Occupy Wall Street: What Would Kurt Vonnegut Say?

Charles J. Shields in Writing Kurt Vonnegut:

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 01 10.20Kurt, after all, made the national news for the first time in his life by speaking against nuclear weapons at a Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in 1969. He later added his name to a letter of protest from PEN, the writer’s organization, condemning the expulsion of Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn from the Soviet writer’s union. And in 1973, he participated in a six-hour vigil of prayer, music, and readings at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York intended to focus on the “responsibility of Americans to heal the wounds of war.” For the rest of his life, he continued to apply the sting of his aphoristic remarks to crimes and indecencies as he saw them. Now and then, you see a bumper sticker with his quote, “We could have saved the Earth, but we were too damned cheap.”

So would he have joined elder statesmen of protest and civil disobedience such as Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthie who went down to Zuccotti Park recently?

If he did, I suspect he would have felt some pangs of conscience. Because you see, Kurt was a fat cat himself. His life, his career, and his beliefs put him squarely in the moral paradox that most of us find ourselves in: we believe in the tenets of freedom, capitalism, and free enterprise… except when we don’t.

More here.