Friday, October 14, 2011

Quick Note to the Occupy Whatever Folks

Are things in the toilet right now? Yes.

Do the heads of major corporations, banks, and manufacturers get an unfair safety net? Yes.

Does the government lag in its response to the needs of the average citizen? Yes.

Is there a fair amount of hypocrisy in how the rich are treated compared to the rest? Yes.

Is everything the fault of stockbrokers, CEOs, politicians, and so on? No.

Are all those people in the so-called "1%" uncaring a-holes? No.

Did those bailouts just save the owners and stakeholders? No.

Can all of what's wrong be changed by calling for the dismantling the entire system? Hell no.

I respect what you're doing, protesters, because the message needs to be sent that the folks on Wall Street and Bay Street and the City and so on. The message they need to hear is that what goes on in their bubbles affects all of us greatly out here in the real world. Some have realized this, others, not so much. So keep on doing what you're doing, you've got all the justification in the world.

But please, please don't tell me that everyone who makes money off the stock markets or works in the banking system or is an open capitalist is somehow immoral, evil, and destroyed your life. That is utter bullshit.

I'm not suggesting this is what most of you are saying, but there's a rather significant number of you who need to appreciate that everyone else here is human too. There's a good possibility that I'm biased because my own family is well off thanks to a legacy of well-managed investments and business ownership - but you can't tell me my grandfather is a capitalist pig, and somehow expect me to support you.

Everyone just wants to survive. Some do it at the expense of others, and that's got to change. The gap does need to be closed, taxes do need to be collected, and yes, every person deserves full access to healthcare. Just don't go overboard on it, OK?

9 comments:

  1. I strongly disagree. Most of the richest of the rich are indeed uncaring a-holes, most of the CEO's are overpaid, most of the people who work the system for money without working are immoral, and evil. "All" anything is false, but most is certaily true.

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  2. Volkov, "Can all of what's wrong be changed by calling for the dismantling the entire system? Hell no."

    Seriously? Who's calling for dismantling the entire system? A significant number, or just those the media tends to promote in order to discredit the movement?

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  3. Teddy,

    That's an unfair assumption about people you don't know, but if it be your opinion, so be it.

    Christian,

    When I speak of the "system," I speak about the current economic system, right. And there are certainly a good amount of people that I have personally talked and argued with this over who have taken part in these Occupy protests as well as prior protests of a similar nature, so I know they're there.

    Yes, I know they're a minority. But use enough rhetoric and let enough nuts take over and bankroll the operation, and you got yourself a takeover. Look what happened to the Tea Party - they did have a good point or two when they started. Now they're just mostly conservative shrills, and those that aren't have ended up defined by it.

    I'd hate to see this happen to the Occupy protests. Yes, 'tis partly the media's fault, but don't hate the players, hate the game - let the nuts get too much attention and the media will focus there. Keep focus on the good, sane aspects of what's going on.

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  4. But Volkov, how can anyone control who the media chooses to highlight? Let's face it, the media ignored OWS until they no longer could. And they are still mocking them.

    If a reporter approaches a crowd of 10 or 20,000 people and focuses on the 10 who say outrageous things, how could anyone possibly have control over that?

    Again, as far as dismantling the system goes, your acquaintances aside, most folks want to reform the system, not erase it entirely. Big difference.

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  5. Your analysis lacks depth and simplifies an issue that the protesters, despite their portrayal in the media, are no simplifying in such a manner. Examine the progressive movement which occurred about a century ago in response to the need for anti-trust laws, the Progressives were reacting to a fundamental problem in the social and economic relations. And that is what is happening here. The large financial organizations are increasingly functioning outside the law, and governments are increasingly framing the range of "possible" policies at the behest of those institutions. The collusion that exists between large capital and government no constitutes a kind of "neo-fascism" or what the analyst Bertram Gross once called 'Friendly Fascism." This collusion creates a situation in which the system is de facto serving a small, rich and powerful group of people. And this doesn't even address the fact that a group of US bankers have actually been guilty of large-scale fraud and are not being help responsible for that fraud. It is not the nuts who are getting too much attention, it is the criminals who are getting no attention. When the revolution in France was drawing closer, it could have easily been avoided with the enactment of some basic democratic reforms and some efforts to weed out the corruption that had become endemic in the aristocratic system. The "system" as you call it was salvageable but the recalcitrance fo the elite tipped the system over the edge into revolution. The same could have happened in the 1930s if economic elites had not been pushed into the creation of the welfare state. The time has come for an economic system as if people matter, and if it doesn't happen then the results could be catastrophic.

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  6. kirby.

    I'm not interested in the ideological and historical arguments for whatever right now... my point is that the Occupy protesters can't let everything get carried away. They're on the right course, but there is more than a few nuts out there.

    Christian,

    Sorry, but I dislike the media-bashing. The fact is that the media follows the story that will generate the most news, and the most news out of these protests will be that it's a broad movement with a few crazies in it, plus how it affects those on the other side of the argument.

    It's a vicious circle and the media aren't angels, but it's what people want to see. They wouldn't tune in otherwise.

    And how does one control it? By keeping control of the message. Those 10 want to hijack it. Can't let them, can you?

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  7. I worked Security near the protest. Everyone from the protest that I met was as polite to me as I was to them.

    I highly doubt some entitled executive would be polite to me

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  8. Riding by Riding maybe you just haven't met them. Because it is prejudice to think that all protesters are nice or that all business people are nice too. Or vice versa. I think these occupy wall street is doing something good for America and hopefully bring America back from the Tea Party insanity.

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  9. Of course this is the exception of those radical few who are doing this for all the wrong reasons. But they are a small minority. It is like the Hab games in Montreal. Some people go crazy, but it is not all the fans that do it. Most celebrate quite calmly.

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