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Why the Elites Are in Trouble

Posted on Oct 9, 2011
Illustration by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

(Page 3)

Caucuses also grew up in the encampment, including a “Speak Easy caucus.” “That’s a caucus I started,” Ketchup said. “It is for a broad spectrum of individuals from female-bodied people who identify as women to male-bodied people who are not traditionally masculine. That’s called the ‘Speak Easy’ caucus. I was just talking to a woman named Sharon who’s interested in starting a caucus for people of color.

“A caucus gives people a safe space to talk to each other without people from the culture of their oppressors present. It gives them greater power together, so that if the larger group is taking an action that the caucus felt was specifically against their interests, then the caucus can block that action. Consensus can potentially still be reached after a caucus blocks something, but a block, or a ‘paramount objection,’ is really serious. You’re saying that you are willing to walk out.”

“We’ve done a couple of things so far,” she said. “So, you know the live stream? The comments are moderated on the live stream. There are moderators who remove racist comments, comments that say ‘I hate cops’ or ‘Kill cops.’ They remove irrelevant comments that have nothing to do with the movement. There is this woman who is incredibly hardworking and intelligent. She has been the driving force of the finance committee. Her hair is half-blond and half-black. People were referring to her as “blond-black hottie.”  These comments weren’t moderated, and at one point whoever was running the camera took the camera off her face and did a body scan. So, that was one of the first things the caucus talked about. We decided as a caucus that I would go to the moderators and tell them this is a serious problem. If you’re moderating other offensive comments then you need to moderate these kinds of offensive comments.”

The heart of the protest is the two daily meetings, held in the morning and the evening. The assemblies, which usually last about two hours, start with a review of process, which is open to change and improvement, so people are clear about how the assembly works. Those who would like to speak raise their hand and get on “stack.”


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“There’s a stack keeper,” Ketchup said. “The stack keeper writes down your name or some signifier for you. A lot of white men are the people raising their hands. So, anyone who is not apparently a white man gets to jump stack. The stack keeper will make note of the fact that the person who put their hand up was not a white man and will arrange the list so that it’s not dominated by white men. People don’t get called up in the same order as they raise their hand.” 

While someone is speaking, their words amplified by the people’s mic, the crowd responds through hand signals. 

“Putting your fingers up like this,” she said, holding her hands up and wiggling her fingers, “means you like what you’re hearing, or you’re in agreement. Like this,” she said, holding her hands level and wiggling her fingers, “means you don’t like it so much. Fingers down, you don’t like it at all; you’re not in agreement. Then there’s this triangle you make with your hand that says ‘point of process.’  So, if you think that something is not being respected within the process that we’ve agreed to follow then you can bring that up.”

“You wait till you’re called,” she said. “These rules get abused all the time, but they are important. We start with agenda items, which are proposals or group discussions. Then working group report-backs, so you know what every working group is doing. Then we have general announcements. The agenda items have been brought to the facilitators by the working groups because you need the whole group to pay attention. Like last night, Legal brought up a discussion on bail: ‘Can we agree that the money from the general funds can be allotted if someone needs bail?’ And the group had to come to consensus on that. [It decided yes.] There’s two co-facilitators, a stack keeper, a timekeeper, a vibes-person making sure that people are feeling OK, that people’s voices aren’t getting stomped on, and then if someone’s being really disruptive, the vibes-person deals with them. There’s a note-taker—I end up doing that a lot because I type very, very quickly. We try to keep the facilitation team one man, one woman, or one female-bodied person, one male-bodied person. When you facilitate multiple times it’s rough on your brain. You end up having a lot of criticism thrown your way. You need to keep the facilitators rotating as much as possible. It needs to be a huge, huge priority to have a strong facilitation group.”

“People have been yelled out of the park,” she said. “Someone had a sign the other day that said ‘Kill the Jew Bankers.’ They got screamed out of the park. Someone else had a sign with the N-word on it. That person’s sign was ripped up, but that person is apparently still in the park.

“We’re trying to make this a space that everyone can join. This is something the caucuses are trying to really work on. We are having workshops to get people to understand their privilege.”

But perhaps the most important rule adopted by the protesters is nonviolence and nonaggression against the police, no matter how brutal the police become.

“The cops, I think, maced those women in the face and expected the men and women around them to start a riot,” Ketchup said. “They want a riot. They can deal with a riot. They cannot deal with nonviolent protesters with cameras.”

I tell Ketchup I will bring her my winter sleeping bag. It is getting cold. She will need it. I leave her in a light drizzle and walk down Broadway. I pass the barricades, uniformed officers on motorcycles, the rows of paddy wagons and lines of patrol cars that block the streets into the financial district and surround the park. These bankers, I think, have no idea what they are up against.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 11, 2011 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

@chacaboy there is no solution to this problem.  Too many self-centered consumers who have no productive work to do if they wanted to.  Solve that one, then keep the banksters from siphoning off whatever real wealth is produced, and I’ll eat my hat.  Way over critical mass of the populace is fat on bread made from petroleum and happy with the various circuses.  How you going to get that to move with you?

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John R.'s avatar

By John R., October 11, 2011 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you
- Gandhi

@ swissball

“What did move you so emotionallly?”

The numbers and communication between us. If someone is hungry, they are
fed, a blanket is found, water is given, hugs come freely. Appearances are
ignored. All this, and the absence of any drugs. And I have been to a rave or
two in my younger years, but this movement will have no drugs. All remain
focussed on the goals, the statements/demands. We are all humans here, that
have remembered that we all bleed the same. Material ways such as “keeping up
with the Jones” is forgotten and buried.

“What did convince you?”

The organization. When I first arrived I did not know how long I would stay. But
as meetings were held, and groups were formed, the inner thoughts of
individuals and their hopes of what was to be accomplished and what it meant
to them to be around like-minded individuals was shared. At first it seemed
slightly awkward, but as each individual spoke of personal goals for what they
would like the world to be, any walls that I had in my mind, crumbled.

The best way to understand this movement, is to read, and re-read the
statements/demands of OccupyWallStreet. The issues make perfect sense. Read
them, understand the pros and cons. Of course there are many other issues but
these are the ones, the reasons I am here anyway, and I must be arrested to be
removed. And upon my release. I will be back home, at Liberty Square.

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redteddy's avatar

By redteddy, October 11, 2011 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

@C.Curtis.Dillon who wrote:

“Those of you who express support for the idea but doubt it’s success ... why?
This is how revolutions begin. You doubt their power? So did the tyrants in
Venezuela when Chavez was overthrown. Two days later the poor poured out of
the slums and overwhelmed the new government which fled in fear. “

Chavez?  Chavez has not been over-thrown from power.  At least get your facts
straight.  Chavez is alive, still worshipping Castro and very much the leader of
Venezuela!  Yes there is power in mass protests but you should get back to your
history books and read newspapers before you start spouting on about revolutions
when your own facts of current events are so incorrect!

