Not a big fan of Russel but damn if he didn't score on this one. Article below:

 

 

As a person who cares deeply about Occupy Wall Street, I have to honor their year-long effort and educate my long-time friend, Jay-Z. This weekend, he was interviewed by the New York Times where he discusses OWS, where he was quoted as saying “I’m not going to a park and picnic, I have no idea what to do, I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want, do you know?” If he understood it and endorsed the movement, it would make a big difference to poor people. As the same man that said he would pay more taxes if it helped educate more children and create affordable healthcare, Jay-Z's words matter. He was honest enough to say that he didn’t understand it. A lot of Americans don’t. He was also honest enough to recognize that there are some in the 1 percent who "deceiving" and "robbing," so I know in his heart he gets it. I know he is a compassionate person who cares about the poor, so I'm certain if I had two more minutes with him, I could change his mind.  

 

I went to Zuccotti Park, the home-base of the Occupy Wall Street movement, almost everyday for months. I listened to the young people talk about their 99 problems. The 99 percent. Healthcare reform. Prison industrial complex. The war machine. Bad schools. Lack of access to affordable higher education. Genetically modified food. Gay rights. Immigration reform. Crumbling housing projects. Climate change. Everyday, there was a new protester with a new sign, fighting for the rights of the under-served. There was never an official agenda or media-friendly talking points. Zuccotti Park and the Occupy camps that sprung up around the country were places for any and every person to come and share ideas about how to better perfect our union. Our democracy.

 

I would agree that for many it was hard to understand the purpose of the movement if you did not attend any of the General Assemblies, or march hand-in-hand with the millions of protesters around the country. The months during the height of the beginning of the movement were unlike anything we had seen before in our nation. A protest led by no one, but always led by leaders. Organized through social media, yet no organization at the forefront. This was a true people’s campaign.

 

If we look back at the accomplishments thus far of Occupy Wall Street, there are many. For one, the national conversation that preceded September 17th, 2011 was dominated by a manufactured political fight in Washington to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a credit default. Within the first weeks of OWS, the conversation had been changed to the real issue that is eroding America; economic inequality, a topic that hasn’t been discussed for decades. Within the first few months of OWS, the conversation evolved into an examination of how Wall Street’s money has destroyed our political system and took control of our democracy. The prison industrial complex, lower taxes for the rich, the outsourcing of jobs, Wall Street running rampant, poisonous foods for our children, even some wars and almost everything that disempowers the poor, is a result of money passing from lobbyists and corporations to our politicians. And that is what Occupy Wall Street is fighting against. It is a sad state that the politicians work for the people who pay them, not for the people who elect them. That is not democracy.

 

If you look at the current Presidential election, Money Mitt Romney and his buddies are spending 12 times that of President Obama in special interest money and/or Super PACs. Money Mitt is clearly being manipulated by big corporations and folks who can write $10 million checks. The man changes his position every three days. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizen’s United, our democracy sign was placed on the front lawn with big red letters: FOR SALE! I am encouraged by President Obama’s support of using a Constitutional Amendment as an option to return our democracy back to the people. This will be his legacy issue. I am sure of that. And without the pressure of Occupy Wall Street, this conversation might never have happened.

 

So, Jay, here's the deal. You're rich and I'm rich. But, today it’s close to impossible to be you or me and get out of Marcy Projects or Hollis, Queens without changing our government to have our politicians work for the people who elect them and not the special interests and corporations that pay them. Because we know that these special interests are nothing special at all. In fact, they spend millions of dollars destroying the fabric of the black community and make billions of dollars in return. For example, the prison lobby paid politicians to create a so-called "War On Drugs" that resulted in a prison economy that disproportionately locks up black and brown people, including many of your friends and mine. They took drug-infected, diseased people, locked them up, educated them in criminal behavior and dumped them back into our community, thus producing a jail culture for our streets. There are more black people under correctional control (prison, jail, parole, probation) today, than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War. This is just one issue that has been bought and sold. If we have to occupy Wall Street or occupy All Streets to change the course of direction of this nation, then we must. We must take our democracy off the market and let the world know that it is no longer for sale! Mic check!

