Shepard Fairey's Occupy Hope or, The Pseudo-Spectacle of Outsiderdom and OWS's Critical Lack of Imagination

Here's the latest statement from hip counterculturalist Shepard Fairey, whose iconic pro-Obama campaign poster in 2008 was one of the most striking images of that presidential season.

The one-time graffiti artist explains:

This image represents my support for the Occupy movement, a grassroots movement spawned to stand up against corruption, imbalance of power, and failure of our democracy to represent and help average Americans. On the other hand, as flawed as the system is, I see Obama as a potential ally of the Occupy movement if the energy of the movement is perceived as constructive, not destructive. I still see Obama as the closest thing to “a man on the inside” that we have presently. Obviously, just voting is not enough. We need to use all of our tools to help us achieve our goals and ideals. However, I think idealism and realism need to exist hand in hand. Change is not about one election, one rally, one leader, it is about a constant dedication to progress and a constant push in the right direction. Let’s be the people doing the right thing as outsiders and simultaneously push the insiders to do the right thing for the people. I’m still trying to work out copyright issues I may face with this image, but feel free to share it and stay tuned…

Fairey's often-entertaining Obey Giant site is here.

In general, I find this sort of appeal to the Establishment depressing, but especially in this case. If the Occupy movement, like Fairey, sees Obama as a "potential ally" then what does it say about the way that the president has in fact governed? Like Sen. John McCain, Candidate Obama cast a vote in favor of bailing out the big banks and financial institutions while running for president. He then upped the ante and has shown absolutely zero ability to conjure up an economic recovery plan that does not rely on fixes that were rusted-out by the time Richard Nixon took that final flight to San Clemente back in the 1970s.

Obama's record on civil liberties and foreign interventions is indistinguishable from George W. Bush's, whose exit calendar from Iraq he is fulfilling. Except that Obama has managed to lower the bar when it comes to killing American citizens and committing American resources without even the fig leaf of congressional approval. Who wants to support the Solyndra-style crony capitalism, or bizarre gun-running operations such as Fast and Furious? What part of record numbers of deportations of poor Mexicans and raids of legal-under-state-law medical marijuana dispensaries in California does Fairey and Occupants not understand?

For centuries, Americans have been governed by Manicheanism, by a dualistic thinking that equates opposition to Party A with support for Party B. At least since Roger Williams' legacy faded, it seems we've been incapable of thinking in anything other than the most good/bad, black/white, yes/no binary terms. Perhaps that's part of the problem here. Repulsed by the Republican Party, which espouses a limited-government philosophy that it flouts with impunity by pushing not just for massive spending but massive deficit spending and the regulation of personal behaviors and lifestlye, the Occupy folks feel some sense of kinship with the Democrats and Obama, whose ties to Wall Street and other sources of Establishment power are as thick as police batons.

But for god's sake, who the hell is Fairey kidding? Obama as Guy Fawkes, a minority Catholic plotting to blow up the government who is only remembered in contemporary America because of a graphic novel and rotten movie that was a stupid anti-Thatcher allegory? Obama isn't the solution, in part or in whole. Every bit as much as George W. Bush, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, you name it, he's the problem. And appeals to him only shows the resolute lack of imagined alternatives to a society whose control flows from a series of aristocrats as out of touch with how the world works as King James and his crew, the target of the historical Guy Fawkes' failed Gunpowder Plot.

Hayek dedicated The Road to Serfdom to the "socialists of both parties" and while I don't think Obama and the Democrats are any more socialist than their counterparts in the GOP, I invite Shephard Fairey and the latter-day Establishmentarians who somehow think that Barack Obama and Timothy Geithner and Leon Panetta and Hillary Clinton will somehow effect a decentralization of power, to range around Reason.com for a while (start here, why don't you?). Here you just might find an actual alternative to the dueling philosophies of top-down command-and-control politics that has made such a hash of the first decade of the 21st century and threatens to deaden the remaining 90 years of the only future most of us will ever have.

Folllow Gillespie on Twitter. Buy his book, The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, co-authored with Matt Welch.

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  • stephan||

    Nick Gillespie once again generalizes. How does one man's statement speak for the whole movement? OWS is anti-establishment. I can assure you that most protesters are aware of Obama's mishandling of the war and bail outs. In fact, there are tons of Ron Paul supporters at the protests. OWS is not pro-party.

  • ||

    I think this is one area where the comparison to the Tea Party movement is particularly apt. Unfortunately, like the Tea Party movement, it seems that it is quickly being co-opted by establishment types.

  • ||

  • Maxxx||

    Surveys of the occutards show that large majorities voted for Obama in 08 an will vote for him again in 12.

  • ||

    There's a difference between anti-establishment and anti-sombody else's establishment.

    Gnome what um sain?

  • Sean Mack||

    You said: "I can assure you that most protesters are aware of Obama's mishandling of the war and bail outs."

    You miss the point. What Gillespie is trying to describe for you is a world that doesn't hinge on the "handling" or "mishandling" of your life by people like Obama.

  • yonemoto||

  • ||

    When four out of five OWS people who get their faces in front of a camera or microphone are confirmed Obamanists (the remaining one out of five being split between Wobblies and Paulistas), then one can only conclude that Fairey is representative of the movement.

  • So that means....||

    When four out of five Tea Party people who get their faces in front of a camera or microphone are jibbering idiots with vaguely racist leanings, one can conclude that David Duke is representative of the Tea Party?

    Could it possibly be that the people holding the microphones are cherry picking the interviewees in order to further a political agenda?

    Naw...reporters would NEVER do that!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    When four out of five Tea Party people who get their faces in front of a camera or microphone are jibbering idiots with vaguely racist leanings

    As opposed to four out of five OWSers being jibbering idiots expecting life to be an eternal bowl of sunshine and easy times?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    This one's particularly precious:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/l.....z1eGZbMZNJ

    Meanwhile, Dutro, 35, one of only a handful of OWS leaders in charge of the movement’s $500,000 in donations, checked in on Wednesday, the night after police emptied Zuccotti Park.

    While hundreds of his rebel brethren scrambled to find shelter in church basements, Dutro chose the five-star, 58-story hotel, with its lush rooms and 350-count Egyptian cotton sheets. He lives only a short taxi ride away in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
    “I knew everything was going to be a clusterf--k in the morning,” he told The Post, alluding to Occupy’s own disruption plans. “How would I get over the bridge when they were shutting it down?”

    The tattoo artist-turned-Occupy money man took the elevator up to the fifth-floor welcome desk, where a disc jockey spins tunes and guests enjoy a vista of the growing freedom tower.

    He said he spent $500 of his own money to get the room because he wanted a good night’s rest ahead of the cause’s two-month ceremony the next day and raucous post-raid protests.

    “I knew . . . there was a high probability of getting arrested,” he said. “I wanted a nice room. That’s OK. Not everybody there is dirt poor.”

    He paid for the palace with his American Express card
    .
    “It is an expensive hotel. Whatever,” he said.

    "Whatever." A word that perfectly encapsulates Millenial contributions to society.

