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Earlier today on Google+, I found a link to this site:

The 99 Percent Declaration

I've been following the various Occupy protests since nearly their inception, and have enormous sympathy for their grievances and their message.  But this thing...  I dunno...  It has a strange odor to it.

Follow me over the calligraphy.

Let me first apologize in advance, because it's late and I'm about to get lecture-y.  The Occupy movement is the first movement I've seen (barring Obama's election) that looks like it will have a real chance to effect crucially needed changes in American governance and society, and I want to see it succeed.  It is from that spirit that this diary is written.

To begin with, I don't think the "Declaration" linked above is the legitimate work of the Occupy movement.  For a start, the tone is all wrong.  There's just something about documents that start with, "WHEREAS," or "BE IT RESOLVED," that suggests inauthenticity to me.  Part of Occupy's message is that the existing power structure has lost all credibility, and the whole "WHEREAS" thing is part of that structure.  I don't think actual Occupy members would employ that language.

Second, the "Declaration" contains no small share of right-wing talking points.  Either members of Occupy have unwittingly drunk the Kool-Aid, or the document was written by someone else.  I will take a couple of examples:

6. Medicare for all American citizens or another single-payer healthcare system, adjusted by a means test (i.e. citizens who can afford it may opt-out and pay their own health insurance or opt-in and pay a means tested premium). The Medicaid program, fraught with corruption and fraud, will be eliminated except for the purpose of providing emergency room care to indigent non-citizens who will not be covered by the single-payer program.  [emphasis mine]

Means-testing is a right-wing trope. Single-payer only achieves full efficiency when everyone is in the pool, so what's means-testing doing here?  And why is only single-payer mentioned?  Nationalized healthcare can also work, as England has shown us.  Also, when was it established that Medicaid was, "fraught with corruption and fraud?" If you're really concerned about defrauding the government, the low-hanging fruit is in military contracts.

Next example:

8. Adoption of an immediate plan to reduce the national debt to a sustainable percentage of GDP by 2020. Reduction of the national debt to be achieved by BOTH a cut in spending to corporations engaged in perpetual war for profit, the "healthcare" industry, the pharmaceutical industry and all other sectors that use the federal budget as their income stream AND a truly progressive income tax code that does not allow the wealthy and corporations to evade taxes through excessive deductions, subsidies and loopholes. We agree that spending cuts are necessary but those cuts must be made to facilitate what is best for the People of the United States of America, not multinational and domestic corporations.

Lemme tell ya, if you're out of a job, about to lose your house, or wondering how you're possibly going to feed yourself this week, you don't give a crap about the national debt.  Only Republicans have been fetishizing the debt, and then only when the Administration is Democratic.  "Deficit Peacocks," Digby calls them.  Mentioning the debt at all makes the whole document extremely suspicious.  There are other right-wing fingerprints on the document; I'll let you find those yourself.

I also casually note the absence of any mention of a stock/securities transaction tax, which would seem fairly obvious.

That aside, it's a really awkward read.  It's also thematically inconsistent with the Occupy statement released a couple of weeks ago.  It looks like it was written by someone who's heard that populist manifestos exist, and may even have read one or two of them, but doesn't really seem to get it.  Such a document needs to feel like it has an energy and sense of purpose behind it, and I'm just not getting that here.

So, I think it's a fake, and OWS may need to prepare for that.

And if I'm wrong and it is for real, well, I've got a whole other rant I can write about that...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Also note (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    ...the call for a third party. It's true that there are a bunch of Paulites, Larouchies, anarcholibertarian and government-haters of various kinds in the "movement," but this just looks like an outright right-wing ratf*ck, a la Nader 2000.

  •  There is a working group at NYCGA called (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ItsSimpleSimon, semiot

    the-99-declaration
    The art is the same as the one in your link for the 99 Percent Declaration. It appears that the 99 Percent Declaration has gone rogue.

    OWS fractures over "99 Percent Declaration" (User Submitted)

    Posted Oct. 20, 2011, 1:24 a.m. EST (6 hours ago) by precipice

    According to email logs, one OWS working group has gone rogue.

    The 99PercentDeclaration website calls itself "An OWS Working Group," and recently posted a list of Occupy demands (such as withdrawal of troops in Iraq and passage of the Dream Act for immigration reform). The site has gained publicity and to date 85,000 views.

    The only problem is, The99PercentDeclaration went rogue and is not supported by the movement.

    Full story at http://www.occupyr.com/...

    www.occupyr.com

    So your suspicions are correct.

    #OccupyWallStreet ~ Close the ca$ino that
    CONTINUES to gamble away our future!
    #OccupyMelbFL

    by OleHippieChick on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 04:57:26 AM PDT

  •  From OWS front page (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ItsSimpleSimon, semiot, dadadata
    Demands: A group claiming to be on the verge of issuing demands for #OWS has gotten the attention of a story hungry media. We are our demands. #OWS is conversation, organization, and action focused on ending the tyranny of the 1%. On Saturday we marched in solidarity against corrupt banking systems, against war, and against foreclosure. We discussed how to break up the "too big to fail" financial companies and end excessive wall street executive bonuses, we were arrested while trying to remove our money from the grasp of these dangerous institutions, we occupied the boardrooms of the 1% so they wouldn't feel so sad and alone, we occupied foreclosure court rooms where they use a broken system to legally steal the homes of the 99%, rallied in front of military recruitment centers demanding an end to US wars, and tens of thousands of us marched into the times square, the neon heart of consumerism, demanding economic justice.

    OWS.org

    #OccupyWallStreet ~ Close the ca$ino that
    CONTINUES to gamble away our future!
    #OccupyMelbFL

    by OleHippieChick on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 05:07:12 AM PDT

  •  OWS has not officially adopted any declarations (0+ / 0-)

    and is unlikely to do so any time soon. Maybe some people there are freelancing.

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