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The Best Among Us

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Posted on Sep 29, 2011
AP / Louis Lanzano

Protesters pass Federal Hall on Wall Street in a recent march. The Occupy Wall Street protest is entering its third week in New York City as demonstrators continue to speak out against corporate greed and social inequality.

By Chris Hedges

Editor’s note: Chris Hedges’ weekly columns usually appear here on Monday mornings, but Truthdig posted this week’s edition early, on Thursday, Sept. 29, in the wake of controversy about the pepper-spraying of participants in the Occupy Wall Street protest.

There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.

To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal. Ask Tim DeChristopher

Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons, their foot soldiers hunting for you on the streets with pepper spray and orange plastic nets. They have their metal barricades set up on every single street leading into the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and gorge themselves while one in four children outside those barricades depend on food stamps to eat. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves. They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs.

The only word these corporations know is more. They are disemboweling every last social service program funded by the taxpayers, from education to Social Security, because they want that money themselves. Let the sick die. Let the poor go hungry. Let families be tossed in the street. Let the unemployed rot. Let children in the inner city or rural wastelands learn nothing and live in misery and fear. Let the students finish school with no jobs and no prospects of jobs. Let the prison system, the largest in the industrial world, expand to swallow up all potential dissenters. Let torture continue. Let teachers, police, firefighters, postal employees and social workers join the ranks of the unemployed. Let the roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grids, rail lines, subways, bus services, schools and libraries crumble or close. Let the rising temperatures of the planet, the freak weather patterns, the hurricanes, the droughts, the flooding, the tornadoes, the melting polar ice caps, the poisoned water systems, the polluted air increase until the species dies. 

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Who the hell cares? If the stocks of ExxonMobil or the coal industry or Goldman Sachs are high, life is good. Profit. Profit. Profit. That is what they chant behind those metal barricades. They have their fangs deep into your necks. If you do not shake them off very, very soon they will kill you. And they will kill the ecosystem, dooming your children and your children’s children. They are too stupid and too blind to see that they will perish with the rest of us. So either you rise up and supplant them, either you dismantle the corporate state, for a world of sanity, a world where we no longer kneel before the absurd idea that the demands of financial markets should govern human behavior, or we are frog-marched toward self-annihilation. 

Those on the streets around Wall Street are the physical embodiment of hope. They know that hope has a cost, that it is not easy or comfortable, that it requires self-sacrifice and discomfort and finally faith. They sleep on concrete every night. Their clothes are soiled. They have eaten more bagels and peanut butter than they ever thought possible. They have tasted fear, been beaten, gone to jail, been blinded by pepper spray, cried, hugged each other, laughed, sung, talked too long in general assemblies, seen their chants drift upward to the office towers above them, wondered if it is worth it, if anyone cares, if they will win. But as long as they remain steadfast they point the way out of the corporate labyrinth. This is what it means to be alive. They are the best among us.

Click here to access OCCUPY TOGETHER, a hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St.


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IMax's avatar

By IMax, November 27, 2011 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

Is it interesting that the Web site, OCCUPY TOGETHER, was cited on this space only six days after the OCCUPY TOGETHER domain name was registered? That this freshly released Web site was referenced immediately following a Hedges article?

In light of the fact that Chris Hedges is involved with AdBusters, and that AdBusters registered the domain name OCCUPYWALLSTREETORG in June of 2011, I find this citation of OCCUPY TOGETHER on Sept. 29 intriguing.

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By Rachel Federman, November 2, 2011 at 6:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you thank you thank you - Amen - I am with you - How unbelievably great
to read the truth - in print no less - I am headed down there now to support the
marines marching today. Strength!

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By Cliff Carson, October 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

The OWS movement across the Nation is seeking redress from the Financial skulduggery of the Fed.  And the Co-conspirator U S Government.

When I have written about the International Financial Conspiracy in the past - the fact of the Financial Cabal has been questioned by several regulars on here.

Read this Link to see where nearly all of the transference of wealth arises from:

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1095269452.php

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By Keith Thomas, October 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

@OzarkMichael - You wrote: “i dont trust so many coincidences at once.” Quite
wise. However, note that some people have been quick to declare that Occupy Wall
Street is a “False Flag” operation or else is funded by George Soros:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KAi83th2m4

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, October 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

So far, I don’t see any evidence that anyone in the Obama administration had anything to do with the Occupation.  I think in fact may pose a considerable problem for them, since they can’t accommodate it with offending their financier backers and they can’t crush it without giving the game away to what’s left of their base.

Hmmm. You arent thinking ahead. If a crisis occurs either for the Occupiers or Wall Street itself, Obama can save the day. He can make some concession and Wall Street will have to agree to it and thank him for it.

Think of it this another way. The pressure is on Wall Street. Thats where the protestors are pointing the finger of blame, right? So its not really a problem for Obama.

Anarcissie, listen. Try to think objectively about this just for once. As long as the Occupiers are pointing their finger at Wall Street, who gets off the hook for its share of the financial mess?

The government.

And who benefits the most when the government is off the hook?

The President who is up for reelection. That is undeniable! 

Also when you said ‘no evidence of Obama administration’, you are thinking in your assigned little box. Open up and think freely.

As we all know, you dont need administration officials to do the dirty work. All you need is the right ‘friends’. And Obama has those. Steve Lerner, Bill Ayers, and more.

Obama is in a win/win situation and the timing is perfect. You will say its all coincidence.

i dont trust so many coincidences at once.

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By Keith Thomas, October 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

@The 1% You wrote: “I love the OWS protestors and the inherent hypocrisy in their
message. They moan about corporations ... They shout slogans while wearing
clothes, made by, guess what - corporations. They use Twitter, iPhones, and
Facebook to spread their anti-corporate message.”

Cut the ad hominem slurs! The OWS people are using the tools and resources
legally available to them. If you have a substantial criticism rather than just a
smart aleck, low-effort debating point, let’s hear it.

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By The 1%, October 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love the OWS protestors and the inherent hypocrisy in their message. They moan about corporations on their blogs, which are usually hosted by other corporate hosting entities. They shout slogans while wearing clothes, made by, guess what - corporations. They use Twitter, iPhones, and Facebook to spread their anti-corporate message. Oh the irony of it all…

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By Max, October 9, 2011 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By golly, I hope this Occupy Wall Street movement is not going to be just one more flash in the pan, like countless others before it.  Ever since the Enron story came out, I found myself wondering where do Americans get their stoic mindset from. Actually, what I have wondered the most about was, what is it that was keeping Americans from taking to the streets, in the light of all those corporate malfeasances?
The Made off (Madoff) story came and went, then came the Arab Spring like a flat-handed slap across America’s face, and yet, Americans did nothing or so it seemed to me.  I was baffled out of my mind.
It was as if people of this generation has no knowledge, let alone appreciation for the history of social changes; or that they feel too good, too sophisticated to be seen in marches, demonstrations and civil disobedience activities.
When people in the Arab world who knew nothing but the most brutal form of dictatorship—the kind which America arms, finances and supports for centuries, when such people can muster enough courage to take to the streets and demand changes for their societies, while Americans sit on their hands, as their ruling class get away with crimes like freeway bandits; you know that something just doesn’t add up.
My mother uses to say that “it’s never too late for a dog to go mad.” If through this Occupy Wall Street movement America and Amrericans have just been stung by the madness virus, I just hope it spreads from sea to shining sea and that it lasts another 5000 years.

May the FORCE be with you all!

Max

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By StephenS777, October 8, 2011 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Chris and everyone,

I really think this is a very important article and I’ve been passing it along to many people. I have great respect and appreciation for your work, but I have one request: please stop using the term “paddy wagon and use “police van.” The term “paddy wagon” is offensive to some of us. 

Perhaps, when time allows, the article could be edited to substitute “police van” for “paddy wagon.”
(Third paragraph: “Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons…”) 

Thanks so much for all your excellent work, your sacrifices and, yes, your leadership. I’ve read nearly all of your books, articles and lectures.

With great respect,

S.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, October 7, 2011 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Great speech! Let us commend our brothers and sisters sacrificing life and sometimes limb to tell Wall Street that they are tired of its plan to move us all to a life of subsistence! We won’t stand for it!!

The Russians, the Poles and many others from former Eastern Block nations will thank you for your efforts. Those that have been introduced to the free(-for-all) market miracle and democratic “reforms”.  They will suffer with your failures and rejoice along side you in your victories. They will be eagerly watching you as they line up in the shivering cold in bread lines or at the soup kitchen.

6.5 million Iraqis will thank you, 2 million of whom are now dead and gone, half of whom were starved to death by years of US/UN sanctions. The other half receiving either a bullet in the eye, a Napalm sun burn or suffered the ravages of depleted uranium warheads within their bodies and among their crops. The other 4.5 million would be the displaced from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Unlike us here, I am sure many of them would be tickled pink to be able to see the many McDonald’s or KFC’s that we see here sporting a Help Wanted sign placed in the window.

