Activism was Once Something to be Proud of in America

By Adam Rohrer -

The Occupy movement started as a grass roots response to our government’s handling of the 2008 financial crisis. The government, instead of allowing the free-market to take its course, gave trillions of taxpayer money to the failing banks and industries.

Why would our government do this?  Well consider how our government officials are elected with the use of corporate money, which often causes to often serve their interests over ours. They can do this because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on corporate person-hood declaring corporations to have the equal rights of individuals. To those who still think the Occupy movement lacks goals, this is one of the Occupy movements main complaints. It is also the root of many of their other complaints.

“The Constitution does not allow the government to eliminate any corporation on the terms that they “keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media” or ” block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil,” said another another editorial about Occupy Wall Sreet.

Both are forms of competition in the business world and competition is a key part of a market-system that runs on private businesses.”

Penn Manor Senior Adam Rohrer

Both of these examples are not fair market practices but are examples of corporate interests undermining the polices of a democratic government. Furthermore nobody in the movement wants to  eliminate corporations. The real issues in the forefront of the Occupy movement are income inequality, America is ranked number 52 in the world, and corporate influence in politics. The reason you are unaware of this may be because of corporate ownership of the media.

Amy Goodman a journalist and host of  the television show ‘Democracy Now’ on Corporate ownership of major media: “These are not media that are serving a democratic society, where a diversity of views is vital to shaping informed opinions. This is a well-oiled propaganda machine that is repackaging government spin and passing it off as journalism.”

Oil and green energy are not major issues in the movement whatsoever, contrary to misconceptions.

“With the outbreak of violent crimes at camps in major cities requiring police force, the government is becoming less and less inclined to do anything to help the sorry protesters,” Again from other editorial.

The opinion comes from someone who may only watch Fox News or who doesn’t  understand the nature of political movements. Nearly every disturbance during these peaceful demonstrations has been incited by the police themselves who show up in riot gear, then pepper spray and arrest anyone who steps off the sidewalk. Police actions during this movement have been brutal and oppressive. There is photographic evidence of police detaining protesters lining them up on the ground and spraying them all with pepper spray. Don’t buy that, just Google it.

The crackdown has been viewed so brutal over seas it was used by a military-ruled Egypt to justify their own crackdowns when Egyptian state TV said, “We saw the firm stance the U.S. took against OWS people & the German government against green protesters to secure the state,” This was after the killing of two demonstrators in Cairo.

Of course there may be a few people causing trouble but to attribute that to the entire movement in general is misleading and shows a lack of understanding of populous movements and their diverse nature.

Many ask what do they expect to happen? That question is asked as if the responsibility to fix our problems directly falls upon them.

America is a representative Democracy. We elect representatives to make these decisions in our name by our authority. The point of the movement is to put pressure on those whose job it is to fix our problems but continue not to do so. They continue to not do so because the money given to our representatives in order to get elected comes primarily from corporations. It’s to let them know next time around on election day they are going to lose their jobs. This is why one of the major goals of the Occupy movement is to get money out of our political system.

I am not biased in favor of the movement, I am a Libertarian so I appose strict government regulations as well as many other liberal stances the Occupy movement holds. However I have become involved in the movement because anyone who is informed can see this country is being led in a horrible direction, and our representatives nearly all seem to serve corporate interest. Occupy is a movement and in democratic countries nothing should be more important then defending others right to express their concerns about the way their country is being run.

The fact the argument is not about their ideas themselves, but on the moral integrity of having a protest at all, is a clear sign that traditional American values have been lost.

“I might not agree with what you say but ill defend to death your right to say it,” used to be one of America’s greatest ideals.

There are real intelligent reasons to be critical of the movement, like the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that tents are not protected by the First Amendment. Or the fact the movement claims to represent 99 percent of the population while also being liberal in its stances. This editorial did not touch on either of these.

By saying people shouldn’t be politically active and claiming corruption is just part of the market system is to give in to the failure of this country’s original ideals, ideals the Occupy movement is fighting to retain.  It’s fine to be against something for the right reasons but these are the wrong ones.

For a different opinion, read this editorial: http://www.pennpoints.net/?p=39938

Comments

  1. I agree with no more government subsidies to businesses. Both the tea party and Occupy (if Occupy truly is a libertarian, grassroots movement against gov’t subsidies to business, which I’m not convinced that it is) are good for America because it shows that the American people are tired of the corrupt establishment and rampant spending that is ruining our country.

    However, now that Occupy has alerted the American people about income inequality, it needs to come up with clear, practical solutions to the problem that do not involve gov’t spending or subsidies. Liberals also side with Occupy, but liberals such as President Obama tend to think subsidies to business are a good thing. Examples are the stimulus plan and Solyndra. According to Matthew P. Drennan of Cornell University, median household income dropped 6.7% since the recession. The recession officially ended after the stimulus. Obviously, another stimulus will not solve this problem as some seem to think. To truly stimulate the economy, gov’t needs to lower taxes, stop subsidizing businesses, and let the free market work things out. If what this article says is true, Occupy could help this happen.

  2. It is not the governments fault, they already pay for everything, thats why were in debt.

  3. None of this makes sense

  4. Cody Riker says:

    To a degree, I agree with both this article and the one linked promptly at the bottom of it. While I believe that the Occupy Wallstreet movement has valid complaints (ones deserving of time and consideration) I also agree that some of what they demand is unrealistic and to a point, perhaps even impossible.

    Billion-Dollar corporations are only going to go so far to appease the people, and the same goes for the governments that do (or do not) try and regulate them. With one movement, it’s negated by some law or doctrine set in place as it’s failsafe. It’s a vicious circle, and sadly, I don’t think America is ever going to really dig itself out of it’s rut.

    The answer is simple, really. Move to Australia. <3

  5. You claim to be a Libertarian, yet hold the ideal of “income inequality”; which is cleary liberal think. So which are you, a leftist liberal, Democrat or are you merely confused by all of the names people choose to align their political ideals with?

    The Occupy movement is clearly a liberal group. You subsctbe to the belief that we’re all equal–which we most certainly are not–and the belief that the banks/corporations are the the puppet masters behind all the evils in the world. In that case, you’re claiming that the Jews are the puppet masters because in reality they own most of the banks and corporations in the world. Now that belief would certainly support the claim that you’re not simply a liberal extremist, but a nationalist ( in the classic Hitler example).

    The labor unions gave birth to the idea that we’re all intitled to equal wages–insofar as you paid for your union member privileges. Unions led to Affirmative Action, which led to right to work.

    I could be pointing to all of these corrupt organizations for no real purpose, because you never made the issue of income inequality clear, you simply dropped the pharse without defining what it meant to an outsider.

    Libertarian? I was a Libertarian ever since I had a general understanding of politics. Once I went beyond the general understanding and realized the importance of personal liberty I dropped the Libertarian title and accepted my position as an anarchist. I refuse to vote because it is an act of aggression against my fellow man. Why willing submit to the state and accept their authority over not only my life, but the lives of others?

    I recommend that you visit the web-site striketheroot.com if you are interested in individual freedoms.
    There are plenty of good books, but you may be to busy to read. Video games and social media sites tend to consume vast amounts of time for the youth of today. Civil Disobedience, Death by Government are good books. Mencken, Jefferson, Adams, Emerson, et al wrote plenty.

    Good luck and stop watching the news, after all, the media is a corporation supported by special interest groups and politicians with an agenda. Disinformation is the cause of a great number of wrongs throut history, so you really shouldn’t listen to their gibberish.