Wall Street Ocupada

por lofredo

Prótesis de ojos (Lucas Jackson/REUTERS)

Lucas Jackson/Reuters


Ocupamos Wall Street

(comunicado No.7)
El 21 de septiembre de 2011, llovía. Organizamos el refugio que la policía nos permitiría y pensamos. Hemos pensado en todo lo que está mal en este país, en este mundo. Hablamos. Hablamos de todo lo que está mal en este mundo. No ha habido ninguna conversación real en este país y este mundo acerca de la riqueza y la forma en que se abusa con ella. Nosotros vamos a tener esta conversación. Únase a nosotros y haga oír tu voz. ¿Cuáles son sus demandas?

Nuestra voz no puede ser ignorada más. Hay muchas cosas mal en este mundo para que hayan silenciado nuestras voces. Ud. lo sabe. Nosotros lo sabemos. Es por eso que estamos aquí y por eso cada día somos más.

Ocupan su casa. Usted es dueño de su casa, pero un banco despiadado divide la propiedad de su casa en cientos de partes que redistribuye en todo el mundo haciendo negociaciones fraudulentas y entonces, usted no posee su casa. Cada día en Estados Unidos tenemos cincuenta operaciones bursátiles especulativas así como de intercambio comercial. Usted termina endeudado con las personas que ganan dinero por mover su dinero de un lugar a otro usando las computadoras.

No olvide que usted tiene el derecho a la vivienda. Nadie puede quitarle ese derecho.

Los bancos son capaces de reestructurar constantemente los asentamientos de la gente. Ellos reciben miles de millones de dólares y pueden mantenerse a flote el tiempo suficiente para robarle su propiedad y las de muchos otros. No los deje. No deje a su casa. Si la policía viene a robar a su casa, fílmelos para mostrárselo al mundo y luego únase a nosotros. Si aún no estamos en su ciudad, en su pueblo, consiga un saco de dormir, una almohada y entre en contacto con nosotros. Nosotros le ayudaremos a encontrar el alimento. Nosotros le ayudaremos a entablar una demanda por vivienda. Vamos a encontrar otro y a otro y a otro como usted. Vamos a crecer. Vamos a ir ciudad por ciudad, cuadra por cuadra.

A protest march through the financial district of New York on October 12.

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Nos solidarizamos con los propietarios de viviendas en todo el país y el mundo, cuyas casas se encuentran en proceso de ser robados por conglomerados sin rostro motivados sólo por el beneficio. Somos el 99 por ciento. No vamos a permitir que roben nuestras casas. No vamos a permitir que nos priven de un derecho básico de vivienda, de modo que usted pueda comprar una casa que después no pueda usar. Estamos aquí. Estamos creciendo y no nos vamos a mover.

Estamos en solidaridad con Madrid, San Francisco, Los Ángeles, Madison, Toronto, Londres, Atenas, Sydney, Stuttgart, Tokio, Milán, Amsterdam, Argel, Tel Aviv, Portland, Chicago y Palestina. Pronto estaremos con Phoenix, Montreal, Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, Dallas, Orlando y Miami. Todavía estamos aquí. Estamos creciendo. Nuestra intención es continuar hasta que veamos que estos movimientos hacen un cambio real en nuestro país y el mundo.

Tomado de https://occupywallst.org/

Resistance Movement in Wall Street

This is the seventh communiqué from the 99 percent. We are occupying Wall Street.

On September 21st, 2011, it rained. We organized what shelter the police would allow us and thought. We thought about everything that is wrong with this country, with this world. We talked. We talked about everything that is wrong in this world. There has been no real conversation in this country and this world about wealth and the way it is misused. We are that conversation. Join us and make your voice heard. What is your one demand?

Our voice will no longer be ignored. There are too many things wrong with this world for our voices to be silenced. You know this. We know this. This is why we are here, why we grow every day.