5 million Congolese who lost their lives in just a few years in wars and conflicts supported and fueled in major part by Uncle Sam will thank you.

And OH!..By the way, what streets were you occupying when all THAT was taking place?!?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

So far, I don’t see any evidence that anyone in the Obama administration had anything to do with the Occupation.  I think in fact may pose a considerable problem for them, since they can’t accommodate it with offending their financier backers and they can’t crush it without giving the game away to what’s left of their base.

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Lee Oates's avatar

By Lee Oates, October 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

I was wondering how long before security agencies and right wing flakes would try to turn the protest into some left-wing conspiracy.  Here comes the spin to install fear and attempt to force the 99% back in line.  In a few weeks they will be calling them Communist, Terrorist, radicals, etc, and claiming they are dangerous to the country.  In reality, the protesters are just American citizens who are tired of being ripped off by the criminals on Wallstreet and the attempt by right-wing Fascist to take over the government.  We heard the same right-wing crap in the 60’s.  I hope that the protests spread to include getting us out of Iraq and Afganistan, stopping torture, closing Gitmo, and installing a descent medical system like almost all the first world nations have.  But that would mean we would have to depend on intelligent voters.  Good luck with that.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, October 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Anarcisse said: I can’t see how they can turn it around at this point.  Which suggests that Mr. O and his associates either did not start the Occupation, or if they did, quickly lost control of it.

Come on, think. They did start it, the evidence is right there if only you would look at it. They did start it but they arent arent riding it. If it spins completely out of control with claims of police brutality… that will work for Obama. He comes in to make sure the protestors are safe. Our hero!

On the other hand, the Occupiers might succeed in bringing down Wall Street. Then Obama steps in for the compromise which saves Wall Street on leftist terms and that allows him to pursue a truly progressive agenda next term. Our hero!

I can think of more scenarios, but they are all win/win/win for Obama.Think of the Occupation as a planned, staged event but the kiddies on the ground get to decide what to do.

There are some things they have been coached not to say.

Remember the video “dont say it bro!”?

Or the one when an old Liberal Elite stepped in before the young niave Occupier spilled the beans?

Why arent you responding to these facts? The least you could do is offer some explanation. Hopw long will you keep your head buried in the sand?

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By ZenBowman, October 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

Why would the state try and oppress a movement which
calls for the further empowerment and centralization of
the state?

Doesn’t pass the sniff test.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 5, 2011 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Well, for one thing, I was there and looked around a bit.  There are certain evidences of astroturfing, such as mysteriously slick promotional materials, mysterious people who seem to be in charge but not really but really, mysterious flows of money from obscure sources, miraculous media attention, efficient logistics and organization, which were plainly missing during at least the first week of the Occupation.  If it was astroturf it was the worst-executed astroturf I have ever seen or heard of.

(You have only to observe a ‘general assembly’ to see how painfully slow and inefficient their decision-making process is.  I’ve seen these methods before; I was at a meeting two years ago where a dozen people took 20 minutes to decide how to get a broken doorknob fixed.  I’m not joking.  This is not the stuff of which astroturf is made.)

The other thing is, you have to ask who would be funding and supporting the movement, and why—assuming somebody is.  You can see that the Democratic Party is trying to capture the movement (for instance, on Truthdig, see the ‘Can the Left Stage a Tea Party’ article), but they are going to have a lot of problems given the connections of their leadership, including Mr. O, with the financial industry, and their ideological and policy failures of recent years.  I can’t see how they can turn it around at this point.  Which suggests that Mr. O and his associates either did not start the Occupation, or if they did, quickly lost control of it.

If anything, I would say the Occupation presents the Democrats with a big problem: how to divert and co-opt a movement which is primarily against them without giving the game away or offending their masters.

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who'syourdebs's avatar

By who'syourdebs, October 5, 2011 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

For once Chris is concise, and as eloquent as I’ve ever heard him. You are a hero, too, Chris, you who so deftly place that moral compass on the current state of affairs in the US so tirelessly. Courage is the other side of faith. But watch your back—the Cointelpro program of the ‘70’s was never dismantled, though they may have given it another name. They’ll have agent provocateurs, informants, and other miscreants in tow. They surely have quite a file on you by now. Seeing that Obama says it’s OK to murder American citizens, if we think they’re bad enough, who knows what’s next? I wish the media would interview a few of the folks camped out on Wall Street, a la Howard Zinn. Amy Goodman is the only one who seems to ever interview real people. And I wish Martin Luther King were alive to help us too—dammit.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, October 5, 2011 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

Occupy Wall Street (FULL) Interview with Chris Hedges Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=iv&src;_vid=-SKw2j3XOY0&v=io8RLacFjlo&annotation_id=annotation_229940

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, October 5, 2011 at 5:09 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie said: “I think the Tea Party phenomenon was indeed astroturf, as alleged”

Yes, a Leftist allegation is enough to establish it as a fact.

Have it your way, if you think that people are so easy to manipulate without our knowledge please be consistant and read the following:

I think the Occupation is astroturf, as alleged. Plus I have the facts to prove it. Why dont you look at the evidence?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

I think the Tea Party phenomenon was indeed astroturf, as alleged, but I think it tapped into the same field of fear and anger that the Occupation is tapping into.  Once it got started, there seems to have been a struggle to keep it on track (that is, specifically anti-Obama), since all sorts of people like anti-war libertarians showed up.  I recall Palin warning Rand Paul not to be so anti-war if he wanted to stay in the good graces of the Republican Party.  I guess he complied; I think he’s flexible about his libertarianism, whereas his father seems pretty hard-core old school.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, October 4, 2011 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Hulk2008 said: The Occupy Wall Street folks are no more or less worthy of their opinions than were the Tea Party types in prior years.

It has been said(cookie cutter style) by the Leftist bloggers here that the Tea Party is merely astroturf or mind numbed robots who are manipulated by powers they dont understand. Are you saying that the Occupiers are also astroturf? That the Occupiers are mind numbed ronots who are manipulated by powers they dont understand?

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By El_Pinguino, October 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

@ Rumpled Stiltzkin

I would guess we are in a the midst of a very fundamental change in humanity. Not because of OccupyWallSt. OccupyWallSt and others are only a part of the overall shift in humanity.

Let’s just say the computer chip will be the modern era’s invention of the printing press. And only time will tell where we end up.

The wheel’s still in spin.

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By Rumpled Stiltzkin, October 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was rooting for you until you started dissing Brooks Brothers. That’s just poor form…

But seriously, this really does feel like the start of something big, protracted, and shaggy. Change we can believe in?

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By navega, October 4, 2011 at 10:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To those people who are bothered by Hedge’s ‘sanctimonious’ phrasing, “The Best Among Us”.... get real, people! You’re coming from a culture that thrives on labeling people as “Number one” “Employee of the Month” and “My kid is number one at such and such middle school.” The difference between these labels mentioned above and Hedges’ use of ‘the best among us’ is that the labels above give us the illusion that we’re actually getting somewhere, that we’re ‘making it in America’, and that we’re upwardly mobile. Hedges uses ‘best’ to those who are questioning this illusion.

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By El_Pinguino, October 4, 2011 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

@ Hulk2008

There is a book written by linguistics and cognative science professor, George Lakoff called “Whose Freedom”. He speaks of liberals being more in a nurturing family model and conservatives being more in a strict father model. And much more.

It is really worth the time to read it. Afterwards I really began to see the way our political discourse unfolds. From talk radio…to evangelical religion .. to why the left seems to be in disarray.

I also understood myself much much better.

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Hulk2008's avatar

By Hulk2008, October 4, 2011 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

One amazing offshoot of having a semi-liberal blog like this one is that it draws so many cookie cutter conservatives.

I once met Max Maven at a magicians gathering.  Max includes a number of “mind reading” effects in his stage act.  As with many mentalists, the audience is surprised/shocked at the accuracy of the predictions.

Conservative bloggers share a common trait in that they believe they are able to say what liberals think and what they will do in any given situation. They seriously need to correct their thinking to realize and acknowledge that liberals are far more unpredictable and far less able to be read.

Conservatives also tend to treat our Constitution as holy writ and beat liberals over the head for daring to depart from the letter of the law.  The founding fathers were not saints or capable of channeling the divine.  But they were smart enough to realize that the document would need to change over time to accomodate new thought and technology and the intellectual maturation of our population.

The Occupy Wall Street folks are no more or less worthy of their opinions than were the Tea Party types in prior years.  But unlike Tea Partiers, they don’t believe that corporations are “people” (per Romney) and therefore deserve less deference than actual human persons. And they rely less on trumped up lies designed to whip them into action ala the Death Panels.