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By Mr. Joe, October 11, 2011 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

First, I would like to say I am new to this site and the writings of Mr. Hedges.  This article provides a great perspective into Occupy Wall Street and I look forward into reading more on this site and this author.

However, the reason I registered to comment on here is because I could not find Mr. Hedges’ email.  As an articulate writer and apparent Humanist, he still used the phrase “deaf, dumb, and blind.”  I understand this phrase is more of an idiom today, but it still objectifies those who have learning challenges, or have visual or auditory impairment.  These people don’t deserve to be used in derogatory terms to describe the elites.  Because I guarantee the elites objectify these groups too.

Please edit the article to rephrase your description of “they.”

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By GW=MCHammered, October 11, 2011 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wall Street Could Face 10,000 Additional Job Losses

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redteddy's avatar

By redteddy, October 11, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

I don’t believe the elites are in trouble, maybe the political system but not the
elites.  The political elites are in trouble because they have lost the faith of their
electorates. The system however whether it be economic, cultural or political
remains intact.  The ‘elites’ are faceless they are not beholden to any nation state. 
They have so much money they work within and above the law.  The only way the
elites would be in trouble is if the financial system were to collapse in the US. 
Occupy is a miracle of hope, it has restored my faith in the american people and I
hope it grows and grows until its so large it amounts to systematic failure of the
status quo.  In the meantime the elite’s are not in trouble.

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By Grumpy Old Man, October 11, 2011 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

An Indian Summer Woodstock for the lumpenbourgeoisie. All the Frankfurt School
garbage surfacing yet again.

The masses crave strength, not this airy-fairy diversity and endless gabbling.

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By chacaboy, October 11, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Since you are all grown up and not a moron and know how to get this done, let’s
hear your solution to the problem.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 11, 2011 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Look at the ‘leaders’, their leadership style, and the followers in this ‘rebellious movement’. 

The cowardly ‘leaders’ are not accountable in any way to those they lead.  They can follow their intention to do good, fail miserably, burn away yet another generations time and optimism.  After failing, they can write a book and remain a niche folk hero.  They were there.    What do they risk?  A few nights in jail?  Talk to me when they have the guts to risk a few decades in prison.

The ‘leadership style’, what works for this group is the same old divisiveness disguised as ‘diversity’.  Caucuses?  How can these morons feel good about going off into little ‘gripe circles’, the product of which, through the leadership of consensus, amounts to such a compromised product as to be valuable only to those who wish to remain in power, namely the two (corporately managed) parties.  This tired recipe will fail.  It’s at the heart of what is wrong with what might be called ‘new liberalism’, and that is the continued division of the people into small grievance groups. 

The ‘followers’? If Ketchup is the best example, she might as well have grabbed a backpack and got a rail pass to tour Europe.  This appears to be a ‘gathering’, not a movement.  A gathering of feel-good kumbayah singing passive outcasts.  And the ‘progressive white men’ deferring to the various oppressed groups?  Same operating procedure, use guilt to make deference to oppressed (entitled) groups a centerpiece of the mechanisms of group control.  That these people allow themselves to be herded into ‘gender groups’?  ‘Facilitators’, guiding the people toward dumpster diving for food?  Dumpster diving?  These are people who are going to take back our country?  They don’t even seem able to see the oligarchy will simply wear down the protesters by constraining them to arbitrary and unproductive hoop-jumping.  Permits, lack of facilities, dumpster diving, and winter is coming. 

What moron decided to get this all rolling in September?  Seriously?  The Boy Scouts could have planned this better.  That some are encouraged by the ‘protests’ shows how desperate we are.  At least there have been arrests.  Arrests and disobedience are the only signs the followers and leaders have some courage and will take risks.  Despite all the sickening feeley-goodness, these are the only things, taking risks which result in administrative (police) actions, which will keep the ‘gathering’ alive. 

Who knows how it will go in time?  Likely fizzled out by Thanksgiving, certainly by Christmas.  For now you have a mildly amusing ‘rebellion’ of small children.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 11, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Those of you who express support for the idea but doubt it’s success ... why? This is how revolutions begin. You doubt their power? So did the tyrants in Venezuela when Chavez was overthrown. Two days later the poor poured out of the slums and overwhelmed the new government which fled in fear. There is power in mass movements. You don’t think Wall Street would be intimidated if several hundred thousand streamed across all the bridges and overwhelmed the financial district? You don’t think the politicians would be intimidated if a million did the same in Washington? This is just getting started and already many of you are saying it’s dead. Don’t kill it ... nurture it. Already the number of ‘normal’ people increases with each passing day and that’s important. When you get mass participation, you have more than just a protest ... you have a movement. Help it grow with your voice, your presence and your support.

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By scotttpot, October 11, 2011 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Freedom is participation in power.

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caped amigo's avatar

By caped amigo, October 11, 2011 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

Zen man, we need you to commit. Bystanders are a dime a dozen.

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By scotttpot, October 11, 2011 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

The elite does not understand because they don*t live among us.
The elite live in gated communities or mansions,they golf at private clubs,go to
private schools,travel by private jet,they watch the games from a private box.
The elite don*t use public transportation,libraries,or public parks.
The elite does not understand the since the end of the Bush presidency ,the
99% have been told over and over that no economic security is possible for
them .
The elite sees no contradiction in their lie that America is the most prosperous country in history as millions live in poverty without health care .

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By D.D.D.54, October 11, 2011 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

Isn’t if freedom, not rebellion, why they are occupying Wall Street?

freedom is more focused on the individual as a whole.

rebellion is a reaction, not a movement.  We all want this to succeed, because we all want our freedom.

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Gloria Picchetti's avatar

By Gloria Picchetti, October 11, 2011 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

Just because it’s no longer fashionable to march around with heads on stakes does not mean the elites shouldn’t get their heads screwed on straight.

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By swissball, October 11, 2011 at 4:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hello John R.,

can you please report some more details.
What did move you so emotionallly?
What did convince you?

thank you for some more words

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THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., October 11, 2011 at 2:02 am Link to this comment

For once, this one is not buying what Hedges is
selling; Wall-street is not in trouble…yet.
It seems pretty obvious most people just don’t “get
MSM is doing its best to ignore (or dismiss) the whole
thing as a bunch of malcontents. Which they are for
good reasons; the road to hell is paved with good
What is happening (OWS & ODC) is a good thing, but this
one remains skeptical;
as the Zen monk said; we’ll see…

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By max, October 11, 2011 at 1:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The article focuses on Wall Street but avoids the real source of power and influence, the Federal Reserve.

