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Taibbi: Occupy Wall Street Aimed at WS Corruption NOT Money or Banking
By Staff News & Analysis - October 26, 2011
OWS's Beef: Wall Street Isn't Winning It's Cheating ... All weekend I was thinking about this "jealousy" question, and I just kept coming back to all the different ways the game is rigged. "Dude," I said. "These people aren't protesting money. They're not protesting banking. They're protesting corruption on Wall Street." ... When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money. People aren't jealous and they don't want privileges. They just want a level playing field, and they want Wall Street to give up its cheat codes. – Rolling Stone/Matt Taibbi
Dominant Social Theme: Occupy Wall Street is a revolutionary force sweeping the country, tearing down whatever is unjust and replacing it with fairness.
Free-Market Analysis: Occupy Wall Street is a populist movement, not a radical one. The powers-that-be are trying their best to position it this way in our view – in opposition to the anti-government Tea Party. This has significant ramifications not only for the movement but for the US economy and for the West in general.
Matt Taibbi's perspective as explained in this post (excerpted above) at RollingStone.com provides us with this insight regarding populism, one we have mentioned numerous times before. Taibbi more than almost anyone has created an upswell of indignation against Wall Street similar to that which occurred back in the 1930s. By focusing people on retribution and envy, larger issues such as central banking and the money system itself remain unscathed. These sorts of article would seem to support that process.
We should note that OWS is a diverse movement and one increasingly factionalized. We learn from Huffington Post and other publications, for instance that today, Wednesday, OWS demands may be formulated that will actually be formal in nature. If this actually takes place, we wonder how comprehensive they may be. The populism surrounding OWS is disconcerting. It is of course, a tool, a kind of dominant social theme.
If popular anger is properly controlled and channeled then the impact of the Internet itself and the emergent clarity of its truth-telling can be mitigated, or that is the hope of the elites encouraging such populism. Change can be absorbed and the system can continue on as it is. The goal in our view is world governance, a scientific system run by a handful of good gray men reporting to the great central banking families and their enablers and associates.
The Internet, however, has put world government at risk and likely changed the plans of the Anglosphere elites behind the move. They have begun to be far more aggressive in terms of domestic policing and military activity. What cannot be gained via the elite's endless fear-based promotions is apparently to be won by force.
The elites, of course, will not give up on their memes. These tools frighten the middle class into giving up power and wealth to carefully crafted globalist solutions. They are not working nearly as well in the 21st century as the 20th.
We can see first in the Tea Party movement and now in OWS that there is genuine anger out there and skepticism about the current Western promotion of so-called civil society. Europe is suffering from the same sort of conditions, with many of Europe's tribes beginning to rebel against the inefficient and exploitative euro (as we previously predicted).
For the elites, the necessity is to control this growing anger by any means possible. In the US, this means recasting it within the mold of the right-left Hegelian dialectic. This is an old elitist trick and is carried out to ensure that radical sentiments are properly managed. First, one manipulates a popular movement in a particular direction (the Tea Party). Then one sets up a controlled opposition (Occupy Wall Street).
Now one is in position to create dissension between the two sides. The anti-government Tea Party and anti-business Wall Street will be set upon each other by the mainstream media. Angry people will be invited to take sides. They may either be anti-government or anti-business and eventually, by various means, a resolution between the two sides shall "evolve."
What will occur is inevitably a compromise whereby government shall be made more efficient (or seemingly so) and business (Wall Street) shall be increasingly regulated to ameliorate abuses. This is to be seen as a very clever trick!
How is it a trick? Because it leaves the modern capitalist system IN EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE as it is now. A massive government (reformed) is supervising a massive (mercantilist) financial industry (also reformed). The net result of the next umpteen weeks, months, years, etc. will be exactly nothing.
Of course, as we've pointed out, this Hegelian trick may be less effective this time around. People are genuinely angry and the Internet Reformation is rapidly spreading the reality of that frustration. What starts as controlled rebellion can easily spread into something far more unmanageable that gives rise to genuine change.
Into this maelstrom step people like Matt Taibbi and others – those whose job it is one way or another (self-appointed or not) to give voice to mass frustration in such a way as to steer it toward the dialectic formula.
Taibbi, a brilliant writer and social commentator, is very good at this sort of thing. Also, as we are not trying to cast aspersions here, we should state it is perfectly possible he believes in the solutions he offers. That makes his arguments even more convincing. Those who believe in their own positions are more credible than those who don't.
For whatever reason, Taibbi has been helping formulate goals for Occupy Wall Street almost since the beginning. As OWS members maintain that the movement itself is a radical reshaping of society, people like Taibbi can provide whatever rationale they wish without much fear of contradiction.
Taibbi's comments, as we have covered previously, amount to suggesting that OWS is a movement calling for higher taxes and more government regulation. In the recent past we have covered announcements by various OWS-affiliated groups and leaders that OWS should seek a global transaction tax (UN-style, perhaps) and a US constitutional convention to de-personalize corporations. OWS leaders like David DeGraw are also spearheading efforts to prosecute Wall Street "banksters" using the FBI and the US justice system.
As Taibbi has now come out and stated, OWS is not really a radical movement at all from his perspective. It is surely not a libertarian one, or even anti-war. It simply wants to use the awesome, vicious and congenitally corrupt power of the US Leviathan to punish rich Wall Street types for taking advantage of a system that has essentially been set up for them over the past century. The public's perspective of OWS seems to be a good deal more radical than the reality.
Why is this important? Because people in the US and throughout the West are increasingly fed up with the economic and sociopolitical system as it is and are searching for answers. OWS seems to provide them with these answers. But what OWS actually provides, according to Taibbi himself, is populism and more populism. Here's the conclusion to his article:
We have a massive police force in America that outside of lower Manhattan prosecutes crime and imprisons citizens with record-setting, factory level efficiency, eclipsing the incarceration rates of most of history's more notorious police states and communist countries. But the bankers on Wall Street don't live in that heavily-policed country.
There are maybe 1000 SEC agents policing that sector of the economy, plus a handful of FBI agents. There are nearly that many police officers stationed around the polite crowd at Zucotti park. These inequities are what drive the OWS protests.
People don't want handouts. It's not a class uprising and they don't want civil war – they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It's amazing that some people think that that's asking a lot.
We can see from Matt Taibbi's statements that central banking, the corrupt US judicial system and many other facets of Leviathan including the political system itself are not the priority of OWS from his point of view. Only flagellating the banksters. As brilliant and sincere as Taibbi may be, such a narrow focus would seem to provide us with evidence that this is a manipulated "populist" movement not a genuine groundswell of indignation at the way the world currently works. In fact, it may have started that way, but it is not now.
Libertarians might consider leaving OWS, as we have mentioned before, to try to push for real reforms of the system in another way using another platform. There will be, eventually, significant unrest in the US, as elsewhere in the world. But if we are correct in our analysis, much of this unrest may escape the control of the elites evidently and obviously behind OWS. This is their attempt at creating controlled social upheaval. The real thing may be yet to come.