Yesterday, before we embarked on a crowded-kitchen cheesemaking home-brewing bonanza, we decided to go check out this little protest you may have heard of: Occupy Wall Street. We're only two trains and a couple subways stops away, so why not see what it's all about firsthand?
The current fragility of the world economic system combined with worldwide dissatisfaction for how our leaders are managing the situation is leading to historic times across the world. It may take some time and it may not be as dramatic as some people would expect, but I think this mini-revolution has some steam and there’s a good chance that some permanent change is made. One thing is apparent, there is broad disenfranchisement with how we’re represented in this democracy of ours. There's plenty of similiarities stretching from the disconnect between Wall St and the population and Industrial Ag and the population and I'd venture to guess that we'll see more civil unrest in the future, not less.
Lest you wonder if I was in any danger entering the den of those who hate financial-types the most, don’t you worry. I work with about four other guys helping universities and small family offices invest their endowments, not exactly they type of big-bank evil-doings that these protesters are after. In fact, I imagine we would agree on many of the higher level ideals that I think these people are after. The unfortunate reality is that many of the participants, and some of the ‘leaders’, have a very hard time articulating and communicating those ideals and it really isn’t a unified front. I asked around to try to get some clarity on what Occupy Wall St stands for, but I never got a straight answer and I was frequently asked a bunch of questions in return. I asked if there was a leader or any type of structure and I was told on numerous occasions that Occupy Wally St intentionally avoids such things. While I don't know that they will have much success without much better organization, I’m extremely curious to see how this all pans out.
Here’s what I observed:
- There are many disgruntled individuals participating in the protest, but they all seem to have very different reasons for being disgruntled
- The members are divided/confused about the actual solutions for resolving their disgruntled-ness.
- A list of goals, demands, misgivings or anything of the sort does not exist and has not been sanctioned by Occupy Wall St.
- No clear leader has emerged to take responsibility for this movement and guide it to place where change can be effected.