    All hipster shitbags are equal, but some are clearly more equal than others.

  • ||

    A key difference is that there is ample footage of huge swaths of OWS protesters saying idiotic (and virulently racist/anti-Semitic) things on camera. The "racism" charge leveled the Tea Party was largely based on an as-yet unsubstantiated accusation that a Tea Party member spat upon a black member of congress, which was somehow not captured by the mass media, nor any individual in attendance at the rally, despite a 1 million dollar reward for the footage, if it existed.

    True enough that both movements are tied to establishment parties, but your analogy here is, to use the polite euphemism, retarded.

  • ||

    So you just invited the Occutards to to come and take a dump all over our virtual slice of libertopia.

    Nick, what did we do to anger you?

  • ||

  • ||

    "If the Occupy movement, like Fairey, sees Obama as a "potential ally" then what does it say about the way that the president has in fact governed?"

    This makes me think of the emergence of the New Left in the 1960s.

    In the period before the '60s, the Old Left was dedicated to bringing about change through, basically, labor unions. ...not so much through race/feminist/class struggle--and then the New Left came along with the Hippie movement...

    No one hated the Old Left back then--people we would call "liberals" now--more than the New Left.

    The New Left hated the Old Left "liberals" even more than most conservatives hated liberals! That's what the police riot at the '68 Democratic Convention in Chicago was all about.

    Old Left in the convention--New Left getting beaten by the police outside the convention.

    I think that wedge between Old Left and New Left is starting to show up again. The new New Left isn't there yet, but this a rift to watch as it's developing.

    It's telling that a lot of the brutality we've seen directed at protestors has been coming from traditional liberal strongholds from Berkeley to Oakland, Seattle and now Davis (Northern California).

    I think this is the way these rifts go. They say when people were dragged off to the gulags in Stalin's purges, a lot of them thought there had just been a mistake--that Stalin would save them if only they could reach him to show that there had been a mistake!

    The realization that Stalin considered the injustice a feature rather than a bug took a while to set in. Obama and his Old Left cronies elsewhere aren't as bad as Stalin, of course, but there's a parallel there with the way these new New Left people are looking to the leaders who are victimizing them for solutions.

    When the new New Left starts to realize that their leaders on the Old Left are the problem, I hope they break for less authoritarian alternatives like libertarianism, but I wouldn't bet on it.

  • Maxxx||

    Yeah, 'cause socialists pissed at the slow pace of those in power will naturally embrace liberty.

    Idiot.

  • ||

    Did you read my last line?

    ...but I wouldn't bet on it.

  • Maxxx||

    I shared your delusion when the OWS protests began. They are protesting the consequences of government intervention and I thought it would be possible to find common ground.

    Then, I actually engaged the locals at their campsite and talked online with others, and their sympathizers and realized that they are morons. I don't mean ill informed or not well spoken as could be said of alot of tea partyers or the public generally. I mean they are truly stupid. Don't understand causality or incentives at the level that my dogs do. The only thing they know is that the KKKorpurashuns are keeping them down to make (evil)profits. They know that because that is what 'educators' have told them continuously, re-inforced by the media, for their whole lives.

    In other words, they are brain-washed drones.

  • Chocobot Hour||

    Yeah, 'cause being a hopeful optimist while acknowledging the reality makes him an idiot.

    Idiot.

  • ||

    There's rational optimism, and then there's tying weights to your feet while you hope that the hole in your life raft spontaneously closes.

  • ||

    Ah, the mythology continues... WHAT brutality in seattle?

  • DuncePhy||

    Police ARE the law. Ergo, when cops do something it's legal and valid and moral and it was the only option open to them. Every other possibility was considered and summarily rejected in the milliseconds it takes to make these important decisions.

  • DuncePhy||

    Police ARE the law. Ergo, when cops do something it's legal and valid and moral and it was the only option open to them. Every other possibility was considered and summarily rejected in the milliseconds it takes to make these important decisions.

  • ||

    Trollometer. .000000001

  • ||

    Agreed.

    Whoever's calling you names like that is a lame ass troll.

  • ||

    "Ah, the mythology continues... WHAT brutality in seattle?"

    84 Year Old Woman Pepper Sprayed in the Face at Occupy Seattle...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTi-t4Jcgso

    ...for peacefully protesting?

    Want to arrest people for unlawful assembly or whatever? That's fine.

    Pepper spraying an 84 year old woman?

    Really?!

    Look at the video. How much of a threat could she have posed to anyone?

  • ||

    we've gone over this. the crowd was blocking a downtown seattle street during rush hour and was given ample warnings prior to being pepper sprayed.

    addressed in the other thread, but imo ENTIRELY justified.

  • ||

    oh also. i am not aware that she posed a threat to anyone. however, that is not the standard required to pepperspray.

    GENERALLY speaking, pepperspray should not be used for passive resistance.

    however, there are exceptions. passive resistance such as a crowd blocking a busy street during rush hour, given ample warning, is NOT excessive.

    contrarily, if they were just sitting down in a sidewalk, where there was no such exigency, it would NOT be justified

  • ||

    Why pepper spray them?

    Many of these people want to be arrested.

    Why not just arrest them? Why pepper spray them first?

  • ||

    again, already addressed. because we are talking a busy downtown street at rush hour. you really have to see seattle at rush hour to gain an appreciation for this.

    imo, this contributes to an exigency and a public safety issue.

    contrast with people trespassing in a nonexigent situation . then, it generally would not be justified

  • ||

    You're saying that traffic justifies battery?

    ...when they could just zip-tie them and be done with it?

    You may have addressed it already, but that answer is unsatisfactory.

    There isn't any situation I can think of--certainly not traffic--that would justify macing an 84 year old peaceful protestor in the face.

    If I'm the cop in that situation? ...and I have to choose between macing an old lady/peaceful protestor and traffic?

    My priority isn't the traffic. No way. Zip-tie the old lady if you have to. She's been arrested before. She wants to be arrested.

    For goodness' sake.

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Holding up the unimpeded movement of hospital ambulances, and endangering the lives of those innocents within -- solely in service of selfishly redistributionist "protest" -- is bullshit.

    Thwarting the swift, direct progress of fire engines, thereby endangering both the lives and property of the blameless -- again, solely in service of selfishly redistributionist "protest" -- is bullshit.

    Pretending not to know any of this, or else simply not giving a damn: Super-Secret Double Probation Bullshit.

  • Art Vandelay||

    Pretending not to know any of this, or else simply not giving a damn: Super-Secret Double Probation Bullshit = being a dishonest, sniveling shit.

    FIFY.

  • ||

    "Pretending not to know any of this, or else simply not giving a damn: Super-Secret Double Probation Bullshit = being a dishonest, sniveling shit."

    You must feel so powerless.

  • Art Vandelay||

    You misspelled "intellectually consistent libertarian."

    How embarrassing.

  • Oh SNAP!||

    somebody just got skooled.

  • ||

    What's it like to be so blinded by hatred of somebody that you end up defending assault on an 84 year-old woman under the pretext of phantom ambulances not being able to get through?

