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October 19, 2011

Copyright New York Magazine

New York Magazine (okay they are pretty disgusting, but anyway) polled 50 protestors at OWS about some issues theoretically relevant to the movement.

Here’s hoping those snotty New York Mag reporters purposefully picked the wrong people.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2011 11:30 am

    What you have is a combination of fun with statistics and infotainment. Murdoch’s WSJ conducted a similar non-scientific poll, , to highlight that OWS protesters are radical communists who are out of step with the predominantly conservative nation.
    That said, I’m sure a lot of protestors, and Americans in general, are ignorant of the Dodd-Frank Act. Most news desks are just another revenue stream in a media group. Call it the dumbing down of America. The news is just a series of topical sound bites and human interest stories and little to no analysis. Entire news departments dedicated to Dateline who dunIts and To Catch a Predator. I tuned into Nightline the other night and it was an expose of PS90X. Ted Koppel and his hair would be disappointed.

  2. October 19, 2011 1:13 pm

    There are a bunch of articles discrediting the WSJ article I posted previously.

  3. October 19, 2011 8:49 pm

    Not surprising. Actually none of it is.

    But if you are going to go out and make a fuss, you should know some basic facts, probably. It’s entirely possible that the 50 people polled were on the more knowledgable end of the spectrum. I mean, I hope not, but it is possible.

  4. October 20, 2011 7:34 am

    A. Strung, I apologize, this is going to be long.
    I concur with a caveat. It would be better if you knew some of the intricacies of the subject you are weighing in on but; by means of allegory, it is entirely possible to attend a No-Nukes rally to support an anti-nuclear weapons proliferation movement without knowing what the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties are. In fact, that is what usually happens. The ignorance is usually forgiven because it is assumed that the protesters are protesting out of a genuine conviction against a nuclear holocaust and one can hold this belief without knowing the ins and outs of bilateral nuclear arms reduction. (When in truth, unilateral nuclear disarmament places national security in direct Jeopardy. The protesters are given a pass, because “their hearts are in the right place.”
    Conversely, It is entirely possible to support the overall concepts of OWS without knowing the intricacies of bank regulation legislation. You can in fact look around you and without knowing what the current political/banking/corporate interrelationship is, sense and genuinely believe, that whatever it currently is, it is inherently flawed. The reason why the less then enlightened OWS supporters are ridiculed and not given a free pass is that there is an implication, either assumed or purposely suggested, that the protesters are not doing this out of the goodness of their heart but in an attempt to unjustly claim that which is not theirs.
    Back to your original point: …”f you are going to go out and make a fuss, you should know some basic facts…”. In this case, it is not desirable, but despite what I just wrote above, it is crucial. The reason being, for lack of a better term, “Conservative Bolshevism”. An organized minority on the far right clamors and yells loud enough ,repeatedly enough, to either seize the public’s majority opinion, or muddy the waters enough to form a public opinion stalemate. This tactic is being employed yet again against the OWS on two different fronts from the radical right via several media outlets. Front One: These protesters are a far left, drugged out communist hippies which do not in any way represent popular public opinion. (Often coupled with a warning to Democrats that to embrace the OWS is political suicide.) Front Two: These are just greedy protesters who are dangerously ignorant of the actual economic/political situation. (With implications that not only do the protesters want free money, but are actively seeking to damage the economy.) The OWS had better start forming a cogent agenda, because a concerted media blitz from the radical right, has been enormously effective time and time again.
    Through a combination of finding exceptions to rules a twisting of logic and a playing on public fears, the Conservative-Bolsheviks have successfully seized control of popular public opinion which has repeatedly demonized the left and radicalized the right. Willie Horton slips through prison furlough safeguards; Dukakis wants to free all criminals. You’re against the invasion of Iraq; you are in favor of terrorists coming to America. You’re against the unconstitutional elements of the Patriot Act; you are for supporting the terrorists. You support labor protection laws; you are for bankrupting all American businesses and local governments. (You support collective bargaining; you support fat cat public sector jobs) You support environmental protection laws; you are for destroying jobs and pro-foreign oil. You support corporate tax loopholes; you are pro shipping American jobs overseas. You don’t support not raising the current national debt-ceiling and shutting down the federal government; you support reckless public spending and ruining everyone’s children’s future. You are for banking regulation; you are against economic recovery.
    Time and time again a repeated loud slogan loaded sentiment appears in the far right media, gains traction, and appears in mainstream media. Before you can say Bob’s yer uncle, the minority (sometimes seemingly illogical) position becomes part of the national debate and either becomes the majority opinion or enables a political stalemate which more often then not, favors America’s right. So even though it might normally be reasonable for someone to be anti-corporativism without knowing the specifics of American fiscal policy, given America’s recent political track record, it is ill advised. When the odds are stacked against you, you must perform even better then in a fair fight. Without a much more robust, comprehensive, concise message, the OWS movement could quickly find itself as the latest casualty in the path of the radical right’s media propaganda machine.