It is central banking which prints money from nothing and distorts the system to what we have today. Wall St execs are small fry compared to the owners of the Fed.

IMO, this article is a distraction (deliberate or not, I don’t know) and seems to be promoting a different agenda; ie, the same one that got Wall St into trouble during the Great Depression but left the Central Banks alone and able to continue their fractional reserve/usury scam in relative peace to arrive at the current situation.

Unfortunately it appears that the Wall St movement is being hijacked.

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By david tarbuck, October 11, 2011 at 1:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am pleased to see that the majorities in many countries are becoming aware of the need for action to preserve the environment, finite resources and top put the latter to work for the benefit of all, not just for the 1% (or 5%?). 

However I am deeply concerned that this movement NOT be usurped by the wrong people. 

I refer to (neo)fascists. 

Look at some of their (well financed) publications; they praise the movement while planning moves to take over leadership. 

Like Adolf Hitler, Mussolini &c. they articulate real grievances and reflect concerns of the times; Ie.In Hitler era Treaty of Versaille, hyperinflation and loss of working class power; today it is concentration of power and riches with elites, make the workers pay for the high livig bankers and their mistakes. 

In the 1920s/30s while “progressives” remained in a stupor, the Fascist movement financed covertly by the very elites it overtly blasted) had a field day.

Will history repeat this tradgety?  Will right wing warmongering (as per Iraq, Afghanisstan, Libya and maybe Syria and Palistine) be the way we go? Or will progressives get out from in front of monitor screens and take over to build a society based on collaboration as the rule wth individual rewards determined by the contribution to the common benefit to all living creatures???

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By Solerso, October 11, 2011 at 12:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For 40 years the greddy animals of the rentier class have been bashing workers and crushing lives and they thought, all hope. we are witnessing 9and or participating in) the reinvention of the left. halleluja. The reaction of the bloombergs and the MSM stooges is predictable and very telling. they fear us, more than we understand, because they know so much more than we do, just how badly they have robbed and massacred the working class. they are waiting for the exucutions to start becasue they ARE guilty.

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By Andy, October 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, October 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

There’s clearly no shortage of people either eagerly wishing to quickly co-opt the young Occupy Movement into service of what they are against, or to drown it in a sea of contemptuous derision.

Yes, it is awkward and messy, and it is “originating” old means all over again, but for good reason.

It’s taken a half-century for Americans to get back to where we were (square 1) and restart the resistance again. During that wasted half-century, The Problem of the corporate-state grew way bigger and far more intractable, because near all the student radicals and the hippy flower children of “My Generation” free-will chose to comfortably become life-long (D) dedicated corporate party collaborators.

The “My Generation” consumer society parents have left their children — the young roots of this Occupy Movement — a futureless future.

Let these young adults independently decide where they are going, and how they will get there. If there’s any possibility for them to have a future worth having they’ll clearly need to create that possibility themselves. There’s little in this world that they can be certain of, but their parent’s generation has amply provided proofs positive that becoming (D) corporate party collaborators is not any part of The Solution.

“Politics is not the art of the possible.
True politics is the art of the impossible.”
— Slavoj Zizek

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By Meg, October 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We are done…”

You will not get called on in the order you raise
your hand. You will have to wait a few minutes so
that a person who has been silenced by white power in
so many little ways throughout her life can say her
peace. Then you can speak. If you feel that this
strategy is *racist* then you might want to reflect
on why you’re sulking over such a trivial thing as
having to speak after a person of color.

*mic check*

go ketchup! i watch you facilitating on the
livestream. you’re doing a great job.

if only we could have progressive stack at my job,
where the men interrupt women frequently and/or
dominate the discussion. i also noticed this
phenomenon in graduate school. even in a room of
where people of color and women are the majority,
certain white men will dominate the discussion, and
more so if it was a philosophy or theory class.

for those on here who are offended by this tactic—
it’s not like white men’s voices are silenced!
they’ve been cultured and conditions to participate
in politics and public life going as far back as the
ancient world. what do you think elite power runs on?
patriarchy is its fuel!!

thankfully these kids are learning from the 60’s
mistakes. the white middle class boomer feminists
thoughtlessly neglected race, class, and gender
hierarchies within their own activism, and the
movement suffered for it. the best way to get beyond
identity politics is to openly acknowledge it and
respect the intersections of power between people. so
we can MOVE THE FUCK ON to the real agenda item, like
how we’re all 99’ers…

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By Justin Weleski, October 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

Rebellion!  Ah, it’s a beautiful thing.

And I’m fairly certain that the conservative and Establishment elites are
concerned about the Occupation movement.  Based on the harsh criticisms and
denunciations of the protesters by blowhards and rank-and-file “centrists”
alike, I’d say that a nerve has been struck.

Plus, I’m still awestruck at how innocently this all started; a one-page ad in my
favorite magazine, Adbusters.  I remember seeing the ad and thinking to
myself, “Well, their heart is in the right place, but I can’t imagine this will attract
more than 25 or so people.”  And look at what it has now become.

When anger and dissatisfaction with the status quo are in the air, I suppose all
it takes is a spark.

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, October 10, 2011 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

“Why the Elites Are in Trouble?”

Because they phuk’n deserve to be.  Period.

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By 1morwhiner, October 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

a quik scan of the comments above induces the general observation that, as
has becom SOP, the clever spineless monkies that wile away their days @ the
keybore have endless imagination for reasons that anybody attempting to take
any action is doomed to fail or quit. if one were to propose harvesting the
oranges on their incidental backyard fruit tree, ther would in due course come
along some semiliterate sage to dispose of the idea on the grounds that they
breed fruit flies… the overarching hypothesis obtains never the less. the elites
are in trouble; along with the rest of us as long as we as a
community/nation/society continue to prioritize toxins above nutrients. &
paper cyphers above coherent moral standards; a species wide death wish?
perhaps. but one that a significant fraction of the population is not sold out to.
one thing the activists in the parks are accomplishing; attending class for face
to face communication-for-social-accommodation 101. a giant step for all the
nerds glued to their computer chair cushions,  the prospect of which trembles
their bones & stimulates their howls of derisive verbal drec

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, October 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

I like Mr. Fish’s pic of the Merrill Lynch Bull in Battery Park. It reminds me of the Golden Calf in Exodus 32.

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By Pat Mahoney, October 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Read the Sibling Society by Robert Bly and also Life Inc. by Douglas Ruskoff and you will be prepared for what is to come.

Maybe God put fat cat bankers on earth so we would have something to eat when times get hard.

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By Arouete, October 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the Ketchup but hey, where’s the meat. Oh. The Food Group is still out dumpster diving? Thanks but I’ll pass on lunch.

