Monday, November 21, 2011

United in Disgust

I have been attempting to keep my mouth shut about the OWS phenomenon.  As many people are, I am somewhat confused about their specific objectives.  I am guessing they have some, but apparently with the "movement" scattered all over the nation with no clear leader at the head, objectives can be regional gripes that have nothing to do with Wall Street, but more about the final straw closing of the last Widget factory that packed up it's stuff and moved to Asia.

I am a strong supporter of civil unrest when it is warranted.  Rioting just to riot like after your favorite team won or lost is stupid and I have no sympathy for some drunk who gets his head bashed in after torching someone's Dodge Pick up.  But activities like OWS intrigue me.  Along with the recent rise of the Tea Party, we now have two political populations who have decided that this country is not the place they either remember or they do not like the direction it is headed.  In that respect, the two, the Tea Party and OWS, are untied by a shared disgust with the status quo.

The age old boys club that has ruled as one but pretended to be from two different neighborhoods is extremely nervous.  This makes me smile.  This makes me grin.  To use a tired word coined and almost ruined, the Establishment is being assaulted.  This time not from the just the Left, but from the Right as well.  Both sides have legitimate gripes once one takes the time to weed out the bullshit slogans, soundbites, and fictions fabricated and pushed as truth.  The Power structure made up of government and the private sector should be on everyone's shit list.  Between the two of them they tossed leadership out in favor of pocket lining or securing a stranglehold on the reins of government.  Instead of leading us, they have been bleeding us and now they are being shoved into the light of day from both sides...............About time.




I think they should be doing that in front of Congress.

BBC said...

I am somewhat confused about their specific objectives.

In a nut shell, as I understand it, it's not protesting against capitalism but capitalistic greed.

But they do need to better organize and stop trying to make it a party in tent cities.

That movement can spin off in different directions and could get interesting if they decide anarchy is good and start packing guns.

I'm not opposed to that, I think this government has to topple to build a new one on it's ashes.

But I'm not joining any movements, I'm just a cheerleader with the intent of protecting his property and enjoying interesting times.

But we lived through some good decades, yes?

BBC said...

Anarchy might be good for a man that can turn bikes into doing other useful work.

susan said...

The Tea Party was almost immediately co-opted but it seems safe to say Occupy has changed the conversation to disenfranchisement and inequality.

BBC said...

I think they should be doing that in front of Congress.

D.C. loves protests and movements, they make a lot of money off of all the people going there for such things.

Beach Bum said...

Being that every Tea bagger I personally know bases their membership or support for that organization almost exclusively on an irrational hatered of President Obama I have next to nothing good to say about them.

I am guessing they have some, but apparently with the "movement" scattered all over the nation with no clear leader at the head, objectives can be regional gripes that have nothing to do with Wall Street...

As for the Occupy Movement I have one real concern, with no real leadership or direction I question whether it can make any real impact beyond a few evening news sound bites.

While I do not believe the Tea Baggers were a true grassroots movement at least they had some direction. My fellow liberals have a nasty habit of drifting off to the next cool crusade leaving the last one on teh side of the road like an unwanted puppy.

Randal Graves said...

I like the fact that there's no leadership (except that dog in Colorado) given that leadership usually leads to messes.

People are figuring out that exactly like every other -ism, capitalism is a sham. Whether it sticks to become a stepping stone to the next inevitable -ism failure remains to be seen but being a cynic, I assume not.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Like I said earlier, this is the first 21st century woodstock - a happening. Not much direction so it becomes just a show of general discontent; therefore I don't believe it will make any dramatic change in the way government behaves. I will be impressed if these, mostly young people, occupy the voting booths.
the Ol'Buzzard

Kulkuri said...

The Occupy movement is democracy in action. While it isn't neat and orderly, it is democracy. They have many grievances with the way things are being done in this country. Basically they are fed up with the pure greed at the top and the shafting of the middle class and the poor!!

If the Tea-Baggers hadn't been taken over by Big Money on the Right, they would have a lot in common with the Occupy movement. If they could shift the focus of the Tea-Baggers from hating Obama to confronting the Big Money interests that don't give a shit if they destroy this country as long as they can make a hefty profit!!! Then maybe something would change for the better.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

I think if the OWS crowd could get off its anti-capitalism kick, and realize that the problem is crony capitalism, they would immediately find common ground with the Tea Party.

I'm sorry, but if you want to live in a free country, complaining about income inequality is silly.

MRMacrum said...

YELLOWDOG GRANNY - I think that would have a more benficial effect over the methods they are using now.

BBC - Oh I understand the nutshell version, but the main points raised only seem to be part of the draw for many who are taking part. It is not enough to just say capitalistic greed. If they want more support, they need specifics that can be spoon fed to the rest of us in 30 second soundbites.