Your Friend,

~Russell Simmons 

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"Everything is legal if the government can see you"-  KRS-ONE

Original Post

" . . . evolved into an examination of how Wall Street’s money has destroyed our political system and took control of our democracy. The prison industrial complex, lower taxes for the rich, the outsourcing of jobs, Wall Street running rampant, poisonous foods for our children, even some wars and almost everything that disempowers the poor, is a result of money passing from lobbyists and corporations to our politicians. And that is what Occupy Wall Street is fighting against." 


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This is what Occupy Wall Street should have made clear, and they did not, and Occupy Wall Street was protesting the wrong street, they should have been 'occupying' Congress.

Originally Posted by sunnubian:

" . . . evolved into an examination of how Wall Street’s money has destroyed our political system and took control of our democracy. The prison industrial complex, lower taxes for the rich, the outsourcing of jobs, Wall Street running rampant, poisonous foods for our children, even some wars and almost everything that disempowers the poor, is a result of money passing from lobbyists and corporations to our politicians. And that is what Occupy Wall Street is fighting against." 


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This is what Occupy Wall Street should have made clear, and they did not, and Occupy Wall Street was protesting the wrong street, they should have been 'occupying' Congress.

I have to disagree.  I've heard this on several talk shows but still think many are somewhat missing the point of OWS. 

 

Much of 'activism' today is defined strictly in political terms dealing only with the existing establishment.  OWS is to activism what Hip Hop (late 70's) was to music.  Depending on your perspective, it wasn't hard to tell something 'new' was on its way.  Those who where unconnected to the culture and life (for whatever reason) where caught off guard and didn't understand it.  It was a culmination of things/events and not a singularly crafted entity.   The argument that Warren Ballentine and several others advance concerning protesting congress misses the the unifying them of just about every incarnation of 'Occupy...'.  That is, congress is an adjunct for multinational corporations.  YES the congress makes 'wall street's' actions legal.  But they do that not out of some naturally unavoidable characteristic of government......but its what best for those in are in the dominant Power Relation, which for the US (and the globally connected economic system) is the corporation.

 

I hate to sound like a commercial for OWS, but as with other issues Im very big on separating the legit issues/positions from the MSM's white noise.

 

The fact is that Black institutions have a lot to learn from OSW including how we conceptualize our issues.  

 

I still say that Occupy Wall Street was too chaotic, did not have a clear message or a plan and should have been occupying Congress for making every thing Wall Street does that is destruction to our economy and average Americans legal in the first place, otherwise, Wall Street would not be a problem.

  I can't BELIEVE it...he talks.   Wow.  I haven't heard Russell say them many words in years....and he makes sense! GTFOH!!!  Another wow.  Hmmm.  I guess him getting older with children agrees with him.  Now he knows that there are other people in the world besides those entertainers on Def Jam.  You think?  Having said that, now that Jay Z's a father....he is gonna catch up Russell.  He nows has to think about somebody other than himself.  We both know that the "we" gotta help our people was a bunch of bs propaganda from the hip hop world.  Now the real test begins.  JayZ what kind of papa are you gonna be?  The one who looks away and say I don't understand what this mean?  Or the one who says I don't really understand what that means....but!  In the meantime, I'm gonna try to do something to make it a little better...until I KNOW exactly what it means?  Will you be that guy?  Cuz Russell is climbing out of that shell and talking with a lotta damn sense I NEVER knew he had.  I'm kinda impressed.  Not really.  I know he has to be some kind of positive role "model" for his daughters....and I know that he cannot be stuck on stupid FOREVER.  It's not a good look on a tooooooo grown man.  Especially a black man.  Cuz the thing is yall cannot continue to have this welfare hip hop mentality when you are looked up to globally.  Maybe Jay-Z is still trying to hold on to that hood rat backward azz mindset even though he and wife is having dinner [and partying] with Michelle and the President.  Or...maybe Jay-Z still hasn't evolved maturely enough yet to recognize what his real goal in life[other than making money] is.  Cuz his music history is just the journey to do larger things.  He gotta see that.  And hopefully since he is now a newfound daddy....I'm sure he will.  Just give him a little more time Russell...he'll come around...just like YOU did.  But!     

Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  I can't BELIEVE it...he talks.   Wow.  I haven't heard Russell say them many words in years....and he makes sense! GTFOH!!!  Another wow.  Hmmm.  I guess him getting older with children agrees with him.  Now he knows that there are other people in the world besides those entertainers on Def Jam.  You think?  

 

You took the words right outta my mouth, Ms. Koco!!! 

 

Yes, Russell Simmons HAS MATURED (better late than never, I suppose!!) And, after reading this .. and another recent article he wrote ... as one of his biggest critics ... I was just about to give him credit for finally getting it together and becoming - dare I say .... socially SENSIBLE and even INTELLIGENT about what's REALLY going on within the Black community!!

 

But ... you beat me to it!!  '

 

But, also, just let me add that .... this could be the start of something GOOD!!  As much damage as Russell did as an advocate of the hip hop culture .... he could really do just as much repairing and progressiveness towards a BETTER end result ... due to the clout he still carries with the younger generation.

 

Let's keep our fingers crossed for the hope of that miracle happening, shall we?? 

Originally Posted by sunnubian:

I still say that Occupy Wall Street was too chaotic, did not have a clear message or a plan and should have been occupying Congress for making every thing Wall Street does that is destruction to our economy and average Americans legal in the first place, otherwise, Wall Street would not be a problem.

 

I couldn't agree more, Sunnubian!! 

 

The only real benefit of "Occupy" that I can see has been as an "informant" to a whole lot of people who had no previous clue about corporate corruption and the income/wealth gap disparity in this country.  They were able to show the unfairness of capitalistic greed against the majority population.

 

But other than that ..... nothing. 

 

With no plan, no action, no cohesiveness, no leadership, no forward progress on the issue you are "championing"  .... knowledge changes nothing!!  And NOTHING has changed since the first "occupiers" first pitched their (no longer existing) tents in protest!!

 

Political action is what brings about change to a country!!  You have to change the LAWS/RULES of the way things are done ... or "change" does not happen.

 

I guess the "occupiers" thought that Wall Street execs would change the way they do business just because they should .... because they sure didn't do anything - and STILL aren't doing anything ... towards trying to make "change" happen.

 

It was a great - but totally useless and ineffective - idea.  And, seemingly, that's all they will ever be.  Because they are barking up the wrong tree if their intention was to actually make something (good) happen.  They're not even in the right State.  Let alone dealing with/talking to the right people for what they say they want. 

Sista ER wrote: 

 

But, also, just let me add that .... this could be the start of something GOOD!!  As much damage as Russell did as an advocate of the hip hop culture .... he could really do just as much repairing and progressiveness towards a BETTER end result ... due to the clout he still carries with the younger generation.

 

  Exactly my sista!  And this is why his evolving  "enlightenment" is soooooo huge.  Young people are gonna embrace this, cuz as we know almost every "black" kid wanna be either a rap star or basketball player.  His realization will be a model for youngsters to start THINKING  Whew!  I just love that word.  It hasn't been around in a few generations....but!  It's acoming back.  Hal le lu yer  Cuz when one begins to THINK...that's when amazing things unfold.    Like discovering that there are more careers out there besides music and basketball.  And listen, our culture NEEDS this cognitive interacting among our youth.  Cuz this thought connection/process has been brain dead for a couple of decades now. 

 

Let's keep our fingers crossed for the hope of that miracle happening, shall we?? 

 

Fingers crossed.  And so are toes.    I'm so excited cuz youngsters are listening....they are finally listening.  Yay!  And thank god he's feeling  GUILTY for the DAMAGE he's done to the black community and "maning" up i.e. being accountable for it. His conscious finally CRACKED open.   But most importantly, he's doing something about the wrong he did in a very big way. The next thing you know other  black "celebrities" [particularly those in the music/sports world-including Jay-Z] will follow his example.    Cuz that's how change comes.  One person at a time,  And if this trend continues with "stars" like Russell giving back to the culture in this intellectual manner, I can really envision one day there will be more of our kids in schools learning how to be brilliant than in prison mentally wasting the milestones of achievements that should have been.  This is my largest hope.  But! 

