In an Editorial that would not have been out of place as a post on ‘The Standard’ The Herald praises the Occupiers of city squares around the country, (and around the world). The Herald in defending the Occupiers, takes apart the critics specious argument that for wearing modern clothes and using modern services, in particular for using the latest communications devices to get their message across, the Occupiers are hypocrites.
The Herald mocks those who have made this attack on the Occupiers saying: “….to suggest that the way we organise the creation and distribution of wealth is both corrupt and unjust does not carry with it an obligation to abjure frozen vegetables and health care.”
Some criticism has concentrated on protesters’ perceived double standards, charging them with enjoying the fruits of capitalism (because they wear clothes and shoes and eat food manufactured by global corporations) while presuming to deride it as unsustainable and corrupt.
“We all know now that no self-respecting Occupy Wall St protester would be caught dead without his or her hand-held device, preferably an Apple iPhone or iPad,” wrote William Cohen, a former investment banker, and the author of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World.
The profound cynicism that underlies that observation probably reveals more about the writer than the subject, but public opinion is more sympathetic. Surveys by major publications have shown support for the protests running at 2 to 1 in the US……
……..It’s an idea that would have many New Zealanders nodding sagely. Deeply embedded in our national discourse is the idea that it is illegitimate to criticise without offering an alternative.
Yet it is not incumbent upon the protesters to redesign the world’s economy and social organisation on the fly and while sitting in public parks. Indeed, the very idea that there can be a quick fix to the economic problems that beset the world should be vigorously resisted.
Presuming to suggest that the way we organise the creation and distribution of wealth is both corrupt and unjust does not carry with it an obligation to abjure frozen vegetables and health care.
The groundswell of opinion that is shaking the entire planet is not against the existence of capitalism but against the greed of those who pull its levers. In America, the after-tax income for the top one per cent of households has almost tripled since 1980.
New Zealand Herald Editiorial Sunday Nov 6, 2011
The Herald also attacks those who try and put conditions on the Occupiers.
The greater danger that those clamouring for change face comes from powerful public figures who profess support but then make it heavily conditional.
To my mind this is a warning to the likes of Dunedin Council who are trying to move the Occupiers to some other less central place and/or demanding that their occupation is not a 24 hour one. ie not an occupation.