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Forum Post: "Occupy Movement Exposes Uncomfortable Facts" ; by Ross T. Runfola

Posted 10 years ago on Jan. 26, 2012, 12:56 a.m. EST by shadz66 (19985)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

January 25, 2012 "Buffalo News" -:- The recent Pew Research report on tensions between the rich and poor gives a road map to the ofttimes unfocused Occupy movement. Since 2009, the study found, there is “a growing awareness of class conflict” among Americans.

Whatever its findings, that the mainstream Pew Research Center would frame the report in the usually verboten language of “class conflict” is itself remarkable. Whenever verbiage such as “class” or “class struggle,” let alone “class conflict” is used by academics or politicians to describe the incongruity between democracy and capitalism, it is rejected as Marxist ideological rant.

Even the avoidance of the use of “working class” for the more centrist “middle class” by President Obama led to the farcical cry of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum that Obama was encouraging class warfare.

This is hardly surprising, for when Obama attempted to raise taxes on the wealthy for the benefit of the larger populace, he was charged with encouraging class warfare rather than attempting a more equitable distribution of wealth. Although the concept of a fair distribution of assets is democratic, not Marxist, in thrust, and the 1 percent have been waging a rigged undeclared war against the 99 percent for decades, now that the 99 percent have begun pushing back, there is an inevitable cry of foul from the reactionary rich.

Award-winning author and scholar Michael Parenti, especially in his classic “Democracy for the Few,” argues “whatever modicum of democracy the people attain in any society is usually the outcome of a general struggle for a more equitable politico-economic order.” With the Occupy movement, that struggle has become visible.

Lest I be charged with advocating some form of Marxist rubric, I believe that while struggle, such as the civil rights movement, is at the heart of the most dramatic social change in the United States, only someone with historical and sociological amnesia would think that revolution will ever hold sway in the United States. The widespread belief of working-class people that they can become part of the upper class and the coming of the computer age renders stillborn any Marxist notion of a violent overthrow.

The savage corporate plunder that led to our current recession, however, seems to have exploded for all time the belief in the existence of a harmonious, prosperous society. Who would argue against the theory that the protest of the so-called 99 percent against the 1 percent is a rebellion of the poor and middle class against the rich based on a recognition that society is stratified?

And that is the essence of class consciousness. Marx thought such class consciousness would inevitably lead to revolution. In 2012 America, it has led instead to a consciousness among the Occupy protesters against a one-sided system of financial exploitation, which in its own way is quite revolutionary.

[Ross T. Runfola is an attorney, writer and poet who is a professor of sociology at Medaille College]




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[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago



Nice & Deep.

Let us all promote thought.

[+] -5 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

And quite short, to boot ! "Nice, Deep" and NOT overly long !! Quite a combo !!!

Which was why I just had to share ;-)

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

Yes it is hard to come up with good material that is not as long as a book, or seemingly so. Again - nice.

[-] 2 points by louisrocc (74) 10 years ago

We have such disproportionate wealth in our nation because we have disproportionate representation due to privately sponsored campaigns. I have proposed the Zero Contributions Campaign Finance Amendment posted at www.campaignfinanceamendment.org. Do you think you would support this?

[+] -6 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

@ Louis : You link is very interesting and I recommend it to all readers. It deserves thought and support.

The "Demoblican-Republocrat" ; "Two Factions ; One Corporate, WAR Party" ; demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy, analysis applies ever increasingly - especially from an exasperated Brit like myself, who doesn't really see the difference between a 'One Party State' and The U$A !!!

Five Point Fantasy Political Future Plan :

1) Ron Paul (or such like) runs as an 'Independent', supported by a Mass Movement of Independent Activists with a fully transparent campaign, funded by declared 'Non Corporate' individual donations for an internet / TV / Radio campaign, with fully audited, transparent finances ;

2) Dennis Kucinich (or such like) runs as an 'Independent', supported by a Mass Movement of Independent Activists with a fully transparent campaign, funded by declared 'Non Corporate' individual donations for an internet / TV / Radio campaign, with fully audited, transparent finances ;

3) The winner of this 4 but really 3 (coz Dem=Rep) contest picks the other 'Independent' as Executive Vice-President and a New Broom comes to 'Turdsville Washington' to sweep away all the old BS ;

4) You Yanks Get To Fixing Your Country & Its Relations With The Rest Of The World & ...

5) The rest of us Earthlings breathe a Gigantic Sigh Of Relief !!!

