While some view Occupy Wall Street as a failure or a flash-in-the-pan, the movement actually hasn't gone anywhere.
It's more than just the catchphrases and imagery that OWS gave us: the 99% versus the 1%, Guy Fawkes masks, the Black Bloc.
It was about much more than just the reelection of President Barack Obama in a campaign that was largely won on the rich versus poor messaging, as shown in Stephen K. Bannon's film Occupy Unmasked.
The real triumph of Occupy Wall Street is both invisible and omnipresent. We now live in the post-Occupy era where radicalism is the new normal.Occupy Wall Street was able to introduce the peace and justice movement activism that began in the 1960s to a whole new generation of unemployed, disaffected youth. The significance of Occupy Wall Street is not that they supported Barack Obama. OWS is the radical bleeding edge and by that yardstick, Obama was too conservative for them.
The occupiers themselves see Obama and mainstream Democrats as part of the problem, although they clearly see the Democrat party as 100 times better than the racist, sexist, xenophobic, patriarchal, rich, greedy personifications of evil that are Republicans.
No, the big deal was never that Occupy Wall Street supported Obama. It's that Barack Obama supported the Occupy Wall Street movement.The stunner is that we have a sitting US president who is sympathetic to the goals, ideals and tactics of the extreme left. This is the genius of Obama's stealth radicalism: the community organizer in chief giving the appearance of moderation for the left while chaos foments in the streets and around the world.
It's had an impact on both international and domestic policy. While the Arab Spring movement that proceeded Occupy Wall Street promoted anti-American, anti-Western, anticapitalist jihadist Islam, the Occupy Wall Street movement promoted anti-American, anti-Western, anticapitalist revolutionary domestic change. On issues ranging from Syria to immigration reform to gun control to race relations, radicalism has seized the day and essentially become the platform of the Democratic Party.