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A co-worker and I were engaged in the kind of softball, quasi-political small talk that two quasi-intellectual working stiffs volley back and forth to pass the shift, when it occurred to me to ask him if he'd heard anything about protesters in New York and the Occupy Wall Street movement. He said he'd heard something about it and he wasn't impressed. Moreover, he said that he didn't get it. Get it? What's not to get? Full disclosure, I'm the grandson of a former revolutionary and a southern pastor, my mother ran programs for at risk kids in Philly and my friends nearly shut down our school for trying to infringe on our “freedom of speech” by restricting our hair styles (seriously, we won that one too by the way), so I know that I'm genetically predisposed to those who cause a ruckus in the name of social justice. And I said as much, to which he responded, “So... Why are they fighting, who are they fighting, and what are they fighting for?” I had no canned answers at the ready because it's as hard to describe the goals of Occupy Wall Street in a neat blurb as it would be with any true grass roots movement in its infancy.

Grassroots movements are often disparate interests with different agendas who only came together to rally against one common enemy or institution. They are almost always amorphous, leaderless things with many equal voices in the beginning. Consequently, they are for a lot of things right now, some of them smart and some of them not so much. This is normal as political movements often have to sift, weigh and refine their ideals as they mature. A great example would have been the Tea Party, who were initially ridiculed as rabble by the political elites and who now wield decisive power within our government. There was so much that I wanted to say to him about it, but all I could come up with in that moment was, “Basically, they're trying to get guys like you and me to give a damn.” He said he'd Google it later when he walked  away and it was only as I was driving home that I realized what I should have told him. I should have told him that Occupy Wallstreet is the reawakening of the American spirit in an increasingly apathetic age. I should have said that they just might represent his last, best hope in a class war that he didn't know that he was fighting and is, largely, already losing.

I know the problem, I was enthralled with the philosophy and he wanted policy. He's looking at the world from the eyes of a college educated guy in an economy where he's lucky to have a job that he's drastically over-qualified for (like me). He's staring down the double-barrel shotgun of what could be a double dip recession and a real unemployment rate of 16%.  Oh, and the juice is still running on the college loans that he got to get the degree that forecasters say won't get him hired for the next decade or so. He's watched the Wall St. tycoons play roulette with grandma's pension (and lose) and get bonused with his tax dollars for their troubles. An economist would probably say that although US employers have a record stock pile of cash due to lay-offs and increased efficiency in the remaining workforce, they're not going to hire more people due “uncertainty” in the market. My friend would just say that it seems like he's working harder for less everyday. He voted. He participated in his representative democracy, yet it seems like his representatives don't represent him. Because his supreme court broke all legal precedent and gave corporations the ability to funnel unlimited secret money into campaigns, he knows that his politicians typically only represent whoever is writing the biggest check at the time. Like many Americans, he is as upset and disconnected as anyone marching in New York, he doesn't care where the answers come from, he just wants someone to do something! It occurs to me that the Occupy Wall St. protesters are A: Someone(s) who are B: Doing something. And in a democracy this messy, sometimes this is what something looks like. Now, I'm not saying that Occupy Wall St has all the answers, but I do think that they have the right idea.

I should have said that O.W.S. is, as per its website, a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions, or just a bunch of regular people who recognize that we are at a pivotal point in our nation's history. They fight because the top 1% now own 40% of our nation's wealth and take home nearly a quarter of all national income. They march because over 46 million Americans now live in poverty and nearly a third of all Americans raised in the middle class will fall out of it by the time they reach adulthood. The American dream is fast becoming a fantasy. They protest because not only has there not been this kind of income disparity since the 1920's, but that disparity ranks us as 4th in the world (right behind Turkey, Mexico and Chile respectively. Yay?). They stand and demand a reckoning for the Wall Street elites who robbed our country blind and to prove that we are still a nation of ideals, and not dollar bills.  And they are doing it with the only effective weapon left to the masses. Each other. In a time where the people's will is often circumvented by political lip service and corporate cash, the only way for commoners to exert their will is to unify and speak with one loud voice. Speak until the very walls fall down around the politician's ears and they receive the message loud and clear. The message that we the People are still paying attention,  haven't given up, will hold them accountable and finally, that we still give a damn. Which brings me back to what I told  my friend initially, so I guess it might have been a pretty decent response after all.  

Originally posted to Justin Sane vs. The World on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:21 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Occupy Wall Street, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (186+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Purple Priestess, Alexandra Lynch, bula, Had Enough Right Wing BS, gulfgal98, Pandoras Box, NamelessGenXer, kayhag, tobendaro, Coilette, CherryTheTart, alicia, Gustogirl, Youffraita, RonV, jguzman17, qannabbos, hazey, sawgrass727, ivy redneck, Ed in Montana, MissInformation, tb mare, xaxnar, Geenius at Wrok, pixxer, srkp23, BeninSC, zerelda, Mike08, stonekeeper, paintitblue, mdmslle, Damnit Janet, marleycat, commonmass, DWG, haremoor, roseeriter, deep, Sylv, my own worst enemy, sc kitty, Oh Mary Oh, artebella, karlpk, asterkitty, sostos, Xapulin, Lujane, Arahahex, dwahzon, Wee Mama, Sun Tzu, BerkshireDem, shaharazade, MKinTN, fumie, ChemBob, Catte Nappe, Glen The Plumber, ColoTim, artisan, IreGyre, Flint, allie123, joey c, belinda ridgewood, Empower Ink, pcl07, allergywoman, mconvente, PsychoSavannah, yawnimawke, ruleoflaw, toom, oceanview, tegrat, suzq, vmibran, deviant24x, drewfromct, alguien, Friend of the court, VA Breeze, sarvanan17, titotitotito, trinityfly, bluehen96, Leo in NJ, bozepravde15, luckydog, niteskolar, JBL55, NapaJulie, cosette, Steve In DC, 4Freedom, prettygirlxoxoxo, adrianrf, corvaire, poliwrangler, TiaRachel, Wes Lee, bread, seefleur, Shakludanto, sockpuppet, donnamarie, One Pissed Off Liberal, ca union goon, Justus, clinging to hope, bfitzinAR, boofdah, kestrel9000, antirove, anodnhajo, Limelite, PBen, dakinishir, ogre, dsb, yoduuuh do or do not, science nerd, ajr111240, kjoftherock, greenbastard, legendmn, cececville, ratzo, DawnN, Ignacio Magaloni, bluesheep, windwardguy46, Loudoun County Dem, tofumagoo, big spoiled baby, 207wickedgood, poorbuster, Seneca Doane, pileta, Onomastic, frisco, Old Gardener, leonard145b, bloomer 101, Stuart Heady, Vacationland, Ian H, wblynch, Sagebrush Bob, athenap, kathny, StonyB, blueoasis, molecularlevel, linkage, bnasley, Canis Aureus, Anne was here, MikePhoenix, in2mixin, smugbug, DMLjohn, Margd, carpunder, makanda, brettski55, Dube, canoedog, Garfnobl, SteveS Austin, liz dexic, Cordyc, rmonroe, prgsvmama26, ilyana, bsmechanic, darbyo, copymark, Matt Z, Involuntary Exile, ladybug53, sb, LynneK