Occupy your homes. You own your home, a callous bank that split ownership of your home into hundreds of parts, redistributing them across the world under false ratings does not own your home. Fifty times as much speculative trading as commercial trading goes on each day in America. You are in debt to people who make money by moving money from place to place using computers.

You have a right to shelter. No one can take that right from you.

Banks are able to restructure settlements constantly, they receive billions and billions of dollars so that they can stay afloat for long enough to steal your property from you. Do not let them. Do not leave your house. If the police come to steal your house and deliver it to the 1 percent film them and show the world and then join us. If we are not already occupying your city, your town, bring a sleeping bag, a pillow, and contact us. We will help you find food. We will help you sue for shelter. We will find each other. We will grow. We will build – city by city, block by block.

We stand in solidarity with homeowners across the country and the world whose homes are in the process of being stolen by faceless conglomerations motivated only by profit. We are the 99 percent. We will not let you steal our homes. We will not let you deprive us of a basic right, shelter, so that you can buy a home you do not use. We are here. We are growing. And we will not be moved.

We stand in solidarity with Madrid, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Madison, Toronto, London, Athens, Sydney, Stuttgart, Tokyo, Milan, Amsterdam, Algiers, Tel Aviv, Portland, Chicago and Palestine. Soon we will stand with Phoenix, Montreal, Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, Dallas, Orlando and Miami. We’re still here. We are growing. We intend to stay until we see movements toward real change in our country and the world.

Occupy Wall Street’s ‘Political Disobedience’

By BERNARD E. HARCOURT
The Stone

The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers on issues both timely and timeless.

Our language has not yet caught up with the political phenomenon that is emerging in Zuccotti Park and spreading across the nation, though it is clear that a political paradigm shift is taking place before our very eyes. It’s time to begin to name and in naming, to better understand this moment. So let me propose some words: “political disobedience.”

Occupy Wall Street is best understood, I would suggest, as a new form of what could be called “political disobedience,” as opposed to civil disobedience, that fundamentally rejects the political and ideological landscape that we inherited from the Cold War.

With the Cold War decades behind us, a new paradigm of political resistance has emerged.

Civil disobedience accepted the legitimacy of political institutions, but resisted the moral authority of resulting laws. Political disobedience, by contrast, resists the very way in which we are governed: it resists the structure of partisan politics, the demand for policy reforms, the call for party identification, and the very ideologies that dominated the post-War period.

Occupy Wall Street, which identifies itself as a “leaderless resistance movement with people of many … political persuasions,” is politically disobedient precisely in refusing to articulate policy demands or to embrace old ideologies. Those who incessantly want to impose demands on the movement may show good will and generosity, but fail to understand that the resistance movement is precisely about disobeying that kind of political maneuver. Similarly, those who want to push an ideology onto these new forms of political disobedience, like Slavoj Zizek or Raymond Lotta, are missing the point of the resistance.

When Zizek complained last August, writing about the European protesters in the London Review of Books, that we’ve entered a “post-ideological era” where “opposition to the system can no longer articulate itself in the form of a realistic alternative, or even as a utopian project, but can only take the shape of a meaningless outburst,” he failed to understand that these movements are precisely about resisting the old ideologies. It’s not that they couldn’t articulate them; it’s that they are actively resisting them — they are being politically disobedient.

And when Zizek now declares at Zuccotti Park “that our basic message is ‘We are allowed to think about alternatives’ . . . What social organization can replace capitalism?” ― again, he is missing a central axis of this new form of political resistance.

One way to understand the emerging disobedience is to see it as a refusal to engage these sorts of  worn-out ideologies rooted in the Cold War. The key point here is that the Cold War’s ideological divide — with the Chicago Boys at one end and the Maoists at the other — merely served as a weapon in this country for the financial and political elite: the ploy, in the United States, was to demonize the chimera of a controlled economy (that of the former Soviet Union or China, for example) in order to prop up the illusion of a free market and to legitimize the fantasy of less regulation — of what was euphemistically called “deregulation.” By reinvigorating the myth of free markets, the financial and political architects of our economy over the past three plus decades — both Republicans and Democrats — were able to disguise massive redistribution toward the richest by claiming they were simply “deregulating” when all along they were actually reregulating to the benefit of their largest campaign donors.

