Friday, December 9, 2011

Rortybomb on Occupy

One of the most insightful commentators on the Occupy movement is blogger Mike Konczal at Rortybomb.  He has a lot of great stuff that I encourage you to browse through.  Here are a couple of recent highlights.

Day of Action on Foreclosures:  On December 6th, the Occupy movement held a national day of action called Occupy Our Homes, in which people re-occupied vacant, bank-owned, foreclosed houses in cities across America.  As one activist put it "To occupy a house owned by Bank of America is to occupy Wall Street"(article in the Nation).  This post talks about Konczal's experience in Brooklyn, and discusses the damage the foreclosure crisis is doing to families and communities.

Frank Luntz, Occupy, and the Battle for Economic Freedom:  This post is in response to a recent presentation by influential Republican strategist Frank Luntz to the Republican Governors Association offering them advice on how to respond to new questions from constituents about "income inequality" and "paying your fair share".  It is heartening to hear a key player like Luntz say things like
"I'm so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death ... They're having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism." 
Among the advice Luntz offers is "Don't say capitalism, say economic freedom or free markets".  Konczal argues that the word Freedom in the sense of "freedom from coercion" and "freedom from want" was a core part of progressive thought through much of the 20th century (see for example FDRs Four Freedoms speech).  The word we co-opted during the Reagan era to mean "free markets" and "free enterprise", "regulatory freedom", etc..  One goal of the Occupy movement should be to reclaim this word from the 1%. 

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