These bankers don’t know that they are up against? Well, with a communal laptop (donated by Homeland Security perhaps?) floating about and everyone signing the guest book so-to-speak, how dumb is that?

And watch out duck quick.  Here comes more. Whew, that flying hyperbole is treacherous. But these bankers don’t know what they are up against.  Just wait till the dumpster divers get back.  Meanwhile, if you get bored with the Ketchup sans meat just click the supremely inane moronic animated banner which is the tainted bait of this corporate oligarchy what partly sponsors this web site with it’s vulgar commercials for capitalism and get a quote on you car insurance.

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By radson, October 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

Ketchup since this movement will be moving North eventually ,you gotta round up as many potatoes as you can ,so here’s a tune for ya .


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By chacaboy, October 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Thirdman, I totally see the irony and thanks for pointing it out. But vanity and
clumsiness and error does not make a movement fail, only lack of participation
will do that. I saw more embarrassing awkward and unfair moments in the Viet
Nam War effort (which succeeded) and the Civil Rights Movement (which
succeeded) than I care to list here. All movements are like this, full of clumsy
kum-ba-ya bullshit but they work anyway. Someone will eventually stand up and
tell these poor wannabees that if they have a bull horn they don’t have to chant. At
least I hope…

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By Milt Lauenstein, October 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The elites aren’t in trouble! the rest of us are and will continue to be until we
have a solution to our problems.

Our government is clearly dysfunctional and is being used by the super-rich to
become even richer. Maybe working for election reform is futile, but what is
worth working for, and how? When questions of economics are beyond the
ability of even economics to answer, the general public is subject to
demagoguery. How can democracy be expected to work in today’s complex

Obviously, something like $2 trillion of the $3 trillion that goes to the top 1%
ought to be paid in taxes. Yet I hear almost no one proposing that. Proposing
reversal of the Bush tax cuts is only nibbling at the edges! What do you propose
beyond protest? Overturning the present hierarchy will serve the people only if
something better replaces it. Even Europe, which seems to have found better
systems than the US, isn’t doing too well, either.


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By hogorina, October 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

October 10, 2011
What this country needs is to protect the people’s
hard earned wealth in creating ways to find
employment for hundreds, of whom are generally
unemployed, and on low-level qualifications. We are
creating a class of parasites, that are milking the
working people out of their productive earnings,
through developing a parasitic clime of artificial
but unproductive elements, that depend on some
federal handout called federal emergency programs,
geared to leveling capitalism’s optimistic future,
and influenced by encroaching socialism, as a
forerunner of Marxian fundamentalism, in supporting
incipient Bolshevism.
It is inconceiveable that a hand full of terrorist
have crippled our national commercial flight industry
through the commie controlled news industry, with
their daily inflated minor news issues, being bloated
to the point that the general public runs to and fro
courting imaginary fear that our airlines will be
eventually shut down. This is a scheme for doubting
America needs to tell Uncle Sam to get of it’s
haunches, and get rid of all parasitic bums and
leaches, and let these dead beats find more
productive work. It seems that nationwide law
enforcement has taken preference over a people’s
ability to think straight. Law enforcement has been
turned into social engineering, collectively, as an
unproductive force that protect the great slum
masters, and loan sharks, and political hounds, of
whom steal from every strong box in the nation’s
capital. This country is going under from a form of
liberalism that plays along with aimless parasitic
laboring organizations, that will aid in creating
parasitic industries that are nothing but well
organized drones on the backs of hard working and
decent tax paying citizens.
All in all, National Homeland Security is a front for
liberalized political whoredom in cahoots with make-
shift liberalism in order to bleed productive America
to its last fatring of honorable citizens. We need to
get rid of SWAT and FEMA as merely tools to appease
their hired bodies, by wading in on honest citizens,
to be an ever growing expansion to appease bums and
dead beats, by attacking productive citizens, while
thousands hold parasitic acres of federal and state
governments. We do not need to wreck and cripple any
national private
industry by the artificial increments of ridiculous
legal obstructions, being subtly used to further an
approaching socialists programming of digging the
brains out of the public’s twisted intellect, that
Uncle Sam will not let the people down. We should
level down national security in giving each state the
right to guard the people’s security, to the proper
level of individual responsibility. The present
encroaching police state under the cover of Home Land
Security is nothing less than a pro-Marxist scheme to
further incipient Bolshevism, in causing the state to
wither away, in replacing capitalism with the ever
creeping of Oriental religious philosophies into the
American republic.

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By thethirdman, October 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

I believe you fail to see the funnier irony.  This little litany routine WAS started by
the protestors in NYC and it was actually an ingenious solution to the shit
regulations they faced.  These protesters here are clearly using a bull horn in ATL
where they are tying hard to copy the spirit of the times, trying hard to seem legit. 
So legit they booted John Lewis.  Haha.  What they are doing here is what they
always do- talk a lot, feel real good, and affect nothing.

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By grokker, October 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

@chacaboy   I asked if someone would explain it to me and you did and I thank you.

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By Ralph Kramden, October 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a veteran of the police riots in the Haight-Ashbury, and the San Francisco State police riots, beware of weird looking people with tape recorders, video cameras pretending to be reporters from strange-sounding radio or TV stations. When we checked them out, the radio, TV, newspaper was non-existent and they were Army intelligence snitches. Beware of agent provocateurs. Those who yell the loudest for hand-grenades or torching, beware. But then again, I’m reminded of Sartre’s quote “Anarchy as always, leads nowhere.” So there is a fine line, but anarchy is usually destructive. I like the way the natives use to assign chores: who is best at hunting? You who are leads the hunting group. Who is best at communicating? You who are lead the communications. And it was all democratically decided. Again, don’t think it is only the cops, the FBI. It is also Army, CIA, NSA.

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By chacaboy, October 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

grokker, take time to read the Hedges piece you are critiquing. The thing you see
as Esalen solidarity is a strategy to communicate when there are restrictions on
Bull Horns and other sound equipment during demonstrations. Speaking in
phrases and the audience repeating the phrases is a way to know that the speaker
is being heard. I hope they can find a better way, but meanwhile if you feel
embarrassed we are all here for you…

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By chacaboy, October 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

grokker, take time to read the Hedges piece you are critiquing. The thing you see
as Esalen solidarity is a strategy to communicate when there are restrictions on
Bull Horns and other sound equipment during demonstrations. Speaking in
phrases and the audience repeating the phrases is a way to know that the speaker
is being heard. I hope they can find a better way, but meanwhile if you feel
embarrassed we are all here for you…

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By grokker, October 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

But all in all, I do support this movement, only if it will abandon the Dems and the Repubs.

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By grokker, October 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

@thethirdman   Man, that is lame to the point of me feeling embarrassed for them. If someone can explain to me what that is - is it some Esalen Institute exercise in new age solidarity? God help us all….

