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Forum Post: You are going about this the wrong way

Posted 3 years ago on Nov. 24, 2011, 4:30 p.m. EST by GardenState973 (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

First, a disclaimer: I am employed in the finance industry.

Second, an assumption: You hope to actually achieve change. From what I understand about your movement, you are generally upset about the system that has unfolded over the past however many years that got us to mess we are in today. You are upset that corporations finance politicians, who in turn propose and push through legislation that results in favourable rules of play for the corporations, mostly at the expense of the rest of us. You are upset that the richest in the country do not appear to be paying their fair share of taxes, while many of us (particularly those of us making between $50k and $200k) feel a significant tax burden already and face potentially higher taxes in the future. I know you have other issues but from what I have understood so far these seem to be the core issues of your movement. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Finally, my advice: If you want to change the mess I describe above, you are going about it entirely the wrong way with these OWS demonstrations. Are you raising awareness? Absolutely. Are you any closer to achieving the change you seek? Of course not. Wall Street is not going to stop taking advantage of tax loopholes or stop granting ridiculously lavish bonuses to its executives because you sit in a park and yell at them all day long. They could care less. Sure, maybe their commute is made a little more inconvenient (or possibly entertaining since a lot of them get a kick out of you) but as long as the laws stay the way they are they will continue to get rich and play the same game. If you want to actually change something, why not expose the politicians that allow these corporations to manipulate the system? Without such politicians, they would have no power. Congressional voting records are public information, and so is a fair amount of corporate campaign contributions. Find out who the culprits are in Washington, and then expose them for who they are. You have shown that you are capable of rallying and organizing loud and clar demonstrations. Go to their districts, and take your demonstrations to their campaign offices. Let their voters see whose interests they have been serving. Make sure they don't get re-elected, and solve the problem at its root!

While this may not be as fun as camping out in Zuccotti park or trying to block traffic on Broadway, it will be a lot more effective. You will be surprised to see that a lot of main stream America does not disagree with some of your ideas, but we disagree with the approach you have taken. You also hurt your cause when you display a lack of respect for law enforcement.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe your cause is not as noble as I have understood it to be. Maybe you really do just want to make noise and have fun and convince yourselves that you really "stuck it to the man" by holding up a cardboard sign to a stock broker that said "Death To Capitalism." But if you actually want to be taken seriously by the masses of Americans that are not hippies or anarchists you should change your strategy.

24 Comments

24 Comments


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[-] 4 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 3 years ago

If you really support OWS then don't address it in the second person. It is not a matter of "you" doing something wrong if you think something is wrong. It is a problem, a matter of all of us doing something wrong and it would be more useful if you took ownership of it in the first person, joined us and tried to convince the rest of us of your point of view (no easy task, as you could see if you've ever been to a GA). We are all leaders. Solidarity forever!

[-] 2 points by MidnightWriter (38) 3 years ago

We are only all leaders in concept, this site is moderated with a fascist dictatorship approach, sounds more like a corporation.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 3 years ago

I've been involved with progressive social movements since 1964. With the exception, perhaps, of a very few tiny sects with only several hundred members nationally, OWS is the most open and transparent social movement I have ever seen. I do not mean to imply by that that it is perfect, only that it is light years ahead of anything that has gone before in terms of transparency and democratic participation, though I am prepared to be corrected. If anyone knows of any more transparent movement, I would be most interested.

[-] 0 points by MidnightWriter (38) 3 years ago

A republic is a form of government under a constitution which provides for the election of (1) an executive and (2) a legislative body, who working together in a representative capacity, have all the power of appointment, all power of legislation, all power to raise revenue and appropriate expenditures, and are required to create (3) a judiciary to pass upon the justice and legality of their governmental acts and to recognize (4) certain inherent individual rights.

Take away any one or more of those four elements and you are drifting into autocracy. Add one or more to those four elements and you are drifting into democracy.

Our Constitutional fathers, familiar with the strength and weakness of both autocracy and democracy, with fixed principles definitely in mind, defined a representative republican form of government. They "made a very marked distinction between a republic and a democracy * * * and said repeatedly and emphatically that they had founded a republic."

