Thingish Things

No Solution; No Problem

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Nov• 16•11


Geraldus Oreiellius at the High Point of His Influence

The Irish-Swiss philosopher Geraldus Oreiellius, Jr. espoused a basic political theory that goes something like this:

Any economic or political construct not rooted in human nature cannot long survive (see Marxism.) As a life-long student of Oreillius, I of course agree, which is why I am 100% certain that tomorrow’s — or the next day’s — march on Wall Street will, in the long run, result in nil. If the Occupy protesters were to storm the ramparts of corporate America every day for 1,000 years — garnering front page headlines with each advance — it still would not change man’s inherent belief in private property or his propensity to accumulate wealth and look out for himself and his family first.

Five minutes with a two-year-old will tell you that private property is an a priori concept. “Mine” competes fiercely with “mama” on the Billboard Chart for first word spoken.

Yes, we can teach children to share. But we don’t need to teach them to possess. And that’s the whole point. One is a concept that can be discarded at will. The other is instinctual.  It will never go away.

Opinion writers and pundits are weighing in today on “what’s next” for the Occupy Wall Street movement, now that it has no public spaces to occupy.  Many of them, especially liberal academics, are suggesting that the “movement” will “mature” and establish a sustainable vision for change, with clear and achievable benchmarks. Comparisons to the civil rights movement or anti-Vietnam peaceniks are invariably, wistfully, made.

But the protests of the 1950’s and 1960’s and these protests are entirely different animals. Fighting to allow black Americans to sit in the front row of a bus and protesting to end a war were tough but achievable political goals. Protesting man’s propensity to war or to develop and hold prejudices is folly.  Those efforts belong in the spiritual and religious realms and can only be tackled one soul at a time.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters are, by design, going after avarice itself. If it were free checking they were after, they might just get it (for a while), but greed and self-interest will succeed them by millennia. One has a theoretical shot at eradicating pestilence, but never petulance.  

Which leads to a more profound tenet by the very real Trotskyite-turned conservative philosopher James Burnham: If there is no solution, there is no problem. Occupy Wall Street will expend a lot of effort reinforcing the truth of that statement yet again.   

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One Comment

  1. Your Friend says:

    Funny how a video of one A**hole with a can of pepper spray can change so many perceptions. The powers that be thought Ghandi and MLK were just a nuisance too.

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