    by Justin Sane on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:21:14 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for writing this. (33+ / 0-)

    Like many I've thought the goals of #Occupy were largely the same ones I've supported for a long time, but I've gotten increasingly reluctant to sign blank checks.

    Too many times I've endorsed this candidate or that or some movement or organization, only to have them redefine themselves in ways I was less enthusiastic about. The group you describe is definitely what I've been looking for.

    Some seem annoyed that they should be asked to explain this movement, feeling (I guess) that we should just "get it." It's hard to see continued growth unless we are willing to do the hard work of persuading those who really are inclined already to be supporters.

    I think some do #Occupy a real disservice when they try to hitch their wagon or pet project or goal to the movement. I'm not interested in re-establishing the gold standard or any other equally goofy scheme, what you describe above though--I'm down with that.

    It matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience

    by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 03:41:22 AM PDT

    •  Wow. Honestly (18+ / 0-)

      Your comment just made the piece worthwhile. My boy is just like you. Thanks for reading.

      by Justin Sane on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 07:03:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Occupy is macro (11+ / 0-)

      The people who are criticizing the #Occupy movement for not having "demands" or a specific narrow agenda are thinking in micro terms. It's the way we've been taught to think, or maybe it's just the natural tendency. We can more easily get our heads around one person's narrow interest and we can put it in a smaller box that way.

      But #occupy is about macro issues. It's not there because any particular marcher doesn't have a job, or has a high student loan, or got foreclosed out of their house. It's about a 16% unemployment rate that is happening because of broad policy issues and obstruction by conservatives, it's about a stacked deck that provides obscene bonuses to a select privileged few who have contributed nothing to our society at the expense of the majority of us. It's about hidden costs that huge multinational corporations have shifted onto the public.

      Those are pretty abstract things for most of this culture to get their heads around. But recent polling shows that most people "get" it even if the corporate media and punditocracy keep trying to reframe it as micro-economics and micro-interests.

      Think macro.

      On, #Wisconsin! On, #Wisconsin! Stand up, Badgers, sing! "Forward" is our driving spirit, Loyal voices ring.

      by Mr Bojangles on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:11:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been saying (2+ / 0-)

        #Occupy is not about a list of demands  or specific actions. It's a stand on values--this is a movement that says "you're on your own" is not who we are. It's not who we want to be.

        Actually, I think the diarist was kind of right on the nose when he said #Occupy was about getting guys like him (people like us) to give a damn.

        How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

        by athenap on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:10:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, this is amazing writing. (55+ / 0-)

    I found this especially eloquent and compelling:

    Speak until the very walls fall down around the politician's ears and they receive the message loud and clear. The message that We the People are still paying attention,  haven't given up, will hold them accountable and finally, that we still give a damn.

    There are people even within my own UU church (where "justice, equity and compassion in human relations" is our second principle) who are struggling to understand this movement - a movement which seems - to me - to be about focusing the country's attention on the incredible economic injustices which are surrounding us and of which you have spoken so beautifully.

    Well done and thank you.

  •  Beautifully done (19+ / 0-)

    I hope you will share this in other forums (As a note on FB if you have it.)  We do a lot of preaching to the choir here, which has real value, and helps us know what to say to others, but also has limits.

  •  I am having the same debate with a cousin of (46+ / 0-)

    mine. He says the street protests are a vehicle of last resort, and piles praise on the tea baggers for "organizing" and then having people they support elected to office to actually change things.
    The major difference between the tea baggers and OWS is that the tea baggers were not real, they initially had some issues with the government, and some wise corporate types used that and them to push forward their corporate agenda. It was no mistake that they were supported by "Freedomworks". While they kept saying they had no leader, Freedomworks was calling the shots, supplying them with the buses and helping them to organize. Those folks who got elected to office received contributions from Freedomworks and major corporations, not because they deserved to be in office, but because once in they could push forward the corporate agenda.
    I am sick to death of people saying the demands of OWS are all over the place. These people represent the 99% of Americans who have been screwed over by the corporate takeover of our government. The issues from that 99% are varied, the only common bond is they are all hurting, the reasons why vary from person to person. The young folks there have done what was expected, they went to school, studied hard, kept their noses clean, and took out student loans, now they have no job prospects, but thousands of dollars in student loans to repay. The veterans who are there, have volunterred to defend this country, risked their lives, watched their friends die, and when they come home, there are no jobs for them. Older folks there, because of Wall Street greed have lost their life savings, and so many others have been turned out of their homes, or lost all of their equity, and find themselves upside down in their current mortgages. The reasons for this vary, but a the heart of it all is again, the greed of Wall Street. Today rather than comply with being regulated even a little bit, BofA is raising rates on those folks who use their ATM cards instead of applying for a BofA credit card. As always finding a way around the system, or having the consumer pay for their mistakes. There are teacher there who find themselves out of work, after spending years in their profession, continuing to learn how to better educate the children of America, but in an effort to bust up unions, they also find themselves out of a job and without medical coverage for their family. I could go on and on with the different reasons people are angry, frustrated an are rising up to do something, the only thing they have the ability to do, "take to the streets".  When you find yourself powerless, there is not only a strength in numbers, but also a comfort in being with people in the same situation as you find yourself.
    This is something those in the MSM, Congress and people like my cousin who has had a really good paying job for years and is in no danger of losing it, simply don't understand, not everyone is as comfortable as these folks, many are not as comfortable as these folks, and the reasons for that vary, but they are all the result of the economic conditions we find ourselves in today. They are not the tea party, they have nothing in common with the tea party, they are what the tea party should have been before it was co-opted by corporate America.

