Wall Street: From Protest to Politics … When elected leaders largely ignore a disgrace like the financial collapse of 2008, sooner or later popular protest fills the vacuum. The Wall Street protests are heartening – but also a measure of the utter failure of the usual machinery of democracy to remedy the worst pillaging of regular Americans by financial elites since the 1920s. For three years, we have been wondering, where is the outrage? For a time, it was co-opted by the Tea Parties – a faux populism, attacking government, financed by billionaires, delivering nothing to the 99 percent of Americans not represented by Wall Street. Now authentic protest directed against the real villains is finally here. The ingenuity of occupywallst.org, its spread to other cities, its blending of Internet-organizing with on-the-ground protest, is inspiring. – Huffington Post/The American Prospect
Dominant Social Theme: The tide is rising. Popular indignation and outrage will give way to political reconfigurations.
Free-Market Analysis: This article by Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, is in our view a perfect example of the way the Occupy Wall Street meme was supposed to play out. The positioning (see excerpt above) of the protests is likely intended to replace the Tea Party and to create credibility for the current faux-populism now playing out.
Who is Kuttner? He is a "Distinguished Senior Fellow at the think tank Demos, and a longtime columnist for Business Week, who continues to write columns in the Boston Globe." In this column, he claims that the Tea Party was "financed by billionaires" and delivered nothing "to the 99 percent of Americans not represented by Wall Street."
In fact, this is a rewriting of history. The Tea Party, as we understand it, was an authentic libertarian movement founded in large part by supporters of libertarian Congressman Ron Paul who is again running for US president. Whatever else it has become, the Tea Party initially stood for limited government, reduced military expenditures and the primacy of free markets.
Kuttner is evidently and obviously an apologist for the media elites that voice the Anglosphere's dominant social themes. The Occupy Wall Street movement is supposed to represent the voice of true populism and its rising anger. According to Kuttner, such anger is now supposed to trigger substantive political action. Regulatory Democracy, the plague of modern man, is now seen to be working as it should. Here's some more:
The New York protests, in which more than 700 people were arrested over the weekend, are likely to draw more activists, especially if police keep bungling the choreography of peaceful protest and deliberately leading demonstrators into traps. But sooner or later, protest will need to turn to politics. And God knows, we missed the rendezvous we were supposed to have with democratic politics in January 2009.
With a newly-elected president who inspired great hope for change, politics failed us in that first phase of the crisis. Barack Obama installed a Wall Street-friendly team that resisted fundamental changes in the financial model that caused the collapse and the deep recession that followed. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, despite heroic efforts by progressives, stopped just short of separating financial speculation from ordinary banking. Most of its pro-consumer measures were added by relatively junior legislators over the objection of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury.
… The depth of the continuing recession can be traced back to the failure to radically reform the banks in the spring of 2009. Interest rates today are at record lows, but Wall Street banks still make their money from merger deals, complex securitization packages, and trading for their own accounts, while community banks are too traumatized to make loans to any but blue-chip customers. Meanwhile, nobody has gone to prison for the systematic frauds that brought down the economy, consumers are getting gouged by new fees that the banks dream up to compensate for their own losses.
This is an extremely important article. Kuttner is contemptuous enough to let the proverbial "cat out of the bag." In his editorial he seems to explain the way things were SUPPOSED to work but have not. He doesn't understand quite why, or at least he feigns puzzlement. He probably understands quite well, in fact, just as we do. The Internet has seemingly short-circuited this particular episode of directed history.
Of course, Wall Street is PART of the problem, but it's a much larger problem, and Wall Street is ultimately, for the most part, a transactional mechanism. The issues of failing Western regulatory democracies and their eroding money stuff cannot simply be laid at the feet of the securities business, no matter how powerful it seems. The real controllers are to be seen elsewhere.
In the past these controllers have been able to effectively disguise their presence and influence. They do it by misdirection and by using money power to blame the private sector for the depredations of the West's central banking economy. The mainstream media is extremely important to this effort and Kuttner is puzzled that the system has misfired.
By now the "masses" were supposed to have been furious at Wall Street, he implies. President Barack Obama was supposed to be able to use this fury to establish himself as rightful heir to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A whole spectrum of increasingly authoritarian measures were supposed to have been rammed through by a Congress alight with indignation over the "banksters'" depredations.
But In the era of the Internet Reformation, all this is hard to accomplish. There is too much contradictory information available and too many voices that are not scripted (see other article, this issue). Instead of being able to direct indignation at the private sector, the Anglosphere power elite is staggering, trying its best to resuscitate the "blame Wall Street" meme, which has not yet delivered the hoped-for results.
Now Occupy Wall Street – evidently and obviously a dialectical enterprise funded by these same elites (at least in part) – is giving them a moment of hope. Kuttner himself is upbeat as he joins with his chosen task. "Wall Street protestors have plenty to be angry about," he writes. "In many ways, these demonstrations have a lot in common with events around the globe, from the protests that toppled dictators in Egypt and Libya to the spontaneous street protests in Tel Aviv, Madrid, and Athens."
In fact, this is another meme, given that the "youth protesters," inspired and funded by AYM were at least in part an American intelligence operation. Look closely and the pattern of directed history becomes evident. Not for Kuttner, though.
Kuttner "can't help comparing today's situation with the two great causes of that tumultuous decade – ending the Vietnam War and delivering civil rights." But the Vietnam era also benefited from directed history. And the changes that were supposed to take place – whatever they were – petered out. Today people in the West and America are more divided and impoverished than ever. We would argue this is by design.
History doesn't guarantee happy endings, Kuttner writes, but he wants us to know that he's encouraged. Wall Street, he explains, has "finally engendered the kind of outrage that it so thoroughly deserves." It's a start. Kuttner is energetically blowing on the ember and trying to coax a flame …
Democratically-elected officials are still light years away from embracing the kinds of drastic reforms that the system so desperately needs … Bankers have immense power, until public opinion turns decisively against them and democratically-elected leaders decide to lead. These protests were a long time coming; I fear that it will take far longer for the system to deliver the drastic reforms that we need.
No, no, Mr. Kuttner! It is not bankers who have immense power, but central bankers and their controllers, the elite Anglosphere families that run central banking and distribute its tens of trillions of "money created from nothing." Why don't you mention them?
The central revelation of the 21st century is that people are beginning to understand this mechanism. The Internet Reformation is spreading real information about the way the world works and no matter what Kuttner hopes – ignorance about this issue may never again be as strong as it was before the turn of the century.