Madison, in the Federalist, emphasized the fact that this government was a republic and not a democracy, the Constitution makers having considered both an autocracy and a democracy as undesirable forms of government while "a republic promises the cure for which we are seeking.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 3 years ago

Can't disagree with any of that, but there were a substantial number of the founding fathers (founders of the American nation, not of the Constitution) who were four square against the Constitution because they saw it as an anti-democratic document and I tend to agree with their evalutation.

[-] 1 points by MidnightWriter (38) 3 years ago

I am not aware of these founding fathers who felt this way. Our country has drifted onto a democracy and was said that all democracies eventually ended up in a dictatorship and as Rome fell so shall they. What I would like to see is a shift towards the Federal Reserve as since 1913 they have slowly taken control and manipulated our society and the world and if not abolished will continue on their quest for a one world currency with socialism for the masses and the elite in control.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 3 years ago

The classic work on opposition to the Constitution at the time of the Constitutional Convention is Charles Beard's An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution. Beard was an old school Progressive and people have been disputing his thesis ever since it was first formulated (not the facts so much as how he chose to organize them). But the thing is, it is still being disputed to this day, and the fact that there were notable figure s who were opposed to the Constitution (along with lots of ordinary people in open rebellion) is essentially not disputed.

[-] 1 points by MidnightWriter (38) 3 years ago

Charles Beard's wasn't even alive until 1874 and his book came out in 1913, however I will research his work in that you seem to think it was important although he hardly qualify's as a founding father.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 3 years ago

I didn't say Beard was a founding father. I said his work on the Constitution and on the founding fathers was the pioneering critical work on that subject.

[-] 1 points by MidnightWriter (38) 3 years ago

my bad... Denial of personal rights. — "Collectivism" is the denial of personal rights. The State (community) becomes the chief concern of all. It claims that the "law of equality," once applied, would destroy every human desire for individual dominance, making society safe, content, comfortable, and happy. This "ideal" is to be accomplished by the application of force under the direction of leaders, in the selection of whom the people will have little or no choice. It is necessary, at first, to enforce the will of community interests until the people become educated and submissive to the new order.

[-] 1 points by MidnightWriter (38) 3 years ago

Denied all personal rights "collectivism" gives its "instructions'' where to live, where to work, what to do, what to think, and what to say. For the State is the law. Just like this blog ///// No thanks as this is the reason you won't tie in with the other movements, because they want to restore the Republic and expose the corruption for justice.

[-] 3 points by Edgewaters (912) 3 years ago

I think your idea of finding out which Congressmembers are the culprits is a waste of time - it would be easier finding out which ones aren't. Your proposal doesn't actually address the institutionalized corruption, it just treats the cases discretely, as if they are just individual cases of politicians who have gone astray. Would that it were so, the problems would be much simpler and OWS probably wouldn't even exist, there would be no need for it to exist, most of the problems could never have occurred in the first place. Knocking out a candidate here or there, is never going to fix anything, that is in fact just business as usual. Electoral politics have failed and are in crisis because of the entrenchment of the political classes and the institutionalization of corruption, and that is what needs to be addressed.

As far as the sticking it to the man theme. OWS has room for that. Anytime you get a big-tent protest movement, you can expect the student radicals to show up with their circle-As and whatnot. So what. If you've been around any length of time, you'll know that the environmental movement was chock-full of them at its inception. Did it strike a public chord? Did it achieve anything? Absolutely, on both counts. You don't give the public a whole lot of credit in the common sense department.

[-] 2 points by hyarborough (121) 3 years ago

I agree. The OWS is taken pretty lightly by the mainstream. The media selectively reports. Additionally a lot of the blame is ours. Why do people continue to voter these people in? Why are we supporting corporations w/ frivolous, and unnecessary purchases? I read that Americans spent $25.3 billion in 2009 on games? Why do you purchase food, of dubious quality, from chains? Why are people wasting money on new car purchases?

We, as a whole have been supporting the whole mess.

[-] 2 points by TexasThunder (68) 3 years ago

I find our elected officials incompetent to govern. They need some incentive that will mean something to them instead of putting funds at risk that will cause harm to those persons and institutions who can least afford such loss. I suggest that these officials’ pay and/or benefits be cut if and/or when they fail to do their job. As it is, party “a” threatens to harm parties “”d” through “z” if parties “b” and “c” can’t come to an agreement. It makes no sense whatsoever to threaten Congress with cuts that will not have any impact on them directly. Our Constitution establishes the type of government we are to have. We do not need to establish any “sub” groups within these institutions. They are all responsible collectively to govern and if/when they fail to do so they are all liable collectively. The “carrot and stick” method only works when the carrot or stick is guaranteed to the same one. These officials have received their carrot upon being elected as they shall receive full pay and full benefits for the rest of their life even if they only serve one term. I say put all options “on the table” including their lifetime pay and benefits. I’m of the position that such a “stick” would cause these officials to get their head out of the clouds and their feet on the ground.

