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The 99-percent solution
On Occupy Wall Street.
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We’ve always had a soft spot for Karl Marx’s famous mot about Hegel’s observation that history repeats itself. “He forgot to add,” said the Caliph of Communism, “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” What happens, then, the third time around? The 1960s certainly had its tragic elements, and the passage of time, we suspect, mutes the bitterness of the many blighted lives and botched futures which that farcical repetition of earlier revolutionary idealism involved. Now, from our perch forty years on, it all seems faintly ridiculous: the incense and love beads; the imbecilic pseudo-radicalism; the bad taste in haberdashery, heroes, and haircuts; the mindless mantras of indemnified insurrectionists whose “idealism” was little more than an alibi for unfettered selfishness and insatiable hedonism. “We’re permanent adolescents,” boasted Jerry Rubin, a high priest of the mov ...
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 November 2011, on page 1
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