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August1991

The 7 Contradictions of the Occupy Movement

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That's because you are not an asshole.

And we all know that you are not an asshole. Really.

Cyber, at least in my mind he was making a reference to Job's god like ability to bring Apple back from the dead. But humour is sometimes such that you can offend some with the slightest joke.

Edited by sharkman

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Occupy doesn't oppose private wealth, nor do they claim they have no property. I'm not sure where you get that from.
Cybercoma, how would you feel if I decided to move onto your lawn?

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I would feel like you're making a poor metaphor.
These kids who slept in tents in North America accomplished nothing. It was a big waste of time and effort.

It happens in life. You work hard, try to do something and then you realize that you were wasting your time.

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These kids who slept in tents in North America accomplished nothing. It was a big waste of time and effort.

It happens in life. You work hard, try to do something and then you realize that you were wasting your time.

For a bunch of kids that accomplished nothing, there's a hell of a lot of attention on economic inequalities in America now, as well as a focus on the inefficiencies in the bnaking industry. For a bunch of nothing, the banks dumped an awful lot of money into counter lobbying (on pace to break their record this year) to try to discredit that nothingness.

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I fail to see the humour in making fun of someone's death.

That's because you are not an asshole.

What drab, sad, cheerless people.

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For a bunch of kids that accomplished nothing, there's a hell of a lot of attention on economic inequalities in America now, as well as a focus on the inefficiencies in the bnaking industry. For a bunch of nothing, the banks dumped an awful lot of money into counter lobbying (on pace to break their record this year) to try to discredit that nothingness.

:D

Looks good on them.

On 60min tonite it was said that many many investigations are in progress, take time to do right, and stay tuned for a parade of charges.

The former risk manager of Citibank rang the right alarm bells about forged signatures for mortgages for people who didn't qualify ... because they were paid commission.

The CEO and CFO signed off knowing all wasn't in order ... worth a 10 year sentence for knowingly selling bad debt to investors.

I feel better knowing it's in progress.

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What drab, sad, cheerless people.

If only we could see the humour in making fun of someone's death.

But hey, I have some Holocaust jokes you're gonna love that'll be sure to bring the house down over Hanukkah dinner this year.

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If only we could see the humour in making fun of someone's death.

But hey, I have some Holocaust jokes you're gonna love...

For which you would get a moderator warning or 1 month vacation.

As if joking about the Holocaust is the same as joking about Job's death.

Edited by sharkman

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For which you would get a moderator warning or 1 month vacation.

As if joking about the Holocaust is the same as joking about Job's death.

I wasn't asking you and frankly have little interest in your thoughts.

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For a bunch of kids that accomplished nothing, there's a hell of a lot of attention on economic inequalities in America now, as well as a focus on the inefficiencies in the bnaking industry.
The term "banksters" predates the letters "OWS". Rich vs. poor? How about Obama's election.
For a bunch of nothing, the banks dumped an awful lot of money into counter lobbying (on pace to break their record this year) to try to discredit that nothingness.
"Counter lobbying"? So for you, this is all about advertising/raising awareness/spreading the word...

According to you cybercoma, there is no "reality". There is only people's perception of reality.

----

With such a view, I am not surprised if the Left can only win popular elections when people are in dire straits and desperate for an alternative. The mainstream Right is the default for most people.

Edited by August1991

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With such a view, I am not surprised if the Left can only win popular elections when people are in dire straits and desperate for an alternative. The mainstream Right is the default for most people.

Since the mainstream Right is the default for most people, and that the Left can only win popular elections when people are in dire straits and desperate for an alternative, then guess what causes the dire straits and desperation?

Good for you August, you are finally getting a clue.

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Since the mainstream Right is the default for most people, and that the Left can only win popular elections when people are in dire straits and desperate for an alternative, then guess what causes the dire straits and desperation?

Good for you August, you are finally getting a clue.

Uh, Leftists caused the stock market collapse in 2008? Is that what you mean?

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Since the mainstream Right is the default for most people, and that the Left can only win popular elections when people are in dire straits and desperate for an alternative, then guess what causes the dire straits and desperation?

Good for you August, you are finally getting a clue.

The Left wins support when the contradictions of the system itself become unbearable for large swathes of society. The Left (that is massively restricted in normal capitalist times) has no power to affect the development of capitalism as you seem to be implying.

The tendency of capitalism to fall into crises (be them cyclical or systemic) is 100% inherent in the logic of the system itself. No "conspiracies" are required for capitalism to fall into crisis. It just bread and parcel of its own functioning.

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The Left wins support when the contradictions of the system itself become unbearable for large swathes of society. The Left...has no power to affect the development of capitalism as you seem to be implying.

Leftists can vote. And what contradictions? Or hasn't your Marxist history professor explained them? Or are you saying that people that create wealth aren't writing you a check out of the goodness of their hearts?

(that is massively restricted in normal capitalist times)

Restricted by who?
The tendency of capitalism to fall into crises (be them cyclical or systemic) is 100% inherent in the logic of the system itself. No "conspiracies" are required for capitalism to fall into crisis. It just bread and parcel of its own functioning.

