Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why The Violent Suppression Of OWS?

OK, dumb question. Why wouldn't there be a violent reaction to try to extinguish this movement?

Still, Naomi Wolf spells it out clearly :
But wait: why on earth would Congress advise violent militarised reactions against its own peaceful constituents? The answer is straightforward: in recent years, members of Congress have started entering the system as members of the middle class (or upper middle class) – but they are leaving DC privy to vast personal wealth, as we see from the "scandal" of presidential contender Newt Gingrich's having been paid $1.8m for a few hours' "consulting" to special interests. The inflated fees to lawmakers who turn lobbyists are common knowledge, but the notion that congressmen and women are legislating their own companies' profitsis less widely known – and if the books were to be opened, they would surely reveal corruption on a Wall Street spectrum. Indeed, we do already know that congress people are massively profiting from trading on non-public information they have on companies about which they are legislating – a form of insider trading that sent Martha Stewart to jail.

Update : The Silence of Obama 

1 comment:

John Powers said...

Joshua Holland pushes back hard against Wolfe's piece.

At my link blog I put up a quote from Wolfe's piece:

"So, when you connect the dots, properly understood, what happened this week is the first battle in a civil war; a civil war in which, for now, only one side is choosing violence."

That's been reblogged quite a lot for my low-activity blog.

My sense is that the wider conflict that OWS represents will not go away. But I'm anti-war, I'm keen to find ways of thinking about reduction of violence.

I think Wolfe is right that the state views Occupy in terms of war.

David Keen has written about civil wars as "Complex Emergencies." It's an analysis questioning the view of civil wars as two sides vying for power. The opposition to state violence will do well not to fall into the 2-sides trap.

Holland disputes Wolfe on the details, but I think he's wrong to dismiss Wolfe's point as a "feverish flourish." I think the state does frame the protest in terms of war and that's the frame I wish to reject.