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  1. #11
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Idealist View Post
    OWS is still going on? Huh, I thought it died out weeks ago (or at the very least has lost all media coverage).

    To be honest, OWS wasn't going to go anywhere in the first place. In fact, I wrote an essay of the whole accont not to long ago in my blog; I think I'll post it to cover any relevant facts concerning the topic of this thread:
    Here was my blog entry http://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/message-to-ows/ (originally an e-mail to the organizaion, and I also posted it on their forum; but never got any answers):

    I have been applauding the movement, because it is about time people finally started getting wise to the economic imbalance of the economy, and stopped blaming the poor, as the conservatives had actually been doing, an without much rebuttal, until now.

    Still, I see the typical conservative responses being hurled at the movement, which is that:
    •the rich “earned” all they have
    •no one has any right to criticize how much someone else makes
    •you’re just trying to get the government to institute socialist control over the nation
    •if you want more money, just “work harder” like they did
    •complainers are all “whiners” who are too “lazy” to get a job
    •occupiers are all living in their parents’ house and out of work

    Even liberal papers like the NY Daily News I see printing cartoons insinuating this stuff.

    At the same time, one of the big charges is that the movement has no clear message.

    What I’ve come to see as the heart of the issue, and which should be used to respond to these conservative claims, is, (to borrow from the Zeitgeist film) the illusion of scarcity this entire economic system operates off of.
    It’s like we have this competitive system, where there seems to be only so much money, and it has to be divided in a fashion where those at the top have most of it (and then these people’s defenders blame the poor, unions, government regulations, etc. for “burdening” them, and thus as it were “forcing” them to take the jobs elsewhere).
    However, the way they’re living is not one of scarcity; it’s one of abundance; ridiculous “money to burn” abundance, but the system they are running makes it seem like it is scarce, as it is in fact scarce for everyone else. [The conservative response that giving the rich more will create a "bigger pie" is a de-facto acknowledgment of a notion of scarcity. The debate is on whether that is true, or who is really to blame for there being such an apparently small pie].

    So the issue is not about “rights”, and “legality” of “private ownership”; but about the line they are feeding us (through their conservative mouthpieces and defenders), that there is no money for anyone else (and it is all our fault for not “working hard enough” like they did; as if there was really so little money that one had to be a CEO to live decently). And then blaming other groups for eating up all the money.

    Then there’s the argument, like in this article: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=47712 that the rich all “deserve” all they have, because they are making their living “pleasing their fellow man”. So again, it’s all in the character of the person (as usual). This illusion of scarcity is even highlighted by the defense many give, that the CEO’s often had to work 20 or more hours a day (or up to a hundred or more hours a week) to get where they are. Some will even chide the workers “you work your 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week and then go home, yet you want more for nothing”.
    Yet those extended hours are not normal, and in fact not healthy (for themselves, physically, or for their relationships). The 8 hour day and 40 hour week (with 8 hours of rest) was settled on because it was the most conducive to health.
    But now, the extended hours, in these arguments, are being made the standard, or what’s normal or the basic reqirement, for “success”, or even to keep your head above the water. Just working the normal hours is being called “lazy” even!

    Thus, it operates on a devaluing of everyone else’s work and service. It’s like if one is not a top executive or entertainer, they haven’t “earned” a decent living! Then, we tell them “just work harder” or assume that the complaints are a coming from people who just want “something for nothing” (govt. handouts).

    But all of this holds only under a severe case of scarcity. Like the Ice Age, where there just isn’t enough for everybody, and only the strongest who scramble the hardest can gain enough to survive decently.
    (Does anyone think, why is this the model of success in modern day America?)

    But wealth is not really that scarce. All of this is only justification for it being increasingly concentrated.
    To sum it up, the illusion of scarcity is an excuse for “civilized” humans to revert to the ‘law of the jungle’, for their own maximum convenience, and at everyone else’s expense (which they are then made to blame on others, including those lower than they!)

    THIS is the theme I believe the movement should now focus on. (And the battle should become more rhetorical, as this is how the Right has successfully swayed the nation for decades (The silence or lack of focus on the other side being the ultimate proof to them that they are ‘right’), and the whole parks thing seems to have run its course as the “occupied” are now using it to make themselves the victims, get the police to become more violent, and confirm their above charges).

    Another good direction to go in, is a better idea of a solution. Like do we really think government is the answer, when (as most of us are probably aware) the corporations have all gained the power they have through government, and often buy out politicians? But more govt. is what everyone assumes we want).
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Elisius's Avatar
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    The OWS movement is about class consciousness, making others aware of exactly what is going on in the USA today. A declaration that our democracy is not for sale and a vow to take it back from the plutocratic hands of the corporations and their lobbyists.
    A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Here was my blog entry http://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/message-to-ows/ (originally an e-mail to the organizaion, and I also posted it on their forum; but never got any answers):
    I concur with the whole premise of your essay. Although I have heard others say that by allowing greater means of tansfering money to the rich via capitalistic process enables them to further spur investment in economic areas that would eventually come around to benefit the poor and middle class. However I'm skeptical of this givin that I have yet to see any concrete evidence that can fully support it. Overall though, yeah the rich (i mean the super rich) have too damn much and if they aren't cycling that money into the main bulk of society for the good of it, then certain measures need to be taken to ensure that they give their fair share.