Let’s hope the new groups continue to use peaceful rather than violent action to arrive at reform.  The end and the means should be congruent.

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By dnewfeld, October 4, 2011 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

A main street alternative to wall st investing: http://www.slowmoney.org/

Local food matters. Web of local economy and jobs, etc. Read on!

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, October 4, 2011 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

Having a draft with some possibility that especial nice white liberal kids might possibly be drafted resulted in really serious resistance to imperial wars, in a time when most Americans didn’t believe it possible for America to have imperial desires.

The selectivity of the Selective Service made it easier to mobilize troops to police protest, because poor and working class kids comprised near all of those selected to fight and die, while ruling class aspiring “middle class” college kids were doing whatever needed to be done to keep their ass from being drafted.

The anti-draft movement was a battle in the ever present class war. The “middle class” kids with aspirations of MovingOn away from the working class into the ruling class won. That’s why we still have an economic draft today.

The most aggressive troop deployment used white soldiers to suppress black people’s revolts. That involves another issue altogether, regarding America’s Original Sin.

If there’s to be a military, then everyone should be required to serve in it, and all those who vote for war, regardless of their age or condition, should be required to serve for the duration… at the front.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 4, 2011 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

Having a draft didn’t stop the U.S. government from invading Vietnam, or from putting troops in the streets to suppress local rebellions at home.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, October 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, (D) dedicated diamond:

“The reason America has a volunteer army is because of the boomers burning their draft cards and going to jail or going into exile in Canada, and the reason that the environment is even still a talking point in America is because of the boomers in their incarnation as hippies. Student boomers took to the streets wearing motor cycle helmets because they knew the police would club them to the ground and they didn’t want to get brain damage.”
________________

Anyone actually opposed to wars of aggression would oppose the selectivity of the Selective Service, but would **NOT** be opposed to having a draft, **IF** there’s to be a military. A conscript military is far less enthusiastic about waging war — let alone perpetual war — than a volunteer mercenary military is… **AND** a volunteer mercenary military is far more likely to follow orders to attack “disorderly citizens” than a conscript military.

The reason America has a volunteer mercenary military is that ending the draft emptied the streets of white liberal students, and cheaply — for life — purchased (D) corporate party votes of the depraved Boomer liberals, who are pleased to not have their children drafted into the resource wars of aggression they keep (D) voting for, as long as they are (D) labeled “necessary” or “humanitarian” wars, and they’re (D) competently managed using lots of standoff weaponry, with torture of prisoners discretely done in soundproof “black-sites” with no trophy pictures allowed.

Ending the Draft fulfilled a Pentagon dream: A professional mercenary military that doesn’t drag its feet when sent off to wage war upon any poor people living anywhere over rich resources.

Now, the degenerate Democrats are eager to provide the Pentagon Dream Act, to put brown immigrant bodies in the body bags of the “necessary” and “humanitarian” wars of aggression that (D) dedicated fucking liberals will keep voting for.

The EPA regulates environmentalists to protect the profits of polluters, and make pollution more sustainable.

The best explanation for why the corporate party’s Democrats can keep getting votes is their voters’ drug damaged brains.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By zenriver, October 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

@OzarkMichael willful mischaracterization intended to provoke a pointless, destructive argument. provocateur!

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By dean1981, October 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

I think focusing on Wall Street’s bonus payouts would be effective: the last two
years saw the largest NYC bonus totals, outside of the record breaking 3-year
stretch from 2005-2007. See charts below for details:

    http://www.verisi.com/resources/wall-st-bonuses.htm

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Lee Oates's avatar

By Lee Oates, October 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

to Diamond;  Thanks for your wise truthful opinion.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, October 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

“Can we puh-leez heed the #occupy movement—however it coalesced, it’s here!—”

Oh dear. Lets all ignore the fact that it was organized. Lets all ignore the fact that the organizers had a goal.

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By zenriver, October 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

hey folks! When I was younger I also believed that jousting over semantics was The Way To Engage in The Debate. As if that is ever going to change anything! As I grew up I realized that Life is not a university seminar class. We are not here to compete in verbal one-upsmanship. It’s just Talk Talk Talk. The reality of our situation is not about who “wins” on the finer ideological points. (Rarely-attained, and an empty victory at that.) Ideological self-immolating infighting is a wasteful indulgence of time that we never could afford. Also note that the Right knows this very well about us, and can troll/provoke away at will on boards such as Chris’!

Can we puh-leez heed the #occupy movement—however it coalesced, it’s here!—and begin the evolution? Economists such as David Korten (Positive Futures Network) have been laying the practical groundwork for a #neweconomy for years. Could everyone nit-picking about the grotty hippies or whatever please #moveyourmoney out of big banks into credit unions and community banks—invest in #local and #ecological commerce—and learn to do more #DIY. The cumulative effect of these *personal* efforts will be a seismic groundshift under the foundation of the corporate state. It’s not the be-all and end-all, but it’s necessary to create the new foundation to revive the dream of democracy in the US. Wake Up America! Stop your bitchin’ & let’s get Doing!

All thanks to you Chris Hedges for your tireless, passionate, well-sourced, and eloquent calls-to-arms.

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By diamond, October 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

“What the last half-century has made abundantly clear is that My Generation is a cancer upon humanity. The Boomers should completely retire from politics, or die, to get out of the way of the young struggling to survive their parent generation’s lifelong corporate (R) & (D) party dedication.”

What absolute nonsense. I’m heartily sick of all this boomer bashing. The boomers did more to overturn fascism than any other generation in living memory, including the so-called ‘great generation’ who only did what they were told and fought a war that would never have had to be fought if anyone had listened to John Maynard Keynes and not signed the Treaty of Versailles.

The reason America has a volunteer army is because of the boomers burning their draft cards and going to jail or going into exile in Canada, and the reason that the environment is even still a talking point in America is because of the boomers in their incarnation as hippies. Student boomers took to the streets wearing motor cycle helmets because they knew the police would club them to the ground and they didn’t want to get brain damage. They confronted physical attack because they believed someone had to stand up and resist the corporate war machine. The ‘great generation’ didn’t think about the system that made war and didn’t acknowledge that it was a gigantic scam put in place to protect the status quo and to keep the rich rich. They bought the lie and many of them died for it, but not as many as died in their houses under allied bombing.

The boomers did think about war and they eventually broke the Pentagon and the CIA’s will to fight the war, which had been lost for many years, due to the tenacity of the Vietnamese fighters, and was a phoney, ideologically driven war only continued for political reasons. Many boomers revealed these facts with their work as journalists and photographers showing that the war was not being fought to protect America but to profit and protect the military/industrial complex.

You can’t condemn an entire generation of boomers because of what Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan started around 1984. Those two hideous ghouls weren’t boomers and stood for everything that the boomer generation had fought against. It is the cult of Reagan and Thatcher and their free market, Friedmanite economic policies that has brought the world to the state it’s in. None of the boomer activists of the sixties would ever have said ‘There’s no such thing as society’: what they wanted was to change society but they were never devious or dumb enough to claim it didn’t exist. The fact that there are a small number of the conservative chapter of the boomer generation still around doing harm says more about the vampire-like nature of fascism than it does about boomers.

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By Anarcissie, October 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

T—Hedges is often over the top and hysterical.  It’s just his way.  He can’t say that the protesters are good or that he likes them; he’s got to say that they’re the ‘best among us’ and everyone else is bad.  If that sort of thing irritates you it’s best to just skip reading it; I usually do.

We don’t know what’s going to become of the Occupation.  I know it is annoying to many progressives and leftists that it was set off by a bunch of goopy hippies, but there it is.  It’s already more than goopy hippies, and no one knows what it will become.  It’s not really my kind of scene, but at this point I’m supporting it (materially) because I want to see what will happen.

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By Anarcissie, October 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Once there are organizers and leaders, there are people who can be bought off, suborned, turned, cowed.  That is how the Democratic Party destroyed the anti-war movement.  At this point, however, the movement is still evolving, so my remark was somewhat ironical.

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By RayLan, October 3, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

All such grass-roots revolts normally spearheaded by ‘liberal’ intellectuals with their following of spirited youth -initially are more full of heat than light - but sometimes change has to first come with a bang that gets attention - a storming of the Bastille as it were - the ideology- the details of the solution worked out over time. A long time coming - this protest is proof that the corporate fascists have not succeeded in extinguishing the human spirit of democracy - of freedom.

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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By T, October 3, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Keith Thomas you wrote: “Who cares whether it’s ideologically pure or correct.” 

I’m not sure you got my point.  I’m not concerned with ideological purity, I’m irritated by Hedges sanctimonious touting of protesters as “The Best Among Us”.  These protesters are risking little, and accomplishing less.  Protests like this may be gratifying to their participants, but they have little to impact on society at large.  Damning those of us who refuse to waste our time in drum circles, while hailing as heroes a group engaged in what is ultimately nothing more than an exercise in self-gratification; well that’s just obnoxious.