  •  Link to Naomi Klein on Occupy Wall Street (13+ / 0-)

    Coming up on WNYC radio, streaming live and archived later:

    Her work is essential.

  •  Why are they complaining about the bailout (0+ / 0-)

    Which were sucessful for the treasury ,they  even made a profit   from the bailout ,bank borrow money everyday from the federal reserve and pay it back daily

    •  i'll tell you why: (23+ / 0-)

      when things are going well for the banks, they contribute to the vast disparities in wealth and income the diarist noted, and they use their money to influence politics so that our laws and regulations will create a favorable space for them to further enrich their management.

      but when things went poorly for the bank, when the laws and rules that the congresspeople they bought had passed turned out to provide the financial sector with enough rope to not only hang themselves but the rest of us too, all of a sudden they want help from the government.

      so the pattern here is: privatize the gains they realize, but socialize the losses. when they're banking loot, it all goes to huge bonuses for their executive, but when they're hemorrhaging cash and about to go under, all of a sudden they want that same government whose regulations they avoided, undermined, or bribed legislators to eliminate to provide them with the capital to continue their operations. and then as soon as the crisis has passed, it's back to overpaying the executives, underpaying the peons, and lobbying heavily against social and economic justice.

      any more questions?


      "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

      by joey c on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 09:24:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because (12+ / 0-)
      bank borrow money everyday from the federal reserve and pay it back daily
      the banks are borrowing money from us taxpayers at 0% and then lending it out at interest rates of up to 30%.

      What we need is a public option in banking: The Treasury Department should have retail operations available to each and every taxpayer--free (or at the very least, non-profit-- government-issued debit cards, checking, savings accounts that keep up with inflation, mortgages, small business loans. Let the big boys "compete" with that, if they can. They can always offer their gold-plated services to the rich who can afford them.

      I've heard the Federal Reserve referred to as "The Lender of Last Resort". That said, it should apply to average taxpayers as well as Wall St. fat cats. For that matter, the government should also be the Employer of Last Resort. The phrase "Right To Work" should mean something more than hollow hypocrisy. We need to revive the WPA and CCC. There should be a job with a minimum living wage available to every body who is willing to work, even if it means picking up trash in the streets.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:14:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this could also be a diary, all by itself (5+ / 0-)

        great ideas

        •  I'm much better (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DawnN, Pandoras Box, blueoasis, Matt Z

          and more comfortably at home writing comments than diaries, but please feel free to take these ideas and run with them, if you like.

          I would love nothing more than to see "my" ideas espoused by someone more eloquent and credible than myself. Goddess forbid that one of "my" ideas should catch fire, only to be discredited when my "Weiner pics" come to light ;-)

          We need to be espousing ideas that are strong enough to stand on their own, without the burden of being associated with any single individual who might then be marginalized, discredited, or suffer tragic premature death in dubious circumstances.

          Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

          by drewfromct on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 12:58:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here is how you explain it (16+ / 0-)

    "Think of it as the same as the tea party, except that its focused on the things that actually caused the mess we're in."

  •  right on. really well done. thanks. n/t (5+ / 0-)

    There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

    by srkp23 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 07:46:18 AM PDT

  •  this is beautiful. Thanks so much for (12+ / 0-)

    writing this.

    it gave me chills and weepy eyes. Powerful stuff.

    thank you.

    I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

    by mdmslle on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 07:47:34 AM PDT

  •  Try This: (5+ / 0-)
    What recession?  A $39,000 backpack designed by the Olsen twins' designer brand The Row is selling out.

    Former child actress turned high-end fashion designer Ashley Olsen told Women's Wear Daily that The Row was scrambling to keep up with demand for the luxury car-priced accessory.

    "It was the first thing that sold off the shelf," she said.

    Barneys New York began carrying the crocodile-skin bags in July, in an effort to compete with other ludicrously-priced handbags.

    Now, it seems the gamble has paid off.

    Amanda Brooks, the fashion director for Barneys New York, told Fashionista this summer that the line of super-pricy bags was a surefire attempt appeal to a younger crowd.

    •  Footnote: they only produced 30. (0+ / 0-)

      Hyped up designer lines at Macy's and Target have been flying off the shelves too.  Limited production.

      In fact, pay a visit to a store sometime.  Check out how understocked the shelves and racks are.  If you are of average size, good luck finding something!

  •  Nice diary BUT........ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, PsychoSavannah, Matt Z

    Ok, I'm a "conservative" and I'm a registered Republican so it's not surprising that I would have a slightly different take on OWS.  

    The area that I would quible with you is your phrasing it as the "last, best hope in a class war that he didn't know that he was fighting and is, largely, already losing."  That's a good phrasing of the movement if you wish to attract fellow liberals/progressives/leftists and want to repel the moderates and conservatives that compose the other part of the 99%.

    My general belief is that the movement would be better off if more widely supported and it avoids buzz words that immediately send up defensive and reflexive walls that will cause the movement to suffer.  Many people do not believe we should engage in class warfare and framing it in this way causes many to go back to old ways of thinking.

    Recent history has shown a huge surge of wealth at the top at the expense of the middle and lower classes.  That's kinda of indisputable from the sources that I have seen.  There have been abuses in the system and the rich and powerful have protected themselves.  All undeniable and something that anyone with open eyes and a functioning brain can recognize.  However, you put a lable on it, such as class warfare, and you will turn off people who were otherwise with you.

    Another way of understanding what I'm saying may hit home with some parents.  You ever have a child that says they don't like broccoli?  You then make them broccoli but cover it up in breading or cheese so that it doesn't look like broccoli and then you call it something else.  They try it and they like it.  But if you then tell them that it was actually brocolli they go back to not liking brocolli or the dish you made them.  It's not rational, it's psychological and I think the diarist falls into this trap by framing it as a class warfare issue.  

