The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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Monday, October 17, 2011
Current Affairs ... Economics/Business ...

Let’s zoom from the far-right GOP of today (see above post) to the far-left; yes, there may actually be a far-left forming around the Occupy Wall Street event. Interestingly, there was a little tift in the press recently about the spreading Occupy movement and whether it is being bankrolled by billionaire George Soros (a man who made his billions on Wall Street and the like — a man in the top 1% of the powerful 1% whom the Occupiers are protesting against).

A few days ago, Reuters ran a story saying that there appears to be certain organizational links by which Soros money is finding its way to whoever is spending funds or earning a salary to keep the Occupy thing alive. The on-going “Occupy” event obviously needs food, blankets, sleeping mats, press outreach, toilets and “handlers expenses” for those who plan and guide the activities that gain press attention, such as marches on corporate HQ buildings. These things don’t just happen, despite the idealistic claims by the young Millennials that their “General Assembly” is the prototype for the horizontal, autonomous, emergent, consensus-based leaderless system of the future. Nonetheless, various sympathetic commentators such as financial journalist Felix Salmon protested that Reuters was acting too much like Rush Limbaugh and his friends in implicating Soros.

So, the latest version of the Reuters article starts out with the title “Soros: not a funder of Wall Street protests”. But the article itself still outlines how Soros money is quietly filtering its way via three organizations (Soros’ Open Society Foundation, the Tides Foundation, and Adbusters, an anti-capitalist group based in Canada) towards ‘the street’.

FWIW, I believe that the whole Occupy thing is too big and too well publicized to be an unplanned spontaneous uprising from the masses (again, despite claims by young Millennials that it is, akin to the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in the Middle East). I believe that it’s more like a reality TV show or a flash mob. It looks amazingly spontaneous, but you know it had to be carefully planned out and organized so as to appear that way. The last thing that the Occupy movement needs is for the public to find out that it is really another big-money venture, being orchestrated by powerful elites (like the Tea Party and the Koch Brothers). So, the powerful big $$ types behind it all use their influence to keep things quiet.

Without purity from fiscal adulteration, they could not recruit the time and energy of thousands of millennials facing shaky economic prospects without any good ideas on how to shore them up. And of course, this is why Rush Limbaugh and his ilk would so like to expose the hypocrisy of the Occupiers in depending upon the same corrupt capitalist system that they rail against. I suspect that is why Soros and his ilk are doing what ever they can to cover up their fiscal traces and counter-spin the press away from suspecting any big $$ involvement in the Occupy situation.

Actually, I rather hope that Soros or someone else rich enough to be hopelessly idealistic is in fact sending money, so as to organize a political force something akin to an anti-Tea Party. The Tea Party is pulling the center-of-gravity of American politics too far to the right, so why not a hyper-leftist group to help shift it back towards center?

On first blush that seems to make sense . . . however, it turns American politics into a situation like the guy who has half of his body in a freezer and half in an oven, and on average his temperature is a cozy 72 degrees. It’s not always the average but the variance that counts, especially in the affairs of great nations. Too much political variance from the center is not usually been a good sign for the continued viability of empires. So, on the one side in the political spotlight we have Herman Cain and Rick Perry, and on the other we have the young people in Zuccoti Park. Meanwhile, the turning gyre widens, the falcon cannot hear the falconer . . .

PS, speaking of downtown Manhattan and big business, I was taking my usual mid-day stroll up the 12-story stairwell in my building today, my little way of finding a few moments of solitude during work hours. There are east-facing windows on every second landing, and I stopped as usual on the 11th and looked northeast towards the midtown Manhattan skyline (was a sunny and clear autumn day). Lower Manhattan is mostly blocked from view by the Newark skyline (for what it’s worth), from my little stairwell grotto. Nonetheless, I was pondering where the old World Trade Center twin towers would have been.