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By Keith Thomas, October 3, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

@T You wrote: “Here’s the thing Chris, “civil disobedience” is still “civil” and thus
not really “disobedience”.”

Who cares whether it’s ideologically pure or correct. Let’s see what more these
brave and dedicated people achieve. I’ll bet most of them are doing far more
thinking and learning over the days of the occupation than those of us sitting at
home looking at the Truthdig website and composing thoughtful posts and
ripostes!

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By Keith Thomas, October 3, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie, On October 3 at 8:26 am you wrote:

“Oh, God, it has ‘leaders’ now?  There goes the neighborhood.” Who cares?
Leader-laden or leader-free, so long as they and their fellows in >100 other
locations keep up the pressure. I get a feeling that we have reached some sort of
tipping point.

What a wonderful leadup to the 6 October (october2011.org) occupation of
Freedom Plaza! (Sorry, that occupation appears to have organizers, if not leaders
grin

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By cpb, October 3, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

I don’t think anyone should be criticized or expected to
“have a plan”, so far as trying to suggest final end
goals for national renovation.  I believe some of this
sentiment may stem from a false hope that what we are
seeing in NYC can be the beginning of a complete
solution as it were.  This is presumptuous and
unrealistic.

They’ve already achieved much.  Just gathering together
and standing in defiance, clearly demonstrating their
defiance and disgust, attempting to draw attention to
the injustice that is the status quo, inspiring people
the world over; this is huge, and they are to be
applauded.

If we are lucky, it will in fact become ‘A Beginning’, a
movement.  But that will depend on many things.  For
now, in the present, defiance is enough, calling a spade
a spade is enough.  If this can continue to inspire, and
the defiance can move forward, twe can continue to hope. 

Inability to redefine a nation does not preclude
pointing out the lack of clothes worn by the emperor.

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By T, October 3, 2011 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well somebody got a little over stimulated at the drum circle today, didn’t he?  Sadly, your sanctimony is undermined rather severely by objective reality.  the reality in question being that someone politely standing behind a barricade and chanting a pithy slogan is as much a “passive enabler” of our social system as those of us who would rather show up at work on any given week day.  The real difference here is that while you accomplish the vastly important goal of stroking your egos, we accomplish the slightly more important goal of keeping our jobs.

Here’s the thing Chris, “civil disobedience” is still “civil” and thus not really “disobedience”.

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By Anarcissie, October 3, 2011 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Oh, God, it has ‘leaders’ now?  There goes the neighborhood.

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By Nick, October 3, 2011 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history.”

That is the most terrifying thing I’ve read in a long time.  I cannot believe that no-one has recognized the obvious similarity to Stalin’s most effective speeches, here.  To speak of democracy demonizing those who disagree with you is not just contradictory, it’s historically ignorant.  Rhetoric like this is one of the first bullets that takes Democracy down, time and time again.  Astounding.

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By logkAW, October 3, 2011 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Hedges’ article also appears in the first issue of “The Occupied Wall Street Journal.”  In addition to Hedges, Democracy Now! has been following the movement consistently from day one.  Everyone should watch today’s show which featured some of the courageous leaders of the NYC Occupy Wall Street movement: http://www.democracynow.org

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By Cliff Carson, October 3, 2011 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

Reply to Kulu, October 3 at 1:27 am

Kulu

II think you have summed up exactly what is wrong with our Government.

You may recall that when George Bush stated that the Constitution was just a G__Damed piece of paper, that the loyal Republicans gathered at his knee, their eyes moistened by total devotion.

And when Clinton questioned what the meaning of Is, Is;  Loyal Democrats swooned and declared him the best President ever.

What is wrong with America is Party Loyalty.  My plea to the American public is to become American First citizens and bring these criminal actors to justice.

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By EmileZ, October 3, 2011 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

For all HARD, medium, and soft-core Truthdiggers to watch whilst they contemplate Mr. Hedges challenging ultimatum I recommend…

“A CRITIQUE OF MADISONIAN DEMOCRACY”

Mr. Chomsky examined the principle and practice of democracy in the U.S. over the past 200 years. He argued that the democratic order encapsulated in the Constitution, principally by James Madison, declared the right to own property as the preeminent foundation of the social order and was therefore designed to protect those who owned property by ensuring their control over the government. He also argued that this system has not evolved to include broader segments of the population, as some have claimed, but has made possible the development of industrial capitalism which depends on governmental largesse and exploits the bulk of the population. After his remarks, he took questions from the audience.

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/80140-1

And more recently…

“GLOBAL HEGEMONY: THE FACT, THE IMAGES” (A “NO-NOTES” TALK)

Renowned linguist, author, and dissident intellectual, Noam Chomsky, talks about the current state of the economy, the assault on social welfare programs and the prospects for resistance and hope in the years ahead. Noam Chomsky spoke at the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Oregon, on April 20, 2011.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iebK7VVDayY

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By kulu, October 3, 2011 at 1:27 am Link to this comment

You can have “the perfect constitution” but if the people with the power or who are given the power then ignore it or deliberately misinterpret it cannot be ousted, what then?

I don’t think America has a constitutional deficit but an apathy surfeit and an ignorance overload that lead people to continually support the demonstratively failed (R) and (D) corporate sponsored legislature and judiciary.

Wake up America!

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By David J. Cyr, October 3, 2011 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

Quote, Ron O:

“The time may have come for a new Constitutional Convention because we are dealing with a core principle that should underly all law. A revised constitution, amended or wholly re-conceived by the consent of the state legislatures using the current Constitution as a framework, should clearly state what the founders neglected to include (and challenged us to append with the enumeration clause)- that NO corporation, or group thereof, shall be considered equal to any individual human being”
___________

The corporate (R) & (D) party comprised state legislatures are not going to repair the Constitution’s rot.

Democrats revolted against corporate party Republican austerity measures in Wisconsin apparently just because Republicans were doing it. Here in New York, the “progressive” Democrats voted for a Democrat, Andrew Cuomo, to protect Wall St. and impose austerity measures that punish of the working-class and hold working people accountable for ruling-class crimes.

In New York’s 2010 gubernatorial election, the biggest issue was whether or not New York voters should allow Halliburton’s fracking technology to invade and occupy New York — to Iraqify it. The Green Party’s candidate, Howie Hawkins, firmly advocated for a statewide ban on fracking, which, if accomplished, would have empowered other states and other nations to also act to protect themselves and all the world’s people from the bringing on the end of times insanity of fracking. Both of the corporate party’s candidates, Paladino (R) and Cuomo (D), supported fracking. Democrat Cuomo’s campaign released “energy plan” was/is near wholly dependent upon “efficiencies” sacrificing water to rip the last remnants of fossil-fuel from stone. All the corporate party needed to do was have Paladino drag his hairy knuckles upon the ground and the “progressive” sheeple feverishly flocked together with actually conservative Republicans to provide Cuomo a massive 63% popular vote mandate to frack New York.

What liberals either don’t (or pretend to not) understand is that the framers of the Constitution were individuals in their time comparable to corporate persons in our time. The Constitution was purposefully designed by enlightened liberals to ensure oligarchy rule and prevent a people’s democracy from occurring.

Americans are allowed elections because the votes cast provide a barometer indicating the **ACTUAL** degree of dissent. No other polls matter. Dissent doesn’t matter, regardless of how many are in the streets getting arrested, as long as corporate compliant sheeple majorities keep voting for the corporate party’s Republicans and Democrats to maintain an orderly corporate-state.

There will be no possibility of any real, substantive and systemic change being provided until a majority of voters affirmatively vote against all of the corporate party’s Republicans and Democrats… a majority voting for no Republican and no Democrat.

What the last half-century has made abundantly clear is that My Generation is a cancer upon humanity. The Boomers should completely retire from politics, or die, to get out of the way of the young struggling to survive their parent generation’s lifelong corporate (R) & (D) party dedication.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Ron O, October 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment

Cliff- I plan to read your previous posts. But it looks like you see this from a party-politics/federal perspective when the Constitution provides a mechanism for the states to intervene.

Egomet Bonmot- there is a lot of wisdom in what you say, and I am really not criticizing the protesters.  You are right about allowing it to evolve naturally, and I’m not trying to rush them. In fact, they now characterize their movement as a good thing because it is “leaderless”, which confirms your instinct that it needs to evolve naturally.

But after reading Gene Sharp’s book that was the field guide for the"Arab Spring”, I am very fearful of people making unwise decisions as this movement begins to pick up steam. It is never too early to plan a little, but it can easily be too late. Sharp identifies a violent reaction to police abuse, no matter how outrageous, as absolutely fatal to success. Disciplined non-violence is the only thing that works, not because it’s nicer, but because research has proven that resorting to the methods of the state which has unlimited resources in executing violence leads to certain failure.

