Time's Tharoor: 'Occupy Wall Street' Movement 'Believes in Politics,' Unlike Tea Party

Four days after romanticizing how the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement "star[ed] down the NYPD," Time magazine's Ishaan Tharoor set out on the magazine's Global Spin blog to explain "Why You Shouldn't Compare Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party."

Tharoor essentially argued that the "occupiers" were a global youth movement, that it was populated by the "have nots," and that, unlike the Tea Party, "Occupy Wall Street still believes in politics and government."

Yeah, that's clearly why they're squatting in a private park and refusing to cooperate when the authorities want to clean the grounds.

Tharoor repeats the liberal media meme that "much of the Tea Party's programmatic ire seems directed at the very idea of government," failing to discern that Tea Partiers argue for limited, constitutional government, not for anarchy.

Tharoor laughably added:

The answer, for many of the protesters I've spoken with, is never the wholesale dismantling or whittling away of the capabilities of political institutions (except, perhaps, the Fed), but a subtler disentangling of Wall Street from Washington. Government writ large is not the problem, just the current sort of government.

But the official "call to action" by Occupy Wall Street is a list of leftist actions outside the political system that disregard private property rights and the rule of law (emphasis mine):

1. We call for protests to remain active in the cities. Those already there, to grow, to organize, to raise consciousnesses, for those cities where there are no protests, for protests to organize and disrupt the system.

2. We call for workers to not only strike, but seize their workplaces collectively, and to organize them democratically. We call for students and teachers to act together, to teach democracy, not merely the teachers to the students, but the students to the teachers. To seize the classrooms and free minds together.

3. We call for the unemployed to volunteer, to learn, to teach, to use what skills they have to support themselves as part of the revolting people as a community.

4. We call for the organization of people's assemblies in every city, every public square, every township.

5. We call for the seizure and use of abandoned buildings, of abandoned land, of every property seized and abandoned by speculators, for the people, for every group that will organize them.

"[A]t the end of the day, Occupy Wall Street, like most idealistic social movements, wants real political solutions," Tharoor insisted in his closing paragraph. "They want to fix government, not escape from it."

Holding out for pie-in-the-sky demands, squatting on private property, and calling "general assemblies" to cobble some order out of the inchoate masses is far from a practical approach to "real political solutions" and more like the political escapism that Tharoor protests the OWS is not.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters