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Political activism shouldn't be fun Political activism shouldn't be fun

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Political activism shouldn't be fun

April 19, 2012
Here's a thought on the Occupy Wall Street movement from Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., taken from his wide-ranging interview with New York Magazine:

"I believe very strongly people on the left are too prone to do things that are emotionally satisfying and not politically useful. I have a rule, and it's true of Occupy, it's true of the gay-rights movement: If you care deeply about a cause, and you are engaged in an activity on behalf of that cause that is great fun and makes you feel good and warm and enthusiastic, you're probably not helping, because you're out there with your friends and political work is much tougher and harder."

I think Frank makes an interesting point. Talk to a member of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and chances are they'll have warm things to say about the sense of community the tent camps inspired. It's also true that the movement has struggled to define a political agenda--and that for many protesters, cohesion isn't the point: the point is gradual consensus-building. Is the Occupy Wall Street movement just urban camping?

Occupy's organizers say the movement will increase its activities in the coming months, so it's a good time for thinking about the movement's future (or whether it has one at all). 

Do you think that, in order to affect change, the Occupy movement needs to change? Do the Occupiers need to do more to directly engage in the political process--or are they right to resist conventional avenues to change, given that they feel that the existing system has failed them? 
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