We have definitely lived some interesting decades. And from where I sit, it is just going to continue to be interesting.

When the hammer comes down and the grid turns off, the trains stop running and the pumps stop pumping gas, bicycles will be a valuable commodity. I hope to never see it in my life time.

susan - Yeah the Koch bros made the Tea Party their personal pet project. But I do know that many within the ranks are not happy about that.

Beach Bum - Over all, I am not enamored by the Tea Baggers. As a group they seem to be easily led with false accusations and misrepresentations of facts. Lazy constituents. The same could be said of many within the OWS movement. But while the OWS is probably made up of mostly lberal leaning people, I have noticed some I would not consider liberal.

Randal - I think the next ism on the horizon is corporatism. Two Words - "Roller Ball".

Ol'Buzzard - Yeah I hope they vote also.

Kulkiri - I would categorize the OWS movement as more of mob movement at this point. Without clearly defined goals and aspirations other than they are fed up with Corporate shenanigans and want the wealth redistributed more equitably, they are not a democracy in my opinion. Neither is the TEA Party Movement. The only thing they really have in common is a shared disgust with the status quo.

El Cerdo Ignatius - I think you are right. But like the Tea Party, there is automatic resistance to anything that even smells as coming from the other side. They could be a real force to reckon with if someone could organize a hybridized version of the two. Lose the emotional ideology garbage, the social agendas and concentrate on the basics.

The problem with income inequality is if it is not adjusted on a regular basis, it will be adjusted through a complete implosion of the current system. And then everyone loses. It seems to me both sides are being stubbornly stupid.

Tom Harper said...

The original tea partiers -- before they got hijacked by Wall Street and the Koch Brothers -- had a lot in common with OWS. Karl Denninger was one of the founders of the tea party movement. At the time, the tea party's only purpose was to protest the government's bailout of Wall Street. Karl Denninger has lashed out at Tea Party Nation and the Tea Party Patriots and other corporate-funded teabaggers.

Here's the link.

OWS and the original tea partiers need to unite and focus on their common goals.

OWS needs to clean up its act and lose the zany clothing and incoherently scrawled signs. And they need to obey laws and stop taunting police. The police are part of the 99%; OWS is shooting itself in the foot by confronting them.

A columnist (I forget who) was saying OWS should pattern itself after the 1963 March on Washington (where Martin Luther King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech). Everyone was well-dressed, law-abiding and had a simple coherent message.

John Myste said...

The liberal / conservative divide is growing and rapidly, which causes extremists on both sides to be more motivated and to need to splinter off, to the left or to the right of their base.

We have a truly civil war, one in which all blood shed is done so in a non traditionally violent way.

I fear one side must crush the other to settle it.

I guess if the liberals win, I would deal with it. I am open-minded.

If the conservatives win, I will find another country.

Todd Krohn said...

I don't think either social movement is going to lead to revolution. Americans are too zoned out on their social media, "reality" t.v. shows, and other technological distractions.

For all the talk of how social media was going to connect us and lead to social movements, in many ways it's made our lives more insulated: we are "friends" with people who only ever agree with us. We stop "following" people who we disagree with.

Remember what Marx said about religion being the opiate of the masses? Today it's technology, hands down.

Who cares about poverty, inequality and the implosion of the financial system by white-collar thieves and criminals? I've got to keep up with the Kardashians.

MRMacrum said...

Tom Harper - Absolutely, the orignal founders of the Tea Party movement have been shoved aside as the movement was co-opted by private interests and the GOP.

Using MLK's model would do wonders in establishing a more sympathetic movement.

John Myste - I hope you are wrong. But I might be able to handle having the Red States form their own country. Then they can elect any Texas dimwit they want to.

Todd Krohn - Never say never and all that, but barring any real catastophic event or series of events, I agree with you. Americans are too comfortable, too settled, too locked into the trappings of an overfed society. The creature comforts come first before anything else.

We're too lazy to actually do more than talk about change. Any change we experience will most likely happen before most of us even notice.

The Blog Fodder said...

Keep this line of debate going a while longer.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

The problem with income inequality is if it is not adjusted on a regular basis, it will be adjusted through a complete implosion of the current system. And then everyone loses.

Echoing V.I. Lenin, but approaching the issue from the opposite side, Friedrich von Hayek would have asked, "Who, whom?" In other words, who is going to be tasked with "adjusting income inequality on a regular basis"? And to whom would such a practice be applied? Do you want this to become a function of government? The OWS crowd wants this. Why on Earth would a free people want to live in a system where the lowest fonctionnaire in the government has this kind of power over people's incomes?

And just what is going to cause the implosion you speak of if income inequality is not regularly adjusted? Is it social upheaval? Because I don't see anything inherent in income inequality that could cause such a thing to happen. The financial and economic meltdown in 2008, for example, was certainly not caused by income inequality.