If Noam Chomsky, who in fact is your father's progressive, thinks that these protests are unprecedented, then we should really be hopeful that the wheel has turned and real change is possible:
“I've never seen anything quite like the Occupy movement in scale and character, here and worldwide. The Occupy outposts are trying to create cooperative communities that just might be the basis for the kinds of lasting organizations necessary to overcome the barriers ahead and the backlash that's already coming.”
Note that Chomsky is no rosy-eyed utopian: he knows the road ahead will be a rough one. But the kind cooperation that we are witnessing at the Occupy protests is a sound foundation for building mutual strength and confidence to walk that road together. And that’s all we can really ask of life, is it not?