 

Originally Posted by EbonyRose:
Originally Posted by sunnubian:

I still say that Occupy Wall Street was too chaotic, did not have a clear message or a plan and should have been occupying Congress for making every thing Wall Street does that is destruction to our economy and average Americans legal in the first place, otherwise, Wall Street would not be a problem.

 

It was a great - but totally useless and ineffective - idea.  And, seemingly, that's all they will ever be.  Because they are barking up the wrong tree if their intention was to actually make something (good) happen.  They're not even in the right State.  Let alone dealing with/talking to the right people for what they say they want. 

 

I think most criticisms of OWS along those lines are disingenuous.  Almost everyone I've heard from who has directly interacted with OWC (in NYC) and other areas speak to how effective their organization was/is.  Not has a matter of being on news shows and making daily media appearances (which corporate controlled media has an interest in NOT promoting), but in how they handled issues, disagreements, concerns and issues from those who chose to take part in the G.A.

 

The idea of OWS's 'chaotic' message took off once it was clear they had NO interest in being cheerleaders for the Democratic party establishment.  This wasn't out of ignorance, but a deliberate point of movement identification.  They made it clear that OWS is not an creation of nor incarnation of the existing political establishment.

 

This always causes fear in the political establishment.  Suddenly OWS is something people take interest that they do not control.

 

Depending on what circles of political and social activism you're in will determine how you read OWS's movement.  There's plenty of internal and external criticisms, but one thing is clear--there's been a real impact from the casual language to describe what's going on (99 %vs 1 %) to the types of questions being raised about the nature of wealth inequality.

 

 

Of course there's also that other reason..........

 

Corporate media and corporate controlled branches of governments are not interested in any questioning of the economic system called Capitalism.  Sadly, the same is true of many who consider themselves activist and political commentators.

 

Before you can solve a problem you must deal with how you conceptualize the issue.  In that way alone, OWS has done for social inequality what Michelle Alexander has done with New Jim Crow. 

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.

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.

 

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12474

Last edited by Muhammad Cipher
Originally Posted by sunnubian:

 

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

 

 

I think you're hitting on a very important point here, Sunnubian ... only it's actually just the opposite of what you're saying!! 

 

The truth is ... probably an overwhelming majority of the American public DID/DOES NOT know the truth about "wealth inequality"!!  Certainly not as it pertains to the intricacies of what causes it ... or the particulars of what results from it.  Like Jay-Z ... as Russell Simmons is pointing out in this article.  It's unfortunate, but true, that 'political ignorance' is at an all-time high for most Americans in this country.

 

People always think I'm being mean when I say that ... but, really, it's just a matter of fact and truth.  Most people (particularly majority, middle-Americans) tend to realize that while there are "rich" and "poor" people ("haves" and "have-nots") .. and the line between the two is distinct .. they have NO IDEA what has caused - REALLY caused - such disparities.

 

They have NO IDEA how they are manipulated by the collusion of Wall Street and the government (especially the Republican politicians they continuously vote into office election after election!!).  And sadder still, for many, they simply don't have to intellect to be able to EXPLAIN it to them ... even in the simplest 1+1 = 2 type equation.  Which is why things have gotten to the abysmal point that they are today.

 

You suggest, and rightly so, that in order to make the type of economic changes that would correct and lessen the "wealth inequality" - and that most people know/agree should be made and that they say they want and that they believe would be a fairer way to achieve economic equality - congressional/legislative action is the only way to do it.  The problem is that MOST Americans have NO IDEA what Congress does ... what their function is ... how what they do affects and dictates what happens in their daily lives ... how it works .. how it doesn't work ... and, most importantly, what they, as voters/citizens/Americans have the power to do to CHANGE it and actually make it work for them!!

