Jesse/MOT makes a good point to the George Wills of the world that perhaps they are not the best representatives of what the middle and lower class need and want in today's society. But they think they are, which highlights a level of delusion I thought was more cluelessness than narcissism. So let me say this again about what people at OWS are protesting:
They are NOT protesting the right of the rich to make a profit. They are protesting the fact that the rich's side of the social contract turned out to be complete bunk. The rich said if we just lowered their taxes enough, and all those pesky regulations that keep workers alive enough, then all those record profits would trickle down to the other 98% of America in no time flat.
Instead the rich thanked those workers by keeping the profits and sending those jobs overseas, and then by attacking, destroying and demonizing any of the mechanisms available to the middle class to do anything about it. And they expect the rest of America to thank them for it while pushing the austerity craze to pay for their sins. The poor aren't supposed to pay for the rich; the rich are supposed to pay for the poor.
I distinctly remember at my previous job when the company shopped around new health insurance. The insurance basically called for less benefits for the same amount of pay, and naturally not enough employees signed on to it to enact. In response the company sent around a curt and condescending memo announcing the rejection of the new insurance and chastising the employees for not being willing to take less to save their bosses a buck. And as my boss and I had known each other a while, that was how they treated their friends.
They really do think their right to improve their lives at the cost of your own is capitalism, but you trying to improve your own life at the cost of theirs is socialism. This isn't lack of insight or knowledge. They know exactly what they are doing. And history has shown they will never give you anything voluntarily. You have to take it. You have to fight tooth and nail every step of the way. The OWS movement shows that people are not waiting around for the Democrats to defend them anymore. And anyone to the Left of Pat Buchanan should be scared to death by that. When people bypass the institutionalized methods of protest it means they are at the end of their rope. What happens when the rope runs out?
Whichever protester wrote this sign was right: it's only class warfare if we fight back. They're going to demonize you whether you fight back of not so you might as well take some bodies down with you in the process.