    Again, why not just arrest an 84 year old woman? ...who probably wanted to be arrested anyway.

  • ||

    there was a CROWD of people, ken. i'm not aware that any of the officers even saw that one woman.

    this is an emotional appeal. yea, she's an old woman. groovy. but the CROWD was blocking a busy street, at rush hour, and had been given ample orders to disperse. and didn't

    so, let's set aside the old woman issue.

    IF it was justified to pepper spray the CROWD for failing to disperse after ample warning, given that they were blocking a roadway during rush hour, then the fact there happened to be an old woman, or two, or whomever amidst the crowd is COMPLETELY irrelevant from a legal justification angle.

    completely.

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    phantom ambulances

    Good heavens, but you're terrible at this.

    1.) As you've definitely stated that no ambulances have needed to get through crowds of selfish redistributionists blocking traffic at any OWS site at any time (i.e., your so-called "phantom ambulances")... then, plainly, you must have one or more cites to share to that effect. The burden of proof being upon the claimant, please do so, someplace in the body of your next silly, self-righteous response. Thank you.

    2.) Same as #1, substituting fire engines for ambulances. Thank you.

    Alternately, you might try something other than simply tugging unsupported assertions out of your nethers and pretending they're codified f-a-c-t-s, next time out. Just a little friendly advice, is all. You're welcome.

    *shakes head, chuckling ruefully*

  • Another Phil||

    As you've definitely stated that no ambulances have needed to get through crowds of selfish redistributionists blocking traffic at any OWS site at any time (i.e., your so-called "phantom ambulances")... then, plainly, you must have one or more cites to share to that effect. The burden of proof being upon the claimant, please do so, someplace in the body of your next silly, self-righteous response. Thank you.

    I'm not entirely buying the phantom ambulances bit either, but you're wrong. The burden is on the person making a positive assertion (e.g. "ambulances need to get through"). It's unreasonable to ask someone to prove a negative.

    *shakes head, chuckling ruefully*

    Not sure why, since your entire post rested on the mistaken premise that your opponent was required to prove a negative.

  • ||

    I linked to an apology by the mayor of Seattle, who felt it was necessary to apologize to the 80 whatever year old woman who was maced in the face.

    I haven't seen anything anywhere suggesting that there was an ambulance trying to get through.

    ...that couldn't have gotten through unless some cop maced an 80 something year old woman in the face?

    All this controversy, and I don't see any mention of this ambulance--except for from you...

    Were you there? Where you did you find out about this ambulance? Unless you were there, and you have personal knowledge of what happened, you must have heard about the ambulance from somewhere.

    Unless you're just making it up.

    So do share!

    Link to some mention of the ambulance somewhere. The internet is big. Some mention of that ambulance must be on the internet somewhere. You must have heard about this ambulance from somewhere!

    Unless you just made it up.

  • ||

    the fact that the mayor of seattle apologized is irrelevant. he's a far left (look it up) ninny, and also has been so ineffectual that he has the lowest approval rating of any mayor i can recall in seattle

    regardless, he's a politician

    of course he apologized

    it says NOTHING about whether the force was justified

  • robc||

    Im perfectly fine with the fire trucks not slowing down for them. Its evolution in action.

    But no need to pepperspray, just arrest them.

  • ||

    you are begging the question by calling it battery. battery is (note WA state doesn't have battery. they merely have assault, but i digress) an UNLAWFUL "touching"

    my point is that it is NOT unlawful

    and you couldn't just zip tie them and be done with it. NOT with the # of officers they had on scene and the size of the crowd. even so, that would have taken a substantial amount of time

    i 100% agree, and we have seen tons of incidents of this type that given a general passive resistance sit-in, trespass, cops should NOT use pepper spray.

    and USUALLY, they don't (the UC davis case being a counterexample that i have said is unjustified based on what i saw)...

    however, this isn't blocking a sidewalk or sitting in a bank or something like that.

    it's a busy street in a downtown area during rush hour

    based on THOSE facts and circumstances imo it's clearly justified.

  • ||

    "you are begging the question by calling it battery."

    What do I know about the laws of Washington state? Nothing.

    My understanding is that police are permitted to use force--everywhere--when people are resisting arrest.

    Seeing as I've linked to video of this 80 something year-old activist being arrest in the past, it's hard to imagine she was resisting arrest.

    Seems much more likely that she wanted to be arrested.

    I don't buy that she was resisting arrest. I haven't seen any indication from anybody that she was resisting arrest.

    If the police assaulted her for any other reason--unless she was a threat to the police or someone else or resisting arrest...

    Then how can that not be assault?

    She does not appear to have been resisting arrest. She couldn't possibly have been a threat to anyone. They sprayed her in the face. She's way more than 80 years old.

    Those are the facts. Are they not?

  • ||

    the facts are that you are setting a standard that is NOT the law

    1) somebody does not have to be a "threat" in order for pepper spray to be justified

    2) nobody is claiming she was resisting arrest. the cops weren't arreting anybody. they were trying to clear an obstructed roadway during rush hour. due to the # of protesters, etc. imo (and theirs) it was completely reasonable to try to disperse the crowd AS LONG AS they gave ample warning, etc.

    which they did

    UOF judgments are always based on totality of circs, based on what the people administering force knew at the time they chose to use force. the standard is "objectively reasonable"

    i am trying to explain to you that it was justified.

    CONTRAST with, for example, what appears to be happening in the UC davis case

    and again, it does not matter what her age is.

    IF she was admidst the crowd at the time she was pepper sprayed whether intentionally (which given her history ... is entirely likely) or just as bad fucking luck (which is not likely)...

    multiple orders to disperse were given

    and iirc the crowd was warned they would be pepper sprayed (which under UOF doctrine ADDS to the justification, generally speaking)

    it's justified. you CLEARLY don't think it should be. i am telling you it was

    and speaking normatively- it should be

  • AblueSilkworm||

    I do not have the expertise to speak on the legality, but what a shit fucking world we live in if it is justified to pepper spray non-violent people who aren't placing anyone at risk of injury.

  • robc||

    however, this isn't blocking a sidewalk or sitting in a bank or something like that.

    it's a busy street in a downtown area during rush hour

    Traffic on a public street is more important than banking?

    Fuck that. Private property violations should be the primary targets. Streets before sidewalks, we agree there.

    But traffic isnt that big of a deal. Route around. Ive been in Seattle there are multiple paths.

  • ||

    Had they picked her up and removed her from the street that would have been battery as well, and equally lawful.

    Except that picking her up would have increased the chance of a suit for excessive force. No telling what might happen when manhandling an old lady with at least some degree of osteoporosis. Heavens forbid you dropped her at the wrong moment.

    Better to stick with the pepper spray, although quite unpleasant it's effects are known, predictable, and limited.

  • ||

    The old lady most likely wanted to be arrested.

    That video I linked shows here being arrested before.

    Resisting arrest necessitates the use of force. People sitting on a sidewalk waiting to be zip-tied and arrested does not necessitate the use of force.

