Democracy and #OccupyWallStreet

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Shawn Gude

Shawn Gude is a writer, graduate student, activist, and assistant contributor at Jacobin. His intellectual influences include Chantal Mouffe, Michael Harrington, and Ella Baker. Contact him at shawn.gude@gmail.com or on Twitter @shawngude.

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114 Responses

  1. Avatar Russell Saunders
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    says:

    In order to be effective, one must have an actual outcome in mind.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    So I shouldn’t think “they’re yet another group of white people holding signs and yelling things”?Report

  3. Avatar MFarmer
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    says:

    “They’re also instantiating a radical conception of democracy that is antithetical to the prevailing minimalist conception.”

    What is this radical conception of democracy? There’s a lot of loose, vague language here that tells me nothing. Reminds me a lot of the superficial rhetoric from much of the weekend protesters in the 60s.Report

    • Avatar Creon Critic in reply to MFarmer
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      “They’re also instantiating a radical conception of democracy that is antithetical to the prevailing minimalist conception.”

      I read this as pretty run of the mill ideas favoring broad participation and consensus building within decision-making. Within the set democracy are variables on how broad participation is and how many veto points there are – so instead of a hierarchy with few veto points where elected leadership issues commands, there’s more of a consultative process and decisions emerge from a (near) consensus. The leader is more of a convener, a facilitator of a conversation than the one giving instructions that must be obeyed.

      Depending on the culture and the unity of vision, working in organizations like this can be really frustrating, in that decisions take forever and nothing gets decided, or it can be inspiring in that you share so many common goals and aims that it isn’t difficult to talk through the minor disagreements and come to accommodation between the various perspectives. I’m curious as to how it will work out for OWS.Report

  4. I didn’t really pay attention to the early days of the Tea Party but one thing the Left has always had a problem with is trying to cram too many agendas into one movement. As a vague populist expression of dissatisfaction with the country’s leadership – sure they seem to be getting some traction. But I REALLY don’t see them getting it together to the point of fielding actual candiates or even really affecting change. The policy proposals that have come out so far are completely unserious.Report

    • Avatar E.C. Gach in reply to Mike at The Big Stick
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      I don’t see it developing into an actual movement.

      But as a rhetorical event to force action/deliberation at the national level, and greater soul searching in the public discourse (large protests that provoke establishment backlash implemented via police).

      The policies are out there and everyone knows them (whether they agree or not is a different issue). What a mass protest could do is force congressional action on the issue (economic drift/stagnation).Report

  5. Avatar George T
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    says:

    Nope. These are just mindless hippies waiting for their job application at Dairy Queen to go through. They can’t even convey any actual goals beyond what the average third grader would telll you about the fair distribution of Christmas presents, without even the suspicion that Santa Claus isn’t real.

    It’s sad that so many of our children pass through puberty still believing in Santa, Marx, or what have you, but they are entertaining in a stupid sort of way.Report

  6. Avatar shano
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    says:

    Better late than never.Report

  7. Avatar Christopher Carr
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    says:

    I might say Yglesias criticizes from – and occupies – a piece of the right.Report

  8. Avatar Jason Kuznicki
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    says:

    It’s weird how ambivalent I am to the whole movement.

    On the one hand, I hear them say: End the fed, end “too big to fail,” end the corporate bailouts, end the corporate welfare. I’d cheer for every bit of that. I might have to ask where all the protests were when Obama was bankrolling the crony capitalists in 2009. But better late than never.

    On the other hand, if this is what democracy looks like, then we at the League these last few days have been rather foolish in discussing a very, very different thing under that name.

    Worse, so many of the other proposals I’ve seen, including the financial transaction tax, will amount to just outsourcing the entire financial sector and all of the wealth that goes with it. For all of that sector’s terrible failings, this would be a really, really dumb move. Finance is one of the things we’re still (relatively) good at. It’s obviously high time for reform, but not for abolition.

    I am deeply concerned that this outsourcing of finance will be facilitated by the rhetoric emerging from the protests — the claims that somehow finance somehow isn’t part of the “real” economy.

    This is nonsense, because finance is every bit as real (or as fake, take your pick) as money itself. The Chinese, the Swiss, the Germans, and the Japanese will happily make that money in our place should we abdicate our role as the world’s financial center.

