Volatility

September 16, 2011

September 17th, Take Back September, Occupy Wall Street

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The bankster Sodom is set to tremble tomorrow when, according to the plan, twenty thousand or more will assemble at Wall Street to occupy it indefinitely, turning it into America’s Tahrir Square. (Simultaneous occupations are planned for London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, LA, San Fransisco, and many other cities.)
 
Occupy Wall Street is the project of an alliance of loosely defined groups aspiring to serve as the catalyst for a great democratic assembly. (In finest First Amendment fashion, for Constitution devotees.) This assembly shall be devoted to One Simple Demand.
 
(Some of the organizers started out with an incredibly lame demand – begging Obama to appoint some kind of phony commission. Indeed, if that still looked like the demand, I wouldn’t be bothering to write about this. The latest communique is still paying lip service to this supplication idea. But it sounds more like this is just the form rather than the substance. The substance is becoming more amorphous, more open-ended, looking outward. It’s clear that if the people assemble in all their rage and good will, they won’t tolerate such a disgraceful “demand”. The real demands will emerge in the course of the assembly, as they did in Egypt.) 
 
The actual tactical geography seems unclear. There’s not a discrete square as in Cairo. The plan is basically to try to physically get onto Wall Street, and if that’s impossible at first, occupy as many side streets as possible while probing for further opportunities. They seem to be counting on the genius of spontaneity to work tactical wonders, rather than having as well-ramified a plan as the Egyptian activists did. We’ll see how well it works.
 
What’s most promising about the intent here is that unlike with well-behaved loyal-opposition demonstrations (authoritarian hierarchy, permits, and all), this will attempt to be a truly democratic effusion, the best combination of planning (the basic call and statement of the goal) and spontaneity (it’s up to the people to come and actually do it their own way as the events play out and are played by citizens and thugs), which achieved such great (but far from complete) results in Egypt.
 
In principle, this reclamation shall be ongoing and serve as the catalyst for a permanent democratic renaissance. Needless to say, the kleptocracy will attempt to prevent this. They’ll try to prevent the assembly in the first place. And if anything coheres, they’ll use whatever force is possible to disperse it. The odds are long, no doubt about it.
 
But however this attempt works out, it’s already within the motion of a wave rather than a quantum which can be isolated and defeated. The basic call to regroup and reassemble after every dispersal applies not just on the physical Wall Street starting on Saturday, but to the entire movement, worldwide over great vistas of place and time. They can club us here, they can disperse us there, but we’ll continue to regather in ever greater numbers over ever greater ranges and actions. 
 
While there’s currently a more notorious September milestone, it’s possible that tomorrow will be the beginning of a new September with a new, positive day of democracy to obliterate the cult of the exploited dead. Wall Street has occupied America long enough.

13 Comments

  1. Wall Street is increasingly nothing but a hoary facade. The actual trading action takes place elsewhere. However the Wall Street located NYSE still has symbolic power; this, despite the fact that so much of the day’s trade occurs via algo driven bots, i.e. HFT, in nondescript industrial buildings in the swamps of Jersey and elsewhere. I hope more people begin to realize that nothing, and I mean nothing, short of this sort of activity-writ vastly larger, broader and even more focused -is the only chance for “change we can believe in.”

    Comment by Edwardo — September 16, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    • Hi Edwardo,

      I think everyone gets that physical occupation of the streets in itself wouldn’t much hinder the processes of financialization. It’s meant to be symbolic, political. You’re right about the only kind of change we can really believe in.

      Comment by Russ — September 16, 2011 @ 10:59 am

  2. I’m surprised Chicago, derivatives capital of the world, didn’t make the list. Oh well…

    Comment by Ross — September 16, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    • Well, the list wasn’t handed down, but generated from the bottom up. (Originally it was just Manhattan, I think.) I guess in Chicago they couldn’t get anything organized. The list I wrote wasn’t exhaustive, though. Elsewhere I saw, e.g. Athens and Valencia mentioned. So there could be something happening in Chicago, though I didn’t see it anywhere.

      Comment by Russ — September 16, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  3. I’ve been waiting three years for this demonstration! I’ll be there!\

    QUeens represent!

    Comment by casino implosion — September 17, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    • Glad to hear it. I can’t get any info so far.

