candidate Obama’s campaign. It turns out he probably did not need it to win victory. This time, however, things look frankly bad for candidate Obama. He might need a big push. At this late date, it is striking that there are still no media reports of anyone in the “Occupy “ movement, anyone at all, blaming the president for anything, including for stubbornly high unemployment

Speaking of fascism, the Syrian peaceful revolution continues. Conservative lovers of freedom are not giving those brave people the credit they deserve. At this point, given the size of the Syrian population, it’s as if Americans had lost 55,000 lives to a dictator’s campaign of assassinations.


About Jacques Delacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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9 Responses to Woman’s Mind; The Mysteries of “Occupy;” the Libertarian Side of the Movement; Syrians

  1. Kay Day says:

    Beautifully written, as usual. I have to ask. Did your wife buy Basmati? I love that stuff and my husband routinely dubs it ‘overrated.’

    The young woman I interviewed is subjective on the matter of the march, at least the one she’s involved with. I took pains to render her story as accurately as possible, deliberately keeping myself out of the narrative. I did, at the end, posit a rhetorical question that I believe was appropriate, however, on the matter of a leadership vacuum. We all know what that produces in the long run.

    As an aside, I’ve known the young writer since she was a child. I taught her in Sunday School, alongside my own children (we had far more fun than you’re supposed to there, but then, I am a renegade Lutheran.) She’s always been a ‘thinkative’ sort, and I took comfort in her admission about the union peeps attempting to incite violence.

    Sadly, I believe this movement will be co-opted just as the anti-war movement was in the 1960s. But above all, I fully endorse their freedom of assembly and other first amendment options. I hope the right will be analytical about this movement, however, and be careful to not vilify as was done to the tea partiers. I also hope the youth in the movement will turn an objective eye to the expansive government that colluded hand in hand with select corporatists to produce the quagmire we all deal with at present.

    I will say that as a Southern woman, I never really needed feminism. I found the tools at my disposal more than adequate to achieve my goals, including the most difficult goal I ever met: getting my husband to the altar! LOL. I never even aspired to the altar until I met that man. I’d planned to move to NYC after college and take a job in the publishing business.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Kay : I have no quarrel with anything you said. I think the young woman is honest. It does not mean I have to put on her rose-colored glasses. And yes, I think the conservative media have been unnecessarily abusive of fellow citizens exercising their right freely to assemble. It’s probably tit-for-tat because of the past vilification of the tea party. It’s not an excuse, of course. You might notice that I don’t vilify what I observe locally but the sarcasm is almost inevitable: Again, why so many tents?

  2. Bruce says:

    A one part play:
    Scene: New York City, Wall Street financial district.
    The Players: An “Occupier” (O) and a “Garden Variety Homeless Person” (GVHP)
    GVHP: Sup foo?
    O: Hey Bro, I’m rockin the man down here to get all of us a better life.
    GVHP: That change I’m hearin jingling in your pocket?
    O: Yeah, but it’s gotta last me, my parent’s cut off my allowance when they found out I’m here instead of going to my classes at NYU.
    GVHP: Bummer. Seriously, you got some spare change?
    O: You would have all you needed if not for the Big Banks and Wall Street fat cats.
    O: I’m down with that, but right now I could use a few bucks.
    GVHP: It’s the whole wealth distribution disparity that’s got you down my brother.
    Did you know just a few people have all the money? We need to rise up and demand our share. It’s all about fairness.
    GVHP: Fairness, right. I’ll bet that poncho comes in handy when it rains.
    O: Yeah, my parents bought it for me. It’s from LL Bean. If I buy one it will be from a environmentally responsible company.
    GVHP: I try and find a good trash bad or two.
    O: You should not have to do that. This is America. A chicken in every pot.
    GVHP: You got any pot? That would seriously help me get thru till I can score some H.
    O: I have around a dime, but I’m saving it for tonight. Helps me sleep in this rough place.
    GVHP: It is rough on the streets, but I notice you have a tent.
    O: It’s more of that Bean shizit.
    GVHP: I’m done talkin, you got some cash and I don’t, you got some weed and I don’t, you got shelter and I don’t. Time to get real. You either share with me, or you get this straight razor.
    O: Wooo dude, settle down, I’m on your side. It’s us against the man you know?
    GVHP: That sign over there says “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. You got the ability and I got the need. Time to pay up sucka, and I’ll let you keep that uuuuugly poncho.
    The End.

  3. Jacques:

    Your writing in this article exceeds anything i’ve ever read of yours (and you know I am a literary admirer of you.

    Your paragraph #1 – which I so love – makes me think you should write a shitload of vignettes about your and Krishna’s interplay, and they will be published.

    In paragraph #3, I love how subtley you point-out there are likely too many women who are voluntarily not working. I see this reality at the gym: from 8am-1pm, the gyms are filled with almost exclusively women; after 5:30, we see a more even distribution. Although I’ve got to hand it to the women, many more women are exercising (hard) than men these days. I’d excuse the men by claiming that many of them are too tired at the end of each day’s physical work on the job, but there aren’t that many blue-collar jobs remaining in our borders.

    I fully concur that I don’t like both the anarchistic energy nor the misguided targets the Occupy folks engender. That pandemic activity, along with the sudden loss of expected wealth (entitlement jobs and entitlement salaries) in the Western countries could converge and unravel too much of the global commerce/culture that capitalism has bred. Currencies could be vulnerable, all currencies, because fiat money requires concensus, both among the people and among the governments. Divergence seems to be the social order du jour.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Larry I think you are flattering me because you hope I will give you sex advice. No way but I could teach you to speak English with a French accent.

  4. Pingback: Woman’s Mind; The Mysteries of “Occupy;” the Libertarian Side of the Movement; Syrians « Notes On Liberty

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