    We will be much the poorer for it, and calling finance fake will be a cold comfort then.Report

    • Avatar E.C. Gach in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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      In some basic sense, doesn’t making finance less “sexy,” and more “safe,” make workable sense though?

      In the current uncertainty, money seems to be flocking to the most secure (relatively) assets, e.g. treasury bonds.

      Wouldn’t America’s large financial firms be better capitalized if they were more stable, more risk averse?

      Also, I don’t have the numbers on it. Are professionals in finance similarly compensate in those other countries: Singapore, Switzerland, England, Japan?Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to E.C. Gach
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        says:

        depends. the chicago traders are basically running on $50,000 a year, with no prospects. the new york traders run on more money, but tend to be overextended.

        ‘sides, how much is a lunch break worth to you?

        If you aren’t talking traders (who will be fired if they aren’t in the top X% every year), but hedge fund managers and stuff, I ‘unno.Report

    • Jason – that Economist piece is awesome. Thanks.Report

    • Avatar clawback in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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      says:

      So instituting a small financial transactions tax would abolish the financial sector? Wow. Then I guess ending corporate welfare might send them all to China as well. Can’t be too careful.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to clawback
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        Among the many, many other proposed restrictions, yes.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to clawback
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        Half a cent per trade!Report

        • Avatar clawback in reply to Kimmi
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          says:

          Careful now, that might send the poor sensitive dears to Singapore. And we’d all be much the poorer for it.Report

          • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to clawback
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            Where the same exact transaction can happen tax-free?

            Yeah, it probably will.Report

            • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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              Not entirely certain of this; people are buying U.S. treasuries, not Japan’s.

              So even though Singapore, Japan, Germany… even though they certainly have the capacity and the infrastructure and the know-how, they probably won’t get a major portion of the U.S. financial system overnight. Not to mention the fact that you start inflating that golden goose elsewhere, those countries will start eying them for some tax burden.

              It would start the breakup, though. That’s certainly true. And unless all that stuff went to Germany and Germany dropped out of the Euro, we’d probably wind up with a less stable financial system than the one we have.Report

            • Avatar clawback in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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              I’m constantly amazed how people can believe capitalism to be the most powerful, robust system possible while simultaneously believing the most trivial changes would bring it to its knees. I guess it’s only powerful and robust if it’s implemented exactly the way the speaker wants it implemented.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to clawback
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                I don’t think a financial transaction tax would bring capitalism to its knees. I think it would just move large sections of capitalism elsewhere.

                I find it sort of surprising that you’re not with me on this one — don’t I so often hear from you that capitalists would sell out their community to make a quick penny?Report

              • Avatar clawback in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                And I’m surprised you’re not with me on this. After all, if a trivial transactions tax would send them away, surely ending TBTF and corporate welfare would as well. Why would you be willing to take a chance on one but not the other?Report

              • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to clawback
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                says:

                Note: Nobody else can bail these people out. So saying “We ain’t gonna, anymore” is taking away something that they can’t get elsewhere.

                No incentive to move.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pat Cahalan
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                Are you really okay with destroying our national security, in order to remove the “too big to fail” moniker?
                (current citation is Verizon — if they go dark, it’s a not so pretty scene, capiche?).Report

              • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Pat Cahalan
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                says:

                I don’t understand your question.

                You’re saying that Verizon is a vital part of our national security? And that removing the “too big to fail” consideration will lead inevitably to their downfall and thus the destruction of public order?

                I’m confused.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pat Cahalan
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                says:

                Pat,
                It’s all fine and good to say “we’re not going to negotiate with economic terrorists” … like Verizon is poised to be (nb: not calling them economic terrorists!).
                But I think that anyone who holds that attitude had better be satisfied with guns and cigarettes being our national currency.Report

              • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Pat Cahalan
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                I’m really not sure what the hell you’re talking about.

                Jason said, “Transaction taxes will cause this industry to move. That would be bad”. (I commented on that part elsewhere).

                Clawback said, “Transaction costs are just like bailouts, and you’re okay with getting rid of bailouts, so you’re driving business away!”