  4. #14
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    The conservatives will claim that it takes time to undo all the damage decades of liberal interference has caused, and thus that those measures of trying to get them to give more are the problem in the first place. (Though they don't allow time to undo Bush and his predecessors' damage as an excuse for Obama, though)
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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I was happy with OWS up until I kept hearing participants say "we don't want to create a party and we won't negotiate with parties" along with not having leadership. That made their protests obviously pointless. They drew the attention, but apparently refused to do anything practical with it. Now while the thoughts of the protest linger, they just have to pray someone else takes advantage of it and makes something happen.
    My views on the occupy movement too.

    In Belfast the occupy movement has occupied a derelict former HQ of one of the major banks which the ROI in particular is rescuing from debt, although from my understanding they are a lot of them homeless and now living there, others are renovating and cleaning the place and planning to use it as office space for producing leaflets or something like that for their little organisations.

    The occupy groups here profess a pretty niche ideology too, refined post-modernist anarchism or something.

    I can understand anyone saying that OWS is demotivating, the OP is spot on, a lot of things like this, even as far back as the original battle of seattle and the support there once was for the Zapatistas (who were more interesting and clever than a lot of people realise, I wonder to this day too if they were agitprop or something by the US government or just like no uprising seen before, their leader continually cited Don Quixote and kept hinting that the idea of revolution was tilting at windmills) were the same.

    It all seems like a lifestyle affair, like choosing gigs to go to, any threat to the status quo gets co-opted some how.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Idealist View Post
    I concur with the whole premise of your essay. Although I have heard others say that by allowing greater means of tansfering money to the rich via capitalistic process enables them to further spur investment in economic areas that would eventually come around to benefit the poor and middle class. However I'm skeptical of this givin that I have yet to see any concrete evidence that can fully support it. Overall though, yeah the rich (i mean the super rich) have too damn much and if they aren't cycling that money into the main bulk of society for the good of it, then certain measures need to be taken to ensure that they give their fair share.
    Depends how you determine share, they'll say that they dont use any of the social goods taxes are spent on, wether its services or public paths and street lighting.

    The thing about money in the economy, circulating, is that poor people or people who've been poor but now have money, usually public employees actually, is that they spend money, often as soon as they have it, while rich people who make even more money are less inclined to do anything other than save it. There's no trickle down or externalities of an indirectly beneficial kind associated with rich people saving money. Although there is nothing intrinsically unfair about that.

    There's not even any way in which rich people could buy social goods, like street lighting, these days because most of the rich have specialised in removing themselves from public life or society generally per se or they've gotten together with others like them for that purpose, so they'll individually or within their community of rich people pay for street lighting but no risk of anyone whose likely to be considered a free loader accidentially benefiting. Who thinks like that? Seriously? Still, its how it is.

  7. #17
    Crazy Diamond Billy's Avatar
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    You think OWS is lame you should see Occupy Yale New Haven Green... utterly pathetic. Protesting their Mommy and Daddies money I guess.
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  8. #18
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Who cares if it's not forming a party?

    If the problem centers around the way money is structurally organized within the political system then how would working within that system change anything?

    The goal is awareness building and eventually gathering enough momentum to demand that votes matter more than money does. This is not a party thing. Republicans should be just as pissed as Democrats and as Libertarians that the government bailed out corps too big to fail . . . it's got nothing to do with parties and everything to do with systemic structural problems.
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  9. #19
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Who cares if it's not forming a party?

    If the problem centers around the way money is structurally organized within the political system then how would working within that system change anything?

    The goal is awareness building and eventually gathering enough momentum to demand that votes matter more than money does. This is not a party thing. Republicans should be just as pissed as Democrats and as Libertarians that the government bailed out corps too big to fail . . . it's got nothing to do with parties and everything to do with systemic structural problems.
    Interacting with the system and working within it are two different things.

    Attracting attention and increasing awareness are only the first part of a combo.
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  10. #20
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Who cares if it's not forming a party?

    If the problem centers around the way money is structurally organized within the political system then how would working within that system change anything?

    The goal is awareness building and eventually gathering enough momentum to demand that votes matter more than money does. This is not a party thing. Republicans should be just as pissed as Democrats and as Libertarians that the government bailed out corps too big to fail . . . it's got nothing to do with parties and everything to do with systemic structural problems.
    Exactly.
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