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 1 points by louisrocc (74) 10 years ago

Thank you Shadz. We Americans have been raised to believe that our nation has the greatest degree of fair representation of the people in the world. Of course I would like to make that true. We cannot have such fair representation as long as representation is dependent on wealth. This is why I am working to promote the Zero Contributions Campaign Finance Amendment. www.campaignfinanceamendment.org

[+] -6 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

@ 'lr' : Most citizens in The USA, need to work for themselves or by selling their labour, knowledge and expertise, work for others in order to pay their bills ; take care of their obligations & finance their lives. Therefore from that perspective, stripped of affectations and conceits, most people are 'Working Class'.

Thus, perhaps there is now more than ever, the need for a political party to Truly Represent "Labor" & The 99% - as opposed to the current situation where both sides of the 'faux dichotomy of Republocrat / Demoblican', only really represent "Capital" & The 1%. Maybe past 2012, it's time for an "American Labor Party" !!!

Tho' I don't actually wish it upon The Good Citizens of The USA ; somewhat paradoxically, the impetus and prospects of 'another way' and a Third Party, may well be strategically aided and abetted by the election of a 'Republican' because any one of the possible candidates is extremely likely to be even more antipathetic to The 99% - but without Oblah-blah's, charm, lip service and 'smoke & mirrors' !!

I feel things would move forward by the increased engagement the very existence of a Third Party would bring as well as working hard for increased voter registration and more emphasis on a 'Party Manifesto and Platform' rather than the standard US 'Personality Cult Driven' modus operandi for 'politicians' !

Platform & Policies must trump 'Personalities' IF The 99% are NOT to be conned and co-opted again !!!

The U$A is still the most wealthy country on Earth, so have you considered just what happened to 'The End Of The Cold War, Peace Dividend and just how much The U$A still continues to spend on The 'Military Industrial Complex' ; Its Military Bases and Its Empire Abroad ?

Finally, perhaps the following 10 links will be of some interest to you and others :

a) http://www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/FY2012piechart-color.pdf ;

b) http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/CorporateTaxDodgersReport.pdf ;

c) "A New Political Party Is Needed", by Joel S. Hirschhorn ; http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21224.htm .

d) "Third Parties Fight for American Democracy", also by J. S. Hirschhorn ; http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15705.htm .

e) Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) from 1999, on the deleterious demise of Glass-Steagall : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2nZbo8SKbg ;

f.) The very revealing documentary film, "The Warning" : http://video.pbs.org/video/1302794657/ ;

g) The Oscar winning documentary film, "Inside Job" ; http://documentarystorm.com/inside-job/ . 'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse' ;

h) http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/category/economics/ ;

i.) http://www.opensecrets.org/ &

j.) http://ni4d.us/ .

fiat lux ; fiat pax ; fiat iustitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 1 points by louisrocc (74) 10 years ago

We Americans must understand how we are viewed abroad. I believe that our nation has been a great force for good to so many nations throughout our history. This does not mean that all nations today view us in that light. WIth our great wealth, power and position in the world comes obligate responsibility. This is a responsibility to practice what we preach with regard to representation of our own citizens, our most vulnerable citizens.A great step toward achieving this is through the Zero Contributions Campaign Finance Amendment. www.campaignfinanceamendment.org

[-] 1 points by occupypuppies (71) 10 years ago



[-] -3 points by FreeDiscussion1 (109) 10 years ago

Uncomforable facts? I thought this was going to be about GirlFriday's hemorroids. Glad it wasnt.

[+] -6 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Grow Up ! Get off your horse and drink your milk, cowboy - coz you're all hat and no cattle !!

Nosce te ipsum !!!

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion1 (109) 10 years ago

But do you know who YOU are? A loser.

[+] -6 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

You'll go far with that winning wit !!! Maybe even as far as the county line !! 'Gnothi Seauton' !

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion1 (109) 10 years ago

You must spend your day Googling for those types of phrases.

[+] -6 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Not really as I've known them for quite a while now but it does keep folk like yourself successfully out of mischief and preoccupied "Googling for those types of phrases." !!

ipsa scientia potestas est !

[+] -6 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Further to the above, please also see :

a) "The Washington-Wall Street Revolving Door Keeps Spinning", by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30348.htm ;

b) "The Next Housing Bailout : The Banks Need to Offload Millions of Unwanted Homes. Guess Who's Going to Buy Them?", by Mike Whitney : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30331.htm ;

c) "Obama to Use Pension Funds of Ordinary Americans to Pay for Bank Mortgage “Settlement”, by Yves Smith : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30336.htm ;

d) "Citizens United - Against Secret Corporate Campaign Cash", by Isaiah J. Poole : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30318.htm &

e) "Corporate Rule Is Not Inevitable - 7 signs The Corporatocracy is losing its legitimacy ... and 7 populist tools to help shut it down.", by Sarah van Gelder : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30320.htm .

fiat justitia ...