There Is No Plan

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Occupying Wall Street – There Clearly Is No Plan

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Nobody with a heart can deny the universally insidious, corrosive, parasitic, and indeed cannibalistic nature of Wall Street. I believe it is actually the second biggest threat to Civilization – after Global Warming – to which it has handily contributed. But relying on a sparse, face-painting mob of earth muffins to lead the charge is inviting disdain. Wall Street has only been silenced once before – and that was by Government as a result of Wall Street Crash and associated Depression, a charge led by an erstwhile establishment figure, FDR, who quite literally invited its hatred. You can’t destroy a hydra like Wall Street without a concerted, government inspired dose of reverse-engineered Machiavellianism.

Throughout history, the incoherent mob has achieved precious little, despite its penchant for placards, slogans, brick-tossing, flat-screen stealing and noise. It can be a tool of change in the hands of the strong, and focused, as Gandhi + MLK to an extent showed – in combination with a concurrent push by Government in line with awareness and will to act on a historical watershed, or a clear and profound injustice like post-slavery psuedo-legislation in the Slave States or women’s suffrage – but it lacks the brainpower to be the instigator.

Without the right positioning and appeal to the wider majority of fence-sitters, this kind of “boots on the ground” activism can be, and often is, counter-productive. In a case like this, the first blow must be a good one. Because, in the facile, media-swilling, superficial echo-chamber world we live in now, your first shot defines you. The Wall Street Occupation has moral outrage on its side, and should have the support of most Americans. The fact that it doesn’t suggests that it hasn’t exploited even a fraction of the political tools at its disposal.

Finally, I believe that political activism has a new and more powerful friend than the mob. The hacker.  If you’re going to take on Wall Street, don’t shoot your wad with something that the champagne-swillers on the balcony can smirk at from above. Hack the computers they sit at. Hack their bank accounts. Hack their trading models. Hack the exchanges. Bring the system to a standstill the right way. If someone from IT had shown up behind the smug traders on that balcony and said, “guys, you’d better come and see this”, they’d snort those bubbles faster than you can say “You’re fucked, mate”.

We need to take a lesson from Wikileaks. Because when Wall Street leaks, it leaks money. And that’s something that the rich really hate.


Written by coolrebel

September 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Posted in Washington

2 Responses

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  1. Very interesting response, especially from a student activist. Here are my counters.

    1. Comparing the women's suffrage + civil right movements to this one puts aside the clear injustice + relatively simple remedy for the former, against the more subjective injustice, and not so simple remedies for the latter. The suffragettes and lunch counter sitters knew exactly what they wanted, and were fighting against real and profound political + social injustice. And what they won was indeed 'exactly' what they wanted. Women got the vote and Blacks got federal protection from Slave state pseudo-legislation.

    2. Economic injustice can't be addressed without a complete overhaul of the 'system'. That's a complex affair, much more fraught than a simple constitutional amendment, or even a legislative suite designed to overcome Jim Crow laws. Not only that but it almost inevitably creates other injustices. Incoherence and leaderlessness are even less useful in this context.

    3. Social revolutions are outdated concepts for a complex civil society with a strong middle class. These people live in a dreamworld of their own making. Their scattershot approach to social justice and 'ending poverty' makes their super-idealistic pronouncements even more laughable.

    4. The strongest point that Angus makes is that these protests bring to the fore, and articulate a sense of hurt that the American people feel about the way that neo-liberal capitalism has let them down. The Tea Party represents the same anger (albeit whipped up by bad guys in expensive suits). Believe me, the American people feel pretty crumby right now. But that's what the ballot box is for, and the legislation that emerges from it. There should be a leader to this movement. He currently sits silently in the Oval Office cutting deals with the enemy.


    October 4, 2011 at 11:35 pm

  2. I understand what you're saying. That was until Angus Johnston humbled me with this intelligent piece.

    Johnston said the following:

    “If you think OWS has no message, you’re just not paying attention.

    The OWS critique of our current national (and global) crisis will continue to unfold. Those discussions are ongoing, in a zillion venues. And I’m not convinced that this movement is any less coherent right now than the suffragists at the turn of the century or the lunch-counter sit-in crowd in the spring of 1960 or the London demonstrators over the last few months.

    And at any rate the crucial task for Occupy Wall Street right now isn’t coherence, any more than it’s the articulation of specific demands. It’s resonance as an idea, as a movement.

    You don’t win by making demands. You win by taking power or by forcing power to bend. Either way your stated demands are peripheral to the outcome — what you demand has only the vaguest relationship to what you win.

    Feel free to disagree with it. But at least it's well-written and gives a intelligent representation of OWS is. We certainly aren't getting perspective in the MSM. Wish they could interview him.

    … And I promise to sign up for Google +. 🙂


    October 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm

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