    That old lady wasn't a threat to anybody. And she wasn't resisting arrest.

  • ||

    By the way, here's video of Seattle police pepper spraying people in the sidewalk.

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

    They're not in the street. They're on the sidewalk.

  • ||

    that's because they started moving back as the pepper spray was being fired.

    again, selective editing

    the pepper spray was brought out because they were blocking a road at rush hour downtown

    if you don't think that's justified, fine. imo, it was. and i think the courts will back me on that

  • ||

    They're clearly spraying people behind whoever's holding the camera.

    And whoever's holding the camera is on the sidewalk.

  • ||

    Ken, are you really this retarded? The cops weren't pepper spraying an old lady and a pregnant woman--they were pepper spraying a crowd. The old lady and the pregnant woman being merely two parts of that collective(and often mindless) organism. Two parts, I might add, that joined of their own accord, surrendering their individuality to the LCD intellect that moves crowds.

  • ||

    Agree it's misguided to think he IS an ally based on his record. In fact, misguided is putting it extremely kindly. I understand "appealing" to him because he's the president, and because somewhere in there we still think there's a cool, pragmatic guy who believes in the right thing, but is doing the wrong thing because he has to go along to get along. At this point, he's done way too much going along to get along and it should be obvious by now that if there was any chance he was who lots of us thought he might be, we'd have seen it by now, and are never going to.

  • ||

    because somewhere in there we still think there's a cool, pragmatic guy who believes in the right thing

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    (takes breath)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Oh my god you can't be this dumb.

  • ||

    I'll take that bet.

  • Art Vandelay||

    because somewhere in there we still think there's a cool, pragmatic guy who believes in the right thing

    Please... please, I fucking BEG of you:

    DO.
    NOT.
    VOTE.
    IN.
    2012.

  • ||

    Gillespie, while I agree with your criticism I think you're expecting far too much from a graphic designer whose greatest accomplishment--aside from the HOPE poster which he's clearly going to run into the ground like the Besser-era Three Stooges--is a sticker campaign that's nothing more than a rip-off of They Live.

  • Spencer||

    Sad stupidity- but the artists comments also speak to the power of the cult of personality.

  • thexjib||

    I posted this on the FB page of my local occupy group which is being over run with liberal reformers... BTW there are plenty of libertarian occupiers... just not the right wing reason/ CATO type libertarian who don't seem to get the fact that private power can be just as oppressive as the government.

  • ||

    You're barkin' up the wrong tree, there, Buddy-ro!

    Reason, if anything, is probably more of the left wing of libertarianism, and Gillespie (and other contributors around here) continuously denounce corporations collaborating with government to the detriment of everyday people.

  • ||

    I think he's referring to the Will Wilkinson variety of "left libertarian", who support govt action to remedy supposed private-sector oppression.

    If you call such people "libertarian", which I'm not sure you should, then Reason is more of a moderate force.

  • KPres||

    That's right. "Left" libertarianism is a farce deliberately created to co-opt and confuse people who've recognized the failure of a centrally planned state. Tell them you're against the state as well, then nationalize private property, and by the time these confused "left" libertarians object it will be too late.

  • ||

    Historically "left libertarian" has referred to anarchists.

    Nowadays, the anarchist side of the libertarian is the Murray Rothbard, and the Rothbard/Lew Rockwell nexus is what this libertarian thinks of as the libertarian right.

    I wouldn't shoehorn Reason/Gillespie and company in that "libertarian right" box.

    At all.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    There is a lot of horseshit coming from people calling themselves libertarians. They play around with things like "libertarian paternalism", public-private enterprises, complicated engineering of "solutions" such as health savings accounts that still let government dictate the market. We should call them libertarian statists, and obvious oxymoron, and shun them as much as possible. Reason is not not guilty.

  • KPres||

    Maybe but you know what? The socialists have been successful because of their incrementalists, not because of their revolutionaries. So don't mistake incrementalism for diversion. There's nothing wrong with supporting a gold standard as a stepping stone to free banking, for example.

  • ||

    I'm cool with that.

    I'm just sayin' thexjib up there's callin' Reason right-libertarian, and if he or she hangs out a bit?

    Might find other libertarians around here that aren't so far to the right.

    And I hope thexjib does stick around. More the merrier.

  • ||

    reason/ CATO type libertarian

    Reason and CATO shouldn't be lumped together like that. CATO is much more cosmo and has an implacable hostility to Paul-type libertarians, while Reason treats them with some degree of respect.

  • Nuttin Personal||

    Cato has much higher philosophical standards than Reason. Cato generally eschews the pop-culture, cartoonish aspects of libertarianism that Reason embraces for the benefit of its not-too-intellectually rigorous readership. Cato is college. Reason is junior high.

  • ||

    Uh oh, someone is angry because they're not popular!

  • ||

    You're comparing apples to orangutans. CATO is a think tank, of course it's more "rigorous" than an opinion magazine in the stuff it publishes. That's like comparing Physics Review D to Discover magazine.

    If you want to do a meaningful rigor comparison, do the Reason Foundation vs. CATO.

  • ||

    yes. CATO doesn't write quick little "digest" pieces that are just culled toghether from AP wire stuff, etc. and without vetting and./or really looking into it.

    and that's to be expected. hit and run is , like drudge, often just repeating the latest rumor, etc. and that's to be expected because it's reporting stuff much closer to 'real time' vs. CATO that does extensively researching, vetting, etc. before it releases anything.

    one would expect different levels of rigor.

    i criticize hit and run for their frequent use of misleading titles (e.g. the kid who supposedly "narced" when in fact he just told his dad. he didn't narc at all. the dad called police... and a million other examples), but if one accepts that reason h&r is highly biased, and minimally researched (USUALLY, not always) quick opinion mixed in with stuff "hot off the wire", then one knows what one is getting.

    what's lame is how often people take stuff as "it must be true" if it's on H&R AS LONG AS it conforms with their metanarrative.

  • ||

    Well, that stuff drives me up the wall because it's not just a matter of reporting before the facts are all in...it's a matter of blog writers ignoring facts that are not only in but staring the writer right in the face in the midst of a 500 word or less news article.

    When commenters can read the source article and within 10 minutes point out a misrepresentation by the blog writer, they don't have the excuse of having to report in real time.

  • ||

    yes. and often within the first few sentences of the article, it's already clear the title is misleading

    it's one thing to be pithy, and to report stuff in a "hit and run" fashion. iow, wham bam thank you, ayn!

    but it's another to be blatantly dishonest because the dishonesty serves your cause e.g. the "narc" title etc.

    i remmeber another where the claim was about some draconion actions towards a guy for possessing pot. and then when you read the article, it turned out he was growing large quantities of pot. possession =/= growing. everybody knows the law treats the two differently, and if you say "possess" most people think POSSESS not grow

    it gets old

  • Nuttin Personal||

    H&R is mostly propaganda for the willing and gullible.
    They'll swallow just about anything.

