Overweening Generalist

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Few Occupy Wall Street-Related Vids

Keith Olbermann reads what seems to be the first official statement from Occupy Wall Street, HERE.

Not exactly a bunch of hippies, or doctrinaire SDS types (although I bet there's a handful there). Here's a fairly "lamestream media" insider - who's on Fox sometimes! - who talks about her personal revelations about Occupy Wall Street. Not even a Weather Underground person in sight. (Yet? I hope not. I hope it doesn't get to that point, but who among us thinks it almost inevitable? Aye...That's a Q that deserves some pondering.) This viddy is just over 6 minutes:

This one's 1:28secs. Make sure you wait till around 1:00, for what I will caption, "If they have no bread, let them eat cake!"

Actor Mark Ruffalo, from Olbermann's show on Oct 5th. He's not the most articulate actor-activist, but he's emotionally engage here. 7 mins:

Finally, what would the OG be without Noam weighing in? From two days ago, 5 mins:


ARW23 said...

Apropos Keith Olbermann - he will be on the Wall Street today to support the protest.

I'd like Paul Krugman as the director of Federal Reserve and Bernie Sanders as the prez of the USA, and the list goes on for the REAL change.

Shall we be able to replace all the gangsters with some new people?

D. Heath said...

I don't even understand why the Wall Street banks felt the need to openly mock the protesters.
Wouldn't that give the protesters more motivation?

michael said...

@D. Heath: I wondered about that scenario also. Maybe they really were mocking the protesters. If so, why? Because in their reality tunnels it was interesting to see a bunch of freaks who think they can make change?

In some sociological theories, we take on roles, sometimes without realizing it, and the roles start to colonize our previous "selves" and become part of who we "are." So, when push comes to shove and the previously silent and angry disenfranchised show their anger - their "roles" as the Dispossesed - the monied elite find their roles expressed in a hypertophy, such as acting out the sort of Marie Antoinette dealio.

I don't know. My first reaction was "They've got to be kidding."

Worse though, along those lines: Trump saying the protesters are there to pick up dates. Herman Cain telling reporters, "Don't be mad at bankers and rich people. If you're not rich it's your own fault. Get out and work!" Etc. There are many more examples.

Ross Wolfe said...

One of the most glaring problems with the supporters of Occupy Wall Street and its copycat successors is that they suffer from a woefully inadequate understanding of the capitalist social formation — its dynamics, its (spatial) globality, its (temporal) modernity. They equate anti-capitalism with simple anti-Americanism, and ignore the international basis of the capitalist world economy. To some extent, they have even reified its spatial metonym in the NYSE on Wall Street. Capitalism is an inherently global phenomenon; it does not admit of localization to any single nation, city, or financial district.

Moreover, many of the more moderate protestors hold on to the erroneous belief that capitalism can be “controlled” or “corrected” through Keynesian-administrative measures: steeper taxes on the rich, more bureaucratic regulation and oversight of business practices, broader government social programs (welfare, Social Security), and projects of rebuilding infrastructure to create jobs. Moderate “progressives” dream of a return to the Clinton boom years, or better yet, a Rooseveltian new “New Deal.” All this amounts to petty reformism, which only serves to perpetuate the global capitalist order rather than to overcome it. They fail to see the same thing that the libertarians in the Tea Party are blind to: laissez-faire economics is not essential to capitalism. State-interventionist capitalism is just as capitalist as free-market capitalism.

Nevertheless, though Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy [insert location here] in general still contains many problematic aspects, it nevertheless presents an opportunity for the Left to engage with some of the nascent anti-capitalist sentiment taking shape there. So far it has been successful in enlisting the support of a number of leftish celebrities (Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Susan Sarandon, Naomi Klein, Cornel West), prominent unions, and young activists, and has received a lot of media coverage. Hopefully, the demonstrations will lead to a general radicalization of the participants’ politics, and a commitment to the longer-term project of social emancipation.

To this end, I have written up a rather pointed Marxist analysis of the OWS movement so far that you might find interesting:

“Reflections on Occupy Wall Street: What It Represents, Its Prospects, and Its Deficiencies”