[-] 1 points by MidnightWriter (38) 3 years ago

It is well known that most Americans pay more attention to sports, TV, celebrities, and etc. Whiling away their time, leaving politics to the politicians. Plato once said that those who refuse to become involved in politics end up being ruled by their inferiors. Many of us blame the system and we are correct, however the Constitution has not been adhered to and is the law of the land. There is nothing wrong with our form of government, only with the perversion of it. We have too many unconstitutional laws and our representatives are not doing anything about it. The seat of corruption is in the Federal Reserve, the head of the snake resides in their financial power.

[-] 1 points by hortstu (5) 3 years ago

This part of your assumption is the problem...

"Without such politicians, they would have no power. Congressional voting records are public information, and so is a fair amount of corporate campaign contributions. Find out who the culprits are in Washington, and then expose them for who they are. You have shown that you are capable of rallying and organizing loud and clar demonstrations. Go to their districts, and take your demonstrations to their campaign offices. Let their voters see whose interests they have been serving. Make sure they don't get re-elected, and solve the problem at its root!"

You assume that there are good politicians not taking money from wall street and multinational corporations either already in power or waiting in the wings to replace the ones that are in power. The only way anyone has a chance to get elected in this system is if they accept money from the 1%. So it doesn't matter who they are replaced with. You will still have the same problems.

I appreciate your input and recommendations as well as your inside perspective but I think you need to do a little more research. A good movie is inside job. A little old so not complete but considering your line of work I think you'd find it very enjoyable if not informative.

[-] 1 points by aeturnus (231) from Robbinsville, NC 3 years ago

Another in a long list of people that really need to understand just how matters in our political system work. It does not matter who gets in office. Money will always be given in some form or another through policy institutes and think tanks. It would make more sense to protest and occupy these institutes than to balk about election reform and candidates. You need to attack the bribes at the heart of their source. Politicians are not that source.

[-] 1 points by Seer (10) 3 years ago

I agree, I think the best bet would be to find ways to drive a wedge in between public office holders and corporations... Thinking that yelling at corps or banks or causing bad press, is going to some how make an effect is childish. It's kinda like telling someone on welfare to get a job. Why should they, the status quo is working just fine for them...

But if politicians who are influenced by corporations find themselves out of a job... Then you might, repeat, might see some change.

Personally, I'd love to see Anon "acquire" some emails between corps and elected officials...

[-] 1 points by morons123 (131) 3 years ago

very well written. I also work in the financial industry.

[-] 1 points by MidnightWriter (38) 3 years ago

I would like to see actually what we 99% or at least others opinion of who the 1% are. As I see it the 1% are the men behind the curtain, the super rich in the Federal Reserve, the elite politicians who may not be 1%'ers them selves, but serve them, the rulers of some countries and so forth. Maybe the 99%/1% ratio is incorrect, maybe it is 7%/93%. As I see it the wall street crooks are corrupt, but aren't really the 1% and are further down the food chain in percentage.

[-] 1 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 3 years ago

I am FOR this approach, If you know where to get this information, please compile and make sure everyone has access to it..

[-] 0 points by ajmacdonaldjr (0) 3 years ago

I agree. Well said. Washington, not Wall Street, is the problem. Look at the repeal of Glass-Stegal, which was put in place after the Great Depression, to separate banking from speculative investing.

[-] 0 points by rickMoss (435) 3 years ago

The first part sounds good but we need a much better way to fight back. First we have to realize that we as a group are so far off base that we will never succeed unless we readjust our thinking and tactics.

Do you know what real freedom is? OWS is fighting for something that doesn't exist anymore. This is what we should be fighting for:

http://WeAreFree.osixs.org

And this is how we should be fighting:

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( www.revolution2.osixs.org ) The future is so bright for us but we are just too busy to take the time to see it when it right in front of our faces. Do This - you won't regret!