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Mass Appeal or Counterculture — not both

November 21, 2011

But then came Vietnam. That stupid war destroyed the liberal consensus. It created a counterculture. And that counterculture is where liberal legitimacy went to die. You cannot be a governing philosophy at the same time that you are countercultural movement. A countercultural movement is set up to oppose power. It is a critique of a country, not a platform for governing a country. And that’s where the left has been stuck since about 1968. … It’s a fundamental flaw in the progressive predisposition.

via Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community.

This, ultimately, is why OWS is not going to “succeed.”  It may spawn another, less counter-cultural movement, but living in tents is not going to change the distribution of wealth in this country.

There are two avenues for changing this country:

  • A minority of Americans take the country by force
  • A majority of Americans take the country by ballot and popular persuasion.

I have a very strong preference for the second option.  It requires something that I think is anathema to the OWS folks — negotiating.  You simply can’t have it all your way when you’re trying to get a majority of people to work for the same goal.  The goal has to be limited and focused and has to appeal to lots of people.

Overthrowing capitalism isn’t gonna do it.