    That's my two cents.  Be well.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 08:21:14 AM PDT

    •  you sound so reasonable (8+ / 0-)

      but you state that "I'm a "conservative" and I'm a registered Republican."

      First off, why should any liberal (or anyone at all, really) have any trust in someone who is registered to support a party of people with literally no ethics who lie maliciously (first example to come to mind: the President or any other democrat they don't like isn't just a liberal, they're a "socialist")?

      The platform of the party you're registered to support is explicitly in favor of "a huge surge of wealth at the top at the expense of the middle and lower classes," so it seems remarkable to me that you would be here to try and help liberals agitate against precisely that dynamic.

      Secondly, my impression is that people don't like the idea of a class war because it sounds all Marxist (even if they don't know anything about Marx except that he's associated with Communism). But I think the diarist makes the crucial point: even though GOP politicians decry the left's policies as being the beginning of a class war, the fact is that there already is a class war going on. You said it yourself: the "huge surge of wealth at the top at the expense of the middle and lower classes" did not happen by accident, or as an unexpected side effect of some other action. It took the concerted effort of generations of people in your party to paint the government as evil/the source of all problems, pull down laws and regulations that had enabled the most widespread prosperity this country has ever seen, and move the public discourse so far to the right that what had seemed mainstream only recently is now the "fringe/radical left".

      It is crucial that people understand this dynamic: for some reason, many of the affluent are not satisfied being affluent. They want more, and they will use their affluence to make the government serve their avarice at the expense of the rest of the population.

      This is why your suggestion for "class war au gratin" is of questionable value. If we obscure the fact that there are actually many people who desire the current outcomes that most of us find unsatisfactory, and who will use their influence to secure those outcomes, then the masses are still vulnerable to being buffaloed by the affluent into doing their bidding.

      "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

      by joey c on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 09:40:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  lol (4+ / 0-)
        "class war au gratin"
        the kids are pissed off about being lied to.
      •  Apologies for the delayed response (0+ / 0-)

        life got in the way.

        As to your points...

        You know one of the main problems with "my" side?  IMO, they are extremely reactionary.  If Obama would say that he would like the sun to rise in the east tomorrow, some Republicans would first reject the idea and then come up with a rationale for why conservatism demands that the sun come up in the west and why it is socialistic for it to come up in the east.  I give you the opportunity to reflect upon whether, perhaps, you are guilty of this same human flaw.  You reflexively distrust me because I'm a "conservative" and a registered Republican and that's fine but let's deal with the substance of the debate instead of assign motives for a person you obviously don't understand.  (PS I'm not going to vote for "my" party because they haven't made a lot of sense for quite a while now.)

        Your second point, as I understand it, is directly related to whether or not there is a class war already going on and whether it is being waged against us (non- 1 percenters).  I understand, to some degree, the leftist framing of the question.  I will not (and did not) debate the legitimacy of that framing because in my mind that is a dead end argument.  Instead I argued that regardless if you accept the framing, the proper way to draw more people to "your" side is NOT to alienate potential supporters.  I stick by that assertion and would further assert that the "we are the 99%" is closer to the truth than the Fox spin that the OWS movement is a bunch of lefty non-sense.  If that is true, capitalize on that observation, don't throw it away.  My approach, I believe, does that.  The diarist's framing needlessly cuts off potential support much as the Fox spin attempts to limit conservatives and independents from viewing the OWS movement as a mainstream movement.  IOW, the diarist's framing and Fox's framing accomplishes the same objective, turning potential supporters of the movement away.  I doubt that is your goal.

        Take the argument for what it's worth.  But I would suggest accepting it or rejecting it not based on the messenger but on the message.

        Be well.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 01:22:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Please re-think your voter registration (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      You obviously do not believe in the core principles of the current republican party.  Register as indie or not declared.  That is another way we can all let these political parties know that we don't agree with what they are doing.  

      •  You are right. (0+ / 0-)

        I do need to make concrete steps to terminate my registration as a Republican but in day to day life it matters little.  Needless to say votes and money do not go their way nowadays.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 01:24:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am trying to understand class warfare (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IowaBiologist, Old Gardener, Matt Z

      as the dog whistle you describe.  When a conservative hears the words 'class warfare' what comes to their mind?  What is there about class warfare that we should not be engaging in?  I am really trying to understand.  Is the following comment from a post at Media Matters correct?  If it is not, can you describe what class warfare means to you as a conservative?

      Class Warfare

      They're wrong to use "class warfare" as a dog-whistle. I call it a dog-whistle because slowly, they have turned the phrase "class warfare" into a synonym for "racial warfare". As far as conservative media is concerned, they have aligned race and class into similar spheres. They have taken away any context of economic and social status and have substituted it with the language of the 1950s, only more disguised (but not subtle) since you can't say the N word on television. So for them to say that our president is engaging in class warfare, their audience hears something else entirely.

      The conservative media have successfully (and disgustingly) projected the image of a white America being attacked by a menace that has pigmented skin. This menace is simultaneously inferior but infinitely craftier. This menace is simultaneously a minority but at the same time, overrunning our borders and streets. They use this image in thought terminating cliches designed to invoke the basest form of fear from their audience and remove all need to provide real journalism.

      •  Although I have not listened to RW (0+ / 0-)

        media in several years I was well versed in the arguments concerning the economy and taxes from 1991 to maybe 2005.

        Here is the basic conservative viewpoint and it really is at odds of the MM viewpoint.  Conservatives believe that the income generated by the wealthy is due to their own hard work and initiative.  Society would be better off with a lot of hard working individuals and so "we" support efforts to incentivize hard work (low taxation) and discourages idleness (safety net issues).

        So when conservatives hear the class warfare line what is triggered in many of "our" minds is that you want to undermine hard work and your want to subsidize laziness.  Are there sub-currents of racism involved in this?  Perhaps to some degree, because most conservatives believe that the wealthy (hard workers) are predominately white and the poor (lazy) are predominately non-white.  Statistics bear this out (the income gap not the correlation with race) but conservatives seem to think that this gap happened in a vacuum when "leftists" rightly point out the system that produced those results.

