Reply to "Jay-Z Is Right 99 Times, But This Ain’t One By Russell Simmons"

Originally Posted by sunnubian:

O.K., M.C., 


Please list exactly what Occupy Wall Street did or accomplished other than pointing out what we already knew, that there was wealth inequality.


There has always been wealth inequality in America and the entire world.  


The problem with America and Wall Street is not wealth inequality, but how Wall Street/Corporate America/Etc., has been able to amass obscene amounts of wealth at the expense of the American taxpayer, American jobs, American production, Americans' health and safety, and by price gauging the American consumer.  


None of what Occupy Wall Street is protesting could be done without Congress deregulating industry, creating laws and approving bills that are biased toward Wall Street/Corporate America/Etc., or without Congress and state legislatures, (and often local government) having an unconstitutional relationship with Wall Street/Lobbyists/the Corporate world, to the detriment of the average American citizen/tax payer.


Congress being under the undue influence of the corporate America and corporate America's money is really the cause of what OWS is protesting.  


I could never see why OWS never made that connection and why OWS never protested Congress and state and local officials/legislatures that made what OWS was protesting possible in the first place.


To be honest, OWS would have accomplished far more if they had protested Congress, our own government, for allowing a corporate take-over of our government, and registered people to vote at those protests.


You're making my point in a couple of respects.




OCW pointing out the existence of wealth inequality isn't what's new or attention getting.  What was "new" was the line of questioning and reasoning as to why.  I understand why you (and others) focused on Congress and the legality of "Wall Street" actions.  However, that's explicitly not the question or "target" of OWS.  Weighing their efforts has to be done in that light.  OWS doesn't absolve Congress, it stresses that Congress does what it does because that is what business interest (Capitalist) desire. What many have done (including myself in the past) was argue that in terms of a dis-functioning Congress. That's true but misses the root of dysfunction.  Its NOT because of any inherent flaw in the idea of government (which is what Tea Party ideologues claim).  Instead its an inherent characteristic of the economic system being used and all of the social policies that come from it .  Thus you still see protest in countries where you CANT outright buy government but still have the same issues (albeit to a lesser degree).


For example, Congress has yet again played with the Pell Grant and student loan programs in such ways that have and will seriously screw over students, so much so, that even teachers/professors are joining in with protest on the matter.  The typical response has been to lobby members of congress deemed sympathetic to our stance on the issue.  If none are present, we look for who can represent us on that issue.  That leads to political reasoning that limits who should run "based on electability" and what laws should be proposed based on practicality of passage.  Both are political considerations that involve satisfying the very apparatus (Congress) that is controlled by the Corporation that benefits from what the people are protesting.


OWS  re-introduced is introduced language and discussions (a huge overlooked part of this) that expanded how formulated the problem in their mind.  So in the example above, the reactions isn't simply finding a method of achieving what's politically possible (i.e controlling interest rates--a solution that embeds corporate involvement).  It is to question the arrangement at the Root (i.e do we need ANY corporate involvement/and furthermore Collage should be FREE and in no way a 'fee for service")


It should be noted that the Wall Street in OWS is a bit misleading and hides one of the biggest commonalities of all of the "Occupy...." movements.  They're not targeting Wall Street as the cause, the are targeting the system that produces and reproduces the same economic reasoning that is on Wall Street AND Main Street. 


If you haven't done so already, I'd encourage you to take some time and check out some of the differences between European and American political protest.  In Europe there is always a non-political aspect to protest and social change. The political apparatus response to them NOT because they're political but because there's no way to navigate around them socially and culturally.   



Its one thing to say that "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer".


What OWS represents is the people beginning to consider the idea "The rich get richer because the poor get poorer".  That places a direct relationship between wealth and poverty that cuts through the political slight of hand and self blame nonsense going on.


My apologies for the multi edits.  The interview speaks directly to the issue of OCW not going to D.C. and some other interesting things.

Last edited by Muhammad Cipher