Rich, as one of the graybeards around here, I find myself both bemused and disgusted by the Occupy Wall Street rabble and their sympathetically vibrating ilk across the country and around the world. I witnessed the original version of this sad-sack remake of Reds back in 1968–69, when the level of physical violence was much higher during the Democratic convention and the Days of Rage the following year than it is yet today. Those years, which happen to coincide with the Baby Boomers’ coming of age, were the moment that fear entered the American psyche and the dreadful, French Connection era of the seventies began.
And so followed the 40 years of what I’ve called the Cold Civil War, now — if the Baby Boom Left has its way — flowering into open hostilities. The rum crew of the OWS movement and its fellow travelers in the media, with their hand-me-down lust for “direct action,” would have you believe that this is some kind of spontaneous, Voelkish protest movement, led by unemployed crybabies angry that they got suckered by what Glenn Reynolds calls the higher-education bubble. But the truth is, it’s the last hurrah of my generation, feebly heading to the barricades and ramparts, once more unto the breach, in their nihilist attempt to take down the system that has nurtured and sheltered them for their entire lives.
It’s doomed to failure, of course. But make no mistake: the attempt to shut down the Port of Oakland is not protest. It’s an act of war. That’s how they see it — and that’s how we should see it, too.