"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Oct 27, 2011

Safe For Business

The Huffington Post's front page, as of 9:53 pm, October 27, 2011 EST:

From the Linkins opinion piece:

"...Over at The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof has enunciated an excellent defense of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, aimed at dispelling the notion that the Occupiers are some single-minded mass movement targeting the capitalist system for destruction. In fact, Kristof says, 'while alarmists seem to think that the movement is a 'mob' trying to overthrow capitalism, one can make a case that, on the contrary, it highlights the need to restore basic capitalist principles like accountability.'
Kristof says that what Occupy Wall Street represents is 'a chance to save capitalism from crony capitalists' and an entrenched system of 'government-backed featherbed[ding]' that amounts to 'socialism for tycoons and capitalism for the rest of us.' As Kristof notes, he's seen this before: Years of covering the '90s-era Asian financial crisis brought Kristof face-to-face with the same critique. It's now unspooling in the United States and having its own deleterious effects, such as the near-intractable income inequality that was, at long last, reported on fully this week (perhaps thanks to the presence of the Occupiers themselves).

Kristof's right to suggest that the Occupiers aren't 'half-naked Communists aiming to bring down the American economic system.' This isn't the 'Project Mayhem' of Chuck Palahniuk novels -- we're talking about a movement that's spurring people to move their money from 'too big to fail' banks into credit unions. That's not exactly 'smash the system.' That's more like a group of people seeking out a means to maximize their power within the system, or using consumer choice to preserve, enhance and improve the best parts of the system. As Matt Taibbi notes in a fitting companion piece to Kristof's, 'These people aren't protesting money. They're not protesting banking. They're protesting corruption on Wall Street.'..."

(internal links, excepting the Kristof original, removed; italics mine)

Note to self: this is why formlessness is a virtue. Here, this right here explains the demand for shadows and black hands. This Kristof clownshit is what you get out of democratism, consensus building and reformism. You get to the gate, and the keeper is all like, "Hey fuckfaces, you can't look like radicals. So, let's get you some public relations and a press agent. And like, no way dudes, that's what I went to college for..." 

You get a "defense" of your sweat and blood and the gift of your permanently irredeemable time that makes a mockery of your suffering and insecurity at the same time as it re-frames your rebellion, your unrest, your protest as a confirmation of the goodness and rightness of the status quo. Sure, sure, there are some problems with bad actors and wormy apples. But, the mediators and gatekeepers are eager to tell you, "...what you're really pissed about is the fact that the big bad baddies are acting like, um, bad guys. Now, if only there was a way to make power safe for everyone, then we could get back to the business of doing business, which is like never about sucking people's life and labor and turning it into toys that rich pricks forgot they even bought..."

Fuck. You get "dissent" that is safe for business.

Tomorrow, some rich bastard will shit out more expensive feces, as valued by the price of the food that went into his mouth hole, than something like four fifths of all people on the planet will spend on feed for their families for a month.

Tonight, some wealthy fuck will get into a car the monthly payment for which will equal your total food, rent and transportation needs for the next two months.

Right now, one of the bankers who do "good capitalism" on a regular basis, in contravention of the claims of do-gooder reformists like Linkins and Kristof, will be earning in a single commission, after taxes, what it will take you and your lover two years to make, before taxes, expenses and fees are deducted.

We don't fucking need reform.

What's needed are the Brigate Rosse, dillingers, robin hoods, diggers, levelers, Rebeccas, Munster rebels and red emmas with their whips.

What we need are bankers who've forgotten how to sleep.


the pied cow blog said...

The "dissent that's safe for business" mentioned in the article strikes me as an example of the co-opting of the Occupy Wall Street protest. Matt Taibi strikes me as journalism's answer to Bono: a well-packaged acolyte of established power. I like your blog.

fwoan said...

I was reading that article last night and thought it was hilarious.

Soma said...

That's absolutely right, crow. What we need is pangs of guilt, terror, and self-loathing among the highest of the high.

Did you read about the suicide of Bernie Madoff's son, or he and his wife's attempted suicide? It made me wish they had been successful.

Walter Wit Man said...

Yahoo Finance is more overtly 'safe for business' than Huffington Post, but I wanted to tear my hair out (and question why I was even reading Yahoo Finance) when I saw this headline, "The Next Worry for Markets: No Deal Yet on US Debt," which is currently the leading story at the site.

The headline portends the bleak future for OWS, imo; how long before the Democrats and their enablers co-opt the defense of OWS like they co-opted the defense of the 'social compact' via their Grand Debt Bargain? How long before this all gets rolled into a legislative or electoral pageant with the Democrats (or a portion thereof) playing the good guys and Mr. Market and the Republicans playing the bad guys?

All the players are throwing their hands up and confused about the script rewrites with OWS coming on stage. The Democrats thought they were going to be defending the whole 'social compact' from attack by mouthing a few platitudes and attacking the Republicans . . . as they play footsie with the Republicans in rigged super-committees and convoluted legislative processes (prediction: the fightin' Dems will come up just a biiiiiiit short and austerity and Mr. Market will have their way, for the most part).

Cabeza de Vaca said...

...who were the rebeccas?

Cabeza de Vaca said...

Ah, the Rebecca Riots, found it, nevermind.

It's like a game of chess, Jack.

Huffpo/Kristof is like a bishop. When provoked it can only move diagonally. Wanting the Huffpo to urge on Occupy's radical undercurrents would be like wanting a bishop to movie straight forward. It can't do that. It's just a movable piece, nothing more nor less.

And, of course, the game can still be won.

Slim Charles said...

Incidentally, check this out:


Richard said...

unfortunately, the capitalists who the movement purportedly wants to save are hostile to the intervention, like someone committing suicide who turns upon anyone trying to help them

hence, even if one accepts the dubious logic of this reportage, those involved in the movement are going to have to invariably radicalize, or otherwise drown along with their opponents

Sandwichman said...

"What we need are bankers who've forgotten how to sleep."

What we need are NO BANKERS.

Jack Crow said...

Step by step, Sandwichman. Step by step. Can't just leap to "no bankers."


As usual, this is a far better discussion for my absence from it.

joonsae said...

I wish Kristof was here to see the giant "Death to Capitalism" banner that we unfurled at Occupy Oakland two days ago. I hope it would have made him soil his Armani suit pants.

Jack Crow said...


You're in Oakland?