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By madhusudan, October 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The first page of this article was the clearest
expression yet in print on what exactly this movement
is, in my own understanding.  I guess it’s up to each
to decide, and still in formation, but it felt true to

This is the zeitgeist.

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By cpb, October 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

It seems to me that many of the posts knocking the actions on Wall St. come from hitherto unknown posters.  If they are slamming what you are doing, then you’re getting attention.  The intelligence of the posts seem to be inversely proportional to the extent of the criticism - just sayin!

To anyone down in Liberty reading - You GO!!  Support is heartfelt and growing.

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By thethirdman, October 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

HAHAHA please check out this video.  I believe it sums up the silliness of our age
and shows definitely why this “occupation” will fail.

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By John R., October 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

The movement is still growing, and gaining intelligence.

Its spirit is being held up past the steel and concrete skyscrapers.

There is something here that I cannot find the word for.

I had doubts in the early days, but no-longer, what is forming in the minds of those that I have spoken to, has gone far beyond the visions that I ever had.

I can only describe it as illuminatory - if there is such a word.

I feel invigorated to wake amongst these people of all walks of life. I am happy to cry here. Yes. Happy to cry here.

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By Artsy, October 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

I LLLLLLOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEEE the movement! It is helping to restore my faith in our country. The corporate cons, banksters, and political shamsters will get their miserable demise on way or the other. They are are so past due.

VOTE for and support Ron Paul to help restore the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We must take our country back! Power to the people!

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By berneredfeather, October 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bankers can go on strike and get bailed out but workers cannot reject an
unacceptable contract. The workers feet are kept to the fire. Social programs,
education, health care cuts,
lower wages, fewer benefits and high unemployment contribute to desperation
and disparity
among workers. This is intentional and should be considered a loss of basic
human rights in any sane democracy.
The OWS have it 99 to 1.

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By Silence is Complicity, October 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

No doubt the “Occupy Wall Street Movement” is revolutionary history in the making. Yet, the forces of darkness and oppression are also alarmed, in the waiting and plotting to suppress it and make it fail.

Therefore, I am suggesting two things to support and sustain theses efforts:

1. There is a need to enlarge the base of the movement outside those who are actually occupying the Wall Street area among those who are not capable of joining the actual crowd. Needless to say material, financial and moral support is what those non-participant can do.

2. There is a need to create a vibrant media outlet which speaks for and reports on the movement’s news and needs. For lack of clear and definite plan on my part to create such outlet, I am suggesting that Truthdig should be designated as being such outlet and the recipient of ideas and donations to sustain the movement. After all, Chris Hedges is the de facto intellectual leader of the movement.

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By Alan MacDonald, October 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Chris, “The Elites Are in Trouble” today—because their previously well disguised, camouflaged, hidden, and Two-Party “Vichy” Empire is now becoming visible for the violent and viscous global Empire that it is, and the Empire is being recognized as the cancerous tumor that is the proximate cause of all the issues that Occupy is exposing and protesting against, like; massive economic inequality and oppression of we 99%, global environmental destruction, numerous and growing imperialist wars abroad, a spying lying police-state at home, arrogant authoritarianism instead of democracy, etc. etc.

As Hannah Arendt famously warned from her painful experience with the last wannabe global empire, the Nazi Empire,

“Empire abroad entails tyranny at home”.

Now a growing percentage of Americans realize what the tortured masses in the Empire’s oil territories have long known:

“Globalization” is just a PR cover-term for violent ‘global Empire’—- so the global elite of this deadly global Empire are indeed “in trouble” today, Chris.

Alan MacDonald

Liberty & democracy

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By PatrickHenry, October 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Thank God and the founders of this once great nation for the 2nd amendment.

The so called ‘elite’ should worry, should the citizendry band together, organize and enable a force and empower a commission, heads will roll and assets seized. 

The situation we are all now in is usually handled at the voting box, however with the advent of the paperless electronic voting without any written verification as to allow a verified recount, the odds that our democratic system can and possibly was being manipulated by a 8th grader with $26 in parts.

This is why the public has the same characters promoted by RNC and DNC Inc. regardless of whom you vote for.  they are going to win, however you vote.

Stock up and keep your powder dry,  When the peaceful attempts at change wear out, the millions upon millions of military veterans will prevail peacefully at first….

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By Seattle1951, October 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, Chris, for the detail you’ve provided on how the movement is functioning in New York. I’m very impressed at the level of organization that’s been achieved so quickly. I hope our group in Seattle will be able to read this article and glean a few tips from it. Our group has done well, especially given our small numbers and our weather.

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By Stan, October 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for your report, Chris.  Very helpful, to get a feel for what’s going on on
the ground there.

And what a lovely person Ketchup is.  I may not agree with everything that is
going on there; but I do appreciate her spunk.

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By Textynn, October 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These young people are awesome.  The Hippie generation has birthed an evolved version of itself in its children. I believe that.

Kids today know exactly what they are dealing with and they know how important community is.  It will take a village to launch this movement.  The answers we are looking for can be found in what we have been denied… Community, respect for others, diversity, communication among everyone not top down dictatorship always steeped in rigid hierarchy. Respect for and the utilization of the talents of everyone. Equal respect for all work and all people.. with clean up people being put on par with legal people and so forth, each contributing a need that must be had, and respect for all people that fill needs is what has been lost in America.

The level of enlightened thinking over the level of corrupt toddler level selfish thinking coming from the elite makes me feel like we can really make the changes we need. We can really stop these Wall Street elite from treating us like chattel.

We must continue until it is done. Nothing else is acceptable and we all must do our parts and help others do theirs. We *ARE* gonna do this.

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By Bobbie Clark, October 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Suggestion, Stop calling the greedy and nearsighted psychopatic paracites “elites”.  They may have artificial power from their money and connections, but they are a cancer, feeding on the very foundation that they depend on for their artificial power. 

I suggest we start labeling them as “psychopathic paracites” or “psychopathic predators”, and cease to give them any label that suggests they are superior to us, the 99.9%.

the pyramids have stood for thousands of years because of a solid foundation. We are the foundation, and the Psychopathic Paracites have been attacking, taking from the foundation, and that is not sustainable.  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address),

Bobbie Clark is from the Galatic Federation. We’ve been waiting for humans to ask for our help.