      Comment by Russ — September 17, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  4. So far the turnout was underwhelming, although it did force a disproportionate police presence in order to block off the streets leading to Wall Street and Federal Hall, as well as to guard symbols like the shitting bull statue. So if nothing else it was symbolic of how the ROI to the system’s self-maintenance gets worse and worse. (It’s already far into the red.) That’s one small example of what Tainter wrote about.

    But on the whole day one was a symbolic failure. A small contingent is now camped out in a park.

    AlJazeera’s live stream here. Lots of photos and videos.

    http://storify.com/ajstream/occupywallstreet

    Comment by Russ — September 18, 2011 @ 7:01 am

  5. The action continues. It may add up to something yet.

    Lots of stuff here.

    http://www.correntewire.com/occupy_wall_street_sunday_afternoon

    Comment by Russ — September 18, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

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  7. We like to think that the forms of government in countries such as U.S.A, Canada, Australia, U.K. and various other European nations are democratic. They are not.

    How many times do governments make improper decisions and the people pay. Greece is a current example. If the people have to pay for bad decisions then they should be the ones who make the decisions. Governments too often treat the public as children who are not able to make their own decisions.

    Democracy needs to be relevant to the new era in which we live. Current forms of so called democracy were designed for an era dependent on primitive technology and communications. Today the voting public can have a direct say in every major decision of government.

    I propose a form of real democracy:

    When political parties run for election they would be required by law to:

    Publish an executive summary of each portfolio (government ministry) identifying goals, strategies, key performance indicators (KPIs) with time lines and Budgets.

    The Treasury provides equal funding for the campaigns of each party. All parties cannot exceed the same set spending level.

    A contract is established between the voting public and the winning party. The party then forms government.

    Should the government not meet its KPIs within predetermined time frames and budgets then an online referendum is called to decide if the voting public will continue to allow the governing party to continue. The party has the ability to present it’s case prior to the vote being taken. Alternative parties also have the opportunity to present their viewpoint before a vote is taken.

    Each voter is given a secure pin number, all voting takes place online. For those without computers they attend upgraded Centrelink facilities (We move millions of dollars each day via pin numbers- certainly secure online voting could be achieved if the will was there to refine the technology). Online voting would provide for comparatively cheap, easy and instant results.

    All key policy issues such as immigration, foreign ownership, carbon tax, defence, education, health, government spending and so on would all be put before the voting public as a matter of course rather than be decided upon by government. Each major decision for the country would be truly made by the people and not by the government of the day. Surely this is a greatly superior form of democracy than what we have today.

    Thank you for considering my concept.

    Comment by Foolsh Injsutice — October 4, 2011 @ 3:29 am

    • Thanks, foolishinjustice. That would certainly be far more democratic than what we have now. But I fear it still would be easy for criminals to manipulate and hijack. Besides, if the criminal elites continue to exist at all, then why would they bother allowing such reforms? The record so far is that they’ve doubled down on tyranny and will stick with it to the bitter end, theirs or ours. I suggest that seeking partial democracy doesn’t go far enough and wouldn’t be tenable.

      (And I disagree that we’ve “progressed” beyond the true democracy and human economies of the pre-capitalist age. On the contrary, capitalism itself is the result of cheap, plentiful fossil fuels and exponential economic “growth”. Both of these are unsustainable. We’re returning to the natural course of history, and the question is whether we can re-establish the communitarian human economies and polities which prevailed throughout humanity’s natural history (as the anthropological evidence shows), or whether instead the current kleptocracy will succeed in its plan to reimpose feudalism, but in a far more vicious form than it previously existed.)

      Meanwhile, it’s clear that the people can directly rule themselves through true council democracy. We need none of the mediating false-federalist structures to somehow filter, interpret, process, and most of all commodify our will.

      Do we need big government or corporations, big political and economic structures? It’s clear we’d be better off with a council democracy base, with true federal structures appending from that.

      But I suppose the messaging of that will have to gradually become acceptable, as people finally see with their own eyes how reform-within-the-system cannot work.

      Comment by Russ — October 4, 2011 @ 5:37 am

  8. […] I haven’t been following it and thinking about it. Rather, it’s because like I said in my first post about this, whatever happens here is just the earliest of its beginning. Almost everything that’s been […]

    Pingback by September 17th, Occupy Wall Street, Levels of the Movement « Volatility — October 5, 2011 @ 9:33 am

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