                I took issue with what Clawback said, because “raising transaction costs when nobody else is currently doing so” provides an economic incentive to move where there are no transaction costs. “Removing bailouts as a national strategy when nobody else can bail a company out” provides no incentive to move, because you’re taking away something that they can’t get somewhere else anyway.

                I didn’t say anything about whether or not bailouts were or weren’t a good idea for other reasons. I was just pointing out that Clawback’s equivalency was wrong.Report

              • Avatar clawback in reply to Pat Cahalan
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                So you’re making a distinction between taking away their incentive not to move, and giving them an incentive to move? I don’t think this distinction makes a difference.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Pat Cahalan
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                No.

                You have one case: you add a transaction cost. This increases the cost of doing business. If you can do business elsewhere without that cost, and if the cost of moving is not too great, you pack up and move. I’m not entirely certain that Jason’s correct in his estimation of those two “if”s, but that’s certainly a reasonable position.

                You have a second case: you remove “bailouts” (say, by Constitutional Amendment to make sure everybody knows You Really Mean Business). Your position is that this massively increases risk for those businesses, so they’ll go somewhere else. Well, it’s certainly the case that it massively increases risk, since they can’t offload it to the taxpayer any more, but the “go somewhere else” is predicated on “they can find somewhere else to go where they have a reasonable guarantee of still getting bailouts.”

                I don’t find that to be a very likely proposition. Thus, your equivalence is bad; supporting “no transaction costs” and “no bailouts” isn’t contradictory.Report

              • Avatar clawback in reply to Pat Cahalan
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                Taking away a significant incentive for them to stay certainly does make it more likely they would move, other things being equal. After all, why would they be here if not for the prospect of bailouts, given the crushing tax and regulatory burden the right says we have here?Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to clawback
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                I think transactions taxes and corporate welfare are both bad bargains in the long run, albeit for slightly different reasons.Report

              • Avatar clawback in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                But the only reason you’ve cited for opposing transaction taxes is the fear they would send the financial sector scurrying overseas, a fear that would also apply to ending corporate welfare. So I suppose your “slightly different reasons” for opposing corporate welfare are significant enough that you’re willing to risk emptying out Manhattan to do it.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                Corporate welfare has proven a bad bargain lately, hasn’t it? We still have the corporations, but not their wealth.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                Detroit needed a kickinthepants.
                Here’s hoping they hire some engineers againReport

              • Avatar MFarmer in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                Hell, yeah, those greedy capitalist bastards will move to Kenya if they think they can make an extra buck or two. The only way we’ll ever beat the SOBs is to confiscate their wealth, prevent them from leaving the US, then place them under the control of a government committee which manages the finances. Although, to paraphrase Stalin, they are just overpaid clerks, so we could just nationalize the largest companies and plug in a clerk to manage the books.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to MFarmer
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                tis so much easier to destroy than create. and much more profitable too! I don’t mind greedy capitalists, I mind the mindless, soul-eating destruction.Report

              • Avatar Creon Critic in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                Jason, well there are quality of life factors involved as well, housing, schooling, family, amenities, cultural differences. This Economist piece is about London versus Geneva and Zurich, but it cold very well be about New York versus Singapore. Theoretically, making a lot of money eases transitions, but these other considerations count too.

                When I lived in the UK this is precisely the argument hedge fund managers in the media were using against activists – don’t be too hard on us or regulate us too closely, we’ll up sticks and move to Switzerland. Well a financial transactions tax is only one component of a larger strategy. The overall idea is to have a concerted effort cross nationally, greater regulatory cooperation, more harmonized mechanisms for scrutiny and transparency, and so forth. Cross national effort have been made to strengthen regimes on tracking funds and tax evasion, why not more effort to reign in the worst excesses of high finance?Report

              • Avatar E.C. Gach in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                I think this get’s at the larger problem of global rules.

                I think a transaction fee is a good idea in principle, but unless the major economies of the world signed on to some base amount that they would all implement, it wouldn’t work in practice.

                The same problem that individual states have of chasing investment/jobs by slashing taxes and regulations is happening now with capital and labor at the global level. Unfortunately, the insitutions at that level are still horrible at coordinating policy.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kimmi
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          Psych! There are already “taxes” (herein called fines) on many trades in America. They’re small (and sometimes unenforced).Report

    • Avatar MFarmer in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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      “On the one hand, I hear them say: End the fed, end “too big to fail,” end the corporate bailouts, end the corporate welfare. I’d cheer for every bit of that. I might have to ask where all the protests were when Obama was bankrolling the crony capitalists in 2009. But better late than never.”