 

You could walk down any street, in any city, in any state in this country and ask 100 people to answer those questions.  And I GUARANTEE you ... at least 8 our of 10 of them would get the answers wrong. 

 

To it's credit ... OWS informed/educated a LOT of (otherwise politically/socially/economically ignorant) people about economic issues ... which was a GOOD thing, because you now have thousands of people who have a MUCH better awareness about our economic situation than they had known before!!

 

But ... knowing what the problem is ... but NOT knowing what to do about it to correct it makes that knowledge futile.  If your car breaks down on you .... simply knowing it's not working does you no good towards getting you to work on time.  Until you add the action of taking it to a mechanic, who can fix the problem for you ... your car is useless and your situation will not be changed one iota. 

Last edited by EbonyRose
Originally Posted by Muhammad Cipher:
 

The idea of OWS's 'chaotic' message took off once it was clear they had NO interest in being cheerleaders for the Democratic party establishment.  This wasn't out of ignorance, but a deliberate point of movement identification.  They made it clear that OWS is not an creation of nor incarnation of the existing political establishment.

 

 

This is very true!!

 

And, it was my belief (and hope) that precisely because of this factor, and due to the extraordinary of number of people all over the country willing to participate and get involved, and the unprecedented amount of focused media attention it garnered .... OWS - had they had the necessary and intelligent leadership in place - could have established the grounding for the formulation of a much needed THIRD POLITICAL PARTY ... motivated by the people, of the people and for the people!!

 

They had everything they needed to convince millions of people (99%!!!  ) of the righteousness of their cause!!  They established the platform ... but no agenda.  Had no desire to even try to vet candidates to speak to those issues that clearly affected the majority of the citizenry. 

 

"We, the People" were on their side ... listening ... watching ... ready and willing to move forward and do whatever was necessary make ALL our voices/wishes heard ... force change ... demand satisfactory results.

 

And what was OWS's response???   Nope!  We refused to make that our mission!!  We'll TALK about what needs to be changed ... but actually MAKE that change happen??  No, thanks!  Maybe somebody else will want do that. 

I hear you ER.

 

All I'd suggest is that with OWS (and any other organic or grassroots cultural movements) they are works in progress.  I agree with a third political (short of changing the entire voting system in US)---and to that end many people are attracted to the Green Party for many of the same reasons as OWS.  People laugh off the Green Party as non viable which goes right into the typical political reasoning OWS and others have tried to breakdown.   

 

Check out the video posted above.  You may not agree at first, but I've notice a huge difference in the types of conversations people have when they're not limited by what the establishment deems practical or acceptable.  Including but not limited to discussions on racism (as in white supremacy), reparations here and abroad to questioning and rethinking the design of cities and urban landscapes (look up David Harvey's Rights to the City).

 

 

 

Originally Posted by Muhammad Cipher:

Check out the video posted above.  You may not agree at first, but I've notice a huge difference in the types of conversations people have when they're not limited by what the establishment deems practical or acceptable. 

 

 

 

Okay, M.C. ..... I watched the video! 

 

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I'm gonna have to condense my answer here at this time!  But, hopefully, we'll be able to delve into deeper discussions about it later on!

 

However ... there are a couple of points I would like to make while the interview is still fresh in my mind!

 

First ... I think one of the biggest differences between our perspectives on this is .. well, in a word .. Richard Wolff!!    Unlike him (and you) ... I do not believe in nor would I advocate for getting rid of "capitalism" as economic policy in the United States!!  Yes, I agree with his statements of the "flaws" of the current capitalist state here ... but, it's not my feeling that there's enough wrong with it that an alternative should be that we get rid of it (as a whole) .... and try something else - like that Mondragon (sp?) system he's so fond of.

 

I would not want/agree with/advocate/accept that as a viable alternative for us ... in any form!  So ... we're just never gonna agree on that point ... which I accept, but in no way disparage you or your feelings about it for feeling the opposite way!!  We just disagree!!  But .. no harm, no foul! 

 

Secondly ... after watching that discussion ... I feel I do have a better understanding of your feelings/beliefs of societies ... oh, let's call it .. indifference to the reality of how capitalism works and its affect on our daily lives.

