Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Know your enemy

And know what's not your enemy.  Sabra looks at the Occupy Wall Street demands and (as is her wont) brings The Smart:
Now, I'm not claiming we are perfectly aligned.  Not at all.  But look at that, y'all: term limits, end the Fed, return to real money (gold?), repeal the Patriot Act, protect civil liberties, end law enforcement brutality (I can think of a certain Canton cop plenty of gunbloggers would like to see go).  Aren't we for that as well?  When last I checked, we were.

Here's the thing: this is a nascent movement.  Still feeling its way.  Here in San Antonio, at least, a significant portion of the protesters are libertarians.  That means there is common cause.
RTWT.  Especially this:
We are being played for fools.

We are being given false, misleading impressions of the Occupy protesters the same way they were previously given false, misleading impressions of the Tea Party.  They are no more unemployed slackers (quite a few of the posts on the local FB page were from people wanting to know whether the protest would still be going on when they got off work) than we are racist rich people.  Allowing the same mainstream media we distrust for very good reason to dictate our opinion of this is dangerous.
Every time we read a story in the press about guns, we roll our eyes.  Every time we read a story in the press about the Tea Party, we roll our eyes.  We know there's an agenda at work.

So now we read a story in the press about "slackers occupying Wall Street"?  Dude, get offa your Mom's sofa!

Sure, sure - this time it's different.  Remember the line from Brian Keith playing Teddy Roosevelt in The Wind And The Lion: I never shot anyone by accident.  I need their votes.

The elite - that's the trouble.  There are allies everywhere you look, if you look with eyes that will see.  And there are enemies everywhere you look, too, if you want to look that way.

The idea you couldn't capture the minds of a whole generation screwed by the intersection of the Universities and Wall Street willing to lend them non-dischargable student debt - if we can't convince these young folks of that, then we're the stupid ones.


Divemedic said...

I agree with the protesters on many points, chiefly that corporations 1: have too much power, and 2: should not be granted personhood.

Paladin said...

It's very hard for me not to find some sort of common ground with pretty much anyone (with a few exceptions). This is especially true of a movement that is protesting pretty much everything.

That's my main problem with the "Occupy" folks. No clear goal, no definition of what a "win" is, and just as many viewpoints that I oppose as those that I admire.

I agree completely, though, that the picture painted by the media and by others staunchly against the protesters can't be counted on as an acurate snapshot.

Borepatch said...

Divemedic, it's the intersection of corporate and government that worries me. Where the government takes favors (campaign cash) from corporations, and then passes laws that favor that corporation.

The word describing this is "corrupt".

BS Footprint said...

Remove corporate personhood, and most if not all of the U.S. income tax code, as well as a lot of other pieces of the legal system collapse in a pile of dust. Not that this would be a bad thing. But it might help to understand why it won't be going away anytime soon -- not without a major battle.


We know that the media/intelligentsia paint false pictures to marginalize and co-opt popular movements.

The challenge when joining forces with any movement: how to do that without the appearance of support for the nutty stuff the media do focus on? (You know, the Michael Moore/Free College Education/Social Justice ad nauseum stuff?)

This is 2011 America, and appearances are everything. If many of us have a media-influenced and distorted view of the OWS crowds, then surely the vast majority of the voting public are susceptible to those distortions, and we may not be able to prevent that happening in this case.

We say the media misrepresent the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements, and that we want to find common ground with the protesters, but we must also be wary of the ways in which any support will be spun to the home team's advantage, and we should be prepared to counter that spin.

The kneepad media are going down the toilet double quick, but they still maintain strong influence over the average American's perception.

I wish knew of a solution to that challenge.

Perhaps I'm wrong, and this is the tipping point moment for the restoration of the rule of law in America.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I'm not imagining all those I AM THE 99% pics where hundred of soap dodgers with bones in their nose whinge: "I have a Masters in Recycling Studies and a quarter million in student load debt. Gimme a 6-figure job at a non profit and forgive my debt. Gimme gimme gimme! I am the 99%"

So they are just like Tea Partiers but with a crippling over-inflated sense of self esteem and gross entitlement. Tell me when they fix that.

Jay G said...

Thank you, T-bolt.

Those "99%ers" might not be the majority of the OWS crowd, but they're sure getting lots of air time.

And one need look no further than the number of arrests in Boston alone of the OWS crowd to know they're vastly different than the Tea Party.

There are common goals, yes. But I submit that both the means to those ends and the aftermath are wildly different...

NotClauswitz said...

"Common Ground" is the tar in the tar-pit, and the misrepresentation and rhetoric is the usual language ruse to get you into it with them there, because THEY NEED THE COVER.
You're making a dangerous assumption that what they say is what they are about or even what they mean. At the Monty-Python playground level where these folks operate and gather to Socialize, the label-names have all been subsumed under the Big Academic Socialist Tent, and are more like badges (steenking badges!) of rank and distribution than anything else. They denote which realm of the Lefty RPG they're active-in, and maybe even who's their local Socialist dungeon-master.
Learned people get off-track with the notion of actual discourses, on the various definitions of National Socialism, International Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Corporatism - all babble. Don't fall into the cheese-trap of the modern Left; linguistic capture. The Left already owns those labels and distributes them however they please to whoever succors some new Lefty tangent - and that's what this whole "Occupy" movement is. In India the Maoists and the Left used this "occupy" tactic to bring-down businesses, it's old-school direct-action Ghandi-stuff.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

The Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is certainly important to remember, here.

