Monday, October 03, 2011

The Worm in The Big Apple Turns

 David Seaton's News Links
To avoid what we are seeing in New York city... - middle class, university educated demonstrators camped out in the very middle of the world's financial district, questioning the system itself - could be one of the reasons why Wall Streeters, of all people, were such enthusiastic contributors to Barack Obama's campaign for president. Their idea, I imagine, being to harmlessly siphon off  all the progressive energy that the Bush administration had generated into, well... "change we can believe in"... a wise investment that has been paying off for them... up till now.
Two weeks after hundreds of demonstrators rallied one block from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to “occupy Wall Street”, Sarah Kunstler brought her two-year-old son to the park housing the ragtag protesters(...)  "I’ve been waiting for people in this country to get angry enough to come together,” Ms Kunstler said. Calling attention now to “staggering wealth disparity” between rich and poor and “corporate greed” will hopefully produce the kind of movement that will change Washington’s policies, she said. “I don’t want Will to grow up in a world where he measures himself and others by what they have,” she said. “I want a better future for my son.” Financial Times
So, now we have two "fringe", movements, the AstroTurf rebellion, Tea Party... heavily financed by people like the Koch brothers, promoted by Murdoch, reactionary, know-nothing that flowers in an America which murders its citizens without trial by remote control...
And this other thing, this "Occupy Wall Street" thing could be/might be the germ-seed of some sort of spontaneous twitching of what might be a future, human values based incarnation of a re-born American left.
What is at the center of this? Here it is in a nutshell.
Anthony Atkinson, an economist at Oxford University, has studied how several recent financial crises affected income distribution—and found that in their wake, the rich have usually strengthened their economic position. Atkinson examined the financial crises that swept Asia in the 1990s as well as those that afflicted several Nordic countries in the same decade. In most cases, he says, the middle class suffered depressed income for a long time after the crisis, while the top 1 percent were able to protect themselves—using their cash reserves to buy up assets very cheaply once the market crashed, and emerging from crisis with a significantly higher share of assets and income than they’d had before. “I think we’ve seen the same thing, to some extent, in the United States” since the 2008 crash, he told me. “Mr. Buffett has been investing.” - The Atlantic
The Tea Party is a populist, proto-fascist, political goon squad whose mission is protect the back of the "one-percent" and the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is... well... for the moment just is. Standing there waiting for the weather to turn cold and hoping we all of us, everywhere, breathe some life into it.
This thing just might work... Unlike most of the "when you get there, there is no there, there" USA, New York, like Cairo and Madrid has significant, symbolic, public spaces. Wall Street and Brooklyn Bridge are world famous symbols (as were the Twin Towers). Anything that happens there is world news. Those groups that are formed in other American cities should send delegations to New York, because there, to quote Willy Sutton, is "where the money is", that is where the world's attention will be fixed.
For the moment it is a very timid beginning, nothing like the 30,000 + people of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid (you can't really compare it to Cairo's "regime change" square,can you?). Still, it is significant, because it is happening  in The Big Apple. Wall Street is the universal "symbol" of nearly everything that ails the world today.
I repeat, what the demonstrators need is three things:
  1. Company
  2. Company
  3. Company
It would help if Sean Penn and Brangelina showed up, anything to keep America's media-star-crazed attention through just one more news cycle, because this is not, repeat, not, a click your mouse on PayPal moment. This is about going there, if only to hang out for an hour or so, before or after work, like extras in a movie... before digital special effects existed.

Humility, solidarity, those are the key words.

If you are anywhere in the area, try to make to the park where they are staying and help in any way you can. Just being there, only helping it to "look" like a mass movement is useful.

And it is good to remember that the world wont change until the USA does. So it is a privilege for New Yorkers to lead this movement and a privilege for anyone who can afford a plane, train or bus ticket and the time to join them. Go on and make a little history... it's your future. DS

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