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Occupy Wall Street: Young and Unsure

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Some have compared the ongoing Wall Street demonstrations with the early rallies of the Tea Party. Beyond the obvious ideological differences lies the basic fact that the Tea Party assemblies continue to be orchestrated and instigated by various politicians, various groups, on a single-day basis, to promote candidates, and to improve grass-roots support for factions in the Republican Party that are notoriously pro-corporation. Trusting voters are assured they are assembling to demand less spending and more patriotism from the government.

The same organizers whom they trust and trusted are now campaigning for more battleships, more aggressive missile systems with first strike capabilities, and a greater store of defensive missiles. All of these things are costly, provide huge profits to huge corporations, and there is no explanation as to how they are to be financed. One might make a comparison to the development, in the 1950s, of a complex system of anti-missile missiles that time has shown would have been of little or no value had an enemy attack ensued.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, for a while called the “U.S. Days of Rage” is a true and spontaneous grass-roots movement, and most will agree it has not to this point been subject to coordination by any particular high power group or individual. It has no Rush Limbaugh, no Glenn Beck, no Sarah Palin.

Ironically the lack of sophisticated and directed mentoring is the largest potentially fatal flaw within the Occupy movement. For example, the Wall Street activists, many young and naïve, know they are “against” banks and banking, but in some cases they are at a loss when plied for specific explanation. If the student and anarchistic element of the Wall Street protests knew that the problem with the banks lies in technical issues such as non-regulation of mortgaging, and lack of accountability in the buying and selling of loans, they might well be bored to tears. It is true that the banks add fees and charges, as the Fed reduces the banks’ income possibilities, but a few fees is hardly cause for taking it “to the streets.”

Oddly the protestors are concerned about jobs being elusive and far between; but yet they haven’t at this writing gone to the Capitol to demand passage of the well structured presidential job bill, or conversely the immediate passage of something similar. In addition, to my knowledge, the obstructive policies of the Republican Party are not a main focal point of the new movement. Myself, I’d love to step forward and tell the well-meaning throngs to fight for free media, and for an ending to all pay-to-play special interest lobbies. They would surly oppose a congress of men and women so caught up in politics as to be losing popular support even among their own parties. I would encourage those demonstrating to demand an overturn of the Supreme Court “Citizen United” decision, allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace. There too are other issues that should be addressed.

Some will be shocked to know that a small but growing percentage of the new protestors are taking up a banner of communism. Communism has many facets; free speech can be eliminated in order to protect the security of the state. Religion may or may not be tolerated; Marx called religious belief the “opiate of the masses” which “gives false hope to the working class.” Modern theoreticians, in a free country, in a world moving toward an absolute belief in a human right to freedom, and with high regard for the value of life, would find such dated views contemptible. Greater government control of banking, corporations, and manufacturing, may appear to be a “new socialism”; but such control hardly embarks on communism! 

Still I applaud the concept of “one citizen, one vote!”, and the petition for an end to corporate greed. These young people and frustrated citizens need support and encouragement from bloggers, newscasters, well-informed teachers, and those who have the time to be aware of the state of the state.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • I’ve been heartened by the media coverage of OWS, although there has been way too much emphasis on the [rare] clashes with police.

    But I thought Barney Frank had a point on Rachel Maddow’s show the other night: eventually there will have to be some sort of specific political action/demands/candidates involved. If these folks don’t vote, Frank said [quoting himself about an earlier gay rights rally], “all they’ll be putting pressure on is the grass.” [meaning the park they’re standing in]

  • …that and his secretary of state is Hillary for god’s sake. Don’t you think he’s reminded of Bill’s lesson on what not to do while president on a daily basis?

  • Cannonshop

    Arch, there is no such thing as a “Sarcasm” smiley, and your ‘joke’ wasn’t funny, just strident and mildly disgusting.

    I mean, come on, if you had a woman that looks like Michelle Obama waiting at home, would YOU hit on middle-aged white skank??

    I don’t think Barack H. Obama does-he’s smart, he knows what he has.

  • zingzing

    it was a joke, i say. or at least that’s how i read it. and it was funny. obviously over the top. archie’s an ass, no doubt. but i think he knows it. that was obviously going over the top. if he can’t do that, then none of us can.

    archie’s got opinions that are awful, but i don’t think you can pin this one on him. and if you do, you’re taking things too seriously.

    come on, it was pretty creative. totally wrong, but creative. like someone shitting into cellophane.

  • Arch Conservative

    ah it’s El Bicho. Everyone’s favorite answer to a question that was never asked.