        On top of that is the more practical view point of whether you think Bill Gates or Steve Jobs will better spend a million dollars than the federal government.  Conservatives will say that Gates or Jobs (RIP) would do it better and therefore their wealth should not be "confiscated" because the system as a whole is hurt.  I hope that gives you some better insight but I would be happy to expand if you are curious into the mindset of conservatives, although I have fallen off (or thrown off) the conservative bandwagon.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 01:40:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a registered Republican. Heh heh heh. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wblynch, Dube

      At the moment.

      Because I can waste some Republicans' time.

      I used to politely say "No, thank you" to people calling me for Republican causes and conservative causes.

      Then one day I got inspired when an earnest young man called me with a spiel about a particularly awful Republican  candidate.  I realized that the more of his time I took up, the fewer calls he could make.  So I told him how interesting I found his comments, but there were some things I didn't understand and asked him dumb question after dumb question.  I took up about a half hour of his time.

      A couple of hours later, I got a call from a pleasant-sounding woman supporting an anti-woman position I find particularly awful, and I listened to her, and asked some dumb questions, and some questions that sounded dumb but actually forced her to think through her position.  Acting as if I was confused about some issues myself, I brought up different scenarios and asked her how she thought difficult situations should be handled.  She actually really thought about them and realized that she wasn't as sure of her position as she thought she was.

      In the past, pleasant and understanding as I try to be, I don't think I've ever changed anyone's mind by arguing with them.

      But now my family members and some of my friends are doing this.  It's become the favorite recreation of one of my sisters.  "Now what's the name of that man with that...well, it kind of looks like he's got some animal sitting on his head?  Tromp?  Oh, Trump.  Yes.  What does he think about it?"  

      "Oh, I had no idea President Obama was a Muslim.  Didn't I see him and his family attending a Christian church on the news?  Or was that a different black family?  They kind of look alike, do you know what I mean?  I thought they said it was the President.  Does he have one of those....oh, dear, what do you call them....the little carpets you get down and pray on? I've never seen that on the news.  Does he do that in the Oval Office?  Well, I'd like to know.  Could you call me back if you find out?  We usually eat dinner between five and six, and I go to physical therapy at two, so between 3:30 and 4:30 would be best."

      "Kenyan, you say?  Oh, my.  I thought....didn't I see a copy of his full Hawaiian birth certificate on TV?  Hawaii is a state, isn't it?  I think I remember when it became a state.  Or was that Alaska?  I'm sure it wasn't Puerto Rico.  No, I really think it was Hawaii that became a state and that I read that birth certificate on TV.  Are you sure?  Does that mean Arnold Schwarzenegger can't run for President?"

      Maybe the amount of Republican time we manage to waste isn't all that significant, but maybe every little bit counts.  

      Every year I try to crochet enough warm hats for everyone who eats at the soup kitchen near our home.  Since the number of hungry people keeps going up, it's become a large task, although by this time I could do it in my sleep. This year I'm trying to make 180.  (I start in January.)  So I just keep my yarn and crochet hook by the telephone, so when I get nut calls, I turn out hats while listening to political nonsense and asking questions.

      Since I changed my party affiliation, I get calls every day.  When I'm called for polls, I'm enthusiastic about the dumbest, low-numbers candidates Republican candidates, and if asked how Obama is doing I give him the highest rating.  Since I am a (transient) Republican, I hope that messes with Republican minds.

      I'll need to be working real hard on those hats over the next month, huh?

      "Oh, ma'am, I'd cast my ballot for Newt Gingrich a hundred times if I could.  Is there some way I could do that?  Where in the Constitution does it say that, do you know?"  


    •  I think you are partially correct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      I've been telling people for decades now that preaching marxian rhetoric with all the catchwords just clicks people off so they don't listen anymore.  That's why all the leninist groupuscules remain nothing but groupuscules--all they do is preach to the converted. Instead, I phrase my marxian rhetoric in common everyday language that everyone understands. The message is exactly the same, but the packaging is a lot more acceptable.  If I say "the bourgeois capitalists exercise their hegemony over the proletarian masses through the class-based economic and political system", nobody listens.  But if I say instead, "Rich people run things and poor people don't--and I want to reverse that", everyone listens, and everyone agrees.

      Speaking the language of the 19th century, doesn't help us any.

  •  You do an awesome job! (7+ / 0-)

    I have been saying succinctly on my radio show that they are are there because Wall Street's unregulated actions have impoverished 64 million people worldwide. That generally gets a nod of understanding.

    And then of course there's a host of issues you can toss in. The government responded to the financial crisis immediately with hundreds of billions of dollars but have yet to respond to the unemployment crisis. etc etc etc There's really no end of reasons to be out there fighting the plutocrats.

    "You call this bicameral government? Hah!" - Homer Simpson

    by karlpk on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 08:23:30 AM PDT

    •  OK we know why they are there... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But what is the end game?  

      Revolution?  Policy change?  If policy change, then electing more and better Democrats would be a better approach, no?

      Blind Faith in Empty Language is Not Patriotism

      by ColdFusion04 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 09:41:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  might have a better chance if we just (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Old Gardener

        put the names of all registered voters into a lottery and picked enough names to fill congress.

      •  Proper application of (0+ / 0-)

        the law.....investigations and jail.

        •  Nice, sounds good (0+ / 0-)

          Now explain how 1,000 or 100,000 protestors can make that happen?

          It feels good to protest, I get that.  But it accomplishes nothing.  Unless your end goal is revolution, it's the wrong strategy.

          Blind Faith in Empty Language is Not Patriotism

          by ColdFusion04 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:47:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  funny---those civil rights protests in the 60's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            seemed to do the trick.

            When Kos was arguing that mass demonstrations don't do anything and aren't useful, he was dead wrong.  And so are you.

            Mass demonstrations and protests are the only thing that ever HAS gotten us anything.  All the wonderful laws that Dems pass--everything from women's suffrage to legalizing labor unions to the civil rights act--didn't happen because some kindly old men in Congress decided to pass some laws out of the goodness of their hearts.  Those laws simply acknowledged and ratified what we had already won for ourselves in the streets. Without mass suffragette rallies across the country, the 19th Amendment would never even have been introduced; without strikes and labor rebellions all over the country, the Wagner Act would not exist; without sit-ins, freedom rides, marches and Black Power, civil rights would still be nothing more than a dream; without the Stonewall riot and ACT UP, LGBT rights would still be a non-issue taken seriously by nobody.