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By chacaboy, October 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Ketchup. You’ve inspired me to get back down to City Hall in Los
Angeles and check on those in need. I’m amazed at the parallels between this
movement and the protests in the late 60’s and early 70’s in Washington.
History retrospectively makes it seem focused on ending the Viet Nam War and
completing the Civil Rights movement but I remember, and it was just like this.
Endless caucuses into the night striving for consensus and sometimes never
getting there: protective strategies for gays, women, and people of color:
unisex restrooms (Yikes!): provisional committees that somehow managed to
get things done: organizations for reforming marijuana laws: countless
petitions to free Huey Newton and I don’t know what all else: and sleeping
bags, always sleeping bags, coffee in styrofoam cups, first aid stations, and on
it went. This is how it got done and the focus will come in time. Wall Street was
just as clueless then as it is now. This has been a long time coming and we
have Chris and Ketchup and thousands of others to thank for making it happen.

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By Franny, October 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am so afraid for these “real” Americans. Whether the elite is blind right now I cannot say, but I do know they know they are guilty, they dare not let OWS win. They would start a war to cover themselves. If OWS wins, if the people win, they know, beyond doubt, what will happen to them, the guilty. The guilty in business and the guilty in the press, the guilty in government. That’s a lot of job openings.
After all they have done - they dare not let their “enemies” win.

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By Hasapiko, October 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

It took 25% unemployment, bread lines and the threat of communism for the government to implement the New Deal. We are nowhere near that. The REAL 99% of Americans that this movement is supposed to represent still don’t realize how they are being screwed. Until they do - that is, until the level of suffering increases several notches AND until a new and viable political system is there to threaten the old - nothing is going to change.

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By Marian Griffith, October 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—-I become wary when lines like ‘female-bodied people who identify as women to male-bodied people who are not traditionally masculine’ and ‘a caucus for people of color’ become part of the dialogue.
All too often this is a prelude to sexism and racism, victimhood and special status disguised as equality. Ordinary males, who always do the majority of the work and make the majority of the sacrifices, are once again conspicuously absented.—-

Our entire culture is, still, white-male centric. It is getting better, but the majority of leaders, the majority of faces you see on television, in advertisement and even in the workplace are white and male.
As such it is easy (for everybody, including those who do not belong to the ‘norm’) to fall into the trap of listening to the opinion of somebody who is white and male simply because those are the people you always listen to.
Breaking this pattern begins by awareness of this natural habit to defer to traditionally defined authorities, and then by actively trying to install another pattern where everybody gets a chance to be heard, not just the people traditionally have a voice. And no, it is not entirely fair to the men who have to wait longer than their turn just so somebody else can ‘jump the stack’, but it equally is not fair if other groups hardly get their opinions and concerns heard just because we have been culturally conditioned to only pay attention to the traditionally dominant group.
Affirmative action is not inherently wrong, as long as it is limited in scope and time and only serves to break a cultural blockade that prevents otherwise capable people from having an equal chance.

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By Marian Griffith, October 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even if you can not go there yourself, you can still help the occupiers who are there. If you have a sleeping bag or an old tent or even a length of tarp it might be useful. Food is needed, but sending food is impractical, but money for it is not. And even if you can afford to donate only 1 dollar, it still helps one occupier to stay one more day.

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By Ehrenstein, October 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Take it away Joel and Liza!

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By jack kane, October 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ketchup won’t defeat Wall Street. The bankers will pour ketchup onto a burger and have lunch and laugh. It is good that the people are angry, but they need to do better. Who is in charge of this movement? Suppose, like they say, no one is charge. Then what? What is a confused mob going to do against the organized power of Wall Street and NYC? Suppose someone is actually in charge. Who? The Soros/USAID/Albert Einstein institute color revolutions gang is quite adept at infiltrating and manipulating movements.

To get anywhere people need a plan. They need goals, and strategies for the achieving of those goals. They need to make sure their organization has not been duped. Sitting in some park in New York is nice but doesn’t do much.

All the best to Ketchup, though. May she find some Mustard.

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By FreeWill, October 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

“The elite are in trouble”  I don’t think so.
The only way to hurt the elites is to take back control of the money supply.  It is the one thing they can’t do with out. As long as they are in control of the money supply there will be no revolution.  They will just put more money out to mussel out the voices of descent.

“Give me control of a nations money supply, and I care not who makes it’s laws. Mater Amschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.”

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By Ehrenstein, October 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

Great piece, Mr. Hedges. You get it. The “Mainstream Media” doesn’t. It can’t afford to because would destroy the illusion of a “Free press.”

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By Robert sykes, October 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Democracy is no longer offshore…the Rabble have arisen…let’s have at it….no holds
barred this time around ...dress rehearsals are In the past..time to claim our

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By John Newsome, October 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Canon Henson, one of the chief dignitaries of
Westminster Abbey and a select preacher of both
Oxford and Cambridge Universities

Canon Henson holds that the Bible will continue for
all time to be the “best manual of fundamental
morality besides being the most effectual check on
the materialistic tendencies of modern life.”

He finds an excuse, however, for these.
.”multitudes,” . . . who “inevitably compare their
condition with the ostentation of unearned wealth,
the profusion of unchecked luxury, and the insolence
of un-chastened power.”

The Canon says that when it is remembered that these
“cruel, shocking contrasts are no longer regarded
with the dull stare of fatalistic ignorance, but in
the full light of those doctrines of equality which
are the commonplaces of democratic politics,” it is
no wonder that “the minds of thousands are
predisposed . . . “

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By prosefights, October 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Elites may be mismanaging energy and its production?

3 “Today, we’re looking at a century’s supply of domestic natural gas, and we have far more oil resources than experts had previously estimated.”, writes American Petroleum Institute president Jack Gerard.

“But the gas may not be as easy and cheap to extract from shale formations deep underground as the companies are saying, according to hundreds of industry e-mails and internal documents and an analysis of data from thousands of wells. ...” appeared in a New York Times Sunday front page article by Ian Urbina.

‘PNM Expects to Meet Growing Electric Demand With New Natural Gas Plants, Increased Energy Efficiency and More Renewable Energy’ coupled with SWEEP chart showing Electric Utilities consuming 26.1% of natural gas may argue that it is the responsibility of 2011 natural gas IRP to investigate to determine veracity of Mr Gerard’s and Mr Urbina’s apparent conflicting claims?


“Money is pouring in” from investors even though shale gas is “inherently unprofitable,” an analyst from PNC Wealth Management, an investment company, wrote to a contractor in a February e-mail. “Reminds you of dot-coms.”

“The word in the world of independents is that the shale plays are just giant Ponzi schemes and the economics just do not work,” an analyst from IHS Drilling Data, an energy research company, wrote in an e-mail on Aug. 28, 2009.

suggest financial and legal problems as well.

So, will New Mexico Gas Company assemble a panel of technically-competent engineers and scientists to investigate and issue a written report on future natural gas production as it relates to New Mexico Gas Company customers which likely includes PNM?

Concern is that non-technical liberal arts ‘educated’ individuals may try to hijack the 2011 natural gas irp as they did the 2008 electric irp.

