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Monday, October 03, 2011

A good reason to support "Occupy Wall Street"

The Libertarians -- in particular, those who follow Alex Jones -- are spreading crappy conspiracy theories about the Occupiers. Yes, it's all a plot by Evil Soros! Also see here:
Despite their honest intentions, many of the Occupy Wall Street protesters are being suckered into a trap and calling for the very “solutions” that are part of the financial elite’s agenda to torpedo the American middle class – higher taxes and more big government.
Actually, government action and higher taxes on the financial elite created the middle class in the first place.

Furthermore, it looks as though someone out there is paying for anti-Occupation comment spam. (By way of Corrente.)

I may have to re-think my cynical attitude toward the Occupiers. Kids, you have made the right enemies. To that extent: Bravo.

I like some of what I'm reading here. We still need an official statement of demands and grievances. I contend that such a statement must contain a clear denunciation of Libertarianism, using that term.
You did seem hard on young folks in your earlier post.

But it's hard not to be mad at young people. They helped put Obama into office, and they have subjected us to innumerable crappy songs.
"Fox news co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle bashed the protest, saying it was composed of “people with absolutely no purpose or focus in life.”"

The TEAPARTY/GOP/Libertarian Network goes after Occupy Wall Street. As you've noted that is enough reason to support the kids. And then there's the fact that the future is theirs and it's finally dawning on them that they must fight for it. By the way, watched some video of the protests and there were quite a few silver headed and bald headed people joining in. So they're not all kids.

I suppose a GENUINE movement of the people (especially young people), that's not organized by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin,The Koch Brothers, NOM and a bunch of middle age religious Zealnuts who are afraid of "teh gay" is a scarey notion to FOX NEWS.

As soon as the wave moves South, I'm joining the kids, lame arm and all.
Their draft "Principles of Solidarity" are at:

More power to 'em all!
Anon is right. It makes sense that the spearhead of this movement is being waged by the kids--it's their future that's being squeezed and twisted. Besides they have more energy and better feet :0).

Soros and all the other conspiracy backers don't need to tell the working class that they've been screwed royally and that the powers-that-be would just like them to go away. Besides, there are other groups joining now: veterans, pilots, postal workers, etc. A number of the protest kids have reported that many of the cops have actually said they support the movement. Let's face it: anyone who actually works for a living is part of the 99ers Naked Capitalism has a piece on the Occupy Boston protests and Corrente has an article up on Occupy Everywhere, which shows the protests springing up across the country.

It may not be a perfect protest but it's a beginning. And yes, anyone howling about the libertarian/neoliberal destruction in the country is on the right track.

Peggy Sue
"We still need an official statement of demands and grievances. I contend that such a statement must contain a clear denunciation of Libertarianism, using that term."

I get where you're coming from, but - like my disagreement over the 'progressive' vs 'liberal' labels - I don't think the word carries the connotations for others that it does for you. I don't think nitpicking over the usage of the word is a winning strategy or worth fighting over.

My suspicions are that many people associate the word 'libertarian' with civil liberties rather than as a proto-Fascist economic doctrine, and that many who self-identify as Tea Partiers consider themselves equally as concerned with civil liberties as economic/taxation liberties (difference being nobody ever stokes up a Two Minutes Hate on cable news for civil side).

Another issue is the For/Against dichotomy: 'Libertarian' directly implies (or at least is widely understood to suggest) a small, hands-off government. Setting oneself or ones' movement in direct opposition to the term leads the rationally handicapped to assume that the opposition must stand as an inverted concept: Big Government sticking it's nose in your bidness - economic and otherwise.

It's basically the same argument I made over Prog/Lib - it's not just about the principle, it's about the message. Message wins far more battles than Principle. Together they're a dynamic duo, but Principle without Message is like sending Robin out to clean up Gotham's streets while Batman takes a powder. Sadly, the GOP seems to pay Batman better, and Democrats seem to think Robin can win the day... even when he has to fight Batman. That metaphor's for you, Joe.

Also: if you effectively demonize Libertarians in the public mind, they'll just change labels and regroup. Isn't that the Tea Party?

So I say: Let us not concern ourselves with labels, but rather pair Message with Principle and deploy both. Don't denounce Libertarianism, denounce the foundations of it's philosophy: Denounce it's anti-government, anti-regulation, anti-Social Security, anti-Medicare, anti-worker ideology (use lots of Anti's - e.g. they're not Pro-Business, they're Anti-Worker).

I'd also think that this would get us closer to debate on substance and policy rather than broad, ill-defined philosophies on governance - and it's in the details, in policy, where Liberal governance wins the day. The GOP/Rand wing have bumper stickers and slogans, but Liberals own policy analysis and it's implications... or at least the stuff that can be shown to the public.

A final note: Debating over policy & it's implications can lead to a "gotcha" moment, whereas debating over a broad philosophy of governance never will.

So, in sum, I think it's better to fight the policy and philosophy fights than the label fights.

And if you've read all of what I just pooped out onto my keyboard... I'm sorry.
the kids are alright
You are right...I have seen trolls infiltrating the Occupy Boston boards. Over and over they punch the meme "What is your message? What is your goal? What are your demands? What is your end game?" I prefer a more focused message myself....and the kids' crunchy granola kum baya attitude toward one and all is a bit wearing on one's patience (there are plenty of bushy-eyed clueless kids calling themselves Libertarians there) ----but I'm still supporting their fledgling emergence. We're long overdue for street action. My favorite slogan I saw today was "The Beginning is Near" ---but that sign was painted by an old-time protester. I recognized his name!
What happens next? Really. This is the start but what is the middle and what is the end? I hear and see what can be done to disrupt the movement/action/protest. That stuff is old hat but effective old hat. What can be done to deal with the expected monkey business? That is where leadership and organization come in but I am still impressed that the protests are still going strong and even growing without clear 'leadership/decision makers'. It would be very cool if all of this work affects this country by achieving something close to, say "30-40%" of the demands. Very cool. No more fence sitting for me. I'll be at Freedom Plaza Thursday. HOT DAMN!!
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