There were moments of last night's "Occupy Everywhere" symposium that felt like a debutante ball introducing Occupy Wall Street to polite liberal society.
Heavy Hitters weigh in on Occupy Wall Street.
To be sure, several dozen occupiers with their sleeping bags on their backs traipsed up from Zuccotti Park to attend the event. But the panelists (Naomi Klein, Michael Moore, William Greider and Rinku Sen, as well as Occupy Wall Street spokesman Patrick Bruner) were mostly addressing an audience of exactly the sort of institutional, establishment liberals you'd expect at an event put on by the Nation Institute and the New School.
But if the evening had its share of cloying, self-congratulatory applause breaks, it also featured enough disagreement and debate to be interesting.
Perhaps the biggest disagreement on the panel was one of tone rather than substance. Michael Moore was so giddy with triumphalism over the burgeoning movement that half his remarks were delivered through high, breathy giggles.
"I just think this is all going to happen," he said. "You can play this tape back in about two years, because this is all going to move very fast."
In contrast to Moore's jubilant victory lap, Naomi Klein's sober assessment of the challenges ahead seemed almost bleak:
"If the task is to figure out how to rein in ephemeral virtual global capitalism, let alone transform it, let alone doing what we need to do to actually deal not just with the economic crisis but the ecological crisis which means to challenge the entire ideology of endless growth and asking if we can grow forever on a finite planet -- I mean, nobody has ever figured out how to do this. So we have to start from the premise that we are in uncharted territory." Read More Here | New York News - Runnin' Scared