By its actions, Occupy Wall Street is puncturing myths like these:
l. The Myth that direct action against the center of financial power can’t be sustained’
2. The Myth that New York City is a bastion of liberalism and tolerance with its Mayor from Wall Street and its cops recipients of a well timed $4.6 million dollar donation from JP Morgan Chase whose bank up the street from the protest is guarded by—no guess needed—officers of the NYPD.
3. The Myth that police violence only happens in other countries, not in the big apple where we are far too sophisticated to have a Police department lead/encourage hundreds of protesters to cross a bridge via its roadway and then conveniently have buses and reinforcements on the other side to scoop them up.
They turned a bridge to Brooklyn into a bridge to jail without anyone having to pass GO or collect $200 as you would in a Monopoly Game. The cops have a monopoly in this game, a monopoly on force—and use it.
4. The Myth that people of different political persuasions—Democrats, Socialists, and even Ron Paul libertarians can’t make common cause and eat donated Pizza together in a public park to take a stand together against abuses by the 1% of the elite against 99% of the people.
But now, conservatives in the name of the free market, baiting activists as uninformed and seeking to discredit what they are doing, are opening a new assault, an ideological attack. Leading the charge is a website called The Daily Bell, ringing a pro-capitalist mantra to putdown the protest. Its been promoted by the Drudge Report and other right-leaning outlets Unlike much of the media that at first ignored the protests and then ridiculed it, they take a more patronizing approach:
“Despite their honest intentions, many of the Occupy Wall Street protesters are being suckered into a trap and calling for the very “solutions” that are part of the financial elite’s agenda to torpedo the American middle class – higher taxes and more big government. – Prison Planet lede via Drudge Report Dominant Social Theme: It’s all Wall Street’s fault. Government needs to write (SIC: RIGHT!) the wrongs of capitalism.”
Never mind that no one at the protests has said this, and that their General Assembly has yet to agree on remedies to their protest that focuses on corporate abuses, aided and abetted by Wall Street firms and their allies in real estate and insurance. Instead, their accusers hammer protesters for things they believe they will say, not what they have said. These “pinheads,” to use a Bill O’Reillyism, who defend the abstraction of a free market don’t let the facts get in the way of how we got into this mess.
They see the world as business-good versus government bad, despite all the contradictions of government subsidies and bailouts of financial institutions that effectively collapsed thanks to their own fraudulent practices and the greed of those that run them, and, who have never seen an outrageous compensation package or oversized bonus they would reject. Never mind that, Ayn Rand supporter and former Fed head Alan Greenspan’s admitted that fraud was pervasive in the lead –up to the financial collapse.
Never mind that it was Republican and former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson who first initiated the $700 billion TARP bailout of the big banks in 2007, and another Republican and original Bush appointee, Ben Bernanke, who secretly printed up trillions of dollars to spread like manna from heaven on banksters worldwide. Never mind that many of the government remedies that the right denounce came about because of the predatory lending and racially discriminatory practices that “red-lined” minority communities in the late eighties and early 90’s denying homes to people of color.
The Daily Bell of its day and its cohorts, were not ringing their bells to expose blatant racism that distorted their beloved markets then, or massive financial crimes that do so today. They were saying nothing about this, then or now. These ideologues are too smart to totally deny that Wall Street MAY be part of the problem.
“Of course,” The Daily Bell whines, “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 …” So now we have the corporate media in which all the largest companies in America advertise and back the economic elite being blamed for discrediting the business order. What world are these people living in? Even in Austria, the apparent and mythic homeland of their beloved economics school, no one buys this claptrap. “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… “ they imagine.
“Evidently and obviously” are words that evidently and obviously need no evidence to back them up with anything approaching facts in this faith-based world.
They justify this faux attack, finally, I f you can work your way to the end of the dense diatribe, with these words, “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.” This masked reference to unnamed “Anglosphere families” smacks of the phrasing of that anti-Semitic tract, the Protocols of Zion without mentioning any chosen people or whom they are alluding to, of course.
It also doesn’t mention that our Central bank, the Federal Reserve, is privately owned, not a government institution, run by the banks and for the banks. Most people don’t know this, of course despite Ron Paul’s efforts joined in by some Democrats to explain it. (If only that left-wing run but right wing serving big media would do its job!)
Occupy Wall Street’s inter-denominational, inter-generational, activist army of diverse democracy promoters are still in the park they have liberated for now and are ringing their own bells. In singer Leonard Cohen’s words, they are the bells they still can ring: bells of freedom, and to use a word always missing in the right-wing discourse, justice.
Blogger and News Dissector Danny Schechter has made two films and written three books on the financial crisis focusing on Wall Street crime. (See: http://plunderthecrimeofourtime.com )