Do Marxist societies have crises? Are North Korea and Cuba paradises on earth? How many people try to rowboat from Florida to Cuba?

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The Left (that is massively restricted in normal capitalist times) has no power to affect the development of capitalism as you seem to be implying.

No power ? I think the left has some power, don't you ?

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Leftists can vote. And what contradictions? Or hasn't your Marxist history professor explained them? Or are you saying that people that create wealth aren't writing you a check out of the goodness of their hearts?

Restricted by who?

Do Marxist societies have crises? Are North Korea and Cuba paradises on earth? How many people try to rowboat from Florida to Cuba?

You ask about what these contradictions might be. FYI:

a) Unemployment

b. Massive income and wealth inequalities (resulting both due to the inherent logic of capital accumulation and deliberate neo-liberal policies)

c) The tendency for the labor-day to increase when capital is given free-reign, despite the constant progress of time-saving technology

d) The tendency for wage "suppression" even in times of robust economic growth

e) The tendency of the system to fall into one crisis after the next (witness the present period)

The above, are only some (the most fundamental) "contradictions" inherent in the capitalist system. These can more or less be papered over during "boom periods" but when capitalism hits the fan, they do tend to explode, and subsequently cause at least a questioning of the hegemonic capitalist logic.

You also ask who restricts the Left (by that I mean radical/critical thought and the organized working class, roughly speaking) under normal capitalist times. Well, there could not be a more obvious reply to that question. The capitalist owned mass media for one who act as ideological agitators in favor of capitalism 24/7. The financial power of the ruling class that can easily buy-out political leaders (let alone trade-union leaders) that could potentially cause trouble to the system itself. This has been especially pronounced in the Western World in recent decades, but is not as necessary in the Third World since there is little if any democracy there. You can also add the education system that is is designed as to merely re-produce the socio-economic system under which we live in. By "re-produce" we mean both at the material, and the ideological level. For example, the way that many radical thinkers were lured into an academic career of a "post-modernist" trajectory - so as to not ever say anything truly hostile in relation to capitalism - is indicative of the mechanism that I am describing.

And last but not least, the productive success of capitalism itself (its ability to raise the standard of living) is the ultimate basis upon which the long-term survival of the system itself relies upon.

As for North Korea and Cuba.

Well, if your argument is that a venerable socio-economic system that has ruled the globe for several centuries, and now encompasses almost 7 billion people, is more potent than two extremely isolated ex-colonies, then you are right. But that is not what the critique of capitalism is about.

Crucial reminder: Capitalism is not just Florida, California, Tokyo, London, Frankfurt etc... Capitalism is also Congo, Pakistan, the favellas, the millions of unemployed (now found even in the most privileged and advanced capitalist nations) and generally the entire globe in all its astonishing misery. Selectively choosing the bits and parts of capitalism that make you feel good about it, is not very much of a scientific argument.

Edited by dalitis

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You ask about what these contradictions might be. FYI:

a) Unemployment

b. Massive income and wealth inequalities (resulting both due to the inherent logic of capital accumulation and deliberate neo-liberal policies)

c) The tendency for the labor-day to increase when capital is given free-reign, despite the constant progress of time-saving technology

d) The tendency for wage "suppression" even in times of robust economic growth

e) The tendency of the system to fall into one crisis after the next (witness the present period)

The above, are only some (the most fundamental) "contradictions" inherent in the capitalist system. These can more or less be papered over during "boom periods" but when capitalism hits the fan, they do tend to explode, and subsequently cause at least a questioning of the hegemonic capitalist logic.

You also ask who restricts the Left (by that I mean radical/critical thought and the organized working class, roughly speaking) under normal capitalist times. Well, there could not be a more obvious reply to that question. The capitalist owned mass media for one who act as ideological agitators in favor of capitalism 24/7. The financial power of the ruling class that can easily buy-out political leaders (let alone trade-union leaders) that could potentially cause trouble to the system itself. This has been especially pronounced in the Western World in recent decades, but is not as necessary in the Third World since there is little if any democracy there. You can also add the education system that is is designed as to merely re-produce the socio-economic system under which we live in. By "re-produce" we mean both at the material, and the ideological level. For example, the way that many radical thinkers were lured into an academic career of a "post-modernist" trajectory - so as to not ever say anything truly hostile in relation to capitalism - is indicative of the mechanism that I am describing.

And last but not least, the productive success of capitalism itself (its ability to raise the standard of living) is the ultimate basis upon which the long-term survival of the system itself relies upon.

As for North Korea and Cuba.

Well, if your argument is that a venerable socio-economic system that has ruled the globe for several centuries, and now encompasses almost 7 billion people, is more potent than two extremely isolated ex-colonies, then you are right. But that is not what the critique of capitalism is about.