  • yonemoto||

    junior high was awesome for me. Everyone was raw and brutally honest. College, on the other hand, was filled with pseudointellectualism and psychological manipulators.

  • x,y||

    And in both, your best lover was your left hand?

  • ||

    They don't have a hostility towards Paul-type libertarians, they just have a hostility to LRC sycophants, most of home call themselves Paul supporters only because a Lew tee-shirt would look silly.

  • KPres||

    1. Private power can't be "oppressive", because it's based on voluntary association. Only the government is oppressive, and if you disagree, then you're no libertarian, right or left.

    2. The entire narrative that rich people or corporations or whatever have taken over the government is a lie circulated by socialists. Our problems result from technocrats thinking they can manage an uber-complex society better than the invisible hand. The problem is central planning, as it's always been.

  • Nuttin Personal||

    You're confusing "oppressive" with "coercive." A private company (or an individual for that matter) may be oppressive without being coercive. Only a government (rightly) has a monopoly on coercion, on law enforcement. A government's proper role is to protect the rights of its citizens. When that government exceeds its proper authority it becomes illegitimate (and oppressive), and the people who created it have the moral right to dissolve it and to create in its place one that recognizes individual rights, including property rights.

    The people have no such right to destroy or "redistribute" private property (or to enlist the government's help in doing so.) That's what the OWSers are after: forming an alliance with government to steal private property.

  • KPres||

    I'm not confusing them, it's just that the word "oppressive" is a nebulous catch all for "something I don't like". Since it has no established meaning, I have to assume it means "coercive".

  • Nuttin Personal||

    Words have meanings; words are concepts; concepts are the foundation of rational thought and discourse. The intellectual adolescents at the various OWS camps betray their ignorance of philosophy in general and politics in particular by tossing around Marxist slogans, replacing reason with emotion, slinging words like hash. Serious people must use language seriously if they are to prevail in this latest (but certainly not last) assault on individual liberty.

  • ||

    You mean they are actually adolescents, not just intellectually?

  • ||

    You're giving them too much credit. They're more like infants.

    Infants banging their silver spoons on their trays throwing a temper tantrum.

    People who are incapable of wiping their own ass without government help.

  • ||

    Wonderful, except nowhere in your argument do you ever explain what private oppression is. you go off on a tangent about government coercion instead.

    If it lacks coercive capacity how can one private entity oppress another?

  • ||

    This is utter crap. So, if a private company hires pinkerton... Another private company... To beat the shit out of workers... That's NOT oppressive? this is funhouse mirror libertarianism... Obviously, there are a bunch of other examples

  • DuncePhy||

    Shoulda called the Policeman. That's neither oppressive nor coercive.

  • ||

    Which of course is a strawman. Of course police can and sometimes are opporessive andor coercive. But it's simply a lie, based on funhouse mirror faux libertarian myopia, to claim private business can't also be. Tell a mine worker beaten to a bloody pulp by pinkerton that he wasn't a victim of oppression

  • ||

    Which of course is a strawman. Of course police can and sometimes are opporessive andor coercive. But it's simply a lie, based on funhouse mirror faux libertarian myopia, to claim private business can't also be. Tell a mine worker beaten to a bloody pulp by pinkerton that he wasn't a victim of oppression

  • chris||

    After all the lies spread about about Pinkerton, Dunphy, why would reinforce the leftist associative meme by spreading it in your example?

  • ||

    many lies are told about pinkerton, just like many lies are told about the police, and about corporashunz

    however, it is a matter of record, that on the specific occasion of the miner strike i am referring to, they were definitely oppressive

    what the OP probably means, is that when it comes to interaction between a corporation and a CLIENT e.g. apple and a customer, it's weird to imagine how apple could be "oppressive". don't like their product? don't buy it. we don't have that option w/ govt.

    but it is entirely false to say that corporations cannot be oppressive. they most definitely can

    as another example, i am aware of a certain company that prohibited me from accessing, as i had a right to do, under MA law, a certain beach area (long story, but in brief, as long as you stay below a certain tideline, you have the right, as a fisheman to travel through private beach areas at that waterline to access fishing spots)... they were being oppressive and denying me my rights under MA law

    i called the local police, who researched it, found i was in the right, and told the company they must le me access the beach

  • KPres||

    Context clues, my friend...

    I said....

    "Private power can't be "oppressive", because it's based on voluntary association."

    I'm clearly defining "private power" as the outcome of voluntary association, ie, people acquiring economic power through trade.

    Nobody supports private coercion. And there isn't any private coercion going on, either. So your abstract example isn't relevant to the conversation.

  • sevo||

    "This is utter crap. So, if a private company hires pinkerton... Another private company... To beat the shit out of workers... That's NOT oppressive?"

    Yes, it's also illegal. Why didn't you just point out that people get murdered by private parties?
    See how oppressive those private parties are?

  • ||

    i am well aware it's illegal.

    private companies, just like govt. can sometimes do stuff that is illegal. and can sometimes get away with it.

    again, i am FAR MORE concerned about govt. abuses than private co. abuses, and i am in complete agreement that IN GENERAL we have far more to fear from govt. oppression than oppression from private companies

    however, the OP was wrong in claiming that private companies cannot be oppressive. they most definitely CAN be

    that is simply a false statement.

    hth

  • sevo||

    "however, the OP was wrong in claiming that private companies cannot be oppressive. they most definitely CAN be
    that is simply a false statement."

    Sorta like murder? Thank you, Dr Pedantic.

  • Apocaliptarian||

    Well, yes, in a society without mutually agreed upon order, someone or some people could hire/form a private army, but if they fuck up and are on the losing end, they have no higher authority on which to rely and, short of a miracle or the victor's mercy, they would be wiped off the map.

  • ||

    Oppression requires an atmosphere of oppression, and a sense on the part of the oppressed that the violence or threat of violence will continue to be present for a long time.

    In a domain with a functioning government, that generally requires govt to be either participating in the violence or at least ignoring it (as in the Pinkerton cases).

  • ||

    ignoring it is one example

    it can also be the case where it happens in isolated location without witnesses and thus becomes a he said/she said issue

    in cases like that, there is a substantial likelihood of getting away with it.

    it's often difficult to prove such stuff beyond a reasonable doubt

  • ||

    But that's an isolated incident (drink), not oppression in the usual sense. What separates oppressors from other purveyors in violence is that they do their work in broad daylight in populated places.

  • ||

    as long as we start moving goalposts.

    the OP said "private power CAN'T be oppressive"

    that's utter bullshit

    we would all agree, that the vast majority of the time, it's the govt. NOT private power that is oppressive

    the error was the claim that it CAN'T be oppressive.

    that's total crap

  • ||

    oh, and i don't buy the broad daylight distinction. again, it SUUALLY may be that way, but quite often isn't.

    if a local PD is frequently beating the shit out of people but only doing it in dark alleys when nobody is watching, that's STILL oppression

  • sevo||

    "...private power can be just as oppressive as the government."

    Just walkin' down the street and darn if Walmart didn't pull a gun on me and make me go inside!

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Count yourself lucky. With me, it was Victoria's Secret...