  • If that’s supposed to be a joke, don’t go into comedy

  • Arch Conservative

    If you think that I’m a racist because of my little joke a couple of posts ago then you’re an idiot.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    Gee I’m genuinely very upset that it took four comments before someone came along and called me a racist.

    You’re the one who took the conversation into the gutter with your ‘sodomized’ remark.

    You might not realize this, Arch, but one of the most difficult things for a writer to do is to write outside his or her own personality. It’s easy to do in one or five or ten tries…but when it’s many hundreds (or even thousands) of tries, it approaches impossibility for even the most skilled writer.

    So…is your personality showing? Are you racist? I haven’t seen enough data on the latter question to make a judgment, but on the former question? If I answered that question, would you give it the least amount of consideration? I sincerely doubt it, so I won’t bother.

    Again, Arch, it’s extremely difficult to hide one’s personality in one’s writing.

  • troll

    Arch Conservative – if you wish to develop a critique of the occupy movement that might have legs take a look at the nlp techniques in use

    thus for example a while back I overheard a group discussing how to discuss where it was deemed ‘more fun’ to use the ‘people’s mic’ even in small group settings

    a chilling moment – hints of the commodification of the process — spectacle or protest…only her hairdresser knows for sure

    …spare us from Leaders in this environment

    in observing the small group that you referred to in your comments somewhere what signage and behavior did you find most alienating?

  • Arch Conservative

    Gee I’m genuinely very upset that it took four comments before someone came along and called me a racist.

  • zingzing

    it was archie doing archie in a 69 position. the snake milking. the meta-bomb.

  • Costello

    Such hostility, but then many racists find the greatest offense to be race mixing so it’s sadly understandable

  • zingzing

    that was god-like, archie. gotta hand you that one. as many props as i can hold up.

  • John, I think Mr Harold Steptoe said it better than I ever could…

  • John Lake

    College aged white females. You have my undivided attention.
    Thanks for the flurry of comments. I feel better already.

  • Arch Conservative

    how’s that one….find any meaning there…as much as i despise most of you here on BC…you do provide valuable entertainment…………

  • Arch Conservative

    Well one thing’s for sure…all the bleeding heart, moonbat, college aged white females engaged in this occupy movement who’ve only in their most private moments allowed their fantasies of being sodomized by a black man to creep into their minds are now having that most secret of fantasies fulfilled as Barry Sotero has just found the useful idiots that he plans on using like yesterday’s crack whore in an effort to maintain the precious power that justifies his ungodly, narcisssistic, superiority complex.

  • zingzing

    archie: meaningless comment.

  • Arch Conservative

    Occupy Wall Street: Young, Dumb and Full of…..Hope and Change

  • So it does take a “personal touch,” Cannon, doesn’t it?

  • Cannonshop

    #56 it helps, Jordan, that I ran into some folks whom I KNOW attended Tea Party rallies, who’re also now involved in (for want of a better term) the “Occupy” movement. As these are people whom I know and respect personally, I tend to take their word as to the nature of BOTH movements rather more seriously than I take the word of Newsies or Pundits or Bloggers.

    I guess that you could say that there are two diametrically opposed types of ‘Centrists’ out there, the ones in D.C. and Olympia are one type, ‘centrists for the status quo’, perhaps, and the other type seem to be increasingly common between the Tea Parties and “Occupy” group- Centrists who understand the status quo is not a good situation.

    Centrists opposed to business as usual, if you will.

    The chief goal of the former type (also seen in media), of course, is to polarize the groups by drumming on their differences, to paint a bipolar boilerplate and keep opposition to the Crony-State divided, and thus, weak.

  • “You’re the better man.”

    Really not that tough considering how low you set the bar, but why don’t you pull your head out of your preconceived notions for a bit and learn what’s happening rather than just assume everyone to the left of you is stupid and worthy of insulting.

    I haven’t righteously supported them yet so not sure how you made that bit up but I certainly appreciate and respect their dedication to protest the wrongs they see.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Well said, Cannonshop. Agree 100 percent.

  • Cannonshop

    I’ll disagree with the headline here-it’s not that the “Occupy” movement is missing direction, not at all-no more than the Tea Party is. The TP scares the hell out of the Republican Establishment just like OWS could scare the hell out of the Democrat establishment-because both of them are “DYNAMIC”-not frozen into a single, half-paragraph length dogma as the more ‘mainstream’ movements are.

    One is “On the Left” and the other is “On the Right”, but they’re basically protesting the SAME THING.

    Why do I say this? Look at the REAL leaders on the Left, and in the GOP, look at their backgrounds, contributors, moneymen and campaign owners, and you discover an awful lot of names in common, schools in common, and behaviours in common.