      I’m all for this too, but the motives to make these changes are what I question, because I suspect they’re promoting something much worse to replace what they demand to be ended.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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      ITTA with the policy part of th3is. This is why I see little advantage to their specifying demands at this point, or at any particular point. Their point is that they’re in rough shape. That could be argued, but it’s their point. And it arguably doesn’t matter; there are a lot of people in legitimately rough shape out there who would not say that their interests of views are being misrepresented by this group. The free market economy is meant, by at least some of its advocates, to serve everyone’s interests better than any other system would, though not everyone’s equally. Well, what we’ve seen here is a moment where the system has flagged in its ability to deliver the rate of improvement to everyone, while maintaining that for a few. The result is going to be a reaction of some kind. There is nothing principled in this. they didn’t like corporate welfare in 2009, but in 2009 the recession hadn’t taken hold, and a jobless recovery had not yet descended. Austerity had not been voted into office in 2010. Further entrenchment of austerity was not staring people in the face as far as their political eyes can see. People are just materially scared and angry. They do not have solutions. A financial trasnaction tax, besides having the effect you describe, would just be a ridicuous demand for these people to have. Their demand should be one simple thing: Solve these problems. Reestablish prosperity. Treat that like the only problem that matters. Will that resolve the eight-decade civil war between Keynesians and supply-siders? No it will not. But it may remind the belligerents about the stakes. That, as Matt Yglesias points out, is probably the ceiling for what this can do. It is what they should focus on. They don’t have anything to offer as a group to the discussion itself. the discussion should proceed along rational lines; in that format, Mike Konczal can submit his ideas along with anyone else, and it shouldn’t help him one way or the other that there are a few hundred people assembled in front of Brooks Brothers.

      As to democracy, it’s true that we didn’t directly discuss this aspect of democracy in considering the role of popular democracy in determining actions of the state. But was our discussion at all exclusive of this? I’m not sure how we’re rendered foolish to have discussed democracy in the terms we did without making specific reference to this kind of activity. It seems to me like this is just a particular part of the larger whole we were discussing: persuasion and symbolic communication. Maybe a few arrests for insisting on being in place X when they want you to move and have the law on their side. This certainly is what democracy looks like from time to time in my mind. That changes whole equation? Wow. I can’t see it. Am I missing something in what RM at The Economist saw happen on the bridge? Moreover, isn’t this also what liberalism looks like? this is exactly what liberalism seeks to protect, isn’t it? Not the technical lawbreaking, but the assembling; the petitioning? Is this bit of disobedience of official demands really such a dealbreaker?

      I must be missing something.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        I definitely need to give Jason some space now, and probably take a Sullivanesque breather from this place altogether for a while, but it just so happens I ran across a beautifully balancing DiA post from Bloggingheads superstar and former Kuznicki colleague W.W. that almost perfectly captures my general attitude toward this thing, if not (obviously) all my thoughts and feelings about it (and I have to say that as far apart as our views on political philosophy might be, I really dig his approach to life when he’s not discussing those things, and when he expresses something in harmony with my thoughts, it’s usually as if he mindmelded with me and wrote Song Without Music that perfectly captures the vibrations in my mind on the topic – and so it is here): http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-0Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew
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        I need to give Jason some space at this point, and for my own good I should probably take a Sullivanesque break from this place altogether for a while, but I just so happened to run across this DiA post that nicely balances the one Jason links to above. It’s by Bloggingheads superstar and former Kuznicki collaegue W.W., and it almost perfectly expresses my general attitude toward this thing, though not, obviously all of my more prosaic thoughts and feelings about it. I’ll just add that, however much I differ with Will on political philosophy, I really dig his general approach to life, at least as far as he represents it in his writing, and when he happens to express an attitude that is in harmony with one of mine, more often than not it’s as if he’d mindmelded with me and composed a Song Without Music from my exact sentiments that was crafted to bring them out into the world so they can be seen for exactly what they feel like inside my skull – as he has done here:

        http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-0Report

  9. Avatar Hume
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    http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-for-occupy-wall-st-moveme/

    Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

    Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

    Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

    Demand four: Free college education.

    Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

    Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

    Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.

    Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

    Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

    Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

    Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

    Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

    Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

    These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.Report

  10. Avatar Hume
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    says:

    whenever there’s a problem, matt and trey have an answer…

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/154845/lazy-hippiesReport

  11. Avatar NoPublic
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    Every one of you has bought into the narrative fiction of the protests. You know they’re unfocused and ineffective because you’ve been told they are. Yes they have their “protest anything” folks. So did the Tea Party. Heck, they dragged along UFO conspirators and flat out racists and somehow they were coherent and powerful. Baaaaa.Report

    • Avatar MFarmer in reply to NoPublic
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      Then enlighten us so that we aren’t duped by the media.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to NoPublic
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      … you’re buying into the narrative fiction of the Tea Party.
      sucker.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to NoPublic
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      That remains to be seen. If they continue to grow and gain protestors and momentum they’ll be the Tea Party of the left and I’ll be cautiously delighted. If they stay the same size or fizzle out they’ll be just another leftwing hipster spasm and I’ll be cynically unsurprised.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to NoPublic
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      As has been said frequently lately the Tea Party got scalps. (even in the face of shooting itself in the foot wrt larger Republican party electoral interests).

      When this movement replaces a politician with someone more to their liking – particularly if both are on the same Team – I’ll give them due consideration.

      (like I give credit to the coalition that kicked out Al Wynn and replaced him with Donna Edwards in the Maryland 4th.)Report

      • Avatar NoPublic in reply to Kolohe
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        By the time the Tea Party had nominated let alone elected anyone they were already “reckoned” a political force. You’ve retconned the whole thing to fit your bias against the OWS folk.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to NoPublic
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          I didn’t give the tea party any consideration until the special election in the NY 23th. Prior to that I thought they were just Dick Armey scheme to co-opt the Ron Paul movement.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kolohe
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            … Koch’s scheme. astroturf. lookitup.Report

            • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Kimmi
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              The Koch’s give $5M and it is a – to quote your vernacular – FUCKING catastrophe! George Soros gives $500M and it doesn’t even cause a blip on your radar? The Tea Party has raised awareness of issues, Moveon bought itself a presidency. Soros has doubled his net worth since his boy Obama has been in office, while most of the rest of the world has been going broke. What does this tell you? Assuming you have an IQ over 100 that is?

              AFP is 1/100th the size of Moveon.org – the conflict here is that they apparently are so successful for such little expense.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to wardsmith
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                Soros gives how much to an organization that I don’t associate with, think is rather stupid, and isn’t doing a good job? Somehow I doubt you can substantiate that one — Soros seemed smarter than that.

                I’m sorry, am I no longer allowed to call people out on bullshit? You may like the teaparty, I may not — that’s fine. It just gets on my nerves when people treat them like they’re grassroots, when they’re not.

                Did you applaud the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy of the Arkansas Group too? I don’t give a dilly.

                Ran into moveon way back in 2004ish or so. Don’t believe Soros was funding it. Didn’t contribute either — too poor.

                Is this “moveon bought a presidency” related to “acorn stole the election”? Just a bit more softpedaled?

                Problem with rightwingers: always jumping like a skeered cat in a room of rockin’ chairs.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Kimmi
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                You bring up Koch and I’m not allowed to call BS? I bring up Soros and add links and the best you can do is your usual…

                Try a link or two there Kimmi, try a brain cell or three. Or do you relish your status here as resident clown and bomb thrower too much to add to the collective IQ?

                The Koch’s did NOT invent the Tea Party. ONE person made one comment taken out of context in a New Yorker article and the left was off to the races with a new meme. You clearly don’t know one person who has ever been to a Tea Party event of any kind. I do. Much as you hate it, these are just regular folks leading regular lives who are (correctly) calling bullshit on a gov’t that has gotten too big, too tone deaf, too spendthrift and too unresponsive to the will of the people.

                The best you and the left can do about this is call them racist, question their funding and cast any and all aspersions you can dream up. Pure Alinsky methods all.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to wardsmith
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                wardsmith,
                apparently you think that I get this from some liberal blogosphere, or something.
                Couldn’t be farther from the truth.