However, simple observation by more reliable sources than the MSM shows some important facts. Things like these protests taking place in areas where they are not allowed, or without the requisite permits, and the powers-that-be looking the other way. Or, as Jay G has noted (and as I've seen more than one blog post about, the last couple of days) the number of arrests compared to the TEA party events, and the differing conditions of the protest areas during and after the protests between the two groups.

Even accounting for MSM incompetence/bias, these people just don't strike me as people I would want to call "friends."

Maxim #29: "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less." Another good thing we should keep in mind.

Ruth said...

I've gotta agree with a bunch of the other commenters....common ground or not, I'm not impressed and have no wish to be associated with them.

Anonymous said...

The moocher definition of "civil rights" is quite the opposite as the producer definition.

I do not think I can get past that.

NotClauswitz said...

Remember the puppets on stage are getting exactly the airtime the MSM (who elected Teh Won) want.
The actual confluence of activity that we are seeing is the bursting of the Academic/Higher-Ed Bubble, but the structural flaws go all the way down to unsupportable Lower Education expectations.

SiGraybeard said...

I'm beginning to think of this as open source civil war. I guess I'm kind of slow - they keep talking about the "Arab spring" and Tahrir square was nothing if not the first such civil war.

In the interviews and research I've seen, you have anarchists and communists protesting together. What on Earth do they have in common? Much like the Muslim Brotherhood took over after the Egyptian government collapsed, if they succeed in collapsing our system, the communists will simply execute everyone else. It's not like mass murder is a new thing for them.

They're protesting in the wrong place. Instead of protesting the banks for loaning them their tuition, they should be protesting the colleges, who raise fees at about 3 to 4 times inflation. The rise in fees is in perverse response to the flood of easy government loans to pay for college: supply of money went up, demand for it goes up. They should be protesting the government that made the laws that made student loan debt follow you for life. They should be protesting the government for doing everything to enable and accelerate the banking crises.

Today's fun fact: Harvard has an endowment worth $32 billion. If they paid every undergraduate's tuition, fees and books, it would cost 1/1000 of that - $32 million. That endowment grew over 21% last year. Based simply on that, they could pay all undergrad fees forever, without endangering a single new building. Don't get me wrong - I think it's good for students to figure out how to solve the problem of paying for college. I went to school part time while working full time. But the major institutions can fix this tuition/loan thing all by themselves.

TinCan Assassin said...

Personally, I am starting to lean away from the term limits thing. I've seen what Presidents who have nothing to fear from voters can do. Can you imagine Congress? Last term, I can't get re- elected, can't get fired, let's shove something through. Methinks it'll be bad juju with the unintended consequenses. We've only had one "President for Life". And he had to run (wheel?)every 4 years. And the Electors kept voting him in.

greg said...

You have a great point about the media. Back in my sailor days, I had the 'honor' of being assigned to the newest submarine in the fleet, and it tended to get a lot of press in the papers, and even a Popular Science and Newsweek article.

I remember being blown away by how much they got just 'flat out wrong' in those different stories, and it made me think 'If they are this wrong about something that I know about, are they this wrong about EVERYTHING?'

wolfwalker said...

While I fully understand both the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect and media bias, I can't agree with Sabra that it's worth trying to find common ground with the OWS gang. Everything that I've seen, including the factors cited by JayG, says that OWS is made up mainly of two groups:

1) Barry Lackwit's base supporters, trying a new tack to get the stuff they want that he hasn't given them; and

2) bandwagon-jumpers who think (wrongly) that the OWS gang is a new variant on the Tea Party concept of true voter revolt, and that it has a chance of succeeding where the Tea Party hasn't.

TCA: FDR might not have won in 1944 if the public had known how sick he was. Your argument against term limits is a strong one, but on the other side of that coin is Congress's seniority-driven leadership system, where the old fogeys like Schumer and Frank and the unlamented, unmissed Drunk Slob hold the most important posts, and junior senators and representatives can accomplish nothing. Keep in mind that even in last fall's elections, that shattering, catastrophic swing in power between the two parties, four out of five seats were held by the incumbent and most of those weren't even contested. And even after that election, Congress went right back to business as usual, with all the usual graft and corruption. The system is filthy, and needs to be changed.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

To reinforce my earlier point, I see Weer'd has noted that they're costing the people of Boston roughly $2 million.

How much did the TEA party rallies cost taxpayers?

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Well, it looks like I'll get a chance to evaluate them for myself. I'm just not sure how representative of the overall movement they'll be - we seem to get a lot of "I'm in college, so I guess I should join this protest movement" types.

wv: slymi - How... apropos.