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Occupy Wall Street compared to European protests

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GooPC Posted: Sun, Oct 9 2011 1:24 PM

A lot of the Occupy Wall Street people have compared their movement to the Arab Spring. Obviously they are hardly related, the Occupy people want democratic socialism while most Arabs were mostly protesting against dictatorship.

It seems the Occupy people have more in common with European socialists, protesting for free healthcare, free education, living wage, etc. I remember recently protestors in Greece saying that their budget problems should be solved by taxing the right, similar to Occupy protestors’ desire to “eat the rich.”

I was wondering if any of you who have experience with European protests could comment on this.  How similar do the Occupy Wall Street protests look to pro-socialist protests in Europe?

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That's a bit of an unfair comparison. Most of the OWSers are hipster college kid trustafarians and agent provacateurs, while the European protests are not necessarily pro-interventionist in nature (look at all the anti IMF sentiment, for one) and are organized by people actually effected by these crisis.

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Adam Kokesh has a funny video somewhere on youtube.  Now they don't even want to be filmed.  And some are not even directing their message toward anyone.

They are basically just repeating chants in semi-large groups.  Seemingly just to hear themselves louder.  Sometimes very ordinary things and not protest things.

"I have to go to the bathroom."

crowd:  "I have to go the bathroom."

"Right now."

crowd:  "right now."

"Man, where can I get some pizza at?

crowd:  "Man, where can I get some pizza at?"

When they wanted Adam to stop filming, some dude actually said "Some of us are uncomfortable."  crowd:  "Some of us are uncomfortable."  "Being filmed on camera."  crowd:  "being filmed on camera."  "Raise your hand if you don't want to be filmed."  crowd:  "Raise your hand if you don't want to be filmed".  And then they put their hands up.  And then some other dude started talking in that manner and some hippie put a kaffiyeh over the camera.

Funny stuff.  Reminds me of Monty Python's Life of Brian.  I bet they stay there forever or until their parent's money runs out.  It will probably be a protest movement until the end of this week.  And then after that, it will just be a lifestyle of hanging out.

I mean I don't like much about the Tea Party or some of the european protests, but this is a whole other level of wack.  Basically, astro turf movement designed by Adbusters magazine.  The primiere left-fascist rag.

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A lot of the protestors seem like college kids who want to get out of their debt but don't seem to want to take a job that is under their social level. Now obviously unemployment is high, so jobs aren't flying in from all directions, so I obviously could be too hard on the matter. That is the scene as it seems to me especially with all these individuals holding up the paper saying "I have X amount in college debt...therefore I am the 99%" It reminds me of what Ralph Raico said during a lecture where he was going to start asking his students "what are you doing here?" 

Does this movement remind anyone else of Schumpeter's Captialism, Socialism and Democracy work in which he thinks capitalism is going to fall because of the unemployed "intellectuals" that capitalism produces? 

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael


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Kakugo replied on Mon, Oct 10 2011 8:05 AM

I had to go and read the OWS demands since I had no idea what they were. You can read them from their own website:

As G.K. Chesterton said about the Left: "They are right about what's wrong but wrong about what's right". Yes, there's something deeply wrong with the present banking system. Yes, lobbysts are able to shape politics. No, increased taxation won't help. No, increased legislation is not the answer. The fact there's still a deeply rooted belief the political world was "arm-wrestled" into coming to the rescue of the financial world means these people clearly don't understand where the problems lie. In fact they don't even stop to ask themselves why one of the world's wealthiest men (Warren Buffet) is clamoring for increased taxation. Lenin used the term "useful idiots" to describe the European middle and upper class persons who supported the Soviet Revolution without realizing they would be the very first victims. Smart man that Vladimir Il'ic: my mother always said "He was a genius; an evil genius, but a genius nonetheless".

This list of demands is quite different from what protestors in Greece want. OWS pretty much contents itself with overhauls of the banking/financial system. Protestors in Greece instead want to keep the status quo and oppose government cuts. If you want to find a similitude is the fact both movements ask for increasing taxations on other people: not a single Greek or OWS protestor has stepped up to ask to pay more taxes. Not a single one of them has walked up to a government office to offer a volutary donation. Margaret Thatcher had a pretty witty comment about such demands: "Socialism is a great system, until you run out of other people's money".

While we may sympathize with OWS desire for a more open banking system it's obvious their failure to ask for any reform of the Federal Reserve system and its Congressional overseeing (the indefatigable Ron Paul is still a lone voice) means they fail to understand how deeply entwined the political/bureaucratic and financial/banking systems are. Believing the government is "fairer" just because it's the government means either incredible naivete or downright self-delusion. I believe it was Milton Friedman who said modern man is a child who cannot take care of himself and look up to the government as a sort of parent figure. We all know parents screw up from time to time or can even be horrible human beings, but a government is clearly not a substitute for a parent, not even a bad one.

At the heart of the Greek protests there's a similar concept: the government as a parent, providing for the small child. But if we can put down OWS faults to naivete or misguided idealism, this is a step forward. It's the demand to live off other people's back, nothing more, nothig less. We want to have free over the counter drugs, we want to have our farming subsidies, we want to keep our cushy government jobs. It's a nauseating show of selfishness: somebody else has to pay for what I want, be it "the rich", the German taxpayers or the Chinese. While the OWS protestors are just bent on Quixotic and potentially harmful crusade, at least they want to change something. The Greek protestors just want the free ride to go on and on regardless of the cost.

Together we go unsung... together we go down with our people
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Wheylous replied on Mon, Oct 10 2011 8:45 AM

USE CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY AND OVERSIGHT TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE FEDERAL AGENCIES FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the following notable cases: (insert list of the most clear cut criminal actions).

Lol. They have no idea what they are.

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Marko replied on Mon, Oct 10 2011 4:34 PM

I don't think they are similar, I can't imagine an piece like this being written on the Greek protests: Occupy Wall Street is a fashion show masquerading as a political movement


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Does this movement remind anyone else of Schumpeter's Captialism, Socialism and Democracy work in which he thinks capitalism is going to fall because of the unemployed "intellectuals" that capitalism produces?

There are a lot of similarities in Schumpeter's democracy and OcWallSt.  People's thinking is associative and affected.  They are primtive. 


"Y U oppress ME?"  -  meme's are not intellectual.  This is just idiotic masses demanding things because they think that government is above the law, as it acts, and want to use that power for themselves.


"ALL your credit credit creation process belong to us."

"The Fed does not make predictions. It makes forecasts..." - Mustang19
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