            "Accomplishes nothing"?  Nonsense.  It is the only thing that DOES accomplish something. No significant social change has ever come without people in the streets.

            •  the difference (0+ / 0-)

              The difference in what you cited and OWS is that all of those successful cases is that there was a simple easy to articulate policy objective... as far as I've been able to tell the Occupy Wall Street platform is:
              1) We are mad about the current economic order
              2) We want the people who ripped us off to go to jail for some ill-defined crime.

              There doesn't need to be a list of demands but there does need some policy objective for this to go anywhere.

              •  I for the life of me can't see how anyone can (0+ / 0-)

                read the signs at the OWS and then declare "I can't see what they want".


                But let me give you an example that perhaps you can understand better------what "policy objective" does the Democratic Party want? If you were asked to sum up the Democratic Party platform on a bumper sticker, what would you say?

    •  And it might be important to recall (0+ / 0-)

      that the "financial crisis" was nearly a one day event during which a few powerful people rushed Congress and demanded trillions of dollars less the entire economy collapsed.

  •  Great diary. (5+ / 0-)

    One of my many frustrations in trying to reach conservatives is getting them to see themselves in the same boat as the vast majority of the see themselves as LABORERS.

    Too many, especially in the 35-55 age group, bought completely into the belief that they are the "investor class" because they have 401(k)......some stocks and bonds make you "rich".  they have yet to notice that a good chunk of that "wealth" was outright stolen from them 3 years ago.  Perhaps it's just too ugly a truth to face?

    I think part of the reason OWS is so hard to "explain" is because there are so SO many issues that have gotten out of hand.  Most of them can be traced to money.

    The easiest way for me to explain the OWS movement is this:  idle money does nothing for the is stored and brought out to buy politicians who make policy to make more idle money.  That has to stop.  Workers need to share in the productivity gains, or the economy dies.

    People understand that.  EVERYONE, no matter their political affiliation or lack thereof, understands that our government is corrupt.  The difference is repubs tell the stories of corrupt dems, and dems tell of corrupt repubs.  Yet, we all know money is at the root of it all.  That's why Wall Street, the seat of financial power and the vampires the wield it is the perfect place to make a stand.

  •  I thought your original answer was great! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, TiaRachel, Hoya90, Matt Z

    It sent your pal scurrying to the Internet for more information.  That's good!

    Too many words and the eyes glaze over and the ears shut down.

    Joey C. - You've been attending the school of  Herman Cain "I don't have facts to back this up." But real polls show that  people don't like anarchy, either.  They didn't expect that the tea party would dismantle the government completely, including environmental and consumer protections as well as the social safety net on which the vast majority of us depend.  The nation isn't liking their breaded broccoli very much.  And I have data to back that up.

    Cold Fusion - don't rush headlong into elections until you are sure you know what you want.  Now is not the time to eminate buzzwords.  Consider this movement a really challenging job interview that each candidate will have to nail if he or she wants to be blessed by the 99%ers.

    Vera Lafano and Arta Bella - Precisely.  "We're not sock puppets!"  

  •  "OWS is so confusing, so muddled" (6+ / 0-)

    The line coming from the corporate media is such transparent corporate propaganda.

    How could a protest be any more clear? It's called Occupy Wall Street.

    Wall Street is to blame for the economic mess and they need to be held to account for it. That's the message.

    How could it be any clearer?

    Do Wall Street's sycophants in the media really think they can confuse Americans into not understanding the message?

    The media didn't have any problem coming up with a "message" from a bunch of white supremacist protesters unhappy that a black man got elected president who showed it by dressing up with Teabags on their heads.

    It's so transparent that they pretend to be confused by people sitting in on Wall Street.

    •  To be fair, "Wall Street" is too abstract for them (0+ / 0-)

      To most of those who have caused the economic mess, Wall Street represents the stock markets, not their piece of the pie.

      Hardly any of the real action going on in the economy happens on Wall Street. Yes, the NYSE and some of the big names have offices on or near Wall Street, but the action doesn't happen there. The regulators and the lobbyists are a big part of the problem. They're in Washington, mostly.

      This is why the OWS movement needs to happen first near financial centers in every single city.

      It's the too-big-to-fail investment bankers, right wing think tanks, right wing conservative evangelical leaders, etc. There are so many institutional barriers in the way that it's impossible to count them all.

      But Wall Street is a good symbolic place to start. After all, it's always about money and power in the end.

      They are confused. If I were a floor trader at the NYSE, I wouldn't think of myself as being part of the problem. After all, I would only be trading stocks, not creating them or funding them. I would point fingers at the investment bankers. Not the employees of the investment banks, but only the higher ups who actually create the markets and create capital out of the ether. There are only a few thousand individuals in the US who do this sort of thing. These are the crooks. The other 200,000 employees they have aren't the problem. They are the ones Mayor Bloomberg thinks OWS is targeting.

      It's too abstract for Mike Bloomberg to understand.

      "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:03:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Washington is an important component (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If I worked eighty plus hours per week on Wall Street, went to school, etc., I'd be defensive about people trying to end my money train, you know? They're not going to stop doing what they're doing. It's institutionalized, and yes, only a handful of guys who live in Connecticut are running the show. The answer lies in tax reform and investment banking laws.

  •  I'm tired of MSM saying OWS doesn't have a message (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What was the message of the tea party? Let America default? Is that coherent economics? How come MSM didn't put that one under the microscope?

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:22:12 AM PDT

  •  The statement released by OWS (5+ / 0-)

    And delivered on Olbermann's show has a well thought out and cohesive statement about the purpose of the protesters.

    If you haven't heard it or seen it yet, please do...

