Quis occupabit ipsos occupantes?

Craig LennoxFounding Editor

Col­lapse of the civic or­der, where and when in his­to­ry that un­for­tu­nate event is seen to have oc­curred, in­vari­ably is au­gured in the dis­po­si­tion of the mass­es. When they are moved, by just in­dig­na­tion or ma­lign in­stinct, to as­sault those in­sti­tu­tions of gov­er­nance as are most pre­serv­ing of ci­vil­i­ty and the rule of law, an­ar­chy and des­o­la­tion loom per­ilous­ly close at hand. Against that dire his­tor­i­cal back­drop, we con­tem­plate the present oc­cu­pa­tion of Wall Street, now en­ter­ing its tenth week.

Per­pe­trat­ing this as­sault up­on the seat of our Repub­lic’s mer­can­tile agen­cy is a band of ir­reg­u­lars call­ing it­self “the nine­ty-nine per­cent.” The name, we sus­pect, is some­thing of an ex­ag­ger­a­tion; yet it be­trays their ex­clu­sivist agen­da. By their own ad­mis­sion, they speak on­ly in the in­ter­est of a frac­tion of the peo­ple, and with such de­spite­ful vit­ri­ol aimed at those not of their fold as to dis­grace the na­tion’s flag they claim to march up­on. The per­se­cu­tion of any mi­nor­i­ty is in­con­so­nant with the Amer­i­can cause and de­cen­cy it­self.

We do not, how­ev­er, de­ny that be­hind this rough ac­tion lies a grim re­al­i­ty: that peo­ple seem to be los­ing their faith in cor­po­ra­tions. And, in their way, per­haps cor­po­ra­tions are los­ing their faith in peo­ple as well.