Hello members, lurkers and curious individuals,
With the frustration most of us have been feeling in this job economy, especially in our field, do you support what has started in New York, and is quickly spreading across the country?
I have been following this movement for a few days, and while it is difficult to fully understand what the protest means to accomplish, I can't help but to be drawn to it. How do you feel? I know a lot of us are frustrated by the job economy, might be in student loan debt, and are very insecure about the future. The occupations address these issues.
Share your thoughts and reactions.
Scary. It sounds like a great way to drive a polarized country further apart.
"But when you have eliminated the impossible, as Sherlock Holmes told Watson, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
Ross Douhat NYT columnist
Or as a more familiar line goes...."Somewhere between your version and my own, lies the truth"
This article along with some fairly indisputable statistics and charts, lean in the direction of the truths and what the people who populate the OWS movement are more than just a little tweaked about.
The wordy weight of the debate in this thread has become a little overbearing. I have contributed my fair share.
Time to lighten things up a bit. I offer this in that regard.
This is a perfect economic summary of what fuels the growing body that is the Occupy movement, thanks.
The power elite have desperately tried to tar the movement with a series of calumnies, branding protesters as hippies, anti-Semites, drug addicts, leftists, anarchists and communists. They have so far been unable to blunt the fundamental truth the movement imparts: We have undergone a corporate coup. It has to be reversed.
OWS is oftencompared to the Arab Spring. It has good intenions and it is against bad things. Many people are jumping on the band wagon to support being against something bad. The possibility of it having the power to destroy the status quo leaves open the question of whether that which replacesit is better or worse as it seems very possible to be going south in Tunsia, Egypt, and Libya. Will the power of the movement be owned by a few powerful leaders who fuel their own power from it?
One thing that is so overlooked by the OWS crowd is that this system is the one that generated the most wealth for the masses, including the lowest tiers of our society, in the history of the world. If it is to be wrecked and rebuilt, it would be foolish to replace it with one of the lesser achieving systems in place throughout the rest of the world or throughout history for that matter. What is the replacement? If it is enforcement of existing laws, it is not the system that is broken.
The system is not broken. It is the politicians who have incrementally tweaked it to serve themselves through special interest groups and campaign financing. Wall Street is playing the game with the rules set up by politicians and with the politicians chosing which ones to enforce and which ones not to. The same holds true with imigration, voter registration, tax collection, energy rebates, Obamacare waivers, location of protected lands, zoning regulations, ......
The scary thing is that the consensus of the OWS people seems to be that the government (politicians) should step in and take over these private institutions of which they are responsible for corrupting. What has the government ever taken over and made better? This is the exact type of circumstance that allows politicians to empower themselves to gain more from special interests whose fate they control. The result, if OWS gets their way, will be more corruption rather than less, although their leaders may become one of the benefitted special interest groups in the process. If the individuals supporting OWS become the beneficiaries of corruption, will they be blind to that fact?
Will the money they have now raised become "lobbying" money, donations for candidates who will put tax dollars in their hands, ....
There is no consensus for the privatizing of corporations. I have to laugh...because on one hand OWS is totally disheveled and disorganized but on the otherhand is for...a, b, or c. I can agree that politicians are corrupt...but you can't give corporations a free pass. We are asking that rules that have been systemically dismantled are put back into place and we are asking that our DOJ pursues criminals. There are individuals that have actually broken the law and our government has sold out to them so much so that they won't even enforce those laws. I think you confuse wanting to hold people accountable with government run everything. Your statement is true regarding politicians...so I am actually not sure where we disagree...except that I would say our system is broken. Broken doesn't mean irreparable. If my car breaks down I don't deny it is broken...I go and have it fixed. I don't quit driving cars, cars don't quit existing...we don't need to make this an indictment on capitalism...although what can be hurt by a debate about the benefits and negatives of capitalism? We choose it because it works best...not because it is perfect. There are many libertarians within our group...people that want Ron Paul...again this doesn't fit your consensus idea that OWS wants bigger government. In fact, many of them want a government smaller then the typical GOP platform.
I also do not buy that OWS is anything like Egypt...etc. I think the media likes that comparision. I do not hold myself in that high of regard and I don't think most OWS do either. Those people were sacrificing their lives and were at risk of torture.
I hope this can post...
The scary thing is that the consensus of the OWS people seems to be that the government (politicians) should step in and take over these private institutions of which they are responsible for corrupting.
Where did you gleam this insight? I am part of OWS and I think electoral politics is a farce. I have no faith in the system as currently constructed. I don't think tinkering with the corporate state will work. We will either be plunged into neo-feudalism and environmental catastrophe or we will wrest power from corporate hands. This radical message, one that demands a reversal of the corporate coup, is one you should consider core to the movement.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, like all radical movements, has obliterated the narrow political parameters. It proposes something new. It will not make concessions with corrupt systems of corporate power. It holds fast to moral imperatives regardless of the cost. It confronts authority out of a sense of responsibility. It is not interested in formal positions of power. It is not seeking office. It is not trying to get people to vote. It has no resources. It can’t carry suitcases of money to congressional offices or run millions of dollars of advertisements. All it can do is ask us to use our bodies and voices, often at personal risk, to fight back. It has no other way of defying the corporate state.
This rebellion creates a real community instead of a managed or virtual one. It affirms our dignity. It permits us to become free and independent human beings.
The thoughts you express here are as moving and worth contemplating as those of Hedges. I'm curious, though if you do not see OWS as becoming a political force, how will its message, will and staying power be of consequence to breaking the syncophant relationship between Washington and Wall Street ? I share your great concern about the potential for the movement being co-opted and hijacked like what has definitively and unmistakeably happened with the Tea-Baggers.
Chris Hedges gets it. He is the most coherent and inspiring voice of the movement, and I find great inspiration in his words.
As far as your questions, I honestly have no idea and am not really qualified to say. I do know that settling for a seat at the table is paramount to giving up. I don't want a seat at the table, I want a new table. I believe politicians who fear us will better represent us, and they haven't feared us in my lifetime. It is time to change that.
Once that happens, then we can start talking about transitioning it into a political movement. Until then, I am happy and comfortable with the nebulousness, as I do not want to put the proverbial horse before the carriage. That is why the elites, and the degenerate system of corporate power they sustain, are in big trouble. That is why they keep asking what the demands are.
They don’t understand what is happening.
Here's Matt Taibbi's take from today - really worth a read.
I will say that I think there are individuals within the movement that will cause a split. Looking at Oakland...the police force was brutal...but the fact that individuals fought back turns the dialogue from what it needs to be. This makes me sad. I suppose there could be a difference and I believe soon b/w those that want to follow MLK and those that would look to Malcolm X. Read this morning about a man that has armed himself in Georgia to protect Occupiers right to protest. Apparently, he doesn't support them but brings a gun to protect them. I hope everyone remains calm.