From a historical perspective, there is an important difference between the protest movement of the 1960s and the current Occupy Wall Street protest movement. This can be understood as a result of the transformation of society from authoritarian to anti-authoritarian that occurred around that time. Both protest movements originate from a serious disturbance in the two basic functions of human life, sexuality and work.
The protesters of the 60s were a a product of the authoritarian social order. Initially, they were a highly idealistic group of young people who wanted sexual freedom (a core function) and to be rid of the shackles of conventional morality. Tragically, the movement ended in disaster individually, because most of these youngsters were too disturbed emotionally to achieve sexual happiness and socially, because the movement was taken over and used for political purposes by leftist ideologues. These were the reasons for the failure of the so-called sexual revolution.
By contrast, today’s protesters are a product of the post-1960s, anti-authoritarian social order. Unable to take advantage of the enormous amount of freedom and opportunity that is readily available to them in America, they want the exact opposite. Many of them evidence a severe disturbance in their work function because the thought of working to have what they want never seems to occur to them. Instead, they want the security of being taken care of by the government. In sharp contrast to the earlier protesters, security is more important to them than freedom. This is the reason that a large majority of these protesters are leftist ideologues.
The Wall Street protesters are an emotionally far sicker bunch than the protesters of the past. Having no contact with their core, the energy behind their protesting comes entirely from their middle layer as bratty destructiveness. The last thing that these protesters need is to have their childish behavior encouraged. This is exactly what the Obama administration seems to be doing. If economic conditions continue to worsen, as they most likely will if Obama is reelected in 2012, this group has the potential of doing even greater social harm by escalating their interference with public life.