Sharp’s “From Dictatorship to Democracy” and another more recent work are available for free as pdfs from this website   http://www.aeinstein.org/  for anyone who has not read them. They are concise and can be read very quickly. So if there are to be no leaders, as many participants as possible should be familiar with Sharp’s work.

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By RoughAcres, October 2, 2011 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OCCUPY THE EARTH.

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By kulu, October 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

John Hedges,

These protests are not about obtaining “concessions” as you put it but a system change. They are not about tweaking laws and policies and ideologies that have put America and the rest of the West into an enduring crisis (the rest of the world may hold on a little longer but will not be immune).

The crisis is a composite one and has been building up to this point for decades. Everything is being questioned and is being demanded. We all know what this is all about and so do the perpetrators so why limit the movement to a few specific demands even if it may be easy to articulate those?

ron hansing,

Yes, in the short term some people like yourself have more to lose or hold onto by protesting than others, eg those who have already lost their jobs or houses or have enough set aside to survive. But in the end it is up to all of us to do whatever we possibly can to support those out there This might mean going along to your nearest protest outside working hours, donating food, painting banners or what have you. After all you stand to benefit if the protesters succeed and not to lose anything you would not otherwise lose should they fail.

I live in Australia, probably in one of the most unaffected and apathetic societies of all, but I get involved in protests on various issues because I recognize that the world is in crisis and we must change direction or face collapse.

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Ron O— Couldn’t disagree more.  Looking for a “plan or concrete goal” in these demonstrations at this point is false to the mood of the hour—it doesn’t fit the deeply fractured anger of the public. 

The Financial Times of London got it right way back in a Jan 24, 2007 (pre-crisis) editorial:  The US is “losing its coherence”—The enrichment of bankers and drug
companies isn’t enough to bind average Americans to the country’s founding principles.  By the same token and as much as you might hate it, national health and jobs etc are inadequate to capture the resentment that’s welling up people at the moment.  Let *them* tell *you* what they think.

Right now the anger is mostly inchoate—let it evolve naturally.  I want to hit the street for the first time in my life and I have no real idea why.  For now at least, the molotov is the message.

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By Cliff Carson, October 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Reply to Ron O, October 2 at 6:51 pm

Ron
I do agree that we need to have a Constitutional Convention.  The problem is to get Congress to address the States previous requests submitted for a Constitutional Convention.  If you would go back and read the following post on this thread by me, I have addressed two ways to get the Constitution changed.

And I also referenced Dennis Leahy and his links to ResetButton.com (There are links in those two posts).
 
By Cliff Carson, October 1 at 5:48 am

and

By Dennis Leahy, September 30 at 7:33 am

“Please read The ResetButton document.”

The ResetButton plan is very detailed and is a very viable plan with my one exception - it is driven to boycott Corporations.  I’m not sure there would be enough people ready to commit to that plan - but it surely would work if enough people would commit to it.

The other plan that I have discussed on here before more times than I could count (Disenfranchising one Party - I suggested Republican Party First usually, although I have also written in comments on Truthdig, that I could support Disenfranchising of the Democrat Party first.

That plan involved shunning one party while building a a means to force the Government to start listening to the people AND start reacting to their redress.

But that plan is DOA because of Party Loyalty and is a very serious impediment to corralling our out of control government because Party Loyalists will accept criminal actions of their party while they are ready to raise hell if the other Party does the same thing.

What it all comes down to is that very few people are ready to commit to actions necessary to bring our Government under control.

That is what makes those current non-violent Protesters so much better than the rest of us.  They are committing to accepting the dangers and hardships of trying to force our Government to become Moral and Ethical.

Most of the rest of use are prepared to present arguments to support our Political Party until hell freezes over or at least until the in control Corporatist Government decides it no longer needs the abyss created by Party Loyalty to control the masses.  They will at that time proclaim their “Right To Rule”.

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By Ron O, October 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

As much as I admire Chris’s writing and his demonstrated courage, “The Best Among Us” lends intellectual and moral support, and little more, to a movement that is currently deeply flawed because it has no plan. This is not to impugn the movement’s vital and growing importance, because a groundswell of popular sentiment finally driven to action is half the game. But we must not waste the opportunity for lack of a concrete goal. Just choosing a side, showing up, and hoping it will all work out for the best is not good enough.

Here http://nycga.cc/category/news/official_ga/ is the statement of principles drafted and passed on Sept 29th by the NYC General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street entitled “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City”. It states the problems and issues a call to action, but it proposes no specific action other than to assemble and “create a process”. It is a good start, but the enumeration of grievances does not constitute a goal or a method for achieving it.

The Declaration can be summarized in a single phrase- “we are experiencing a total degradation of society due to corporate hegemony”, a condition that has been recognized since the early sixties (if not long before) and described in a book written by a student-“The Strawberry Statement”. The goal of the current movement should be the complete reversal of corporate hegemony and it should be so stated.

But it is difficult to achieve this goal when the existing law, repeatedly supported by the Supreme Court, is that corporations must be regarded as individuals with the same rights (and implied worth) as human beings- a principle that is ludicrous, especially when supported by nine men and women that are reputed to be the wisest in the nation. They base their decisions on stare decisis, seemingly with little regard to its moral implications. This mistaken principle of “the corporation as individual” must be explicitly nullified. But it will never be reversed by the operatives of the existing government or under the Constitution as it is now written and amended.

The time may have come for a new Constitutional Convention because we are dealing with a core principle that should underly all law. A revised constitution, amended or wholly re-conceived by the consent of the state legislatures using the current Constitution as a framework, should clearly state what the founders neglected to include (and challenged us to append with the enumeration clause)- that NO corporation, or group thereof, shall be considered equal to any individual human being, in fundamental value or in the exercise of its rights.

Nothing but fundamental constitutional change will work. Even if the sentiments of Congress were unimpeachable and they drafted legislation to redress popular grievances, those laws would be found unconstitutional by the current court, ostensibly because they are not consistent with legal precedent. The only way to trump stare decisis is by amending or re-drafting the Constitution, and those in Washington are incapable of doing it. The Constitution needs to be restored to the people for revision through a convention of state legislatures, and in the interim, the current government in Washington should be permitted to operate as a provisional government until the process is completed.

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By Kathleen Taylor, October 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hit em where it hurts, just stop paying your mortgage.  Pay off anything else with
that money.  Go on vacation, go out to dinner, give to your favorite charity.
We the people are the only ones that are poorer than we were in 2008.  Lending
companies, banks, wall street, stock brokers, anyone that had money still has it
and more.

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By Cliff Carson, October 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

The National Media is not reporting on this.  Most people who don’t get on the Net don’t even know it is going on.

And precious few know that it is occurring in several cities around America.

But keep in mind that several Foreign Media do report such happenings, so here is a site to visit in the UK and an excerpt from it to answer the question about Los Angles and other cities for those who are wondering.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/02/occupy-wall-street-nypd-tactics

“There were smaller but substantial demonstrations over the weekend in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Washington and several other cities.”

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By mrfreeze, October 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

@ Ron Hansing - Your’s is the most common and disturbing comment on this thread….your words:

“There will not be a revolution. The reason why is that the vast majority of Americans have something to protect, jobs, home, family peace in place of chaos, including even the working class and the very poor.”

Could you be more bourgeois and smug????? You even presume to speak for “even the working class and the very poor.” And the fact that you compare what’s going on to the 1960’s reveals a lot about the depth of your understanding of our current economic problems. The 1960’s were about race and the draft and an unjust war. Funny how all of those issues were inevitably dealt-with or are still in the consciousness of most Americans…..So much for “getting over the 60’s.” Today, sheep such as yourself are so invested in “the American Dream” (ah yes, hug your credit cards) that, as George Carlin so brilliantly said, you’ve got to be asleep to believe in it.

I don’t think these protests will accomplish much, but I do believe they have highlighted how the corporate media is nothing but an ally of corporate interests and simply cannot be counted-on to tell the truth or, indeed, to report “the news.”

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By Robert, October 2, 2011 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is interesting to me that people finally noticed what Wall Street has dome to our government. From my point of view Wall Street was starting to buy our political leaders 30 years ago. They completed the purchase 10 to 15 years ago. That’s why I always say we have the best government money can buy, because if you don’t have money good luck changing government policy.

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By Mike Strong, October 2, 2011 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stuff it, Guy. The demonstrators didn’t block the bridge. The cops herded them onto the bridge and blockaded it so they couldn’t get off. Thus corralled (like driven cattle) the cops arrested them.