                But hell, paying attention to the people you’re talking to might take a pinch of work on your part.

                Your links are bullcrap. Next you’ll be saying that Soros runs Wikileaks and Anonymous too.

                Blue bells! It’s like you think the Tea Party accomplished something by getting Reid reelected.

                My links? My sources? My sources are private correspondence.

                And what, should I applaud the Koch’s electing a dumb-as rocks governor in Wisconsin, simply because even the police won’t follow his order to remove the protesters (they went on strike too, as I recall)?

                It’s not that I mind Koch’s politics, so much as I mind his stupidity and ignorance and how that reflects on his strategic policy. [you did catch me repping Carnegie. I ain’t anti-capitalist.]Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Kimmi
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                @Kimmi, The Kim persona was far more interesting, that one could at least feign intelligence concerning neurology. This one is too oblique, too stuck in blogsphere jargon and too enamored of him/herself to make for an interesting read. Long story short, I don’t find your posts that interesting and you’ll apparently be shocked to discover I haven’t read them all, therefore don’t know your obfuscated secret positions.

                The Koch TP meme as counterpoint to the well-known, well-documented Soros Democrat meme is interesting but has no real legs in reality. The Koch’s run a business and are therefore exposed far more than Soros who is an investor and futures manipulator. You can’t boycott Soros in other words.

                Soros has taken other moves recently including kicking out his investors so he is no longer required to fill out troublesome documentation on his “gifts” to the Democrats.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Kimmi
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                If we put Soros and the Koch brothers together in The Fly’s teleportation machine, would we get The Ultimate Political Cabalist, or The Ultimate Philanthropist?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kimmi
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                says:

                Pat,
                you want the Kochs’ father if you want ultimate anything… The brothers are not nearly smart enough to get you the Ultimate anything…Report

          • Avatar NoPublic in reply to Kolohe
            Ignored
            says:

            Aren’t you special. Nonetheless, the “Lamestream Media” was trumpeting their influence and American-ness long before they so much as stumped for a freaking dogcatcher.Report

  12. Avatar Jerry Corley
    Ignored
    says:

    I think it’s about time the people started to exercise their desire to let it be known that they are fed up with the corporate greed in this country. When Bank of America receives the largest bailout from the TARP funds of $48 billion, and reciprocates by being absolute worst at helping homeowners modify their loans to stay in their homes, there needs to be some sort of uprising. It’s just the tip of the iceberg and I hope they grow and continue to express themselves, but I hope they stay focused and true to the reasons this needs to be addressed.Report

    • Avatar George T in reply to Jerry Corley
      Ignored
      says:

      Bank of America isn’t displaying “corporate greed”, it’s struggling to survive. It’s going to lay off about 30,000 employees and still might tank.

      We can declare war on teh corporation, and we’ll of course win and then stand in a soup line for years.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to George T
        Ignored
        says:

        BoA deserves to fucking DIE. Do I really need to go all Consumerist on your behind? They have a pattern of forgetting to pay people’s taxes or insurance, thus causing people to lose their houses through no fault of their own.

        This is bad behavior, and in a truly free market, would be fucking driven out of business.Report

  13. Avatar dhex
    Ignored
    says:

    one of the central problems of the critique of these occupy wall st folk *and* the tea party folk is that it expects expressions of incoherent rage to have coherent form. of course they’re incoherent, they’re populist – it’s a million feet dragging in different directions.Report

    • Avatar George T in reply to dhex
      Ignored
      says:

      I wouldn’t compare the two that simply. The Tea Party folks have a much easier task staying coherent, and are much better at it, because they’re arguing that we have to cut up the credit cards and stop spending so much. The Occupy Wall Street folks are arguing for more spending (and of course they’ll never agree on exactly what to spend more on, but each one will have a complicated plan that’s different from the others) mixed with a denunciation of capitalism (drawing from a century of drooling Marxist critiques and incoate notions).

      Then they have to tiptoe around criticism of the Obama administrations massive bailout programs, or that almost all of Obama’s advisors (except for Van Jones) are Wall Street insiders. It’s like the social-activist elements of Obama’s cabinet are declaring war on the fat-cat insider part of his cabinet, while trying to hide the fact that they’re all cabinet members who don’t want to point to the elephant in the room.Report

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