The seven deadly sins of Occupy Wall Street

Occupiers have more than mere peccadilloes to answer for. Photo: Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY, November 6, 2011–There probably isn’t much old-time religion at the Occupy protests.

Many of the most ardent leftists cling to the belief that the movement is motivated by love and peace. Yet the Good Book teaches us, among other things, that faith without works is dead, and that “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

By most spiritual standards, Occupy Wall Street has moved decidedly away from the divine. Since its inception, in fact, occupiers have generally and collectively been in violation of the seven deadly sins.

Lust: One of the most disturbing, and plain gross, aspects of the protests has been the penchant of dirty urban campers to stick it to capitalists by copulating in public. The Daily Mail reported on the phenomenon complete with photos sure to repress any lustful feelings the one percent might have had.

Alarmingly, the squatters in various city centers across the country brought back painful memories of the era of free love. Occupiers in San Diego put in a request to supporters for supplies, including condoms, no doubt a necessity for any successful public demonstration.

The bourgeoisie, what with their backward and repressive mores of hygiene and wellness, have thankfully decided not to partake in the latest convulsion of “freedom.”

Gluttony: News of rampant drug dealing and use in Oakland and Zucotti Park have caused normally tolerant cities to begin questioning the wisdom of allowing hordes of impassioned, anti-establishmentarian youth permanent squatter status in unpoliced occupied zones for long periods of time.

A post in the Occupy Oakland Facebook page suggests the problems with excess:

“I was at GA [general assembly] tonight but I don’t know if I can keep coming to the plaza because I will not expose my child or myself to the constant barrage of profanity, the smoking and the drinking. This movement is supposed to be about the 99% but only a fraction of that 99% are represented or included.”

But problems associated with alcohol and illicit drugs aren’t limited to typically violent cities like Oakland. A 23-year old woman was found dead Saturday in a tent at Occupy Vancouver, according to the Wall Street Journal. Though police haven’t yet released a cause of death, early reports speculate that she died of a drug overdose.

Avarice: Occupy’s greed has been discussed at length right here in the Communities. The cries for wealth redistribution haven’t let up. To the contrary, the young hipsters have increased their demands for student loan debt, encouraged by President Obama’s relief plans. In the end, billions of dollars in debt will be paid  for by the taxpayers. Occupiers want more.

Sloth: Images of protesters sleeping and lounging about doesn’t do much to mobilize public opinion around the cause. Early on, remarkably few critics denied the free speech inherently on display, even if there’s no consensus that camping in public parks amounts to speech. After weeks squatting, however, the perception is that the protesters are less interested in conveying a message than simply not moving.

Whatever the motives, the occupiers aren’t going to work. They aren’t producing. They continue to camp.

Wrath: One need look no further than Oakland to see where the movement leads. In one of America’s most liberal cities (which is coincidentally one of its most dangerous, dilapidated, economically stunted, and poorly managed) protesters vandalized downtown businesses, set fires, hurled objects at police, and closed down the Port of Oakland.

Had they more followers, the violence would have undoubtedly been even greater.

Violence starts with a predisposed attitude. Democratic pollster Doug Schoen conducted surveys among the New York protesters and concluded that one third support violence to achieve their ends.

Envy: Self-identification as the 99% is a clever marketing ploy. It is also deception. A plurality of Americans now disapprove of the movement, according to a new Boston Herald poll. They have shown their hand, and it doesn’t reveal cooperation with the great majority. Instead, it betrays a sense of jealousy toward those who have, those who want more but are willing to work hard for it, and most especially, those who seek political change by building up the system instead of tearing it down.

Protesters calumniate capitalists and belittle bankers, the very same one who helped finance their educations and invest in jobs. They defame the middle class as idiots who have been tricked by the industrialists or worse, who malevolently side with them against the hapless workers. Anyone in a suit has been cast as evil.

Ironcially, even the most egalitarian of nihilists got dollar signs in their eyes when they saw how much their drumming fellow protestors were raking in tips. “All occupiers are equal — but some occupiers are more equal than others,” proclaimed New York magazine about a tax levied on those among them who were bringing in cash.

Pride: The worst of all sins, hubris prevents the kind of reflection and dialogue that can persuade people to see things from another point of view. It also prevents change. As the violent elements of Occupy Wall Street have demonstrated, they are not interested in dialogue, even with community leaders who sympathize with their goals.

Worst of all, in the face of contrary evidence, occupiers hold to their beliefs that capitalism is the problem. They have largely given President Obama a pass, though his policies have undoubtedly led to the economic conditions that gave rise to the movement in the first place.

Occupy Wall Street must repents of its sins, lest it suffer the wrath a just American public. 


Learn more about the author at 

Rich is a teacher and a soldier. He is the author of Nine Weeks: A Teacher’s Education in Army Basic TrainingTunnel Club; and Not Another Boring Textbook: A High School Students’ Guide to their Inner Conservative, which you can follow on Facebook.


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Rich Stowell

Rich Stowell has written about politics and travel for the Washington Times Communities since 2011. He is a soldier in the Utah National Guard and a fellow at the Center for Communication and Community at the University of Utah. Rich is the author of "Nine Weeks: A Teacher's Education in Army Basic Training"and continues to blog about military issues at “My Public Affairs.”

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