  5. October 20, 2011 8:58 am

    Right. Well I would strongly prefer they have more knowledge for three main reasons: 1. As you say, their ignorance will be used against them, hurting the overall message 2. It will be used against them in some cases rightfully so – they SHOULD know more because 3. It’s NOT THAT DIFFICULT. I don’t think it’s necessary to understand the intricacies of anything per se, but that quiz, for instance, wasn’t exactly deep science. My feeling is if you have the time and energy to protest, you ought to have the energy to google a few things.

    You woke up one morning and said “man everything’s so fucked up.” But before you got your marching shoes and sign, you say “Let me try and figure out what exactly is going on, and if anything is already in the works to fight it.” It will take you all of TWO HOURS.

    As I’ve said before, I like a good protest as much as the next guy but I much prefer it to have a politically affective arm of some kind. Without that it’s a missed opportunity, but to have that arm, I think you need a modest knowledge base. Believe me, I’m setting the bar pretty low here; I’m certainly no expert.

  6. October 20, 2011 9:39 am

    I agree with you. I was just attempting to point out that the playing field isn’t level. Which actually makes your point even more valid. (It’s moot, but if you look at the other end of the supposed spectrum, the Tea Party, the left does little to deride them because they have evolved into something nonsensical. Meanwhile the mainstream media does little to scrutinize the Tea Party’s at odds tenets and confused membership. The far right keeps hammering those catch phrases.)

  7. October 21, 2011 9:34 am

    I think the Tea Party got their fair share of shit, back when they were ramping up. But unfortunately a lot of it was deserved, as the Tea Party from the outset focused too much on shit that really wasn’t true, such as the socialist take over of the government and nonsense like that. At least OWS is about something real.

  8. debaseface permalink
    October 21, 2011 10:44 pm

    More on Greek debt:
    Slowly even those staunchest critics of reality, namely undercapitalized and insolvent French banks, are coming to grips with the truth that they are going to see massive losses on their tens of billions of Greek debt exposure. The FT reports that the French stock market regulator has told French banks to apply realistic assumptions to their Greek debt haircuts. Because through today, the most French banks used is the 21% agreed upon haircut from July 21.  So where are Greek bonds trading now? Oh about 30 cents on the dollar (70% haircut) , which means at the end of the day French banks will see about three time more losses on Greek holdings than provisioned. And the market, which is not all that stupid, knows this and has been punishing French banks. This is precisely what regulators are trying to avoid. The problem, as is well known courtesy of daily fruitless discussions between Sarkozy and Merkel, is that “French banks have more cross-border exposure to Greece than any other country, mainly through subsidiaries owned by Crédit Agricole and Société Générale. BNP Paribas holds the most Greek sovereign bonds among private sector investors, with €4bn of exposure…French banks argued that limiting themselves to 21 per cent was justified because trading in Greek government debt was so subdued, making market prices unreliable.” Uh, what? Those billions in Greek bond volumes, where the 1 year yields 184% in dozens of daily trades, are “subdued” and “unreliable?” Why not just buy the bonds then and take advantage of the illiquid arb then? What’s that? Crickets? Oh ok. In the meantime, what is certain is that after the ECB, France is most exposed to a Greek admission of reality (even truncated, assuming a 60% haircut which is still generous).

    Sent from my iPhone

  9. debaseface permalink
    October 21, 2011 11:15 pm

    Sorry, commented on wrong post.
    Anyhow, I agree with POWERS. Even chimpanzees know the difference between right and wrong. Thats all you need to know.
    90% of the folks at my my bank have no idea what Dodd Frank or the Volker rule are. That’s the fucking truth! Sad sad truth.

  10. October 22, 2011 7:14 am

    Chimps don’t protest

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