What the Wall Street Occupation is about.

October 9, 2011 | By | 3 Replies More

The Wall Street Occupation is several weeks old and building up steam.   The overall meaning seems to be a frustration with the direction in which America has been moving, but the occupation has cross-cut the American political spectrum.   Many Democrats, but also some Republicans have spoken out in support of the occupations, but the occupation is still somewhat serving as a real life Rorschach.  Naomi Klein recently visited the occupation and offered her interpretation of the situation:

If there is one thing I know, it is that the 1 percent loves a crisis. When people are panicked and desperate and no one seems to know what to do, that is the ideal time to push through their wish list of pro-corporate policies: privatizing education and social security, slashing public services, getting rid of the last constraints on corporate power. Amidst the economic crisis, this is happening the world over. And there is only one thing that can block this tactic, and fortunately, it’s a very big thing: the 99 percent. And that 99 percent is taking to the streets from Madison to Madrid to say “No. We will not pay for your crisis.”

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[Deregulation] was damaging to labor standards. It was damaging to environmental standards. Corporations were becoming more powerful than governments and that was damaging to our democracies. But to be honest with you, while the good times rolled, taking on an economic system based on greed was a tough sell, at least in rich countries.

Ten years later, it seems as if there aren’t any more rich countries. Just a whole lot of rich people. People who got rich looting the public wealth and exhausting natural resources around the world. The point is, today everyone can see that the system is deeply unjust and careening out of control. Unfettered greed has trashed the global economy. And it is trashing the natural world as well. We are overfishing our oceans, polluting our water with fracking and deepwater drilling, turning to the dirtiest forms of energy on the planet, like the Alberta tar sands. And the atmosphere cannot absorb the amount of carbon we are putting into it, creating dangerous warming. The new normal is serial disasters: economic and ecological.

These are the facts on the ground. They are so blatant, so obvious, that it is a lot easier to connect with the public than it was in 1999, and to build the movement quickly.

Alan Grayson has also offered an analysis:

And here’s where lots of leaders from disparate backgrounds (Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, Ron Paul) are now seeing eye to eye:

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Category: Corporatocracy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Most of us realize that the government is broken, but it is so broken, that it’s difficult to determine where to start repairing it. Here are a few of the problems:

    Legislative representation at all levels has been skewed to favor the wealthy. If you are one of the 99 percent, all attempts to be heard by your representative law makers are blocked by a cadre of staff assistants, while someone impersonating on of the 1 percent can get a direct line to the governor of Wisconsin.

    Pro fascist legislation, bought and paid for by the corporations and disseminated through ALEC enacted either as federal laws, state laws or uniform commercial codes.

    Tort reforms that provide less accountability to corporations while severely restricting the rights of individuals in the civil courts.

    The expansion of intellectual property right to the point of commoditization of information as a back-door attack on freedom of speech.

    The repeal of Glass-Steagall act, creating a financial environment conducive to massive fraud with no little or no oversight or accountability.

    This list of grievances go on and on.

    I have met former members of the TEA Party movement who realized that destroying government was not the answer, and were searching for alternatives that would make government work for everyone. They were smart enough to acknowledge that democracy is much better than corporate fascism, and were not fooled by accusations calling a government of equality for as being socialist or communist.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Niklaus: I hadn’t before considered that some people who were once enamored by the Tea Party might have left. I wonder if the wave has passed such that Tea Partiers, at least some of them, have come to realize that we can’t solve some of our biggest problems if we dismantle the federal government.

  2. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    There seems to be a lot of people who joined up in the early days of the TEA party movement that soon dropped out after realizing the TEA party goals favor the greed of the corporations. I’ve met several at coffee party meetings who realized that a broken government is better than no government, and it’s far better to fix what we have than to tear it completely down.

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