    I’ve actually had to eat some crow recently on this, the flavour is still fresh-it doesn’t MATTER who started these movements, or who’s signed on since, the core of both movements are pissed off about the SAME THINGS-the only differences in the end are what they might suggest as directions of correction.

    What is it?

    Government-sponsored-Crony-“Capitalism”, Misgovernment, malinvestment, intrusions by power-brokers into private lives, government-sponsored attacks on personal freedom, “National (in)security”, the culture of influence-peddling, and the chronic similarity of misdeeds regardless of who gets elected.

    Personally, I hope and pray that the OWS crowd continues to prosper until they have reached the point of scaring the Parties in Charge as badly as the Tea Party did-because in the end, they’re not asking for redistribution, they’re not asking for equality of outcomes, and they aren’t asking for Uncle Sugar to put them to bed and make them eat their veggies and care for them from cradle-to-coffin.

    They want what we’re supposed to have-a government accountable to the electorate, not the corporations or money-men (neither Koch nor Soros), that is here to protect our common liberties and maintain the common defense in some kind of rational manner (as opposed to involving us in every brushfire war worldwide).

    Forget what the self-styled ‘Leaders’ tell you about either movement-because they are only quoted because they make a claim to a position that doesn’t exist. The rank-and-file are out there because something has gone fundamentally wrong, and the status-quo isn’t going to solve it.

  • Moving to the political left is the only way for them to go. But that doesn’t mean they are going communist, whatever that is now, but they cant support the political right! We are supposedly getting some protest in both Wellington and Auckland, and across the ditch in Sydney.

  • Well, really it’s a bus ride or a very stiff walk from downtown, but I see what you mean.

  • Vanderbilt is downtown, a potential center of occupation activity. A fertile ground for recruitment.

  • Standing at side of road with thumb stuck out seems more in the Occupy spirit, Cindy…

    Still, Greyhound from Memphis to Nashville probably ain’t that expensive.

    It would indeed be an interesting one to have some coverage of. Nashville is a quite liberal city with a very conservative statehouse. They probably have no idea what to do about the protest.

  • Bus!

  • Train!

  • BTW, Mark, Cindy, Jordan, Anarcissie,

    Global Revolution live-stream need on the ground reporters. I would love to cover the Nashville occupation but for lack of a vehicle, I’m stranded elsewhere.

    Food for thought.

  • For a while, I though Arch was turning around, his words sounding true. It was an illusion clearly dispelled by his typical intransigency.

    @44 & 45

    It’s all about morality and justice, the only basis for economic and political system. There are no other grounds.

  • troll

    I like that piece Cindy – the moral choice is clear

  • I love that, troll! Reminiscent of my fav article on. Whose Side Are You On: The Moral Clarity of Occupy Wall Street

  • trol l

    …while protesting on the sidewalk at 3am the rare drive-by comment from the likes of King Con keeps me warm

    my signage when feeling less generous = which side are you on?

  • Archie, on what do you base your assertion as to the nature of the Occupy movement participants?

    Based on your posting, it is you that seems petulant and ignorant, so maybe we will see you joining your nearest protest?

  • Glenn, it is your right to disagree, but that doesn’t mean you ARE right.

    I can’t see any meaningful difference between those who follow political dogmas or other less secular ones. It is a betrayal of humanity in either case.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Why wasn’t there some kind of warning that your link was to the Daily Red Jordan? It took me twenty minutes to sterilize my mouse.


  • Some people will protest because they are looking for a sense of belonging. They don’t want to feel alone…or…let’s face it, they have nothing better to do.

  • Arch Conservative

    I made a grammatical error. You righteously support a movement of petulant, ignorant, dilettantes. Congratulations El Bicho. You’re the better man.

    Why wasn’t there some kind of warning that your link was to the Daily Red Jordan? It took me twenty minutes to sterilize my mouse.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree on that one. Dave’s a political animal in a significantly political position, and I’ve seen quite a few politicians flip-flop on issues over the years. Do they really change their mind? Or do they swallow their pride (and better judgment) in order to say what needs to be said so they can keep their job?

    One of us is being more cynical than usual, and one of us is being a wee bit pollyannish. Wonders never cease….

  • “it’s supporters are proof that there are also far too many stupid people in the world.”

    more proof: people who don’t know the possessive form of “it”

  • Jordan Richardson

    Agree. I think the name will be a lightning rod for the usual suspects and pundits, but the idea is a strong, tangible way to put some real money toward real solutions.

  • Don’t really like the name “Robin Hood tax” but I do like the idea of applying a 1% tax rate on all these financial transactions. Can’t actually think of any reasons why they shouldn’t be taxed.

