Saturday, October 1, 2011

Covering my bets

Occupy Wall Street is one of those moments in history when everything seems up for grabs.  Don't misunderstand—I am the last person to expect a wonderful outcome from a street protest because history shows that most of these things end very badly.  Most of them.  There are some where the uprising from below has actually succeeded.  And because the banksters are SO corrupt and the rule of the banksters is so utterly illegitimate, this might be one of those 1 in 10,000 examples where a street action achieves something meaningful.  So until someone does something dramatically stupid, I am going to treat this thing seriously.

Here we have Hedges explaining why he takes the kids seriously.  It is all so heroic and dramatic.

The Best Among Us
By Chris Hedges   Posted on Sep 29, 2011 
There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave. 
Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons, their foot soldiers hunting for you on the streets with pepper spray and orange plastic nets. They have their metal barricades set up on every single street leading into the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and gorge themselves while one in four children outside those barricades depend on food stamps to eat. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves. They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs. 
Those on the streets around Wall Street are the physical embodiment of hope. They know that hope has a cost, that it is not easy or comfortable, that it requires self-sacrifice and discomfort and finally faith. They sleep on concrete every night. Their clothes are soiled. They have eaten more bagels and peanut butter than they ever thought possible. They have tasted fear, been beaten, gone to jail, been blinded by pepper spray, cried, hugged each other, laughed, sung, talked too long in general assemblies, seen their chants drift upward to the office towers above them, wondered if it is worth it, if anyone cares, if they will win. But as long as they remain steadfast they point the way out of the corporate labyrinth. This is what it means to be alive. They are the best among us. more
Of course, the big problem is that the protestors in New York's financial district don't exactly know what they want.  This isn't the People's Party of 1892 which was a gathering of folks who had been passionately debating monetary policy since USA went back on the Gold Standard in 1873.  Those guys had an agenda.

In fairness, Occupy Wall Street has published a manifesto of sorts.  This is not bad for a bunch of twentysomethings.  But it can only be considered a start.  They should be holding daily seminars on the history and mechanics of democratically-controlled monetary policy.  At some point, you must stop pointing out the many flaw of your opponents and start planning for what you would do if you actually won.
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
from the New York City General Assembly at #OCCUPYWALLSTREET:

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
  • They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
  • They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
  • They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
  • They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
  • They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
  • They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
  • They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
  • They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
  • They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
  • They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
  • They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
  • They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
  • They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
  • They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.
  • They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
  • They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
  • They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
  • They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
  • They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *
To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

_*These grievances are not all-inclusive._ more
But here's the good new for the kids down on Wall Street.  It isn't necessary that you have spent two decades hammering out a monetary theory.  This debate is actually older than USA itself and plenty of people with serious credentials have addressed this subject including some of the guys on the money like Franklin, Lincoln, Jackson, and Jefferson.

Here is a reprint from 1896 to show the occupywallstreet crowd they don't have to reinvent the wheel, and that others have engaged in that same struggles.
“The Slave Power is the Money Power”: voice from 1896
by unicornpoo on September 27, 2011

Note from 2011: As we begin to wake from the 100 year long slumber of ignorance induced by the Money Powers, we’re finding that the questions we’re asking aren’t new or original. We’ve stopped asking them because, due to the previously mentioned ignorance, we didn’t have enough information to even formulate the questions in the first place. 
The Money Powers completely captured the US government in 1913 with the imposition of the Federal Reserve on an unsuspecting America. The Money Powers are, and always have been, slavers. 
Slaves no more. Your chains will break with the merest touch should you choose to lose them.

Honest and Dishonest Money 
by J.H. Wood
Railroad Trainmen’s Journal  December, 1896 
Nothing is seemingly more common these days than the cry of “Sound Money.” The party organs and the press generally, as well as politicians are continually arguing on all sides of the finance question, in which has been lately added the question of honest money. 
John Davis, M. C, had an article in the Arena of February, 1894, on honest and dishonest money. 
It would have been far better for the readers of the Arena if Congressman Davis had first told his readers what constitutes MONEY. 
The Constitution of the United States declares that Congress shall have power to coin money and regulate the value thereof and of foreign coins, but it nowhere authorizes nor intimates that Congress shall delegate that power to any one else. It is absolutely certain, therefore, that no bank notes, bills of credit, nor anything else is money in any sense except that which is coined and issued by Congress. It is plain, therefore, that Congress has criminally violated the Constitution ever since the first Congress had a session. It is also true that by that criminal violation of the plain words of the Constitution there has never been any true or honest money in circulation in the country. 
“The president of the United States,” says Mr. Davis, “by calling an extra session of Congress; the members of Congress by their speeches during this special session, and the widespread and very earnest discussion of the subject in the public press, and on the political platform, have given to the money question a prominence which it has always deserved but never attained in this country until now. By the repeal of the silver compromise measure of 1890, the gold standard party have crossed the rubicon, and, in my opinion, there is no probability that it will retreat.” 
After the repeal of the Missouri compromise law in 1851, the Slave Power in this country would not consent to either halt or retreat. After taking that step it was doomed to either win or die. It was proud, aggressive and tyranical. Slavery was declared to be as old as the world and as universal as man, and the ownership of labor by capital was said to be the normal condition of the human race. It was argued that in all countries and in all times slavery had predominated over peoples and governments, and its haughtiness knew no bounds. 
So now, the Money Power. It oppresses and claims the right to oppress All peoples, and there is no limit to its aggressions or to its greedy demands. more

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