Occupy Wall Street is doomed to fail

Americans must become more open-minded in listening to the student voices.

Eric Best

The Occupy Wall Street campaign âÄî a movement to challenge the financial and legislative domination held by corporations and business executives âÄî is destined to fail.

Since the backlash against Vietnam War protests, the U.S. has seen a movement against the voice of students, treating them with disrespect and persecution. ItâÄôs a tacit truth; both student voices and extremism are pejorative in American culture. Downplayed as extremist, âÄúhippieâÄù sentiments, no successful revolution can occur when the only voice that is heard comes from the mouths of students.

In May 1968, France saw the only slightly successful revolution led by students in the 20th century. Called the âÄúMay Revolution,âÄù students partnered with workers in the Latin Quarter of Paris to break down all governmental and educational functions in order to fight for higher wages, shorter shifts and better working conditions for the working class.

Occupy Wall Street is fundamentally different from the May Revolution. Students and young people, the large voice of the movement, have not allied themselves with the blue-collar workforce. America has no precedent of successful grassroots worker or student revolutions that argue for a liberal worldview, like the 1789 French Revolution. Lastly, our society seeks to silence extremism in all forms.

In many countries abroad, such as France, the U.K., Germany and China, the âÄúextremismâÄù of the Occupy Wall Street campaign, or more socialist beliefs, are taken seriously âÄî many of these countries even have major parties founded on some socialist beliefs. But in the U.S., we rarely bother listening to such political viewpoints. Whether the scars of McCarthyism and the Vietnam War are still visible or not, in the U.S. we must become more open-minded to listening to the voices of students, so that one day campaigns like Occupy Wall Street are taken seriously.


Eric Best welcomes comments at [email protected]