  • Actually, Glenn, Dave believes as he does cos of the dogma he subscribes to, his beliefs; just like you.

    It is about the limiting factor of faith in something, which is what needs checking at the door…

  • Jordan Richardson

    And, by the way, here’s one of the plans coming out of the OWS movements:

    “On October 29, on the eve of the G20 Leaders Summit in France, let’s the people of the world rise up and demand that our G20 leaders immediately impose a 1% #ROBINHOOD tax on all financial transactions and currency trades. Let’s send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3-trillion easy money that’s sloshing around the global casino each day – enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world.”

  • Jordan Richardson

    Here’s one article titled “China and Russia Are Enjoying Occupy Wall Street,” but it doesn’t appear to make much of a point other than to tell us how China and Russia are reacting to the movements. It notes that “there doesn’t seem to be much enthusiasm among officials for having protests in China itself,” so one has to imagine that China’s “enjoyment” of the protests is rather tempered.

    Other than that, there wasn’t really anything of substance out there to suggest much support from China. It’s too bad. I’m certain there are many Chinese experiencing economic inequality that need their voices heard.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Saw this and couldn’t help but wonder if Arch was, at one point and time, Conservative Jones, Boy Detective.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Why does Dave believe as he does? It keeps him in the position he’s in. Personally, I believe that Dave’s trapped into vocally supporting positions that make him gag inwardly…but if he were to stand on principle and speak out, he’d be ostracized on the spot. In all honesty I pity Dave for that reason, for he serves as an object lesson to anyone who might want to enter politics, how all too often one must check his or her principles at the door.


    “El bicho, [personal attack deleted by comments editor] You and [edited] like you are why I don’t come around here any more. And now I’ll say good bye again.”

    El bicho, thank you.

  • It’s possible given the assumption that both businessmen and politicians are moral.

  • Dave, your naivete is so refreshing.

    What does it take to keep believing what you do. Simple logic dictates that if you have a gov’t power and you make competition and wealth accumulation the order of the day, then, no matter how free your free markets are from gov’t, those who win will arrange to co-opt the gov’t if it has power. Period. End of story. Men on moon? Get wealth try to control power? How hard is it? (Hint: as hard as handing a politician money.) Thus, as long as you have a system where politicians can be bought, you have a problem. Having a free market and limited gov’t together, even in your fondest conceptualization, is a doomed prospect.

  • Doubt whether Andy would bother with any complex analysis since most of his responsive are reactive. Besides, to buy into CH’s narrative, he’d be required to differentiate between corrupt and not corrupt labor union practices. Again, that would require additional effort on the part of someone who doesn’t think much of the labor movement at all.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Chris Hedges explains what Andy brushes by in #7 with his references to union groups joining OWS.

    In part:

    “The faux liberal reformers, whose abject failure to stand up for the rights of the poor and the working class, have signed on to this movement because they fear becoming irrelevant. Union leaders, who pull down salaries five times that of the rank and file as they bargain away rights and benefits, know the foundations are shaking. So do Democratic politicians from Barack Obama to Nancy Pelosi. So do the array of ‘liberal’ groups and institutions, including the press, that have worked to funnel discontented voters back into the swamp of electoral politics and mocked those who called for profound structural reform.”

  • Arch Conservative

    Yes there are far too many greedy people in the world but this “occupy” movement and it’s supporters are proof that there are also far too many stupid people in the world.

  • Igor

    Nalle says:

    “…the Occupy Wallstreet movement was started by Marxist groups…”

    Really? What Marxist arguments have they put forward? How would a guy recognize a Marxist argument?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I guess things are more comfortable in the echo chamber.

  • So let me get this straight you regurgitate a Drudge headline that is inaccurate, but I am the bad guy for pointing it out? I guess if you can’t support your position running off to be with fellow lemmings who don’t disagree with you might well be the best course of action. Goodbye

  • zingzing

    andy don’t play that.

  • Shoot, Andy, I thought this relationship was going to last longer than a day, let alone a couple of silly remarks.

    Where is the love?

  • El bicho, [personal attack deleted by comments editor] You and [edited] like you are why I don’t come around here any more.

    And now I’ll say good bye again. You fucking liberals can play with yourselves.

  • “What do you mean by ‘China likes it too?'”

    He means he saw the headline on Drudge but didn’t bother to read the AP article it’s linked to.

  • Dave should know it’s no longer effective, but John Lake is relatively new.

  • Jordan Richardson

    As for Marxism, it’s a catch-all term used by Dave and Co. to umbrella define any group or individual who does not drool with love for unbridled capitalism.