It was the cops, and not even as agent provocateurs, who caused the blockage of the bridge by driving the protestors (like cattle, as I noted above) onto the bridge as a containment device and putting the barriers at the ends. Trapping them in place. Trapping, not somehow coming upon a bunch of bridge blockers.

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 2, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Thanks much El Pinguino!

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By johndot, October 2, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Anyone who thinks that Wall Street isn’t evil has not
seen Inside Job.

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By El_Pinguino, October 2, 2011 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

@ Egomet Bonmot The Los Angeles site is currently at city hall. You can keep informed @ http://occupylosangeles.org

for other cities you might try:
http://occupytogether.org

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 2, 2011 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

I hear there’s something like this in Los Angeles now.  Does anyone know where?

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By dporpentine, October 2, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Either you are a rebel or a slave.”

Good way of making sure that this stays predominantly white.

Are all the working- and middle-class African American and Afro Caribbean people who live in my neighborhood, the ones who aren’t joining in this event—are they slaves? You want to tell them that to their faces, Chris Hedges?

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By Inherit The Wind, October 2, 2011 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

Not a Hedges fan, but when CH gets it right, I am happy to say so.  Yeah he’s a bit over
the top and a bit too drama-queen, but the essence is spot on. But there is one thing he
missed: logstical support for protesters.  If you are not down on Wall Street aren’t there
forms of support that are just as crucial.  These brave folks are the tip of the spear—what
about the shaft of that spear and the arm wielding it?

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By diamond, October 2, 2011 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Anyone who doubts that America is now fully fascist, take a good look at the arrest of 700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge and the physical abuse of peaceful protestors. It’s precisely the same reaction that the Libyans, the Syrians, the Yemenis and the people of Bahrain have had. The only difference is that their governments were openly dictatorships and prepared to fire on unarmed protestors. But who knows? It might come to that in America too. The American police are in any case an internationally infamous organization and their treatment of these protestors won’t change their image.

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By Guy, October 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder how many deaths resulted from emergency
vehicles being unable to get to where they need to go
due to the road being blocked by protesters?  Break
the law, get arrested.  The cop didn’t tell you not
to beat your wife, drive drunk, abuse your children,
kill your neighbor so it makes it their fault?  I
don’t think so.  The lack of accountability for
their actions these people make is sickening.

It’s funny that fat spoiled Americans like you will
sit here enjoying the conveniences and technology
provided by corporations yet chant for their
downfall.  I work in corporate america and strive
every day to produce the knowledge and develop the
technology necessary to advance our society while you
people try to tear it all down.  Why? because someone
took yer jerrrrb.

Why don’t you take a break from you little teenage
angsty soap box and try to wield the machine instead
of destroying it?

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By Lee Oates, October 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

To: John McMillan

There are so many problems occuring at the same time and building on each other, that solving one or two will have little impact.  We are quickly running out of time as we increase our population beyond the means to sustain it, and we are constantly increasing our destruction of the earth in hundreds of ways (far too many ways to describe here).  We are in a race against time, heading swiftly for our own extinction. Will we resolve the problems in time?  Most likely not due to our programed behaviour and lack of a real education for 95% of the human race.

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By El_Pinguino, October 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

*sings Bob Dylan*:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

oppppss.. wrong generation. but you get the idea.

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By John McMillan, October 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

Yes, tremendous, passionate essay.  Does make me feel like I should be there. But Lots and lots of thoughts, conflicts, concerns as I ponder this, what revolution is and means and how it plays out, has in the past, and then going to Truthdig, and reading some of the comments.  Is it possible, can it possibly work, mushroom into a for-the-first-time-in-human-history a real and total paradigm shift that functions from the top down?  I have serious doubts.  At least in the form of an organized revolution. So, no Chris, you are wrong.  They are some of the good among us who are there, but, and, many of the best are not there, and will not be. And they will be a part of this change-force as forcefully as those who are there today and tomorrow.  This “occupation” will be only another small incremental step, one of millions that must be taken. There is no revolution possible. There is no single, organized vision that will safely and with total justice “lead” us.  The brave souls stepping onto the Capital grounds in Ottawa in protest of Tar sands need to be there, where they are, not at their, or our, Wall Street.  And they could implore you to see that to be true to yourself and on the right side of history you must be there also.  Where it is “happening” is the millions of everywheres that evil is occuring.  There is no big, centralized revolution place possible. Centralization by its very definition is rule by the least common denominator of human values and self-interest. And the protester against some injustice to animals or the earth, or to some small yet oppressed segment of our population; or the veganist beseeching you to finally see and write of how animal agriculture is the single greatest cause of all the major problems facing us that you so passionately write about- they can all say you need to, must, be there with them to be one of the best. But they also will be wrong.  A struggling, impoverished mother, taking time to tell her child that intentionally stepping on an ant is murder, and a violation of life itself, and yet not demanding that anyone else join her in her private witnessing, is the best among us, for she is doing her very best. You do good, much good, but not your best. Not until you educate yourself, and your readership, of the huge issue of animal agriculture and our animal-based diet (meat, dairy, fish) and how it is ravaging our planet, our health, (and burying us in health “care” costs), consuming more fossil fuels and emiting more greenhouse gases than the world’s entire transportation fleet, how this waste of resources (oil, water)is the greatest pressure contributiog to the resource wars we are in, how it is the single greatest cause of world hunger,and much of the resulting strife around the world, and in the end, the single greatest cause of our own growing impoverishment. Switching to a plant-based diet as a nation, and as a world, must occur, if we are to have any chance to save our Earth, and ourselves. You are ignoring this essential truth, and therefore misleading your readership. But don’t take my word for it- start by reading John Robbins- The Food Revolution.  Disclaimer:  Perhaps you do know of the diet/ animal mass production industry connection to the major problems we face today, and perhaps you have written of it- I just haven’t seen it from you in what I have read to date. The Wall Street piece for example- Big oil and Big Coal, and Big Pharma and the other Big Nasties have their enormous power and control because we have given our entire lifestyles over to them. You can’t bring these giants down by fighting with the weapons of their choice, and on their wargrounds. If the occupiers go home at night and chomp down on obscenely resource-wasting and health and environment-ravaging mass-produced dead animals, and then have all kinds of cancers and health problems that they turn to Big Med and Big Pharme to manage,then they are still part of the problem, not the solution.

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By kelly ball, October 1, 2011 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rift or Shift
 
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
Hey!...Wall St. your in trouble
With the truth we’ll resonate
And smash your flimsy paltry gates
The meditation of our hearts
Will rip your lies from part to part  
 
We all did this once before
At the walls of Jericho
We will circle all around
And blow our horns till you fall down
It is we who are this land
And you will meet the earth’s demand
 
We will know and understand
Realization of this command
A world of haves and have nots
A world of slaves and robots
Where our souls are sold and bought
Is a world that happens…not
 
We intend to burn your ears
And pierce your soul until you hear
No more psycho warring tyrants
And their bankster lying pirates
No more making dollar bills
From the numbers that you kill

You grey suits that slither by
Don’t you think you catch our eye
You look askance at ground or sky
Your furrowed brows betray your lies
Don’t you know the truth slips in
Illuminates your hidden sins
 
And your crimes against the people
From sanctimonious perverted steeples
We’ll track you down to where you live
And pound our drums till you give in
And in day… or by stealth
We’ll place - roadblocks - to your wealth
 
We shall never let it be
That you steal and you walk free
We will change your attitude
Or chomp you up like you were food
We would rather mend the rift
And have you join us in the shift
 
All the money that you make
You will not accumulate
The only law is circulate
Stars and planets all rotate
One for all and all for one
The only way that Heaven’s won
 

HOW YOU ARE IS MORE IMPORTANT
THAN ALL THE GOLD THAT YOU’VE EXTORTED
 
by Everyone
 
Arranged by
Kelly Ball

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By tinydairy, October 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

if these are our rebels, woe and alas. they whine. and
i hear nothing. numbers, platitudes, well-fed
dissidents, ha! spare me your morality.

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By gerard, October 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

And while we are at it, let’s remember to honor all those hundreds of nongovernmental organizations of citizens working day after day for years on issues
that help undo the damage that stupid politicians
and financiers do:

Just one small example, to bring you up to date—Public Citizen, founded 40 years ago by Ralph Nader, reporting on just one issue of many:  Overturning the Supreme Court decision that allowed corporations (as “persons”) to give unlimited amounts to the election campaigs of candidates of their choice and cancel out all the “little people”:
  State Resolutions introduced supporting constitutional amendment to repeal:  Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, California, Hawaii, Idaho, New Jersey, South Dakota and Washngton.
  Campaign contributions by government contractors restricted:  Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, South Carolina, West Virginia
  Laws introduced to enforce disclosure of campaign contributions:  Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Dakota.
  etc. etc.  Everybody working together (mostly at the local level) separately. Winds of change blowing ripples into waves.