    ... and they hardly have anything in my size.

  • Cytotoxic||

    libertarian occupiers... just not the right wing reason/ CATO type libertarian who don't seem to get the fact that private power can be just as oppressive as the government.

    WARNING: STUPID LEVELS CRITICAL POSSIBLE MASS INTELLIGENCE FAILURE UNDERWAY MAY INDUCE RESONANCE CASCADE

  • Maxxx||

    Obama isn't the solution, in part or in whole. Every bit as much as George W. Bush, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, you name it, he's the problem. And appeals to him only shows the resolute lack of imagined alternatives to a society whose control flows from a series of aristocrats as out of touch with how the world works as King James and his crew

    No, not at all.

    Fairey and occutards demonstrate the power of 12+ years of marxist indoctrination that we call school, to shape the minds of people.

  • ||

    "Marxist"? You sound about as credible as the people who think that everyone to the right of Romney is a Nazi.

  • Maxxx||

    Here are some of the MarxistM/b> concepts that they have been taught and believe.

    Class conflict drive politics and history.

    Humanity is divided into two groups:
    "The Rich" - Bad
    "The Poor" - Good

    Inequality of wealth and income is bad and must be remedied by government action.

    Wealth is zero sum, so that one person's profit is always at the expense of others.

    Business - bad.
    Government - good.

    If you want to keep your own money you are being greedy (evil, bad); but if you want to take someone else's money you are being altruistic (good).

  • mr simple||

    While what you're saying makes sense and is confirmed by my own experiences, your tag fail completely invalidates your argument.

  • Maxxx||

    I know.

    Fucking preview - how does it work?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I will now make a valid counterargument:

    Here are some of the Marxist concepts that they have been taught and believe.

    Class conflict drive politics and history.

    Humanity is divided into two groups:
    "The Rich" - Bad
    "The Poor" - Good

    Inequality of wealth and income is bad and must be remedied by government action.

    Wealth is zero sum, so that one person's profit is always at the expense of others.

    Business - bad.
    Government - good.

    If you want to keep your own money you are being greedy (evil, bad); but if you want to take someone else's money you are being altruistic (good).

  • Jordan||

    Your mistake is believing that they want a decentralization of power. On the contrary, they want a massive concentration of power, just one that only "The Right People" will ever be allowed to use.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Is that a snoop dog for prez poster. I sure hope so. That would be fun. New crop for the White House garden.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    But Snoop Dogg supports cronyism!

    Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can't Get None)

  • AlmightyJB||

    He'll be too wasted to do anything while in office. The perfect politician:)

  • ||

    Obama as Guy Fawkes, a minority Catholic plotting to blow up the government who is only remembered in contemporary America because of a graphic novel and rotten movie that was a stupid anti-Thatcher allegory?

    "rotten movie"? Out come the long knives. It wasn't as good as the graphix, but it was all right in its own way, and the pervasive Fawkes masks mean you can't deny it's struck a chord in some elements.

    Of course, in both V has about as much connection to the Jacobian monarchist Guy Fawkes, as Osama bin Laden had to Lewis Payne because they both attacked Cabinet offices.

  • The 98 Percent||

    The OWS "movement" is rather like libertarianism in that both factions rely on cartoon characters for their philosophy.

  • tarran||

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 98 percent, proof that after 100 years, the government is finally winning the War on Education!

  • The 98 Percent||

    Don't have a cow, man.

  • ||

    +1 tarran

  • tarran||

    Man at Bar: Enjoying the show?
    Episiarch: To be honest, I'm just here for the blowjob.

  • Eric||

    Goddamn your black heart, Barbra Streisand!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Towelie?

  • ||

    +1 Tulpa...and Tulpa is finally on the board!

  • ||

    I DON'T WANT TO GO ON THE BOARD!!!

  • ||

    Too late, man. Too late.

  • The 98 Percent||

    Okay, children. Let's all gather around and bob for stupid apples now. You go first, Episiarch. That's good. Just use those mouth muscles like the girls in Beijing.

  • ||

    +1 me

  • The 98 Percent||

    Dude! Still here? Don't you have more important things to do than to respond to filthy trolls? And who's watching your tent?

    Anyway, since you're a fan and since you find my commentary here worthy of your attention, here's another South Park quote, tailored just for you:

    "Being a dick ain't so bad. See, there are three kinds of people: Dicks, pussies and assholes. Pussies think everyone can get along and dicks just wanna fuck all the time without thinking it through. But then you got your assholes, and all the assholes want is to shit all over everything. So pussies may get mad at dicks once in a while because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes. And if they didn't fuck the assholes, you know what you'd get? You'd get your dick and your pussy all covered in shit."

    Love and hugs! Please respond with a hilarious "+" rating, and we'll see you at the General Assembly later tonight. I hear they're serving Merlot! Ta ta!

  • ||

    +1 more me

  • ||

    That would be Team America: World Police, not SouthPark, you silly trollhard.

  • The 98 Percent||

    +1 more me

    Dude! Still here? You're a tenacious little guy! Who's watching your tent?

    Anyway, thanks for all the attention. I'm not worthy! Please leave the required "+" rating to show that you are truly disinterested, and we'll catch you real soon, okay?

    Ta ta!

  • ||

    +1 me

  • Warty||

    You just keep playing the +1 game, Epi, cuz it totally doesn't bother me at all, not one bit, and anyway you're totally immature and STOP PLAYING THE FUCKING +1 GAME I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU ALL

  • ||

    i'm not drinking any FUCKING MERLOT!

  • ||

    And won't somebody tell these 'tards that Guy Fawkes was a theocratic fuckwad?

  • ||

    Well, we told them that Obama is a crony capitalist authoritarian fuckwad, and they didn't listen. So fuck them.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Fawke them.

  • ||

    It's as if in 400 years libertarians were going to protests wearing Timothy McVeigh masks...

  • ||

    Or Khomeini.

  • ||

    Or Justin Bieber.

  • ||

    Or Che masks.

  • Comment Tater||

    a grassroots movement spawned

    Spawned. Perfect!

  • ||

    This has been slowly bugging the shit out of me; slowly, in the background, like a buzzing fluorescent light.

    Leaving aside the fact that V for Vendetta was an exceptionally lame movie, I'm pretty sure the idiot in the mask represented the ".000000000000001%" and not the "99%".

  • ||

    You left before the ending, apparently.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Naw it just kinda sucked.

  • ||

    I meant that at the end, the populace had come out in Fawkes masks to watch the "grand finale". I admit it was cheesey (and especially wondered how they all were able to walk home afterward with no power struggles erupting in the streets) but the movie as a whole was pretty good.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No...no. It was...kind of contrived and really pretty vapid. It looks worse the more time has passed since I saw it.

    http://www.atlassociety.org/tn.....ew-v-vapid

  • Barack the Insider||

    "I'm your inside guy, but I have to bomb a few more countries around the world, establish more military bases, assassinate a few more enemies of America and topple some more regimes around the world before I can pay proper 'attention' to you Occupiers -- you aren't posing a threat to Homeland Security, are you?"