And then I noticed it — there was the new Liberty Tower under construction, just visable above some low buildings in downtown Newark! Great! Now on nice days I have something to watch for as it gets higher and higher. I barely missed seeing one of the twin towers collapse on 9-11 (walked away from my viewing spot about 30 seconds before the second tower went). But now I will get to see the replacement building rise from the site like some slow-motion phoenix. Yea well, to the Occupy crowd, it’s just more economic corruption; and if I were unemployed without any prospect of finding a decent job again due to a trashed economy, I’d take the same attitude. But luckily I do have a job, one that provides the fringe benefit of having a nice spot to view the new Tower. It’s a steady job . . . I think . . . I hope . . .

◊   posted by Jim G @ 4:35 pm      

  1. Jim, Of course! The Occupy movement likely is funded by someone with some heavy duty money. Then again, I find myself making a comparison to the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement and the opposition to the Vietnam War. I do not think those movements were funded by heavy duty money; yet, they certainly were effective. And although they had their times when they were hardly the “best”, they managed to achieve more than people at the time thought they would. I know; I was in my 30s in the 1960s; I remember those days vividly.

    So, maybe the Occupy movement is not so funded.

    Then too: My first question was: Who with “heavy duty money” would be willing to fund such a movement, would have some real care about the people with “ordinary” money? OK, perhaps Reuters is right, Soros (who I have to admit I’ve never heard of–which reminds me of all the billionnaires who I know nothing of–one says, “who knew?”, but I digress)….OK, maybe Soros IS funding the group.

    Then I ask myself: Who else might have an altruistis approach to the use of heavy-duty money? Don’t know anything at all about Soros, so who am I to say it could not be him. However, the Kennedys also come to mind. Wonder if anybody has investigated the money from their various foundations.

    I also wonder: Is it a BAD thing for the Occupy movement to be so funded–if it is? Not really, I’d think. Why not use one’s money to help the group that really needs some help in today’s society.

    Just the other day the guy who lives upstairs from me told me how he lost his job, sweated it out for some time until he found another, and now is wondering about the fact that the property values here have fallen to half of what his mortgage is due to the number of foreclosures in this area. Made us both get a pit in out stomach on that one. I also read today that the city in which I live will fall very short in its budget due to the fact that property values in the city have taken the fall they have. All this can be laid to the outright fraud committed by too many big money corporations. I say, it’s about time somebody who has so much money he/she doesn’t know what to do with spend some on the Occupy movement.

    As to me: I’m on a limited income. And I’m here to say that I have just about had it with every single bill going up and up and up; yet my own limited income remains just that–limited; no upward climb in that. In fact, too many people who have money they just don’t know what to do with (see people who buy numerous homes–how many homes can one person/family live in?; see people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on what turn out to be collector’s items; see atheletes and actors who quibble and basically go on strike because they are not paid enough when they are already getting millions a year to play a limited number of games or work for a limited amount of time each year, and the list goes on)…these people who have money they have no clue how to spend are the very ones who cry “entitlements” when it comes to social security, pensions, disability payments, etc. Why not have some heavy duty money pay for the Occupy movement? I say, thank you to whoever might be funding the movement.

    As to the “Arab Spring” comparison: For the first time I find myself wondering just who is paying for THAT movement. Surely, someone is funding that too. Where are the people of the Arab Spring movement getting all their weapons, ammunition, etc.? OR is it only movements in America that are funded by big money but not movements in Arab nations? (Do have to hope that it turns out NOT to be the U.S. gov’t paying for the Arab Spring because it’s politically useful to the U.S.)

    I’d say if someone with big money is paying for such movements–good. Hope these movements stay peaceful, don’t become violent. I also hope that they are effective and actually achieve something as the movements of the 1960s did.

    One last tho’t: So glad you are seeing the new Liberty Tower rising. I watched on TV the 2 buildings fall on 9/11; I said to my companion, that building (the first one) is wobbling; it’s going to fall! But I couldn’t really believe it would. But it did. It was almost an unbearable sorrow. Then the 2nd one…. Surely your being so close was even worse. So very glad you are seeing the rise of what is in effect “new life”. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — October 20, 2011 @ 11:52 am

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