 

And to that ... I would have to say this:  First ... I don't necessarily disagree with the assertion that corporations and government are/have been pulling the wool over the public's eyes when it comes to capitalism and the economy, etc.... but, I have to relate that back to what I told Sunnubian above ... that LARGELY factored into that is the basic ignorance of the population itself ... not to know/understand/care/investigate the IMPORTANT things that affect them ... that make it SO EASY to be duped by these corporate/government entities!!!  And for that, I blame THEM (the people) ... as much if not more than I blame the corps/politicians for taking advantage of that!!! 

 

I mean ... it's not like such information or considerations have been/are being hidden ... it's just that people don't/haven't cared enough to find out what's really going on!  And, quite frankly ... as IMPORTANT as that is ... they should do a better job of it for themselves!! 

 

Thirdly ... as to the discussion they had about Prof. Wolff's professors not teaching or allowing alternate/controversial economic practices to be discussed (At Yale, Harvard and the other one, no less!! ) ... to me, that simply speaks to the ridiculous notion that White folks believe they know best!!  And, I'm sorry, but that's just always been a moot, non-important, unworthy conversation for me because ... I've NEVER believed that!!!  Never will.  Can't take that seriously.  And don't believe anybody else should either!!

 

It's a debunked myth.  And we should have moved past all that a long time ago.  But, for those still trying to hold on to that ridiculous theory ... it's time to just leave them behind if we're serious about progressing from this point on. 

 

But ... the good professor bought into that brainwashing mentality (I realize it was a long time ago and he was younger and I'll afford him 'youthful ignorance' for that!) but White people trying to take advantage and get over is NOTHING new!!  And intelligent people don't give it its undue credibility anymore.  And we shouldn't take it seriously.  Again .. it's time to move on to more relevant discussion and conversation!

 

Lastly ... I thought it was very interesting at the end when he talked about the creation of the Social Security and unemployment systems (being developed out of the crisis of the Great Depression!). 

 

I noted that at the beginning and the talk regarding OWS ... it was discussed how people tended to (wrongly) bypass the criticisms of the wrongdoings of the industries/corporations/Wall Street that made their money off the backs of the citizenry ... and instead, go after government looking for "change" and solutions for correcting those inequities!! 

 

However ... at the end he DID NOT give due credit to the fact that Social Security and those other "social" programs (which are arguably more successful than the capitalist model of economic policy that just about sent us over a cliff!!!) were a FUNCTION and CREATION of GOVERNMENT!!  And the fact that ... social change ... he's talking about .. can ONLY be achieved at and through that level (i.e. governmental action!)!!

 

I do not disagree that people should have acknowledged and directed anger at the Wall Street entities for their misdeeds and creating the outrageous LARGENESS of the economic inequality we suffer in this country!!  But, the fact is ... "Wall Street" doesn't care how pissed off we may be .. or how much we may complain or picket or demonstrate or "occupy" them!!  NONE of that would/will be enough to make them even consider CHANGING their ways!! 

 

It is GOVERNMENT and CONGRESS that have given them the tools/permission/legality to operate in the unsavory way that they do!!!  And it will only be GOVERNMENT and CONGRESS who can/will make them change their current practices.  They will NEVER do it themselves "out of the goodness of their hearts!"  That scenario doesn't even exist ... because, as they've shown, they have NO HEART for the well-being of anybody but themselves!!

 

So, as I said before .... OWS deserves MUCH, MUCH credit for opening up such an important conversation amongst those who had no idea about the economic conditions and circumstances that exist in this country!!  But  .... that wasn't enough.  Nothing has/will changed with mere TALK.  Nothing has/will change with a lack of ACTION.  Nothing has/will change with White people/Republicans calling the shots.

 

But .... changing our POLITICS - namely ... more people becoming intelligently and knowledgeably  involved in the process ... would/will change EVERYTHING!! 

 

Okay ... that wasn't short ... and I'm really late now!!  Gotta go! 