  • This is the cultish New Art||

    to go with the cultish New World Order.

  • ||

    I invite Shephard Fairey and the latter-day Establishmentarians who somehow think that Barack Obama and Timothy Geithner and Leon Panetta and Hillary Clinton will somehow effect a decentralization of power, to range around Reason.com for a while

    D'OH!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'm thinking about how the legacy media would respond if OWS were a right-wing movement.

    Imagine the NYT/MSNBC/Kos editorial:

    "An artist working on behalf of the violent Occupy Wall Street Movement is circulating a picture of the terrorist Guy Fawkes, whose plot to blow up King James I and the English Parliament was foiled at the last minute. The picture has the menacing caption, 'Mr. President, we Hope you're on our side.'

    "The threat is palpable. This violent movement, which has already battled police and is filled with rapists, is threatening to commit a massive act of terrorism unless the President joins their 'side.' When will Democrats repudiate this terrorist violent extremist" etc.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'm thinking about how the legacy media would respond if OWS were a right-wing movement.

    Imagine the NYT/MSNBC/Kos editorial:

    "An artist working on behalf of the violent Occupy Wall Street Movement is circulating a picture of the terrorist Guy Fawkes, whose plot to blow up King James I and the English Parliament was foiled at the last minute. The picture has the menacing caption, 'Mr. President, we Hope you're on our side.'

    "The threat is palpable. This violent movement, which has already battled police and is filled with rapists, is threatening to commit a massive act of terrorism unless the President joins their 'side.' When will Democrats repudiate this terrorist violent extremist" etc.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The squirrels had been leaving me alone, and now when my guard is down, they strike!

  • peachy||

    That's just how the furry little bastards roll... you'll get used to it.

  • Not an Economist||

    The squirrels are the 1 percent.

  • Hint, hint||

    "We demand that the Fascist-In-Chief Obama support us -- Reelect Obama 2012."

  • KPres||

    It's called triangulation. Get your side to act all radical, pretend like they hate their own candidate, then then that candidate can say "see, I'm a moderate...both sides hate me".

  • PantsFan||

    Maybe if they turned their Occupation into a permanent street market, more white liberals would peacably attend.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Skyrim may be the greatest video game of all time.

    I haven't played it. I'm not an RPG kind-of-guy (I prefer shooters, though I will admit that Borderlands is freakin' amazing as it's a shooter with lite RPG qualities), but if it has a Katatonia easter egg, clearly the developers are of sound mind.

    Also, Forsaker.

  • Warty||

    One more reason I NEEDS IT

  • ||

    Nick, You didn't like V for Vendetta? Why?

  • ||

    Nick, You didn't like V for Vendetta? Why?

  • Paul||

    Great post, nick. You're on fire. Except that you're wasting your time.

    I'll say it again: when marching in the street to depose a tyrant, the person next to you may be marching because the tyrant didn't go far enough.

    This is why no matter how hard I try to be objective, I simply cannot get excited by, nor throw any support behind the occupy movement. Their "freedom" explicitly requires a super-powerful central command-and-control system with an all-encompassing welfare state with the individual consigning his liberty and desires to the whims of enlightened bureaucrats (democratically elected, of course, in a system which limits the speech of competing voices so a more civil debate takes place). Fuck them, and everyone that looks like ' em.

  • Tony||

    a super-powerful central command-and-control system with an all-encompassing welfare state with the individual consigning his liberty and desires to the whims of enlightened bureaucrats

    [::orgasms violently::]

  • mr simple||

    Thus new HOPE poster looks like a picture of the guy from Boardwalk Empire.

  • mr simple||

    Also, as much as any of these people might cry about change, they're mostly just partisan tool. There's no way they won't vote for their team, because then the other team might win, no matter what their team does.

  • Rhet Orical||

    Does anyone else laugh out loud at that image?
    I mean, when people are laughing at you, isn't the game up?

  • Paul||

    My first thought was: so obama's going to blow up parliament, I wonder if he'll warn his friends and family to get out first...

  • Rhet Orical||

    That's not fair. Of course Obama knows that the U.S. has a representative republic--with ingenious checks and balances built in--and not a reactionary parliament. And of course the OWSers understand this as well!

    Right?

  • ||

    Grassroots don't spawn, as you already know. It just goes to show you how fuzzy thinking can have serious consequences. I like the have a look link. M

  • A Serious Man||

    Guy Fawkes was a Catholic terrorist while V was a fraking anarchist. Neither of whom would support OWS or whatever flavor of socialism they are advocating.

  • ||

    The powder plot wasn't terrorism, it was assassination. Very different things.

    And after what the English Protestant govt had done to English (and even more so) Irish Catholics, it's hard to argue that he wasn't at least a tad bit justified.

  • ||

    I should have clarified, terrorism is violence directed at ordinary people in the hopes that the general population will demand that the leaders alter whatever policy the terrorists want changed.

    Assassination is directed at the leaders themselves, in the hopes that their replacements will be better for whatever agenda the assassin is pushing.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    How, exactly, could the Catholic revolutionaries have held their ground in a country filled to the brim with pissed-off Protestants? It would probably have been Ireland in reverse.

  • ||

    I don't think they thought it that far through. But it definitely wasn't terrorism.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Good point - they wanted a lot of assassinations, a new monarch, but weren't trying to terrorize the people.

  • stop the +1 epi. only you and ||

    maybe 3 other readers think it is cool. or whoever the fuck is doing that lame shit.

  • Does someone||

    need a hug?

  • stop the +1 epi. only you and ||

    No. Does someone else need to congratulate himself every comment? It is about as funny as hipster irony.

  • stop the +1 epi. only you and||

    Have you ever heard of spoofing?

  • stop the +1 epi. only you and ||

    " or whoever the fuck is doing that lame shit."

  • stop the +1 epi. only you and||

    Which side are you on?

  • stop the +1 epi. only you and ||

    The side of comments worth reading(which is why i hardly ever post)

  • The 98 Percent||

    +1*

    *(irony)

  • ||

    +8 me

  • Almanian||

    +1

  • The Other Two People||

    +2

  • ||

    Spoofing = Do Not Want?

    + 1

  • Hairy Plopper||

    Does Fairey have a pair of boots

  • chris||

    Renew my subscription to the Resurrection!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gunlBUan8Y

  • chris||

    BTW, tried the NBC clip and it couldn't stream for shit from their site.

  • ||

    I attended a couple of Tea Party rallys, and I think my chief observation is relevant to OWS as well: In any "grassroots" movement, a portion of the participants are going to be individuals interested in the cause, and a portion are going to be members of previously organized groups who feel that the movement's interests overlap theirs. The members of preexisting groups, by virtue of their greater organization, and probably energy (tending to be "joiners" and people looking for a cause to devote themselves to), will tend to have a higher profile and make more of a contribution to the movement than the "walk-ins". They will also likely try to shoehorn their other interests into the movement.