    It doesn’t have any historical meaning or context. It’s an empty scare word.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Andy, the movement was originated by an idea from Canadian group Adbusters.

    What do you mean by “China likes it too?” In what context? How can you say a whole country “likes it?”

    The very notion that there’s no transparency in the White House is the sort of thing Adbusters and OWS is against. It sounds like you’d be on the same side, too, if you weren’t so purposely dense.

  • Costello

    I am curious how many of the Occupy detractors are Tea Party enthusiasts?

  • Andy, have you ever been in love and the relationship went south, real south?

    Well, fuck them or her or whoever the fuck is just the right thing to say.

    But who am I to piss on your love parade and the relationship of everlasting bliss? so I just let you be.

  • Good for you, Igor. You can find Wolff’s own website with all kinds of videos and lectures.

  • Igor

    Nalle says:

    “…the Occupy Wallstreet movement was started by Marxist groups…”

    Really? How would anyone know anything about Marxism? We’ve successfully repressed any expression of Marxism in newspapers, on TV, and even on the internet there seems to be no popular and easily accessible discussion of Marxism. It seems to be verboten.

    Even in the Universities there is little or no discussion of Marxism! Dr. Richard Wolff says that all his graduate education and all his advanced degrees are from Stanford, Harvard and Yale, and yet NEVER was he required to read one word of Marxism (thus giving the lie to oft expressed claims that universities like Yale, Stanford and Harvard are dominated by Marxists). He had to go outside his formal classwork to read Marxism. His formal coursework was “a celebration of capitalism”, he says.

    In fact, Wolff says that the reason our Republican and Democratic Economists are failing now is because they never read Marxism and we are now in a classic Marxist defined economic collapse. They all came from Harvard, Yale and Stanford!

    I wouldn’t know. I’m not a Marxist and never read Marxism in a college econ or history course either. I read a little outside of class, but not deeply because I was predisposed against Marxism. But I have concluded that capitalism is exhausted and worn out and either must be revivified through radical change, or superseded.

  • Transparency Jordan? Really? Obama doesn’t even want us to know who visits the White House!!!!

  • So, the movement was started in Canada? That makes it even worse! And it’s been joined by the American Nazi Party, the American Socialists Party, and pretty much EVERY union group in America! And China likes it too.

    They were singing Fuck the USA in Portland yesterday. Maybe they need to go back to Canada!

    Ain’t that special!

  • The real failing of the OccupyEverywhere campaign is the impotence of their chosen medium. Screaming sit-in style protest is dead and I think it’s the bored middle-class suburbanites who struck the fatal blow…Chronicle of Failure: Occupy Everywhere

  • Still got to disagree with John Lake. His presentation is naive but for different reasons, naive because seen through the old lens of liberalism, political party edition, which Mr. Lake seems unable to dispense with.

    Consequently, anything that doesn’t follow the Democratic party program, Mr. Lake is forced to consider unarrived and immature.

    Now, that is naive.

  • In any case, a “Marxist group” no longer carries the old kind of sting, not when capitalism is falling apart at the seams.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The truth is that the Occupy Wallstreet movement was started by Marxist groups


    and has been coopted by unions


    is about as grassroots and Harry Reid.


    You couldn’t be more wrong, unless you’re working from a different definition of “truth.”

    The Adbusters Media Foundation, founded in 1989 in Vancouver, is not “Marxist.” It was born out of a desire to provide citizens the same access to information as corporations have. The goal is to ensure the transparency of democracy and to uphold freedom of speech. They are anti-consumerist, but they are not “Marxist.”

    The unions did not appropriate the movement, either. They joined it, along with soccer moms, women’s groups, men’s groups, business groups (yes, Dave), church groups, and so on. If your political bent claims to have a finger on the pulse of the people and claims to want to move away from the dinosaur tendencies of the Republican Party, you can’t afford to make the error of simplifying the Occupy Wall Street events.

    In that grassroots means a movement driven by the politics of a community, how is Occupy Wall Street not grassroots? What non-grassroots group is secretly controlling the global occupations and movements?

  • zingzing

    still going on about the reds, eh, dave? 1989 was a long time ago…

    it’s a different world out there, and we’ve got sand-devils to disagree with at this point. and a good thing too. those bogeymen don’t look the same as us, so we can hate them unequivocally.

    welcome to the 21st century, dave. hope it doesn’t burn you.

    let’s look at the “grassroots” of the tea party while we’re at it… ko ko ko koch-aine.

  • John, your naivete is so refreshing. The truth is that the Occupy Wallstreet movement was started by Marxist groups and has been coopted by unions and larger marxist groups and is about as grassroots and Harry Reid.