The basic problem with OWS is that they do not know what they are criticizing nor do they know what they want. Instead they just want to make some noise. They have descended on the streets to join a protest-cum-fiesta, with no agenda in mind. In other words, they are pointlessly trying to create turmoil (or just trying to be part of the "crowd").
There are two underlying tenets of leftist philosophy that are implicitly driving this movement to the streets. The first is the so-called "problem of the underdog" (alternatively the "David and Goliath complex"), where the underdog is automatically granted moral superiority while the "overdog" is castigated as evil, corrupt, abusive, and the like. In cases where there is no clear underdog, a battle of words and propaganda usually ensues to claim the mantle of the oppressed. This conceptualization of the world is generally a driving theme on America's left. The underdog is to be reflexively defended against the oppression of the overdog, without any consultation with facts, history, logic, or other essential inputs that often underlie rational behavior. Whether the powerful is white, male, American, Israeli, rich, or a business owner, they are rubber-stamped with moral opprobrium.
The incorrectness of this knee-jerk damnation should be self-evident. Certainly while those in power can be in the wrong, their identity does not automatically imply that such is the case. However, this unfortunately has become a guiding principle of the left and a motivator of OWS. The unwashed have flocked to Zuccotti Park, the "headquarters" of OWS in NYC, because of an innate bias against the supposed overdog. Wall Street, CEOs, and bankers have been pilloried simply because of their identity and their perceived positions of power. And while there was indisputable wrong-doing by some on Wall Street (just as there is indisputable wrong-doing by those in Washington and on Main Street, the latter unfortunately far too often ignored), the attack on the system shows a lack of understanding of Wall Street's purpose and how basic things, like economics and finance, work. Instead it shows the deeply rooted bias, endemic to leftist ideology, of anyone who is perceived as being "top dog."
Secondly, OWS is motivated by the romantic aura that the left drapes around social revolution and protest. Acts of civil disobedience are lauded simply because they are performed, generally regardless of the cause. Protest has become an end unto itself, the mission and message are secondary, if existent at all. In a sense, a segment of the left wants to "recapture" the spirit of the 1960s, a time when protest was successful, partially because there were causes to protest about (some justified, others less so). "The Occupy Wall Street movement is an exercise in nostalgia. It’s an attempt to recreate the excitement of 1968, when the world’s youth took to the barricades," says a blogger at The Telegraph. The hippie mentality is evident in the drum circles, tie-dye, and other throwbacks filling Zuccotti Park. OWS is not really protesting—they have nothing to protest about—they are throwing a party, living in a revolutionary dreamworld, and trying to recreate some romantic notion that never existed.
The movement, if it can be called that, has tried to link itself not only to the 1960s, but to the Arab Spring and even the Tea Party. But the truth is, it shares little in common with any of these movements. The key lacking feature is that OWS has no agenda. They have no demands nor do they offer any alternatives to the status quo. There is, in fact, nothing political about them. The Arab Spring has a clear agenda of removing the tyranny and dictatorship that has lorded over the various Arab nations for decades. They have a goal and can clearly define when part or all of that goal has been achieved. For all their problems, (and ANR has been critical of the Tea Party), the Tea Party has a clear platform and agenda. They propose and can judge legislation according to a set of principles.
OWS possesses none of this. Their vague discussion about "economic justice" is meaningless. They are grossly out of touch with any sort of philosophical underpinnings of their beliefs. There is no social or political argument to be found.
Charles Krauthammer has decisively described the condition of OWS.
To the villainy-of-the-rich theme emanating from Washington, a child is born: Occupy Wall Street. Starbucks-sipping, Levi’s-clad, iPhone-clutching protesters denounce corporate America even as they weep for Steve Jobs, corporate titan, billionaire eight times over.The sad thing is how much some circles want to turn OWS into something consequential. Whether for nostalgia, a romantic notion, political expediency (look at the unions and many Democratic politicians), or simply because anyone in a suit must be a bad guy, many are beating their drum-circle drums to create meaning out of this "protest." But OWS cannot go anywhere, certainly not in its current state. Instead it just disrupts and distracts, removing focus from the very real problems many Americans are facing. At worst, it may lead to wholesale violence and division, precisely what America does not need. America's economic woes are all of our faults—we should be coming together to find solutions, not playing rounds of "point the finger."
These indignant indolents saddled with their $50,000 student loans and English degrees have decided that their lack of gainful employment is rooted in the malice of the millionaires on whose homes they are now marching — to the applause of Democrats suffering acute Tea Party envy and now salivating at the energy these big-government anarchists will presumably give their cause.
Except that the real Tea Party actually had a program — less government, less regulation, less taxation, less debt. What’s the Occupy Wall Street program? Eat the rich.