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

    by deviant24x on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:22:38 AM PDT

  •  i got this chart today (8+ / 0-)

    not sure of it's original source, or accuracy for that matter. but it is interesting. can't copy it so i'm gonna have to recreate it

    Country            Ratio of Pay: CEO to avg worker
    Japan                11:1
    Germany            12:1
    France                15:1
    Italy                    20:1
    Canada               20:1
    South Africa         21:1
    Britain                  22:1
    Mexico                  47:1
    Venezuela             50:1
    United States         475:1

    Keep Religion in Church

    by titotitotito on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:26:47 AM PDT

  •  Big money out of politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That is about as succinct as you can get.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:35:44 AM PDT

  •  It is a movement occurring before (5+ / 0-)

    our very eyes and thus difficult to precisely pinpoint. You got the job done, though. You captured the sentiment.

  •  I'd like to believe you (0+ / 0-)

    But that is not what they chose to say they marched about.

    When the message is clearer, they will have my support.

    •  Then you'll never support them. (0+ / 0-)

      They have no leaders, and never will. By the time there is leadership and a cohesive message, the authentic movement will be over.

      OWS is radical democracy, where every individual has a voice and gets heard. If you feel sufficiently heard and represented by casting a ballot every two years, that's wonderful. If not, maybe you might want to try one of the General Assemblies for yourself.

      Groups: Toolbox and Trolls... to preserve the best & the worst of DailyKos.

      by opendna on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 04:40:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was going to say, before I read down (0+ / 0-)

    that your initial response was spot on.

    Nice post.

    It's easy to be a destroyer.

    by poliwrangler on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 11:14:07 AM PDT

  •  Get the word out (11+ / 0-)

    Justin, thanx for your great article. I'm an old guy (81), but I've got 15 grandchildren and a couple of great gc's, so I'm very interested in how things are going to be 10, 20, 30 years from now. # Occupy Wall Street is the first spontaneous movement to right things in our country that I've seen since the Viet-Nam War. And your article describes the whole process perfectly. I'm going to send it to everybody in my family that can read. It's so important! I hope that the president, the NY governor and Mayor Blumberg start to understand how important the potential is for this movement. It could save us from the "Republicons" and the banksters in the next election. Plus since it's sweeping the country, maybe even congress will become aware (not likely, but maybe). I don't know how to wake them up. The only thing they can smell to wake them is money. We must get out the vote, that's what will scare them and thus awaken them.
    Good luck, Justin, and thanx again.
    Bob Bregman
    Laguna Woods, CA

    •  Yes, Bob. It's not about us. It's about our kids. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Old Gardener

      Well, it is about us in the sense that it's about all of us.

      Those of us who participated in the previous spontaneous movement seem to be the ones who understand best about what OWS is doing.

      This sort of uprising has occurred many times in the past. Every time that the gap between the haves and the have-nots becomes intolerable, the have-nots spontaneously rise up. The citizens ALWAYS demand a move to the left, NEVER to the right. The right wingers have always been diminished in their power after such a movement.

      So I have faith that OWS has potential. I still think that the demands ought to be distilled a little and that the audience needs to be better defined. The list of so-called solutions really doesn't exist in any practical form yet. These things will spontaneously evolve, too. I've been trying to get this message through since day one. We can make this work faster if our experiences can be integrated into this movement, imo.

      You've touched on the only thing that I know will work.

      That thing is fear. It's the great motivator. For the political hacks that are doing nothing, this is what ultimately must happen

      The only thing they can smell to wake them is money [or the loss of money]. We must get out the vote, that's what will scare them and thus awaken them.

      Those who decide not to vote are the ones who end up hurting themselves.

      "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 01:43:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Inspiring, Bob and Grumpy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I hope I'm in the fight as much as you are when I'm 81.  It is for our kids.  My daughter and her husband went hungry the last week of last month, so their two kids could eat nourishing food.  

        I am so proud and awed by the OCW folks.  So proud of their adherence to non-violent principles and horizontal forms of decision-making.  

        I do believe they have a chance to make some changes.  

    •  I remember, too, Bob. (0+ / 0-)

      And I also remember that we students gentled down considerably after they shot a few of us in Ohio and Mississippi. I'm very concerned that NYC seems unabashed by using police attacks and mass arrests to quell peaceful dissent. Local government, the least followed and therefore the most trusted form of government, is the tip of the spear against mass street and public space protest movements.

      Occupation is a very provocative tactic. I was arrested during an occupation of a nuclear power plant construction site in 1979 and it was our trial and the accompanying media coverage that really paid off for us. I see that something similar is happening now, on an ever-so-much wider basis and just as spontaneously as in our smaller (229 arrests) efforts back in the day.

      Bumpersticker: GOP. Cheering Death. Booing Soldiers. Join Us.

      by LeftOfYou on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 03:13:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My answer? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, opendna

    They're occupying Wall Street.  What do YOU suppose they're protesting?

    "I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation..." JFK

    by Rick Aucoin on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 11:56:33 AM PDT

  •  My answer to "what do we want?" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    is "what do you think?"

    and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

    by le sequoit on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 12:04:24 PM PDT

  •  I appreciate your searching (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, Old Gardener

    for a good way to explain what isn't nailed down already. Very helpful.

  •  It's really very simple. (0+ / 0-)
    Why are they fighting?
    They have turned to fight as any other animal as ferocious as a human would when cornered.
    Who are they fighting?
    They are fighting the economic predators who are attacking them.
    What are they fighting for?
    They fight for the chance to live in a civilized and just nation, without the constant economic predation of the 1%.

    Bumpersticker: GOP. Cheering Death. Booing Soldiers. Join Us.

    by LeftOfYou on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 03:00:32 PM PDT

  •  Excellent writing. (0+ / 0-)

    How's this?

    "The powerful broke America
    and refuse to make it right,
    so go to the center of power:
    register your dissent
    or withdraw your consent."

    Groups: Toolbox and Trolls... to preserve the best & the worst of DailyKos.

    by opendna on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 04:33:51 PM PDT

  •  OWS = The Green-Tea Party? (0+ / 0-)
  •  I see this development as being about bodies (0+ / 0-)

    in the streets.  This is the important, indeed historical, part of what we are seeing.  We have shifted from educating ourselves by following the issues on TV, the internet, at meetings, at lectures, through books, the radio.  The world of ideas has been ripened over the last few years.  That is VERY important.  Ideas --- enlightenment, really -- is the true power behind the physical developments.  

