Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
Anatole France, 1844 – 1924
As Fall sets in, the authorities in cities across America are hoping against hope that the cold weather will drive the protestors away. To that end, in New York, they are seizing gas cans and generators as a “safety measure.” The message is clear: GO AWAY!
It’s not going to happen. The authorities, being the of the Top -> Down mentality, are having to learn the one thing every parent of teenagers must also learn: the more aggressive you are, the more of a fight you’re going to be in for. Aggressive police action has helped galvanize support for this movement. The Occupy Wall Street protests have spread across the United States and the world. It seems like it has been going on forever, but the protests only started on September 17th of this year. Since that time it has grown by staggering proportions, with protests occurring in almost 400 cities spanning 54 countries. I think that it’s safe to say that this protest is not going to go away anytime soon and will undoubtedly endure through winter. The Occupy Wall Street movement has legs.
Why have these protests gotten so large so fast? It’s not the media; they have only covered the protests begrudgingly. I think it is the fact that the OWS protestors, unlike the Tea Party, are angry at the right people. The Occupy Wall Street protests have the power of truth and everyone knows it. They are speaking directly to a very real problem that is well documented and shared by the majority of Americans and by large numbers of people in other countries. Indeed, disparity in wealth is a world wide problem; if you are going to protest something, wealth disparity and the crony corporate welfare that goes with it should be on your short list; most other social problems stem from this problem.
The Occupy Wall Street protests are a good thing. We need to keep four things in perspective here: 1. People are going to protest. 2. Peaceful protests are better than violent ones. 3. Violent protests are better than violent insurrection. 4. Violent insurrection is better than outright civil war. These protests are the safety valve of a true democracy and they must be taken seriously and allowed to exist because the alternatives are much, much worse.
The popularity of the movement can be seen in the donations streaming in. To date, the organization has received over $500,000 dollars to continue with the protests, which brings me around to the main point of this article: for every protestor on the streets there are thousands upon thousands of people who agree with what they are doing and support their actions, if only silently. It is the Power of Many. The Many may take no action themselves, but they participate in polls, they vote and above all, they see. They see the mainstream reaction to the protests; they see the police reactions to the protests; they see the desperate attempts of the minions of the elite to make this thing GO AWAY.
The protests may not directly achieve the goal of closing the wealth gap, but the longer they endure, the more they force this extremely important issue to the front of the line, making it virtually impossible for the mainstream media to ignore it. Big protests are news and require news coverage whether one agrees with them or not. While at first, the news agencies could mock the protests and dismiss them, this is becoming harder as they drag on. As I said: everyone knows how serious this is and what is at stake. It is not about informing people and spreading the word, it is a battle of wills. Once undertaken, the Many always win. The group consciousness simply forces its will on a willful minority and things change.
Perhaps the overriding message of the Occupy Wall Street protests is a demonstration of where power actually lies: In. The. Many. The media has been forced to cover these protests against their will, which should dispel any myth that they can actually control the debate through the power of mass media. Just because people watch the news does not mean that they trust it to be true. This is true of every major news outlet. They can get people to watch, but they cannot make them believe. Jon Stewart, the comedian, is arguably the most trusted news source on television; why? More than anyone else, he tells the unvarnished truth. There are so many other people to choose from, yet Comedy Central has our generation’s version of Walter Cronkite. The Many have recognized the influence of corporate interests in their news and the resulting biases and no longer trust them to do their job impartially. In the eyes of the public, they have been reduced to being entertainment.
Now they are facing the music. Without credibility, they have no power to sway the majority of public opinion on the OWS protests. Mainstream media has tried to lead opinion and control the debate, but the OWS protests have demonstrated the true nature of the power structure: The Many are perfectly capable of leading opinion and controlling the debate and when they choose to do so, the mainstream media has no choice but to follow. It is the difference between a trusted news source with the humility to understand this power structure, such as Jon Stewart, and the talking heads that fill most of the airtime on mainstream media.
A large collective consciousness has decided that it is time for change and it has manifested in the form of protests all around the world. The full effect of this force has yet to be seen, but you can be sure of one thing. Change will come; probably slowly, but with inevitability because the Many are the true source of power.