The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Occupy Wall Street vs. “Save the Middle Class”

Stirling Newberry weighs in.


The reason many liberal and progressive elites


From a historical point of view


  1. jcapan

    Killer post, even by a “pedigree name” like Newberry (h/t Mo-Bama).

    As Zinn always put it, the middle class’ raison d’être in the eyes of the plutocrats is to serve as a buffer between their gilded estates and the rabble who might otherwise eat them. With their fabulous wealth, they’ve always set aside a little kitty of coins and opportunity, sufficient to buy off a sizeable group only too happy to turn their backs on the downtrodden.

  2. Unfortunately, Sterling gets it wrong right out of the gate. There is no list of “demands of the leadership” at all.

    What Sterling cites is a Declaration of the New York General Assembly. It is a declaration of fact (not demand) as reached by consensus agreement of the New York General Assembly.

    The NYCGA operates without leadership.

    These are almost impossible concepts for many people to grasp — which is why the media has been having so much trouble finding a narrative for what is going on.

    At this point, there are no “official” demands, just like there are no “official” leaders (in a hierarchical sense at any rate). At least not from the NYCGA.

    “Demands” are being developed informally, in New York and in most of the other occupations, now numbering close to 150 in the United States alone.

    Here is a link to just one of the New York informal demand discussions.

    Sterling wraps up with what may turn into another false perception:

    The grind of reality is going to coöpt occupy. The police are not their friends. They have no one to vote for, and so must get more radical until a candidate finds them. Occupy is the meme that takes in the unemployed, the working, the disaffected.

    Reality is raining down on them. Literally. But coöpting? Maybe not. Last night they were having an intense discussion about the need for sleeping bags and whether they should authorize spending $2000 to buy 100 of them. Consensus: Yes. But it wasn’t reached by decree. Nor, so far as I can tell from the minutes of the GA, was there a vote.

    The police may not be their friends now, but now isn’t always. Part of what many of them would love to do is to “flip” the police. One of the chants goes like this: “We ARE the 99 percent!” And when they chant it near cops, they add, “So are YOU!” It’s unlikely than many of the police will join them, but you never know, and the activists in Liberty Plaza are not closing off the opportunity.

    Voting is one of the least of their concerns right now. Candidates are of little or no interest. The electoral pageant is going on in some other reality. The model of participatory democracy they are exploring and partially utilizing doesn’t even have votes. How can you have a democracy without voting???? They’re exploring it. The full model is already in practice in Europe. Apparently, it can be done, and it does work. Whether it will take root here, who knows? But the point is there are other ways to go about doing things than those we’re conditioned to expect and accept.

    A rough guide to the model process they’ve adapted in their own way in New York, and which is — roughly — what’s being adapted and utilized in many of the other occupations:

  3. There are no demands on that document. It is a list of grievances, not demands.

  4. Benedict@Large

    Interesting. It was just a few days back that I heard (again) someone (Hartmann, in this case) yammering on about the “middle class”, and I thought, hey, what about the rest of the people?

    Good to see that others are thinking similar.

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