    We didn't go to sleep when Obama was elected... we sat back a bit, yes, but we watched and listened and learned.  We are now ready to pounce.  We know the players, we know the game better now.  They pounced in Wisconsin because it was the right time.  They had to, and did so brilliantly.  

    Now, on a national (and of course global) scale, the pouncing is beginning by simply setting up shop in the public squares.  Bodies, real people, not leaving.  Putting their lives on the lines.  This is just the first step.  We need to STAY THERE.  

    We are not naive, at least not most of us.  It is indeed our "over" education, our wisdom, that allows us to see the COMPLEXITY of the issues.  Thus, we don't have a narrow agenda.  The younger generations are motivated by feeling as much as by facts.  This is a good thing.  The heart knows more than the mind.  

    We want, when we admit it to ourselves, to heal the world.  We want it all.... we are DONE with the charade, the lies, the insanity.  We want to save our planet.  We want to save our economy (we could call this the "Economic Rights Movement" if we wish -- not a bad term).  We don't apologize for the scope of our wishes.  We know that asking for one change in this or that policy is foolish intellectually, but also strategically.  At least at this moment.  Let them laugh at us.  Let them watch us grow and mature.  

    If you want to open yourself up to being co-opted and bought off, name your price... in other words, name your demands.  Someday, yes.  Demands will come.  But not until we have our power base established in the STREETS.  Not just behind our computer screens.  

    What is it all about?  How do we explain it to friends and family? How about:

    "Do you ever get the feeling that you are being lied to by those in power?  Do you ever get the feeling that the "fix is in"?  Do you ever feel you aren't doing enough?  Do you ever want to say  "DO OVER" and take back the power that you know you are supposed to FEEL when you live in a democracy?  Do you ever feel you don't know who to talk to?  Where to go?  Do you ever feel you better do something NOW, for your children and all future generations?  

    "Well, those people in the streets, imperfect as they may be, feel this in their hearts.  They have stepped out of their homes.  Since all issues intersect, it may seem unorganized and unfocused.   So it reality.  But the big point is this:  a "movement" without bodies in the streets does not exist.  We must exist in the Commons, in the public squares and parks.  This is just the beginning.  Please join us, as you can.  And above all, keep an open mind and listen and breathe and stay calm.  This will all unfold in due time."  

    It's a soul thing.  It's a energy, building upon itself.  It is Truth showing its face in public.  It is peace and love and truth and taking its place at the table.  Move over, we are here to stay.  

  •  Really nicely done. (0+ / 0-)

    A pleasure to read.  Thank you.

  •  I liked that you are open to ideas on this (0+ / 0-)

    I see this a bit differently, maybe because I spent over a year as an office temp working in upper floor international banking headquarters in San Francisco.

    My sense is that this is about culture, about consciousness and about how human beings have evolved to see the world.

    For a long time I have been thinking that our entire political system is paced by experience in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Thus, the whole system is moving too slowly to keep up with the full scope and complexity of the problems we have.  The Republicans are actually attempting to shift us all into reverse.  

    The banking system has become a phenomenon derived from the number of people graduating with advanced degrees from various business schools, especially those considered really elite schools.  Harvard.  The Sorbonne.  U Cal at Berkeley or UCLA, Princeton, etc.  

    The upper floors feel like graduate school heaven.  The interior decoration is the best that pretty much unlimited budgets can create.  The people are wonderful.  They are great conversationalists.  You hate to leave there.  

    The people on the streets below look like ants from up there.  

    They don't pay attention to what is going on at street level.  Business is about the big maps and about transactions in the millions at the small end and trillions at the large end.  

    They look down from there on such persons as the President of the United States and anyone in the federal government.  They just don't see them as knowing enough to have anything to say they ought to be concerned with.  

    The reason this is a problem becomes apparent from time to time.  Very smart people who are disconnected from socializing with anyone but other people just like themselves, are in fact disconnected from reality.

    Yet these people are making financial decisions which affect everyone.  The money in local credit unions and savings and loans are involved because large pools of money are built up from these smaller capital funds.  

    The very smartest people are capable of really dumbass decisions and there is no one to call them to account for it.  

    That is the problem.  Money talks in our world and billions and trillions talk very powerfully.

    But it turns out that the angst and frustration of millions of people can be heard by the people on Wall Street who are being forced to open up to thinking about this, and in Congress.  

    People want a direct and tangible cause and effect.  But then very few have a very good idea of what Wall Street really is and what the people that work there do all day.  

    There is really not going to be a direct cause and effect that flows from this protest.  But a whole lot of indirect actions
    will definitely occur.  

    This is doing nothing less than speeding up evolution.  We really do not have a precedent for the scale of multinational finance that runs to the trillions and maybe hundreds of trillions of dollars.  No nation is in a position to provide real oversight.  The United Nations was not really chartered
    to function as a real world government.  

    Irregardless of the protests, which will continue,  something will happen that will bring about the next step in the evolution of checks and balances in the world.  It is necessary to keep reminding people that there are dots to connect here.  Evolution doesn't come from someone getting up and proposing that it go forward.  It is not a committee project.  

    The stress in our world is happening for a variety of interconnected reasons.  The sustainability crisis and global warming are not separate issues from financing.  Etc. and etc.  Third world prosperity and increased demand for resouces is upon us.  Etc. etc.  

    The media doesn't cover any of this adequately because Wall Street butters the bread for all commercial media.  

    These protests are only the barest beginning of something that can't exactly be foreseen.  If they end soon that won't change.  What is really happening is very deep down and below the surface and world-shaping.  The 21st century is being born.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 11:13:36 PM PDT

  •  Why it is so hard to explain? (0+ / 0-)

    It's the widening gap between haves and havenots and the shrinking middle class, both created by have-favorable public policies and the abuse of labor here and abroad.

    The gap widens because the haves take advantage of the increasingly desperate have nots. Period. That's the way it has always been, that's the way it is now.

    It is ignorance which is hopeless.

    by IdeaTipper on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 03:57:20 AM PDT

  •  For me, Occupy Wall Street is simply (0+ / 0-)

    the average people standing up and saying that they are sick and damned tired of having to bear the brunt of the mistakes made by the rich and corporate.

    "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

    by LynneK on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 05:32:34 AM PDT

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