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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/18595/occupying-wall-street/

Occupying Wall Street

October 3, 2011 by

Why are the Fed, Treasury, and Capitol ignored? – Sheldon Richman

“This was no anomaly. Government power ultimately will be influenced and controlled by those whom the occupiers despise. So, protesters, rail against Wall Street. But rail, too, against its indispensable partner – government, with its unique legal power to wield aggressive force – and realize that the genuine antipode of the system you oppose is the freed market.”


J Cortez October 3, 2011 at 11:49 am

“Why are the Fed, Treasury, and Capitol ignored?”

I haven’t read the article yet, but I know the answer. The protesters are young, probably unemployed, and know the system is corrupt. But they don’t know how it got to be so corrupt in the first place and their lack of knowledge has been exacerbated by years of public education.

Nate October 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm

It doesn’t help that the one person I know who used to work on Wall Street is an asshole.

George D. October 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I was a stockbroker for a couple years. I quit when it sunk in that the customers goals were irrelevent.

Jeffrey October 3, 2011 at 12:15 pm

these protests are more than misguided ; they are actually very dangerous because they give the state and the fed a further propaganda reason for controls and regimentation

mikey October 3, 2011 at 3:04 pm
mikey October 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

Get the gist of the movement from the individual in the white shirt. He shows up at 4:45

Michael October 9, 2011 at 8:16 am

Incredible. White Shirt Quotes:
5:20 “If the state weren’t protecting me I would have no rights what-so-ever”.

6:20 “There is no societies without government”

9:00 “Yes, we do, we need it [money printing]. Really bad, and we need so much more money right now THEY SHOULD BE PRINTING UNGODLY AMOUNTS OF MONEY. They should! Half the problem is that we’re over…”

Dick Fox October 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm

These are the idiots all societies have. Over the weekend I heard some of them interviewed to explain why they were protesting. They actually have no idea. These are the ever present protestors who simply protest because “something must be done.”

J. Murray October 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm

It’s actually rare that people who participate in mass protests know what’s going on. It’s mostly a social interaction.

Keith October 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I think that sadly, with a few exceptions, that is completely true.

Sione October 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm


As if the state needs excuses….

Where you been all this time? The planet Zog-Bottom? The state creates its narrative, excuses and all, regardless of the actions of a few protestors.


So the protestors do not know the fundamentals of what has been going on. Nevertheless they have become aware that something is very wrong and they are trying to do something to address it. Would you prefer they did nothing- stay at home and blindly trust in the full faith and credit of the political and financial establishment. Seems that strategy has been tried already and it would appear to have certain drawbacks.

Perhaps this is common Americans waking up to the serious problems structured right into the midst of their culture and politics and economics… Perhaps some of them now hunger to work out what the causal nature of the problem actually is. At least these guys have arrived at the point where they realise that there are major problems and there is a govt-financial sector axis of involvement. They are starting to become receptive to learning. Previously they wouldn’t even have cared to enquire.

Anyway, your sentiments are unduely directed against some of the victims. Better to refocus your attentions on causal elements. Who knows. Some of the misguided might learn from what you present to them.


Inquisitor October 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

“Anyway, your sentiments are unduely directed against some of the victims. Better to refocus your attentions on causal elements. Who knows. Some of the misguided might learn from what you present to them.”

Thing is, angsty, misguided youths are just as much ripe ground for tyrants to prosper as they are for liberty to do so.

Anthony October 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm

All the more reason to speak up in favor of freedom.

Fritz October 3, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Of course, the media will portray those protesting as suits their own agenda. And there are plenty of protests in DC that are never televised. You have to distrust the media all the time, not just on the slow days.

Walt D. October 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

What they should do is to get the 160,000 pages of Federal Regulations that have been published in the last 2 years and have a bonfire. This is one reason why they have no jobs.

Ohhh Henry October 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I think these are useful idiots. They are not being used by the leftie/socialists but by the establishment. A NYC newspaper reported at first that they were led onto a bridge to Manhattan, lured in other words, by police marching in front of them and directing traffic. The police then sprung a trap and arrested them before they could leave the bridge. The story was quickly changed on the newspaper website by another reporter (who it turns out is a “former” NYPD liason officer) in order to remove any indication that the protesters were deliberately led into a trap by police.

The whole protest smells like a deliberately loud, uninformed and completely ineffective channeling of public emotion by the people whose job it is to protect Wall Street from any serious public dissent, protest or nullification. What better way to set up, trap and discredit protesters than by pretending that they are going to “seize” Wall Street and then stopping them at the last moment before they can enter Manhattan? The US cavalry saves the day again (for bankers) by leading the Sioux and Apaches into a blind draw and then mowing them down with Gatling guns.