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By geobeck, October 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any significant reform is unlikely as long as the
government is bought and paid for by corporate
interests.

There is *one* step that will transform the American
system: campaign finance reform. Limit individual
campaign contributions to $5000 per person. Ban
corporate contributions entirely. Penalties should
start with immediate disqualification from the
current campaign, and lead up to a permanent ban from
running for public office.

When politicians are bought and paid for by their
individual constituents, there will be chaos, but it
will be a better than the current situation of
organized theft.

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By John Hedges, October 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Until these protesters learn how to speak in the same
voice, crafting a unified and specific list of demands,
this protest means nothing and is in no way worth
anything. No concessions can be made if nobody knows
what these people want. Remember Wisconsin. Remember the Middle East. Those people were
marching against tangible ideas and people. I hope the
Occupy Wall Street movement gains momentum and
direction, and I support its spirit, but as of right
now I’m a little embarrassed for everyone involved.

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By Al Smith, October 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Khazarian Zionists (non-Jewish banksters, illuminati, the “zi” in Nazi) hijacked our governments, currencies, economies, law, media and minds; started all our wars with lies so they could fund, supply and prey on all involved; fraudulently indebted us and our nations, destroyed the global economy to kill our jobs, and now they’re foreclosing on Humanity’s fake debts.  They work by blackmail, coercion, deceit, debt and they’ve murdered millions. They won’t be happy until we’re all camped out beside vacant suburbs, killing each other for food, so they can declare martial law and institute their own personal one world fiat government. 

In the 1933 Emergency Banking “Relief” Act and HJR 192 they unlawfully took over control of America under their personal Federal Reserve Bank and declared Americans to be “ENEMY COMBATANTS.” They are humanity’s only real threat and mankind’s only true (DELCARED) enemy.  This is only the tip of the ice berg. They think of us as rats ~ the invading hordes. They think they are the descendants of the Annunaki. They are attacking Us on every front perpetually.

We must start real democracy (a system that scientifically and transparently defines, proclaims and manifests the true will of The People), then democratically decide to arrest, try and convict them and their stooges for their crimes against humanity, then sterilize them and permanently imprison them away from civil society.  Then we must evenly distribute their illgotten wealth (about 70% of the Earth’s wealth) to their victims: Humanity. We must also decide to devise a scientific test to determine if people have predatory tendencies, apply it universally and segregate all predators from society. To allow them to continue to destroy Us and Our world is insane.  To defend ourselves from them is our only sane course of action. And, we can’t do it from within existing, corrupted governmental systems. 

All of this should jump start the global economy, cure our corrupted ecology, stop their poisoning of our food and water, level the playing field for posterity, enable children to play outside unsupervised and empower us to leave our homes unlocked as we work cooperatively to propel humanity prosperously into the stars.

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By gerard, October 1, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

If you want to wade through a heavy dose of propaganda and prejudice, take note of the NYT report today on the Wall Street protests.  A study in brain-washing techniques. The Wash Post, on the other hand, is studiously avoiding it. The protests don’t exist. Nada.  Nothing. Zip. So forget it!

“Anachissie” should be delighted to learn that in the Times article, everybody is “a hodge-podge” except (bless their bleeding hearts!)—yes, you guessed it—“a few well-worn anarchists.”  How fearsome—a bunch of hodge-podgers under the influence of well-worn anarchists.”  Can we survive the ordeal?

Heavens, Katherine!  Where is the key to my safe deposit box?

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By RayLan, October 1, 2011 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Chris is not leading this - it is a much broader movment -  he prophesied it and articulates the important reasons for a protest against the corporatocracy. His insight is grounded in his journalistic experience and extensive knowledge of the global financial hegemony.
Thank God for such voices crying in the wilderness.
He might be accused of hyperbole, but that only applies to some of the details of the problem - the cause being not overstated - the ‘inverted totalitarianism’ of the corporate empire.

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By Sebastian Lawhorne, October 1, 2011 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Chris,

On behalf of those members of the 99% who are unable—not unwilling, but unable—to appear at Occupy Wall Street, let me give you this one word of advice: get yourself an enema.

You claim to speak for the working class, and against those in the current economic apparatus who have ground us down into poverty. You speak platitudes about how we are being mistreated and how we’re being made into serfs and all that. Then, when Occupy Wall Street starts, you say that those who do not appear are “complicit” and “criminal”. Your followers on this forum go so far as to call them “traitors” and the “scum of the earth”.

NEWS FLASH: Most members of the working class you support—myself included—have neither the means nor the mobility to appear at Wall Street. I barely have enough money in the bank to pay tuition for my final year of college, and I can’t afford a car. Many others have it even worse than me: some live on food stamps, some work three jobs in the wee hours, some use Herculean strength to keep a roof over their heads. My father teaches in high school, but he’s so poor that he had to live in a former guest house in someone else’s backyard at one point.

But apparently, because we are unable to appear at the Occupy Wall Street protests, that makes us eligible for “the mark of Cain” in your book. What an astute judge of character you are. He apparently doesn’t care for the often-very emotional reasons we might be absent. Same thing goes for the knuckleheads on this thread who call us “collaborators”. I would like to trade shoes with any of you for a day, and see if they think that my five-class courseload and my lack of a job qualifies me as a collaborator.

You have shown yourself to either be a hate-filled idiot or a hypocrite. In your other columns, you have decried religious fundamentalism as an “us-versus-them” way of irrational thinking that only leads to division and violence. I don’t know about the violence, but you have certainly done the fundies’ job for them in terms of dividing people. If I’m a criminal because I don’t have the means to appear at a protest—which I support online—you can come to my Dad’s apartment and arrest me.

You say that the Occupy Wall Street protestors are the “best of us”...implying that even though I share their political enlightenment, I’m not good enough. It shows that while you harp about the working class, you sure as Hell know nothing about them. But if these protesters share your apparent elitism, then they—I’m sorry to say—deserve to lose.


Sincerely,

Sebastian Lawhorne

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By Josh C, October 1, 2011 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

David J. Cyr: Great work.  You spoke the words I have been meaning to post in response to the Annie K’s out there wondering what they can do (if they are indeed interested in ending the injustice of power.)  Chris Hedges simply warns us all of the consequences of inaction, cynicism and apathy.

If you’re not at a gathering or protest, we can speak for you.  If you feel your voice must be heard, make it be heard.  If you hear your ideas presented by others, speak up for them and spread their word.  This is how it happens and how we all become citizens. 

Trust me, whether you know it or not, we are all the 99% and every effort will be made to marginalize, divide, neuter and placate us back into submission.  If you let yourself succumb to this, then you will only slide deeper and deeper into the pit of slavery dug for us all.  Stay vigilant and empowered!

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By David J. Cyr, October 1, 2011 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, ron hansing:

“I object to being called a criminal if I choose not to protest in the Wall Street Demonstrations. Is this a threat against me and my family if I do not toll the line. I take great offense at this…”
_________________

Nothing discomforts a comfortable liberal more than the possibility that people rebelling against the sociopathy of the liberal designed corporate-state might understand that corporate person collaborating liberal reform (merely applying paint over rot) is the reason that America’s fascism has been so sustainable — so successful, so intractable.

It should be understood that to “join the revolt taking place” doesn’t literally require that everyone must physically assemble there, in the bowels of the City of Thieves, or in some other far away city’s financial district.

However, for millions of people stuck in “normal” mode, it does mean that you need to stop supporting the (R) & (D) corporate persons’ politicians that you have been, and start supporting natural person politics seeking substantive systemic change we need to survive.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Cliff Carson, October 1, 2011 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

By Dennis Leahy, September 30 at 7:33 am

“Please read The Reset Button document.”

I did.

Excellent work.

There are two ways to get a Constitutional Amendment initiated:  Congress or Constitutional Convention.

Both involve getting Congress to initiate the Action.  Yes, The States by a 2/3 Thirds petition can demand Congress to initiate the action - but Congress can just ignore the request - as they have done in the past.

But I agree with just about everything in the document and it would go a long way to ending the criminal government we now have.

This is very close to a proposed agenda for a Coalition of Independents that I have written about.

The method in the ResetButton document is basically to pressure the Corporations by boycott; the method in the Coalition would be to pressure the Corporations by elected Government officials running on a common adopted platform.

As to the Hedges piece, I have monitored my local media ( papers, Local TV, plus the usual CNN, etc.) to see if it is being reported.

Almost nothing about it.  I don’t think that many in my State would be aware of the NYC OWS if it wasn’t for the Internet.  On the local Media - not a peep for these 14 days.

To me this demonstrates the Corporate control over our lives and the United States Government.  And just a few minutes ago, I heard a Government official stating on TV that assassinating an American Citizen who is a terrorist, without a trial, is perfectly AOK because that would stop his propaganda.