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By Kingharvest, October 10, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>> They (so-called elites) cannot envision a day when they will not be in charge of our lives.

Sorry, but I cannot envision such a day, either. I am not trying to detract from OWS or the other groups but this is going to be a very long battle.

Those who invest for a living (can we please stop calling elites) will not go quietly. If they go at all.

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By Ben Leet, October 10, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter),,,,,,, and my own—find facts, make
constructive proposals.

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By ribbie149, October 10, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

I agree with your premise, but please stop misusing the
word “elite” the way Republican’ts do, as a pejorative.

I want my leaders to be elite- the best, better than
others. Find another word…you’re a talented writer,
so don’t stoop to the opposition’s level.

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By john, October 10, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I marched in the Las Vegas OWS rally on Oct. 6.  The
few hecklers I saw trying to taunt the 1000+ marching
down the Strip seem to believe we are Obama supporters! 
How there mouths drop when we tell them Obama is our
enemy, too.

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By stonejaxx, October 10, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

why Chris Hedges!!!

you are an optimist after all!!!!


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

I spent a few hours in the park with the protestors and was amazed at how much
the “media” is lying about what is actually going on.  I am very, very worried that
these peaceful people are being set up for a violent incident that will serve as a
self-fulfilling prophecy of the mob myth.  The ongoing success of this movement
may depend on undermining the corporate/government attempts to delegitimize
every protestor as a thief, hooligan or anarchist. 

The common refrain from many with whom I chatted was:
“We don’t want violence.  The police do.  We are only trying to have our voices
Were corporations pepper sprayed when they argued to be treated as citizens
deserving free speech?  No.  That treatment is reserved for actual citizens.

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

Is this a protest, or perhaps a kindergarten field trip? Can you spell Politically Correct? Was George Orwell in attendance?
Female-Bodied? Male-Bodied? Affirmative action for who gets to speak? Too many white males raising their hands? Raising your hand and wiggling your fingers?

Wow, I didn’t realize just how insane entitlement-mindedness can get… this is bizarre stuff. In fact, the Communist mentality in this “protest” is just as crazy and dangerous as the Fascist insanity they are protesting. I think both groups need padded cells..maybe their own private “colonies” with VERY tall fences to keep them contained..
Hey Chris, this is over the top.. did George Soros pay for this crap? 

Man oh man…this is stranger than fiction..

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entropy2's avatar

By entropy2, October 10, 2011 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Whatever the ultimate relative success or failure of OWS itself might be, there is one enduring lesson that we should learn:

You do not need anyone’s permission to exercise your basic human rights.

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By Hugh Davis, October 10, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ah yes, Ketchup types “very, very quickly” according
to… her.

These people have no notion of their own insignificance
and their capacity for arrogance is boundless. This
movement is doomed to peter out and die as long as
these kids continue to do nothing but exalt themselves

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By omop, October 10, 2011 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

What a world do we live in. The Nobel prize for “economics” is awarded to
2 Americans and the “ruling money elite” complains about the “mobs”
[thousands of them sans jobs] occupying their “private property” called
Wall Street.

Which goes to prove the old adage of “He who holds the gold makes the
rules”. And in our case its not DC but WS.

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By balkas, October 10, 2011 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

as some posters say, so have i [tho in diff words] been saying for a long time that
the entire power is in the constitution and structure of governance from which the
system of rule emanates.

i am not saying that protests, sit-ins, marches, organizations, movements have
zero value, but i do affirm that up to now, such labors had not changed structure
[and thus basic master-serf relationship] an iota for better; actually, as i see it, it
got better for the warlords and masters of people.

and no amount of revolution or protesting wld change this. education by a viable
political party thru hard work; suffering personal penury/injury; and all kinds
oppression; jailings, torture, even murder, wld, i hope, change things for better.

however, as far as i know, only 0001% of americans are willing to fight the mafia
that way. tnx

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By disgusted, October 10, 2011 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, you sensor based on the content of posts here!~ What are you afraid of? There was nothing offensive but there was a critique of a particular tactic that was reported in the article. I guess this is a typical phony soapbox where the only arguments that are posted that criticize the cause are ones that are crackpot and/or easily refuted.

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By felicity, October 10, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

balkas - I think it was Nixon (the perpetual self-
identified victim) who brought the term ‘elite’ into
our every-day vocabulary - his ‘cloth coat speech’
to be exact - “Pat (his wife) has a good, Republican
cloth coat…” the inference being that only the
‘elites’ could afford fancy (at the time, fur) coats. 
(Of course, it also infers that Democrats are
‘elites,’ doesn’t it?)

Now ‘elites’ are people who drive a Volvo, eat only
vegetarian, vote Democratic, fasten their seat belts,
have solar panels on their roofs, feed compost piles,
separate their garbage, believe in global warming,
live on one of the coasts, have a Buddha statue in
their back yards, are atheists.

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By Jerry Elsea, October 10, 2011 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

Who’s the leader?

“I’m Spartacus!”

No, I’m Spartacus!”

No, I’m Spartacus!”

This indeed is rebellion. If the Power Elite crushes it in one place, it will rise up in

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By balkas, October 10, 2011 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

beware the label “elite” unless it single-quoted, to alert the reader of its falsetofact
symbolic value.

i always think of the ‘leadership’ as ‘elite’ and thus as the worst people among us.

and let’s not call such ‘leadership’ “deaf, dumb and blind”. it ain’t and appears
quite knowledgable, assiduous, purposeful, resourceful in striving to keep majority
of people [mostly working class] in serfdom, near total
obedience/insecurity/fright, etc. tnx

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dkenneth's avatar

By dkenneth, October 10, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

I Love Chris Hedges. I read everything he writes and get as many mp3 or video talks off
the web as possible. Chris is one the most right-on thinkers and writers I know.

The column linked below is worth reading. It is the first cogent work regarding the
Occupy Movement I have read. I support you, Chris.

I cannot go to New York or any other city now. I am married and my wife is not able to
travel, and it’s physically difficult for me to. We are 55 years-old.

When I was in my teens I occupied the UCLA campus to protest the war in Viet Nam. I
also hitchhiked to Berkeley to do the same. I tasted the gas they used on us and I was
nearly hit in the head by a flying teargas canister fired from the muzzle of a policeman’s

The war protests accomplished a lot. It took years, but we prevailed. Now the powers
have crept back to do what they have done for thousands of years.

Non-violent resistance, persistence, is the only way to beat them. I study Gandhi. He set
the example I will follow any way I can.


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By bpawk, October 10, 2011 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

I’m in complete agreement and wish the people protesting would go to the government buildings not Wall Street - by protesting at Wall Street or a museum they are just deflecting the responsiblity of the government onto a recipient - Wall street doesn’t make the laws, they are the recipient of favourable laws made by the government. Change happens where the laws are made.