Dave Albin October 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I think you’re right; however, there is some reason that these people think that something is wrong. The trick is getting them to realize what the real problems are. Their instincts are correct, but they are likely all clueless.

Ohhh Henry October 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Perhaps the protestors were inspired by the apparent success of the “color coded” protests in the former USSR and eastern Europe. But alas, it seems that some (or all) of those were also the result of secret US government involvement in the form of money, organization and provocation.

The noisy ones always get the attention, but I suspect that there are a lot of silent, unseen people out there who are a lot better informed. Instead of allowing themselves to be herded onto a bridge by the NYPD so that they can arrested like stupid cattle, they are busy liquidating their bank accounts and 401k’s, buying gold, retooling their job skills, emigrating, etc.

The people who only watch network news and read the paper versions of major newspapers are lost – they will most likely never hear of Mises, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul, goldbugs or anything else that could be the first step to being deprogrammed. One of my friends is a PhD economist, former top government bureaucrat and retired business professor who has never heard of any of these things. Although he is not unreceptive to Austrian ideas when I explain them to him, as a consumer of mainstream news he is barely aware of any real intellectual or moral controversy taking place over the bailouts and stimulus. He heard that GM is well on the way to paying back its money, the banks are now stable, so what’s the problem? And this is an extremely intelligent and highly educated person. Imagine all the other older people out there who never read online news or blogs (where at least the comments will point to mises.org or LRC) and who have only a high school diploma or circa-1950s bachelors degree. Unless they have an outspoken relative or friend who sits down and spends a long time patiently explaining to them what’s going on, how would they ever figure out in a million years that they’re being led into a Keynesian trap so that they can be beaten with sticks and have their pension plan and savings robbed from them?

For everyone else, the best thing that we can do is haunt the websites where people like Krugman and other regimistas post their drivel. Let them call you “Paulbots” all they want, but the more times that people are told (a) the main stream of politics, journalism and academia is a crock; and (b) there are much better and more helpful sources of information out there, the more likely it is that they will come here out of curiosity and then stick around when they realize what’s really at stake.

Old Mexican October 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm

“[....]But rail, too, against its indispensable partner – government, with its unique legal power to wield aggressive force – and realize that the genuine antipode of the system you oppose is the freed market.”

Sheldon, they don’t care – they are not protesting for something as concrete as lower regulations or the end of the Fed because they simply want the free stuff government doles out to those that yell the most. These people are like little baby birds opening their mouths wide open, expecting their worm. That’s it. They’re as useless for the cause of liberty as they can be.

PrintButtonMoney October 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm

The people ‘occupying’ wallstreet probably have very little idea what goes on behind closed doors in the market, but do have a very good idea of how angry they are. they have a right to be angry. If we can teach them to focus their angry correctly at big government (the source of Big business’ power) then maybe some good can be done. The problem is theyve been trained by the department of education and the media to ignore the government’s involvement (other than to say that the government isn’t regulating enough), and instead focus on the big business as a distraction. Gotta love Murdoc.

Brian Lee October 4, 2011 at 12:14 am

I don’t know about the Treasury and the Capitol but the Federal Reserve sure isn’t being ignored. They’re protesting outside the Fed in Kansas Boston and Chicago, from what I’ve heard and seen there are anti-Fed people among the occupy wall street protesters in NYC and Anonymous is using hard criticism of the Fed (+ the IMF BIS and World Bank) to drive organization of the protests

Brian Lee October 4, 2011 at 12:51 am
Brian Lee October 4, 2011 at 1:27 am
El Tonno October 4, 2011 at 1:28 am

All aboard the look elsewhere train…


There is a huge number of Americans who simply don’t realize that they’ve been victimized by Wall Street – that they’ve paid inflated commodity prices due to irresponsible speculation and manipulation, seen their home values depressed thanks to corruption in the mortgage markets, subsidized banker bonuses with their tax dollars and/or been forced to pay usurious interest rates for consumer credit, among other things.

I would imagine the end game of any movement against Wall Street corruption is going to involve some very elaborate organization. There are going to have to be consumer and investor boycotts, shareholder revolts, criminal prosecutions, new laws passed, and other moves. But a good first step is making people aware of the battle lines. It sounds like these demonstrations have that potential. Anyway, I’m going to check them out tomorrow. In the meantime, I encourage people to check out their site, and investigate for yourselves.

J. Murray October 4, 2011 at 6:06 am

Yes, please turn your attention away from the printing presses that devalued our money by 98.5%. That’s not the cause of rising prices, it’s those evil speculators.

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