(The original version of this post was appended to "Bad revolution; good revolution" below. I've expanded those sentiments into this piece.)
I'm sorry, but the kids are not
all right. The Occupy Wall Street protesters must be supported -- provisionally -- if only because, right now, they are the only game in town. They have the potential to be this country's salvation. But their demands, to the extent that they have been articulated, are insufficient. They aren't talking like FDR; they aren't even talking like Ike.
Their "vision thing" has been compromised because so many of them remain ideologically mired in the Libertarian
Time and again, I see interviews with (or comments from) protesters who make odd, semi-admiring references to the Tea Party, to the Ron Paul zombie battalions, to the Alex Jonesian numbskulls and to the worshipers at the altar of the Divine Ms. Ayn.
A lot of people see OWS as an outgrowth
of the Tea Party. They mistakenly believe that, in the beginning, the Ron Paulite teabaggers represented something pure and utopian which the Fox Newsers co-opted. They think that OWS offers a way to recapture the true Libertarian magic
. See the commentary here
This 'divide and conquer' approach must end.
See this clip of Ron Paul and Ralph Nader interviewed together on common interests...
I'm sorry, but the division is, must be, fundamental
. If Nader is working with Paul, then I feel justified in my long-held detestation of Ralph Nader.
There can be no unity with those who think that Wall Street deregulation was a fine idea. Anyone who tries to forge that linkage is Lucifer. And yet there is persistent talk of uniting with the hordes of Hell:
Seriously. What do you think are the possibilities for working togehter? Could you bring Tea Partiers out in support of Occupy, so long as both decided publicly that we would only focus on what united us?
Now that the Tea Party is on the wane and the OWS movement is ascendant, a new myth is taking hold: That there was once a good, pre-lapsarian Tea Party which the "corporatists" co-opted. Some of the myth-makers would even have you believe that both
parties were equally responsible for the rape of teabagger innocence.
We cannot allow this false history to take hold. Even in its gestative form, the Tea Party was the enemy of the working class.
If you read the above-linked comment thread carefully, you'll see that the infiltrators are offering up two recurrent memes which the OWS protesters are asked to accept as gospel truths:
1. Working with Democrats -- any Democrats -- is always wrong.
2. Working with the Tea Party and the Libertarians is always right.
Listen. Can you hear it? That is the voice of Satan. Satan is talking. Here:
Remain AWARE of anyone who CLAIMS to be the VOICE of the "Occupy Wallstreet Movement" Coming from a Libertarian / Voluntaryism / Anarchist perspective, I have seen all kinds of moments (Tea Party, Anarchist, Marxist, Liberal, Environmentalist, etc) become hijacked through various subversive means.
Also beware anyone, any website, or any group that claims to be the voice of the "occupy wallstreet" moment. They will start non-controversial, accurately reflecting the language of the movement, and then distort it. Please trust me when I say you should remain decentralized as you started, like the group anonymous. Please support diversity of within the movement; if you truly are "the 99%" then significant diversity should exist.
I think it could be extremely powerful to have it openly known and perceived that the movement is home to both socialists and libertarians. I hope there never comes a point when this movement decides that certain groups don't belong due to their political beliefs - so long as they can contribute meaningfully to the discussion.
Libertarians cannot so contribute. Libertarianism created the continuing economic catastrophe. Libertarianism is what the Wall Streeters want
. Libertarianism is an absolute evil.
(And we can no longer tolerate this absurd Libertarian redefinition of the word "socialism," which is far removed from any historical usage. Anytime you hear that term blithely misapplied, know that you are in the presence of an enemy -- even if he pretends
to be your friend.)
Here's another message from the Stygian deeps:
As a conservative, it was a hard intellectual leap for me to make and I wasn't so sure that my message would be well received here. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by the willingness of these OWS folks to hear me out.
The idea of government intervention in business being just as bad as business intervention in government seems like an uniting thread. Ultimately, I made the pleasant discovery that OWS was as anti-fascist as the tea party was.
A comment of this sort indicates that the OWS movement is doing something terribly, tragically wrong.
Yet how could we expect anything different? The OWS kids see things in Libertarian terms because those are the only terms they know. They are like trout who can't imagine a life outside water.
Their easily boggled brains are the end result of a lifetime-long propaganda barrage. They have heard repeatedly that economic deregulation is some sort of holy untried ideal instead of the shitty idea that destroyed our middle class. They don't even know what the New Deal was
And yet these youngsters are -- God help us -- the left
Subversion? I've very familiar with it -- in fact, being an oldster, I've seen it happen time and again. For example, back in the 1980s, the anti-CIA activists attracted to the Christic Institute were subverted by the sirens of conspiranoia, which at the time seemed fresh and intriguing. ("Forget the La Penca lawsuit! What's really important is Roswell!
") Yeah, I saw that
process up close and personal. Similarly, in the 1970s, I saw the anti-War left subverted into support of Ronald Reagan. In the 1960s, the protestors were subverted by the CIA's LSD peddlers with their message of "turn on, tune in and drop out." Much more recently, I saw the outrage over Enron's rape of California subverted into support for Arnold Schwarzenegger. I saw the online blogosphere subverted by Markos Moulitsas and Arianna Huffington, Libertarians both. And I saw the anti-war movement subverted by the Obama cultists in 2008.
Yeah, I know all about subversion. And now I'm seeing it again. The voices warning the OWS protesters against subversion are themselves the subverters.
(Moreover, I suspect that some of the commentary quoted above may well be bought-and-paid sock puppetry; see the post below.)
I'm sorry, but the OWS movement must
define itself as anti-Libertarian -- using that term. And they must do so now
If the protesters want power (and if they don't, they are nothing but yowling crybabies), then they must be willing to work with Democratic politicians without fear of becoming beholden to them. Working with politicians is a good thing as long as the politicians are the ones feeling beholden. On the other side of the aisle, the teabaggers now exact ideological fealty from all of the major Republican candidates. That, my friends, is how power is attained. Go thou and do likewise.
There must be no linkages -- none -- with the Ron Paulites or the Tea Partiers, no matter how sweetly the devil sings his infernal songs of false unity. If someone made an admixture of piss and lemonade, would you want to drink it? Let us have done with these recurrent hallucinations that the Tea Party was a formerly "good" movement which an amorphous conspiracy of bad guys managed to commandeer. At all times, the Tea Party Libertarians were in favor of allowing the finance capitalists to have the freedom to commit the evils documented in Taibbi's Griftopia. At all times, the Libertarians opposed both Medicare For All and the public option. The Occupiers must understand and denounce the evils wrought by the Tea Partiers and their ideological brethren.
If the OWS movement cannot say these things, do these things, then I stand against it.
If they favor strong regulation of finance capitalism, if they have the courage to say that democratic government is the solution and not the problem, if they learn to emulate FDR, then I stand with them.
I doubt that I have the words to get through to these young people; I am not of their generation. But someone has to penetrate their consciousness. Let's save the kids so they can save the rest of us.