October 11, 2011
The line being put out by the political right regarding Occupy Wall Street is that the protesters don’t know what they want. But the right sure knows what it wants. It wants to deflect attention from what OWS obviously wants, namely economic fairness. In the tradition of elites it wants to deflect responsibility. It wants us to focus on irrelevancies to avoid acknowledging concrete evils. It wants to obfuscate.
The other day on the Bill Maher Show Alan Grayson articulately ticked off the reasons for OWS . He did this in the face of a trashing of protesters by two conservative apologists (Nicolle Wallace and PJ O’Rourke) on the program’s panel who wanted to talk about bongo drums, personal hygeine and where the protesters might be peeing. Anything to get off the subject of why protesters were there. It was classic stuff; a chorus of personal attacks a la Joeseph Goebbels: Wallace and O’Rouke, the Goebbelettes.
Nicolle Wallace made a thoughtful, brilliant argument involving her concern about peeing, while PJ O’Rouke was cranked out of shape by protesters playing bongos. Neither had much to say that was coherent about what OWS protesters are clearly pissed off about (Ah! maybe this is what had Wallace so wound-up about bodily functions). It doesn’t take a talking head to know. What they’re pissed about is very succintly summed up in their mantra “We are the 99%.” Even ol’ PJ, dispensing bumbling lame jokey derision, knows what OWS is about, his BS to the contrary notwithstanding.
Any American who appreciates the idea of basic fairness can only hope that we may have reached a tipping point in national awareness of how average folks have been bamboozeled over and over again by those who have realized not just simple financial success but financial hegemony. They’re running the government —for God’s sake, they own it! The struggle between elites and the rest is as ancient as the rise of kings and the subjegation of commoners. What the constitution intended was the destruction of the lopsided conditions flowing from the pathological accumulation of wealth by fewer and fewer people. That’s what we-are-the-99% means. PJ O’Rourke just feigns stupidity when he fixates on bongo drums while licking the boots of bankers. At least I think he’s faking.
In antiquity the semantics may have been different but the fundamentals of “income gap” are the same. In this regard, here’s a quote from a post at Hullabaloo:
“Anthropologist David Graeber cites historian Moses Finley, who identified ‘the perennial revolutionary programme of antiquity, cancel debts and redistribute the land, the slogan of a peasantry, not of a working class.’ … The overwhelming majority of (such revolutionary statements) are actionable demands in the form of (i) free us from the bondage of these debts and (ii) give us a bare minimum to survive on in order to lead decent lives (or, in pre-Industrial terms, give us some land). In Finley’s terms, these are the demands of a peasantry, not a working class.”
These are the fundamental concerns of The Other 99% as expressed by the movement to Occupy Wall Street. But the particulars are different. As might be expected, the modern version of “the perennial revolutionary programme of antiquity” articulates modern concerns. Again from Hullaballoo:
“… The demands are broadly health care, education and not to feel exploited at the high-level, and the desire to not live month-to-month on bills, food and rent and under less of the burden of debt at the practical level.”
These are modest demands that, so far, have nothing to do with a threat of stripping the rich of their holdings, but simply say that the monied elite must deal with others in the system fairly. Occupy Wall Street is the result of rampant corporate governance disconnected from the people in all but what amounts to a diabolical urge to raise profit and accumulate wealth by sucking the people dry no matter what (not to mention occupying its air and water as if these planetary resources belonged to them). Apparently not being able to help themselves, Wall Street and its bankers have mounted an ongoing attack on the people (mounted a class war) abetted by Republicans and so-called liberals in government and propagandized by media creations such as Nicolle Wallace and PJ O’Rourke, a.k.a the Goebbelettes.
But Joseph Goebbels, their mentor (either unconscious or conscious), said it best: “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” Republicans along with Wallace, and O’Rourke have learned it well:
Republicans: “Job creators (but no jobs)! Job creators (but no jobs)! Job creators (but no jobs)!”
Wallace: “But where do they pee? Where do they pee? Where do they pee?”
O’Rourke: “They just play bongos. Just play bongos. Play bongos.”
by Jim Culleny