"Up like a rocket and down like a stick" describes many social movements as they rise and fall.
Unless they institutionalise their existence and values, they often leave little behind other than fond memories and questions of what might have been.
And so it seems this has become the fate of the Occupy movement.
It has been as much of a mixed success as the anti-globalisation "global justice" movement.
This movement emerged from the 1999 "battle of Seattle" against the World Trade Organisation meeting in the city, spawning the European and World Social Forums and many demonstrations at G8 summits.
At its strongest, the global justice movement put certain issues at the top of the political agenda and raised the demand for a different type of globalisation based on co-operation not competition and human rights, rather than the rights of capital.
At its weakest, the globetrotting required to participate in the social forums and demonstrations became a form of political tourism for a small number of political apparatchiks, divorced from the grass-roots struggle that should be the foundation stone of social movements.
Occupy emerged from a frustration with political leaders who promised mild reforms and failed to carry out even these in the face of pressure from financial capital.
For a short time Occupy captured the imagination of many people, including those in the media, with its DIY and back-to-basics demands and ways of organising.
This allowed the movement to put some key issues at the top of the political agenda.
But this alone was never going to be enough to sustain a network of individuals and actually constitute a social movement.
The protest has been weakened by its inability to occupy any of the main financial institutions.
And even if it had occupied Wall Street or any other stock exchanges, trading could still probably have continued using electronic systems located elsewhere.
Unfortunately occupying disused bank buildings and public spaces just did not come up to scratch, even if it provided a temporary fillip.
The sense of knowing - and going after - your enemy was absent.
And Occupy faced another problem when it was forced into defending the occupation of public spaces, which became a diversion from the movement's real aims.
Occupy did seem to have coherence in its "bash the bankers" agenda.
However, while bashing the bankers is fine, it needs to be realised that they are just one fraction of the capitalist class which is part of the wider capitalist system.
Caps on bonuses and the introduction of a transaction tax would have been steps forward, but they would not address the capricious and exploitative nature of the economic system we live under.
This relates to Occupy's slogan - We are the 99 per cent. They are the 1 per cent.
This did highlight the super-rich elite of bankers, speculators and financiers. But its weakness was to assume that the 99 per cent are homogeneous in being against the 1 per cent.
Within the 99 per cent are a plethora of different groups with different and antagonistic interests.
The slogan suggests that the working class has symmetry of interests with the middle class of managers, for example.
We know that on the shop floor this is not the case, even though there are times when cross-class alliances are formed and can lead to progress.
The middle classes have much in common with the 1 per cent, which is linked to why Occupy has not grown into a genuine social movement.
Occupy is more of a series of networks based upon hyper-activism leading to a sense of 24/7 commitment and activity.
Unlike, say, the poll tax revolt, Occupy was not based in ordinary citizens' communities, where they would be freely able to participate.
This is because although the machinations of the capitalist financial markets grievously affect the lives of ordinary people, it is not obviously so and it is not immediately obvious what to do about it.
In the case of the poll tax, ordinary citizens could see and measure how the hated poll tax would directly affect them.
Gregor Gall is professor of industrial relations at the University of Hertfordshire. email@example.com