Archive for November 20th, 2011
Occupy protesters have been mischaracterized by many people as being opposed to “capitalism.” Based on my conversations and observations, I have not encountered protesters who oppose “capitalism.” Rather, they oppose what has been described as “crony capitalism.” Compare the follow definitions, from Wikipedia:
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category. There is general agreement that elements of capitalism include private ownership of the means of production, creation of goods or services for profit, competitive markets, and wage labor. The designation is applied to a variety of historical cases, varying in time, geography, politics and culture.
In the above definition, you won’t see, as an element of capitalism, that players are allowed to rig the system. Compare to Crony capitalism:
Crony capitalism is a term describing a capitalist economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth. Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.
In his article published at The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal urges us to refrain from villainizing police officer John Pike and, instead, consider that his actions an illustration of change in the systematic police plan for responding to protest movements.
One of the comments at this youtube video says it all: “Of course it was peaceful. The ones causing violence were not there: the cops.”
More and more, we are seeing a militarization of urban police forces–America’s military weapons and tactics turned toward her own people who are exercising their First Amendment rights.
New tactic to censor Facebook posts by those on the political right, according to Segway Jeremy Ryan:
People are suppressing information in Wisconsin by actively reporting people they deem to be a threat on Facebook. I myself have been reported and banned for one to three days for simply posting “Good job” or “The majority of Wisconsin doesn’t like Scott Walker.” People have been reported on pages for saying nothing more than my name and have been reprimanded by Facebook. The strategy is simple and Facebook lets it continue. If someone reports something as abusive to Facebook they don’t actually look at it, they just remove it and warn the person who posted it. If you get enough you are not able to dispute them at all, and with no admin contacts and no one at Facebook actually looking at the posts reported as “abusive,” the person gets blocked.