Wednesday, October 05, 2011

No Movement Shall Go Un-Co-Opted

Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party now share two commonalities for me.

1. I initially viewed both in "I could get behind this" terms.
2. Both were quickly co-opted by the existing political machinery.

Both soon revealed to me that I could not get behind them. The Tea Party showed its deep official religion interest, and then hypocrisy on government spending vis the military and Social Security. Occupy Wall Street lost me with any of the lists of demands that have emerged (there are several), and the anti-capitalist bent.

But- I am amazed with the rapidity with which Occupy Wall Street has been co-opted. It took about a year for the Tea Party to be fully infiltrated. Occupy Wall Street? About 3 weeks. Enter, the unions.

I thought that was interesting, as we witnessed union violence early in the protest, courtesy the NYPD. I'd be interested to see how that gets reconciled. Link

Monday, October 03, 2011

On The Wrong Street

The thought that keeps running through my head whenever I see a news report about the Occupy Wall Street protest is that the have the wrong street. The best places to start would be the nearest Federal Reserve Bank. There are 12 branches. The nearest to Indy is the Chicago Fed. Locations.

I also think about Thomas Jefferson's admonition about private banks (such as the Fed is) and corporate power. Consider that he made his remarks over 200 years ago, so it isn't

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

* Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802) and later published in The Debate Over The Recharter Of The Bank Bill (1809)

Or, if that doesn't resonate, pick one or the other of the following streets: E. Capitol Street, or Pennsylvania Ave.

Is corporate power too great? Don't like the bailouts? Well, who granted that power? American corporations didn't magically divine their powers. They were created by government. The money corporations get from government? Corporations may well ask for it, but it requires a bailout, or a stimulus program, or a subsidy for that money to end up in corporate hands. So, protest to the government that makes it so. Strike at the root, don't just pop the head off the dandelion.

The Fed is also the root. Where did the stimulus money come from? It was printed out of thin air. It did not back actual value. If governments cannot command their private bank to print money out of thin air, then banks on Wall Street cannot so blithely be bailed out when they screw up royally.

I admire many things about the protest (the 'Stop Capitalism' notably excepted), but I believe it is ultimately misdirected. There are members of Congress and executives at the Fed laughing and high-fiving over the misunderstanding, and the idea that the protesters are on the wrong street.

Update: Oh, did I say I admired Occupy Wall Street? Well, yes, I did. They just went way down the toilet in my estimation, now that I have read the 'Proposed List of Demands For Occupy Wall Street'. I beg the world's pardon. I fucked up. I saw protests against corporatism, and they had my interest. But now that I see that particulars? Sheesh. There are two good ideas in there along with one needless one, and 10 big stinking losers. They thought the economy was bad now? Bwaaahahahaha!