I feel a little the same way about the #OWS movement this spring. Yes it is hard to get the band back together after time off. Yes, the cops have probably infiltrated every meeting with more than five participants to disrupt and suggest the preposterous. But #OWS cannot seem to come up with what to do next because it suffers from some structural problems. They obviously have NOT figured it out.
Petitioning a bunch of arrogant and powerful private banksters is a quite different problem that petitioning one's own government—so the tactics of the 60s won't be of much help. The "revolutionary" ideas from the Marxist left won't help much because Marx barely wrote about the problems of lending and monetary policy. And the history of the movements against the money centers such as the Greenback Party, the Peoples Party, etc has been buried under such a steaming pile of horseshit over the years that it takes years of digging to find the relevant nuggets of truth.
Fortunately, there are literally billions of people who want #OWS and its sister movements to succeed and thrive. One such person is Michael Lewis—a man who has been observing the follies of Wall Street for a very long time. Listen up kids—the man knows what he is talking about.
Boycott the Big Greeders
Michael Lewis Advises Occupyby MISSY BEATTIE MAY 6, 2012
The concept is somewhat egotistical. But if you believe that what you have to offer is valuable, the published self-interview is an attention getter.
Recently, Michael Lewis, author of Liar’s Poker, used the device and cornered my vision field when he wrote an article about the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) and proposed suggestions for its improvement.
Lewis admitted, “I think it [OWS] is a bigger deal than I did when it first started.” He continued with an important observation–that people didn’t like the occupiers living on their streets, “but they liked what they stood for.”
Precisely. The 99 percent not present at an occupy site, yet watching from wherever, applauded the condemnation of economic injustice created by the exploiter/capitalist class.
Many people, though, have expressed frustration and criticism that the movement lacks focus. “It needs a concise list of demands,” a friend wrote in an email.
In cities and communities throughout the country, the young, old, and in-between have gathered to discuss grievances, cutting through a thicket of outrages to agree on an agenda that includes education reform, universal healthcare, jobs creation, immigration rights, repeal of the Patriot Act, overturning Citizens United, abolishing student debt, an end to home foreclosures, and saying no to war. Most groups focus on broad issues as well as those impacting their particular locales.
Many tactics have been conceived to denounce Wall Street crime and the awarding of trillions of dollars in bailout money paid by taxpayers.
But what is accomplished when demonstrators prevent tourists from entering an attraction like the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum? Answer: The tourists get really pissed.
And what is accomplished when protesters stand in front of the White House? Answer: Nothing.
And what is accomplished when volunteers sign petitions, make phone calls to their representatives, or walk the halls of Congress to engage staffers? Answer: A little bit of nada.
Michael Lewis’ guidance to advance OWS will deliver:
… if I were in charge I would probably reorganize the movement around a single, achievable goal: a financial boycott of the six “too big to fail ” Wall Street firms: Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo. We would encourage people who had deposits in these firms to withdraw them, and put them in smaller, not “too big to fail” banks. We would stigmatize anyone who invested, in any way, in any of these banks. I’d try to organize college students to protest on campuses. Their first goal would be to force the university endowments to divest themselves of shares in these banks. more