The people of America need to take a very hard look at that conversation with a CNN talking head who all the while was nodding in agreement during this claim that acting outside the law was perfectly fine.

Many American citizens will agree with this statement right up until when the Police drop the bomb on their heads, sans trial of course.

Then some might start questioning who is making the decision of who is a Terrorist and what might be the rationale for that decision.

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By LocalHero, September 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

Are they the best among us LEvator?

Well, let’s just say that they are a hell of a lot better than you.

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By LocalHero, September 30, 2011 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

Really L. Evator? Are you an imbecile?

I guess the LEvator doesn’t go all the way to the top.

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By L. Evator, September 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Oh dear.

Where to start?

Portentous? Yes! Pretentious? Yes!

And finally, it’s just full of untruths:

“Habeus corpus no longer exists”. Really?
How are corporations “disemboweling every last social service program”?
...and on it goes.

...and then “They are the best among us”. Really? Then surely we’re doomed.

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By Bill, September 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s always the Class Warefare with you Lefties!  The Socialist Government is the big evil entity.  Not Wall Street!

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By Keith Thomas, September 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

Chris, you wrote:

“... the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits
use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and
gorge themselves ...”

May I suggest a topic for a future column? Please let us know with some
precision (say with a dozen representative case studies) just who has the money
and what they are doing with it.

The mandarins are not stuffing their mattresses with currency notes. The
money is either - directly or indirectly - working somewhere (as listed or
unlisted shares or loans) or invested in land (where? the Hamptons? Paraguay?),
commodities or antiques. Only an insignificant proportion of the money is
going on consumption.

This information would be a useful resource for activists. Remember the line
from Derrick Jensen, writing about the spraying of Agent Orange on forests: ‘We
know the names of your helicopter pilots, and we know their addresses’. When
the activists made this declaration, and made it public, the spraying stopped.
While we allow the perpetrators hide behind the conventions of polite behaviour
(conventions that suit the basest instincts and interests of the exploiting class),
we will make little progress.

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By Psychobabbler, September 30, 2011 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Sometimes I like to watch the horse race with the numbers going up and down. Those guys with their clip boards run around like chickens.

You’ve got to go ring their bell.

That is when they are paying attention.

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By decora, September 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“youre either with us or against us” .

hmm. where have i heard that before?

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By Silence is Complicity, September 30, 2011 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

After reading Chris Hedges’ article and following the news of the “Occupy Wall Street Movement” I feel I need to modify my motto-nom de plume, to “Silence is Criminal.”

My hat off to the courageous noble worriers who participated in this movement thus far. They are the salt of the earth and the spark of hope; everyone else, without a serious excuse to physically participate in the movement, are the scum of the earth, the new slaves, the criminals and the traitors!

Thank you Chris Hedges for your intellectual leadership!

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By Anarcissie, September 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

Don’t feed the trolls.  They’re inconsequential.

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By Lee Oates, September 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

To Grumpy Old man.  ‘hippy’ scum?  Those brave young men and women put their lives on the line to save this sorry-assed nation from self-destruction. We owe a debt of gratitude to their efforts.

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By Arouete, September 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Want a sure fire investment in trouble times: try riot gear.

I can think of no more obvious proof to Chomsky’s “Propaganda Model” than this event. This has been going on now for TWO WEEKS! If the Tea Party gathered on Wall Street for one day the corporate owned Washington-complaint media would be over it like flies to excrement and if they kept it up for two weeks the media would be giving them 24/7 coverage.  Instead, this same group has offered proof that the corporate giant Google went Chinese and participated in the blackout!

When the White House criticized the “Arab Spring” dictatorships for blocking Internet Access the demonstrators turned to social media and the self-righteous pundits boasted how WE would never block access to Free Speech or Free Assembly.  Yet last month that is exactly what BART did in San Francisco - of ALL places! Those who think our government will not also turn their guns on peaceful demonstrators are the historically challenged and/or too young to remember Kent State.

@expat, “This movement needs to be spread worldwide”? Time to wake up Rip van Winkle. Where have you been getting your news for the past two years while the rest of the world has been taking the lead? We are the rag-tag followers here not the leaders. Over the past few years we have all seen this debacle unfold in bits and pieces so fragmented that it’s hard to see what it all looks like when the pieces are assembled in context. But one thing is for sure, the rest of the world has been way out in front of this Wall Street Movement. For this reason I will urge you all to take the time to watch the superb Canadian Broadcasting Company’s outstanding documentary “Meltdown” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWU65Zbka4E&feature;=
player_embedded&list=PLD1B1EE309EE4547F

And soon we will wake up the the fact that Afghanistan is just one domino in “the climate war”. See ISBN-13: 9781568586007

This is going to get ugly. REALLY ugly. Fasten your seat belts for we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

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By Grumpy Old Man, September 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

This is the usual self-congratulatory, sanctimonious claptrap we’ve come to expect
from Hedges.

Hippie scum will ne’er a revolution make.

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By ron hansing, September 30, 2011 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hyperboly to the nth degree. Sheer folly.

There will not be a revolution. The reason why is that the vast majority of Americans have something to protect, jobs, home, family peace in place of chaos, including even the working class and the very poor.

Savimbi once said, “ One has to be crazy not to be a communist when you are 20 and has to be crazy to be a communist when you are 30.”

I object to being called a criminal if I choose not to protest in the Wall Street Demonstrations. Is this a threat against me and my family if I do not toll the line. I take great offense at this and if I am threatened, I will defend myself and my family and likewise the other vast Americans.

It is this mentality that those who do not support are criminals will lead to a Fascist take over… read Richard Evans three volume tomes on the “origins, rise and fall of the third Reich.”

The sixties are over. Yes they were great successes ( antiwar, civil rights, women’s, gay, environmental movements) but there were also some great failures. (Education decline, high out of wedlock babies, destruction of a certain segment of the poor.  And not to mention of some over exuberance of the formal gains, such as global warming and cost ineffective green technology, the result is higher costs to the poor, the ones we want to save.

Before the sixties there was a glass ceiling for black relegated to menial jobs, but to those who got the education… 75% are now middle glass, and the richest woman is the United States… perhaps world is Oprah.

And yes these “greedy” large corporations hired these people. As well as the government, and educational institutions encouraged the mantra of education with a lot of support and encouragement.

So for you young people, you do not see these great gains. Likewise, woman, today have high positions in corporations and not to mention Wall Street.

We are getting out of Iraq, down to 3000 by December, and soon likewise from Afghanistan in a couple of years.

Iraq has a chance of freedom… perhaps the same with Afghanistan, ask yourself this question, are you willing to stand by and do nothing when women are buried up to their chest and stoned to death? Yes, I opposed both wars… but I can see the other side of the coin.

Yes, we have problems, but revolution is not the answer… the only purpose of revolution is for a small group who wants the power to control everybody’s lives. No sane person wants anarchy and chaos… only sick delusional psychotics, like that kid in Arizona do.

Ron Hansing

Ps. The rhetoric in the article is preaching to the choir. Nobody else listens, including me and the vast majority of Americans. This is just hate propaganda. No difference than listening the one of Hitler’s speeches…  It’s time to dial down the divisiveness and for all of us to work together on the problems of today.  I am beginning to wonder if reading the Truth digest is a waste of time. I would like to see more reasoned arguments… both sides of the story, so all Americans can come to a reasonable solution.

I realize I’m probably wasting my time with this comment, but heed the Savimbi quote, it resonated with me when I was young. Yes, being 69, I am much more mellow today.

Forget the sixties, move on to the future.

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By Jan, September 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it” Chinese Proverb

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By sallysense, September 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Chris Hedges, for this article!

(recently shared the stuff below on a couple’a ‘ows’ google groups… and would like to share it here too… for any ‘ows’ folks)...

Hiya Folks.  I’m not sure where to post this, so here it is too:

I started a website last November, and I would like to donate the use of the website to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

(This is the site.)

http://citizenvoices.us

I’ll still keep paying for the site, (as part of my donation), and I’ll leave the rest up to any of you Occupy Wall Street folks, who would like to take over the administrative end of it, and run it etc.

(I’ll give you the passwords and info etc, and from there on you’ll be able to change the site however you may want to for the movement.)

(I’m not too good with computer stuff, and it took me a long time just to figure out how to do what I did on my own, so all you would need would be your computer know-how.)

(The site hasn’t gotten much traffic, as it hasn’t really been advertised.)

So if any of you Occupy Wall Street folks would like to use this web site, or if you know of other OWS folks who would like to use it,  please let me know!

You can change and re-do whatever you want to do with the site for the movement.

I’m just so glad to be able to donate it for such a worthy cause!

And I sure hope you can make use of it!

(You can email through the contact page on the website.)

(And also, on another note, anyone can donate to ‘ows’ via the donate button at:  http://occupywallst.org , among other ways too.)

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