Crucial reminder: Capitalism is not just Florida, California, Tokyo, London, Frankfurt etc... Capitalism is also Congo, Pakistan, the favellas, the millions of unemployed (now found even in the most privileged and advanced capitalist nations) and generally the entire globe in all its astonishing misery. Selectively choosing the bits and parts of capitalism that make you feel good about it, is not very much of a scientific argument.

(a) Correct...Many neoliberal economists feel that certain level of unemployment is necessary,or at least,a by-product of their economic theories.Whenever there is a spike in unemployment we get a collective shrug of the shoulders and politely get told to go where the jobs are...That unemployment equates to social displacement...

(b)Correct again...Over the last 30+ years we have seen an abandonment of the post war social contract in favour of a different form of wealth redistribution under the guise of personal freedom.This,seemingly,is by design.Wealth is now going back upwards into the hands of the few but along with that wealth goes influence and power.

© Remember when we were told that all this new technology would allow us more leisure time and we would be able to work less???

How's that workin' out?

It seems that the speed that new technology allows us to complete work related tasks simply means we will work more BUT for less money...

(d)Correct again...The neoliberals love the increases in shareholder value,dividend increases etc due to increased profitability but how dare anyone ask for money to live on!!

COLA inceases??

Might as well be asking for gold bars!!

(e)Isn't it wonderful how those who game the system have to have the public bail them out of their greedy and failed schemes?

And then have the unmitigated gall to claim the sanctity of the "free market"?

Your point about the media is well taken.The media isn't left or right..It is corporate and is selling certain versions of any political persuasion to make money and be profitable.Being corporate,or right leaning in it's economic stance,it tends to lean towards the status quo.For the moment,this means towards the neoliberal economic view of the world.That means anyone who questions the status quo gets villified for being a "radical" or a "subversive" or an "anarchist" or a "Marxist".

Your point about the political class washing the neoliberal economic class' back,and vice versa, is also well taken.One need only look at how money is infecting the public process and is clearly seperating our political leaders from those who elect them to see why this is a problem.And when these "leaders" become corrupted in this fashion,they are beholden to their paymasters.This also has the horrible effect of usurping democracy as we know it and turn the democratic process into a rubber stamping body for those who would prefer a "business friendly" corporate agenda.

You are correct in that Capitalism does have the effect of raising the standard of living of many people...WHEN IT IS IN A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT...ie.many post war mixed market economies that see a relative level of economic freedom mixed with certain elements of public ownership.We are seeing this whittled away at an increasing and alarming rate under the guise of "personal freedom".

Finally,you have correctly identified the ugly underbelly that the neoliberals never want to admit to.The 3rd world is the unfettered Capitalists playground/dumping ground.The ugliness is kept far away from those of us who can take advantage of this system and it allows us to consume with a certain level of guiltlessness.The problem is that those problems of the 3rd world (chronic unemployment,social displacement,increasing levels of poverty) are beginning to show up in the West.Because of the pat "personal freedom" argument,we have turned our societies into consumer based societies instead of production based societies.In fact,we are in the process of shipping our means of production to lower standard of living jurisdictions in the pursuit of profit and cheap consumption.This exacerbates and accelerates the drop in our standard of living in the West and exacerbates and accelerates the wealth redistribution excercise sending capital upwards...

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dalitis and Jack,

Outstanding.

Thanks,but I don't want people to think I'm a Marxist...I am most definately not.History tells us that a properly controlled Mixed Market economy works best for all of us.History also tells us that an extremist view of the world,which a Marxist or an unfettered Captialistic view is, will give us extreme results...

This isn't good for anyone but a select few...

My problem with Marxism,other than it's dehumanizing attributes,is the same problem I have with free market libertarians who claim the "free" market is the most perfect thing in the world...

I find them both infantile,poorly thought out theories that don't work in the real world...

As I understand it,both Dr.Engels and Karl Marx felt that there would be three phases to "The Revolution":

1.A violent overthrow of the Bourgoisie and the Petit Bourgoisie...For an indeterminate amount of time!!!

2.A "necessary" dictatorial phase,where a "strong man" would be necessary to bring order to the resulting chaos out of the previous revolution...

3.The final phase would be where the "Dictatorial Phase" would magically morph into the "workers paradise" and it would be a virtual humanistic Shangri La...

Marx and Engels forgot one thing in all their idealism...The inherent capacity for mankind to be inherently greedy and mankinds inherent lust for power and control.By the way,it's the same thing the Free Marketeers seem to overlook,as well...

It's the very failing that makes both extremes unworkable...

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Thanks,but I don't want people to think I'm a Marxist...I am most definately not.

I know you're not. Nor am I. In fact, I don't like the idea of people being "Marxists," or (worse) "Randians," or what have you; such a paradigm demands that you squeeze everything into a preconceived box, trying to mesh old and new, and wonder what the Master would think about it all....

This isn't the way it's done in the hard sciences, and they would at least have slightly better cause. In the social sciences, as in the realm of Political Economy, there are no objectivities, or not of great and insightful note.

A market economy, with regulatory factors, a social safety net, and organs for protecting the rights of workers and the poor. That seems the best way yet devised, to my knowledge.

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