Sunday, November 20, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

I'm late on this, but in general I am sympathetic to OWS. And unlike some who claim otherwise, I think the goal is quite clear: to reverse a radical reordering of American society that has taken place in recent years (and in this sense OWS is essentially a conservative movement). I'm hesitant to give it an open-ended endorsement, because the nature of the movement makes it hard to predict the direction it may ultimately take and the measures it could resort to.

When OWS started, I wondered how effective it could be without at least some practical demands; a "greed is bad" platform is fine, though a tad open-ended in terms of resolution. But I've been surprised by the traction the movement has had. I do think if the goal is actual results, then it's important -- and time -- for OWS to issue some realistic, achievable demands under the largest ideological tent possible. A focus of this must be the Federal Reserve, the main instrument of the economic and social reordering against which OWS stands. Wouldn't it be natural to demand the resignation of an unelected official who is more responsible for the bubble and crash than any current policymaker? Someone who engineered massive covert bailouts while fully expecting the details of his actions to remain forever secret? Every Republican candidate for president has either criticized Bernanke or vowed to replace him. The Fed is a main focus of the Tea Party. Why not tap into that sentiment? In doing so, OWS could divide and conquer by forcing Republicans to either praise or denounce a platform supported by their most passionate grassroots members. I'm not the only one to see how effective -- or, depending on one's perspective, dangerous -- this could be (read the link for the Tea Party mention). More soon, hopefully, on why the protesters must focus on the Fed and what they should demand.

Related, it's outrageous that the Obama administration and congressional Democrats claim any kinship with OWS. Obama reappointed Bernanke, and the White House twisted arms and made threats to get him confirmed in a Democrat-controlled Senate and to block the push for a full Fed audit. If you don't know who voted in favor of Bernanke's post-bailout reappointment, scroll to the bottom of this post -- some OWS-friendly Democrats hope you won't.

The situation in Egypt has changed in recent days, but after Mubarak's fall, I wrote about the conduct of the military and asked: "Is this type of moderation and restraint during a crisis part of our own national character?" While there are of course institutional differences in the U.S. between local law enforcement and the military, I fear we may have gotten a glimpse of the answer. The actions of some police -- don't miss this new video -- have been despicable and chilling. A few New York cops have done a great job of destroying what remained of the public's 9/11-forged goodwill. This thuggery must be turned back.

Finally, I can report that a few videos have been pinging up and down Manhattan's canyons. Two of them are below, and they have some of the right people nervous -- the first one for obvious reasons.


Anonymous Liebchen said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere, you've been missed.

I've just been reading the South Africa chapter of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. She says the ANC failed to negotiate for control of their central bank and other economic controls, and the situation ended up never really changes. Votes without power. This resonated with my experience here in the US. It seems like we can vote all we want, but no real reform will ever come of it, because the control isn't really in the hands of our elected representatives.

11/20/2011 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

I live in New York and I've am also hesitant about a movement that seemed to come out of nowhere and about which I don't know their objectives, though I'm generally sympathetic. I'll just have to wait and see.

Its struck me that we are running into a problem with the pattern of governments doing pretty much what the big international bankers want, no matter which party or candidates was elected at the last election. Normally, electoral politics would be the logical next channel for something like this, and this seems to have happened with the Tea Party. But there is no place for these people to go.

11/20/2011 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog more; you are missed!

11/26/2011 4:35 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Interesting to hear that the DHS organized the police crackdown with the cities mayors. Clearly just one more violation of the constitution. Our leaders are completely lawless. There is only power now. How about the MF global scandal? There are some rumors that it was an inside job. Hear anything TCR? Now you know why I bury my crap in the yard. LOL

11/26/2011 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why not go down to Liberty Plaza and provide some teach-ins/strategy? The people seem to be smart and open to good ideas. I saw some Ron Paul signs when I was there. Would be great to see people unify against the Dem/GOP/WS criminal elite.

11/27/2011 12:28 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


Too bad our own benevolent leaders in Congress do not remove the "occupiers" of Iraq and Afghanistan just as swiftly! Eight years and counting~ WW2 was a total of six years and we were directly involved starting on Pearl Harbor Day December 7th, 1941 so only four years. Half the time we are in Iraq!

Total cost of WW2 in 2005 dollars was $288BILUSD. On August 2nd, after the Debt Ceiling debate the US Treasury raised US DEBT(net) $238BIL in one day.

Value in monetary and Constitutional human terms is in decline. In terms of economies the Middle Class is heading the same direction as the value of a USD. Not a coincidence in my eyes. If only the Middle Class in America was rising as fast as the US DEBT! Maybe Congress should form a Congressional Committee to study that for a few years.

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