Doug Rushkoff has a great piece on CNN deconstructing the Occupy Wall Street motivations and goals. Just publishing this is commendable on the news network’s part, since he aims his sights right on CNN’s own anchor Erin Burnett for the shallow, gotcha journalism she debuted this week on her new TV show.
I’d also been thinking along Rushkoff’s lines. What exactly was Occupy Wall Street trying to achieve? In many ways, it resembled the WTO protests I covered in 2005 in Hong Kong. That mishmash of protesters from the “Global South,” subsidized farmers from Korea, Southeast Asian sex workers, and domestic maids, among others, had common gripes, but exhibited no central leadership or coherent manifesto. You felt the vibe. You knew what they were against. But you didn’t know where it was going.
To me, Occupy Wall Street reminds me a lot like the folks who edit Wikipedia — a leaderless grassroots gathering of passionate individuals with similar concerns, trying to find consensus. Rushkoff describes this better as: a “decentralized network-era culture,” concerned about sustainability in their movement, rather than victory.
“It is not about one-pointedness, but inclusion and groping toward consensus. It is not like a book; it is like the Internet,” says Rushkoff.
The full piece is worth the read, because it’s this type of analysis Rushkoff does best: Think Occupy Wall St. is a phase? You don’t get it – CNN.com.