'OCCUPATION' IS A BIZARRE BUNDLE OF CONTRADICTIONS?
We are now entering the fourth week of our “occupation” by the bizarre bundle of contradictions that is Occupy Wall Street: the anarchists who want total government control, the anti-capitalists with an affinity for the newest tech gadgets, the populists with union backing and a Manhattan PR firm. As their efforts coalesced in cities across the United States under the banner “Occupy Together,” hilarity ensued, confusion spread, and in some cases violence escalated. Americans are scratching their heads trying to make sense of the whole thing.
Americans are used to protests. What makes these protests different is the class-warfare rhetoric that underlies them. Americans are getting introduced to a foreign concept that has been business-as-usual in Europe for some time now. The Europeans call it “tall poppy syndrome.” It is a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented and criticized because their talents or achievements have distinguished them from their peers — and it has wreaked havoc on European economies.
The widespread adoption of this line of thought is a threat to America and is the sum of our failures as a people. America has been an exceptional nation because our government was put at the mercy of the people, allowing individuals to fully realize their potential without unnecessary government interference. However, American exceptionalism does not mean we are immune to the consequences of our actions. We allowed the government to educate our children for us and we allowed the government to chose winners and losers in private-sector business — and now we’re seeing the results.