Why OWS Is Doomed
And The Tea Party Isn't
In an earlier post I commented on the violent reputation OWS is getting after 6 months of thousands of arrests, numerous assaults and myriad acts of vandalism, and contrasted the actual violence of OWS with the breathlessly anticipated violence that was supposedly forthcoming from the Tea Party - at least if you believed people like Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, and others in the Old Media.
Let's more clearly delineate the reasons why OWS is turning increasingly to violence while the Tea Party, despite all expectations, isn't and what this means for the future of both movements.
The key factor in determining whether a group of people with a common goal will turn to violence to achieve that goal is how successful they are getting what they want WITHOUT violence.
The Weather Underground Days of Rage protest.
After being resoundingly rejected by the Pro-Life movement for his radical, violent
views - like openly calling for the shooting of abortion doctors - Paul Hill took
matters into his own hands and killed 3 people with a shotgun.
He was put to death by the state of Florida in 2003
The counter of this showed up on the far Right in the 1980's and 1990's as radical right wing pro-life activists such as Paul Hill started killing abortion doctors. These radicals were also fully cognizant of the fact they could not get what they wanted through democratic means: the full and complete halt of the American abortion industry. So they turned to violence.
With this in mind, let's look at OWS and ask ourselves: what exactly is it that OWS wants? What is it's nature, and how does it go about trying to get what it wants?
OWS is a COUNTER-CULTURAL movement. Counter-culture means COUNTER to the broader CULTURE in which it lives. The opposite of, different, not like, etc.
As a distinct counter-culture movement, OWS wants to bring radical and dramatic change to American society. It has decided to try to call for the changes it wants by holding public protests in which they 'occupy' some public or private property and squat on it indefinitely.
As far as I can tell, there has been only one document put out by anybody associated with OWS that states what their goals are. Which they then COMPLETELY DISOWNED. Which means after 6 months nobody really knows or has coherently put on paper exactly what this mob is demanding.
This was put out by the first OWS encampment at Zucotti Park in NYC back in October of last year. Here is OWS's list of demands to the broader culture around it [which they state on their own website they are really not making after all]:
Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.
Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.
Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.
Demand four: Free college education.
Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.
Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.
Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.
Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.
Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.
Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.
Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.
Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.
Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.
These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.
Now here's the disclaimer OWS published:
This is not an official list of demands. This is a forum post submitted by a single user and hyped by irresponsible news/commentary agencies like Fox News and Mises.org. This content was not published by the OccupyWallSt.org collective, nor was it ever proposed or agreed to on a consensus basis with the NYC General Assembly. There is NO official list of demands.So here we are half a year later and OWS still hasn't gotten around to an official list of what exactly it is they want that is compelling them to occupy these parks and dump buckets of crap into bank lobbies and so on.
But notice what that official disclaimer doesn't say: it doesn't say they reject any of these demands. They just state it's not an 'official' list of demands.
If you've been watching and listening to OWS leaders being interviewed on TV for the past half year - and I have - that list does pretty much sum up what they are demanding. Massive wealth redistribution, end of legal immigration, massive increase of Federal power, absolutely stunning levels of new tax increases and debt, and so on.
The detachment of reality from these demands is kind of awesome in a way. Here the country is about to slide into the financial abyss. The PERFECT time for a small loud group of hippies to show up and loudly demand trillions of dollars in new spending.
...and after that I want all you pigs to pick up my empty Starbucks cups......
They know they have exactly 0% chance of getting any of this done through the American democratic process of elections and legislative changes. There is no way the American people would ever agree to the radical kind of expansion of State power that would be necessary to enact even 1/8th of the demands on that insane list.
OWS knows this. Especially after the results of the 2010 mid-term elections, they are aware the majority in the country is swinging to the Right, not further Left like they would like.
Yes, that sign is a parody. Well, at least I hope it is.
Think about this: how many times have OWS leaders talked about voting, getting active politically, sending new members to Congress? They don't talk like that. They make DEMANDS - that they want to see fulfilled NOW. And the 'OR ELSE' is coming.
As a counter culture movement, OWS is very small and tiny. It has no real numbers and therefore, just like the Weather Underground, cannot even make a real attempt at affecting real change to the country using the ballot box. The more honest OWS leaders have already admitted this and said in the end violent revolution is their only recourse.
Let's contrast this with the Tea Party. The Tea Party sprang into existence 3+ years ago when concerned Americans realized Obama's first move in office was to dramatically ramp up Federal spending to insane levels, far, far beyond anything in the Bush years.
People already upset at how Bush wouldn't control spending and debt were moved to action and protest as they watched the Obama administration call for over $800 BILLION in new spending right off the bat for the stimulus bill.
Unlike OWS, the Tea Party is NOT a counter-culture movement. It IS the culture. That's why it focused immediately and has stayed focused on working within the American democratic system, calling for people to vote, educating themselves about candidates, and putting forth candidates that will shake up Washington. It's about putting new people in power in the present system, not over-throwing it.
Instead of squatting in parks, assaulting cops, vandalizing buildings, etc., the Tea Party holds peaceful rallies. Everybody shows up, waves their signs, speeches are made, then they all pick up their trash and go home.
Only disenfranchised fringe groups resort to violence to try to force others to give them what they want. The franchised mainstream has no need to do that. And that's who the Tea Party is - the franchised mainstream.
Due to a black man being beaten by union thugs in Missouri at another Tea Party rally,
this man in Arizona brought a legally carried rifle with him.
Yes, you are allowed to openly carry like that in Arizona. Awesome, huh?
Oh hey, look how MSNBC tried to make a story out of that:
Yes, they actually did that.
How successful has the Tea Party been at affecting the change it wants? Take a look at what happened in the 2010 mid-terms. Liberals have already flushed it down the memory hole, so it'll be good for them to review:
The 2010 United States elections were held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 37 of the 100 seats in the United States Senatewere contested in this election along with 38 state and territorial governorships, 46 state legislatures (exceptLouisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia), four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races. The election occurred in the middle of Democratic President Barack Obama's first term in office.
Approximately 82.5 million people voted. The Democratic Party suffered major defeats in many national and state level elections, with many seats switching to Republican Party control. The Republican Party gained 63 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, recapturing the majority, and making it the largest seat change since 1948and the largest for any midterm election since the 1938 midterm elections. The Republicans gained six seats in the U.S. Senate, expanding its minority, and also gained 680 seats in state legislative races, to break the previous majority record of 628 set by Democrats in the post-Watergate elections of 1974. This left Republicans in control of 25 state legislatures, compared to the 15 still controlled by Democrats. After the election, Republicans took control of 29 of the 50 State Governorships.
Awesome. The maps make it even plainer:
OWS isn't going to end well. As this Spring draws on, they are going to get increasingly incoherent and violent because they really aren't getting anywhere, which will only heighten their difference in nature from the Tea Party.