Thirdly ... as to the discussion they had about Prof. Wolff's professors not teaching or allowing alternate/controversial economic practices to be discussed (At Yale, Harvard and the other one, no less!! ) ... to me, that simply speaks to the ridiculous notion that White folks believe they know best!!  And, I'm sorry, but that's just always been a moot, non-important, unworthy conversation for me because ... I've NEVER believed that!!!  Never will.  Can't take that seriously.  And don't believe anybody else should either!!

 

 

Thanks for checking it out.  Like you Im just writing this in passing before heading out.  We can by all means discuss this further if you wish, but I did want to address the above because I think you mistook the point.   The "Taboo" of Marx is one of many that are spoken of in academia.  You'll hear of the same thing discussed among Black Ph.D's so much so there's talk of holding or having informal apprenticeships just to help navigate the very political world of pursuing a doctorate.   This is true from religious studies to work in physics.  I do not hold to the idea AT ALL that 'white folx know it all'.  That said, to phrase my bro Wesley Muhammad "Good scholarship isn't Black or white, its good methodology and bad methodology".  So while I naturally lean toward helping my own and crafting my efforts in that direction.....I was taught to seek knowledge from everywhere. To that end, what David Harvey spoke about (and others at length) is the changing atmosphere of what can and cannot be discussed or entertained in the institutions that claim to be about cultivating ideas.  This is true on HBCU's as well.  

 

I didn't realize it was the one-year anniversary!!

 

 

Occupy Wall Street movement: Spent after first year?

 

Protesters marked the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement today with rallies in more than 30 cities around the world, including a march on the New York Stock Exchange, not far from the park where the movement was born.

 

Police say more than 100 people have been arrested as Occupy Wall Street protesters march in small groups around Manhattan's financial district. Police also removed four protesters in wheelchairs after they blocked a busy street Monday.

 

Loud chanting and the sound of drums filled the air. The demonstrators clogged traffic, and dozens of police officers and vans lined the streets.

 

But as the last of its urban encampments close and interest wanes in a movement without an organizational hierarchy or an action agenda, it's unclear whether Occupy's first birthday will be its last.

 

Hector Cordero-Guzman, a City University of New York sociologist who has studied the movement, says it has made an impact. Many of its complaints and some of its rhetoric -- notably "We are the 99%!" -- have become the stuff of mainstream politics.

 

Occupy, he says, "changed the political conversation from where it was last summer. Income inequality, money in politics, the influence of Wall Street -- you can see those now in the presidential campaign. You see it in questions about Bain Capital and about Mitt Romney's tax returns."

 

STORY: Several arrested on Occupy 1-yr anniversary march

 

He was referring to Democratic claims that the GOP nominee's venture capital firm profited by cutting jobs at companies it bought and to Democratic calls for Romney to release more information about his personal income taxes.

 

On Monday, a couple hundred protesters converged near the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate Occupy's anniversary, marking the day they first gathered at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan last September. About a dozen were arrested after sitting on the sidewalk, but there was no sign of a planned "people's wall" on the streets surrounding the stock exchange. Instead, protesters held a small meeting where they talked about the ills of Wall Street and corporate greed.

 

About 300 people marched in New York on Saturday, the first of three days of rallies, teach-ins and other events. At least a dozen were arrested then, mostly on charges of disorderly conduct, police said.

 

The anniversary comes as Occupy encampments continue to close.

A week ago, Occupy protesters abandoned their spot in front of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus after getting an eviction notice from the city for failing to obtain a $100 permit and lay down a security deposit of at least $500.

 

In Tampa, Occupy members on Saturday moved out of a private park where they'd been ensconced for eight months with permission from its owner. Neighborhood residents complained that the tent city had become an eyesore populated mostly by the homeless.

 

Jared Hamil of Occupy Tampa says members probably would reform into a network of smaller groups.

 

At the political conventions this summer, Occupy's ability to mobilize large street protests seemed spent.

 

Cordero-Guzman predicts the movement will survive the loss of its urban encampments, because it's changing: "They're in a second wave now. Connections have been made; they have social media. They don't need the camps as much as they did."

 

 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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