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By felicity, October 10, 2011 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

bpawk at 4:31 am (really?) makes a very cogent point. 
The financial sector will not reform itself.  It
doesn’t make laws, sign laws, or give them
constitutional sanction. My hope is that the OWS group
will take its movement, which I stand behind, to the
steps of Congress, the Oval Office and the building
housing the Supreme Court.

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By frecklefever, October 10, 2011 at 9:19 am Link to this comment


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By BCDad666, October 10, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I become wary when lines like ‘female-bodied people who identify as women to male-bodied people who are not traditionally masculine’ and ‘a caucus for people of color’ become part of the dialogue.
All too often this is a prelude to sexism and racism, victimhood and special status disguised as equality. Ordinary males, who always do the majority of the work and make the majority of the sacrifices, are once again conspicuously absented.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 10, 2011 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

The usual negative nay-sayers are out.  The glass is always half empty.

Humans cannot live without hope and the OWS is inspiring hope in many cynics, including Chris Hedges.

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By MeHere, October 10, 2011 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

The protesters deserve support and admiration.  But it’s hard to tell how this will

The bankers know what they’re up against and what they see so far is what many
of us suspect: That they still can count on their traditional bribing of politicians
and that the voters will go Republican or the lesser of two evils, as usual.

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By DavidByron, October 10, 2011 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

The feminists will screw that movement if they are not careful - and they are not.  Feminists are always allying with imperialists for more victim power.

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By ziibi qwa, October 10, 2011 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

“What the elites fail to realize is that rebellion will not stop until the corporate state is extinguished. It will not stop until there is an end to the corporate abuse of the poor, the working class, the elderly, the sick, children, those being slaughtered in our imperial wars and tortured in our black sites.”....with all due respect, Mr. Hedges, shouldn’t that statement include Native Indians… African Americans….and Latino (Indigenous)citizens and immigrants?.......

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By prisnersdilema, October 10, 2011 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

The elites have created an economy very much like quicksand.  Then they have papered
over it with 100 dollar bills. Reaching for the money you can’t help but fall in. From
where they sit on the shore, the elites will laugh at you and call you names, as you try to
keep from being sucked under.  Slave owners, never believe that their slaves, prefer
freedom, to security. Because they have spent their whole life creating security for their
wealth and power, only to find themselves chained by their greed. Why should a whole
nation be chained to the greed of a few twisted men? These men are mentally
diseased. They don’t understand they are in trouble because they don’t, realize that
slavery is not a natural state of man. And that is all they have to offer enslavement.

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By bpawk, October 10, 2011 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

In answer to your headline “Why the Elites are in Trouble” - they are not in trouble as long as government enables them to get bailouts, low tax rates and deregulation - which is exactly what OBama et al (and of course the Republicans) oblige - so protest at government areas.  You should have encouraged and voted for Ralph Nader, but I feel a lot of people thought they were too good for him. I bet you could use him right about now.

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By Haudenosaun, October 10, 2011 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

This is not going to go away. It may change in some ways, but it won’t go away. 
It is hope and it has been a long time in coming.

Each new person who finds themselves out of a job, out of a home or unable to
pay health care costs is a potential protester. And as more join the ranks of the
unemployed, the protests will swell.

And to those who believe that history is not on the side of the protesters - I
suggest you do some reading.  Real changes, hard won by the working class,
was never initiated from the top but rather from those below joining forces to
make their voices heard.

These protesters are not the peasants of 1381 - they know exactly who the real
enemy is.

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By Alan MacDonald, October 10, 2011 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Ketchup, and all those of the 99% who want to be involved with and appreciate what the Occupy movement/revolution’s “demand” could simply, honestly, understandably, inclusively, and compelling be articulately as—- they should read Howard Zinn’s following book, “A People’s History of American EMPIRE”!

Alan MacDonald

Liberty & democracy

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By Amon Drool, October 10, 2011 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

“There was a woman [in the medics unit]. This guy was
pretending to be a reporter. The first question he
asks is, ‘Who’s the leader?’ She goes, ‘I’m the
leader.’ And he says, ‘Oh yeah, what are you in
charge of?’ She says, ‘I’m in charge of everything.’
He says, ‘Oh yeah? What’s your title?’ She says
‘God.’ “

LOVE IT!!!  part of the charm of the 60’s was a
younger generation catching an older generation in
their bullshit and then mocking them.  there’s
something happening here and you don’t know what
is…do ya, mr. jones?

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By lasmog, October 10, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

I enjoyed looking at the occupation through the eyes of Ketchup.  I’m not sure this protest will amount to a sustained resistance movement but I admire these young rebels for trying.

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By thethirdman, October 10, 2011 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

I forgot to add:
The elites are NOT in trouble.  That is not how history works.

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By thethirdman, October 10, 2011 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

It is now absolutely clear to me that this protest will crash and burn and fizzle
I am hoping that Ketchup is a joke Hedges created to make his point.  Let’s all
hold hands in a circle and talk about the ways the man is holding us down. 
Guess what, the man is remaining silent because the man knows that you silly
dreamers will give up soon enough.  The man just has to lay low for a bit.  It’s
what he does. (By the way, Herman Cain or Obama, or Romney or anyone you
can point to on TV is NOT the man.)
The saddest part of all is that the supremely legitimate concerns that we all
have regarding the major shift in consciousness needed by the “average
American” will become just part of the sideshow going on here.
Liberals seem to fuck everything up with their beneficent, ineffectual, feel-good
intentions.  Now “real Americans” can just point at the “stack jumper” nonsense
to reaffirm their notions of what a society ruled by smelly hippies is going to
look like.
I can’t decide which is my favorite line of the article.  It’s a toss up between:
“a ‘paramount objection’ is really serious.”  or
“People have been yelled out of the park,” she said. “Someone had a sign the
other day that said ‘Kill the Jew Bankers.’ They got screamed out of the park.
Someone else had a sign with the N-word on it. That person’s sign was ripped
up, but that person is apparently still in the park.
Anyone notice the strong undercurrent of fascism forming in all these silly
committees and party caucuses?  I don’t wish to trade one slave driver for
How disappointing this all is.

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By ordaj, October 10, 2011 at 7:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

3 important things I took away:

1) Infiltrators trying to discern a leader
2) Infiltrators trying to disrupt with obnoxious signs
3) Non-violent protesters with cameras

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By elisalouisa, October 10, 2011 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

Thank you Chris Hedge for providing a glimpse into the “trench lines” of this movement through the power of the pen.

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By rumblingspire, October 10, 2011 at 6:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am so proud of our youth. 

I am especially glad they can successfully “shout out” the J word and the N word.

The Revolution by typists, typing fast.

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