If you think the Occupy crackdowns we’re seeing across the country are really about keeping order, cleaning up ‘unsanitary conditions’ or any of the other weak excuses from the empowered elite, think again.
The raids, the arrests and the police violence are about trying to silence a movement that is giving voice to the accumulated discontent of the working-class majority in U.S. society. They’re also about showing who’s the boss–the political and business establishment.
What we’re seeing is as old as the rise of the moneyed elite itself. A working-class, populist movement gives voice to widespread discontent with the status quo, and after a few perfunctory claims to respecting ‘free speech,’ the reaction from the elite is swift and violent. This is the way the elite maintain power: they do not respect the needs of the working class (that’s a given), and any talk of respecting the rights of that class is ultimately for show.