    At the first Tea Party April 15th rally I attended, most of the signs and speakers were focused on the anti-tax/anti-big government issue, but I noted that a number of the participants were already members of veterans groups, anti-abortion groups, anti-illegal immigration groups, etc. By the second Tax Day rally, the speakers were straying more strongly into their other pet issues, and the identity of the movement was well along the path of being diverted into representing the interests of "True Conservatism", rather than its original, narrower stance. Similarly, its not shocking to see that the original focus of OWS -- "Wall Street has too much lobbying influence and its abuses should be punished rather than bailed out" -- has been expanded to encompass other New Left interests, like squeezing the Fat Cats to finance more entitlements, etc. The focus on the various indefinite campouts helped these clowns hijack OWS that much faster than the Tea Party was hijacked -- Very few outside of the "career protestor" community had much desire to live like street people (especially as the weather turned colder) to make their statement. Most of the sane folks in the movement went home to their beds, conceding the OWS "brand" to the same crowd that tore up Seattle years ago.

    And that's why reasoned political discourse is impossible. "The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity..." etc.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The Tea Party, despite (or because of?) its conservative hijacking, was able to influence elections - or at least get "blamed" for election results the establishment regrets but now has to deal with.

    The OWS may well influence elections - but most likely in the same way their 1960s counterparts influenced elections - that is, against them.

    The U.S. public turned against Vietnam largely despite the protesters, like they're turning against Wall Street in spite of OWS. A Nixonian candidate who promises to bash wall Street and bash OWS would have a lot going for him (recall how Nixon bashed the protesters *and* got out of Vietnam).

  • ||

    Nixon got out of Vietnam slower than Obama is getting out of Iraq.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Nixon had one-and-a-fourth terms in office, and considering the way things are going, Obama will have fewer. So he has to pull out faster.

  • ||

    obama got elected on the following platform: allow me into your inner sanctums of power, and I swear i'll pull out

    hey, it worked in college!

  • Almanian||

    Aaaaaaand lol

  • ||

    Yeah, our collective cervix is gonna be damn sore the morning after.

  • JackC||

    Nixon's circumstances via Vietnam were an order of magnitude more difficult than Obama's in Iraq.
    (Where he's essentially following the previous Administration's already laid out script.)

    Battlefield situation, diplomatic situation, medium environment, domestic political environment - there's no comparison.

  • JackC||

    The third should be 'media environment.'

  • ||

    I guess Libya is Obama's Cambodia then.

  • ||

    Thank you for posting this! I love visiting your site!
    Steve

    http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

  • ||

    More derp from the AP about the horrors of sequestration:

    Economist say those jobless benefits — up to 99 weeks of them in high unemployment states — are among the most effective way to stimulate the economy because unemployed people generally spend the money right away.

    Um, what? If I were unemployed and living off of *temporary* compensation I'd be scrimping and saving every penny I possibly could. But hey, anonymous economists apparently disagree.

  • Almanian||

    I heard - now I'm gonna forget his fucking Bush-administration-motherfucking-defense-something-or-other name - talking about how the sequestration would "devastate" the defense budget and "cripple" our military.

    Then I remembered it will never happen anyway, so why be concerned with it - we'll never see real cuts, so we'll be TEH SAFE FROM THE TOURRRRISTSZ! YAAAAY!

    Fuck me..."crippling", "devastating" if we spend "MoreThanTheRestOfTheWorldCombined MINUS WhatDenmarkSpends". Fuck...

  • ||

    In that case, we should just increase the welfare checks.

  • Almanian||

    The Jacket, you've outdone yourself. As usual "what I try to say, but you say it so much better". I guess that's why you're a writer/Jacket of All Media and I'm in manufacturing management.

    Anyway - brill, love it.

  • Daniel Evans||

    Sorry Shepard he isn't. Check out his donors, and his political appointments that will tell you who's side he is one

  • ||

    I seriously have to wonder about people who feel they are being oppressed by private corporations.

    How, exactly? What the fuck is Walmart or McDonald's doing that oppresses you? You're not forced to shop there or eat there?

    Are you just mad that they aren't giving you free hamburgers?
    You're oppressed by the fact they they offer lower prices to other people than you do?Your oppressed because they won't pay you as much as you want? You're oppressed because you have to compete for jobs ?

    Grow the fuck up.

    I really don't see how ANYONE can claim to be oppressed by private corporations in America today. The only examples I can think of involve eminent domain. Everything else is just stupid whining by cultural snobs and/or people who want free shit.

  • ||

    If the stories about WM locking employees in the store overnight are true, that's pretty oppressive.

    But customers aren't really oppressed, unless you count the sweetheart tax deals some jurisdictions give to attract a Wal Mart to their town.

  • Enyap||

    How the hell do you lock somebody in a 24hr store?

  • Enyap||

    OK, I forgot about the old nonsupercenter stores, but how many of those are left.

  • ||

    I don't know that McDonalds has ever oppressed me, but I oppressed the hell out of a McRib the other day.

    It was cheap too!

  • ||

    Mr Gillespie is great, and I am more likely to agree with him than the leaders of either the Democrat or Republican parties, but quotes like this are ridiculous: "I don't think Obama and the Democrats are any more socialist than their counterparts in the GOP..." C'mon, Nick, I know you need to maintain your "a pox on both of you" position, but get real.

  • Yeah||

    Why won't anybody take libertarians seriously?

  • ||

    +1 Rob

  • ||

    "and while I don't think Obama and the Democrats are any more socialist than their counterparts in the GOP,"

    This is almost certainly the silliest half-sentence I've read in the past month.

  • ||

    I agree, Mr. Swift -- "respectful of civil liberties", sure. "inclined to take constitutional limits on power seriously", absolutely. Both parties are equally dirty in a lot of ways. "socialist", though? The Democrats own that one. The Republican equivalent would be "cartelist". The kids today like to say "corporatist", but I think that's less accurate.

  • Progressive Artist||

    My newest project is a collage of dead Asian terrorist children slaughtered by "OBAMA 2012" while while he was protecting America and Student Loans 'n' Free Health Care.

  • ||

    Should be interesting to see how that all turns out. Wow.

    www.true-anon.au.tc

  • mineral process equipment||

    I really don't see how ANYONE can claim to be oppressed by private corporations in America today. The only examples I can think of involve eminent domain. Everything else is just stupid whining by cultural snobs and/or people who want free shit.

  • sevo||

    "The only examples I can think of involve eminent domain."

    Um, well, that requires the government.

  • ||

    Looking at Mr. Fairey's newest contribution it appears to me that he is pretty much a one-trick pony.

    The newest is a copy of the Obama poster with a slight change in image but otherwise the same thing he did before.

    If he's such a great artist shouldn't he be more, you know, original?

  • grinding plant||

    I really don't see how ANYONE can claim to be oppressed by private corporations in America today. The only examples I can think of involve eminent domain. Everything else is just stupid whining by cultural snobs and/or people who want free shit.

  • crusher||

    I like this

  • still dropping||

    awwwwwwwwww:
    91,192 - rank on amazon.com in books (was 50,000 two weeks ago)

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