This ideological fog blinded the American people to the pervasive regulatory mechanisms that are necessary to organize a colossal late-modern economy and that necessarily distribute wealth throughout society — and in this country, that quietly redistributed massive amounts of wealth to the richest 1 percent. Many of the voices at Occupy Wall Street accuse political ideology on both sides, on the side of free markets but also on the side of big government, for serving the few at the expense of the other 99 percent — for paving the way to an entrenched permissive regulatory system that “privatizes gains and socializes losses.”

A protest march through the financial district of New York on October 12.Lucas Jackson/ReutersA protest march through the financial district of New York on October 12.

The central point, of course, is that it takes both a big government and the illusion of free markets to achieve such massive redistribution. If you take a look at the tattered posters at Zuccotti Park, you’ll see that many are intensely anti-government and just as many stridently oppose big government.

Occupy Wall Street is surely right in holding the old ideologies to account. The truth is, as I’ve argued in a book, “The Illusion of Free Markets,” and recently in Harper’s magazine, there never have been and never will be free markets. All markets are man-made, constructed, regulated and administered by often-complex mechanisms that necessarily distribute wealth — that inevitably distribute wealth — in large and small ways. Tax incentives for domestic oil production and lower capital gains rates are obvious illustrations. But there are all kinds of more minute rules and regulations surrounding our wheat pits, stock markets and economic exchanges that have significant wealth effects: limits on retail buyers flipping shares after an I.P.O., rulings allowing exchanges to cut communication to non-member dealers, fixed prices in extended after-hour trading, even the advent of options markets. The mere existence of a privately chartered organization like the Chicago Board of Trade, which required the state of Illinois to criminalize and forcibly shut down competing bucket shops, has huge redistributional wealth effects on farmers and consumers — and, of course, bankers, brokers and dealers.

The semantic games — the talk of deregulation rather than reregulation — would have been entertaining had it not been for their devastating effects. As the sociologist Douglas Massey minutely documents in “Categorically Unequal,” after decades of improvement, the income gap between the richest and poorest in this country has dramatically widened since the 1970s, resulting in what social scientists now refer to as U-curve of increasing inequality. Recent reports from the Census Bureau confirm this, with new evidence last month that “the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it.” Today, 27 percent of African-Americans and 26 percent of Hispanics in this country — more than 1 in 4 — live in poverty; and 1 in 9 African-American men between the ages of 20 and 34 are incarcerated.

It’s these outcomes that have pushed so many in New York City and across the nation to this new form of political disobedience. It’s a new type of resistance to politics tout court — to making policy demands, to playing the political games, to partisan politics, to old-fashioned ideology. It bears a similarity to what Michel Foucault referred to as “critique:” resistance to being governed “in this manner,” or what he dubbed “voluntary insubordination” or, better yet, as a word play on the famous expression of Etienne de la Boétie, “voluntary unservitude.”

If this concept of “political disobedience” is accurate and resonates, then Occupy Wall Street will continue to resist making a handful of policy demands because it would have little effect on the constant regulations that redistribute wealth to the top. The movement will also continue to resist Cold War ideologies from Friedrich Hayek to Maoism — as well as their pale imitations and sequels, from the Chicago School 2.0 to Alain Badiou and Zizek’s attempt to shoehorn all political resistance into a “communist hypothesis.”

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More From The Stone

Read previous contributions to this series.

On this account, the fundamental choice is no longer the ideological one we were indoctrinated to believe — between free markets and controlled economies — but rather a continuous choice between kinds of regulation and how they distribute wealth in society. There is, in the end, no “realistic alternative,” nor any “utopian project” that can avoid the pervasive regulatory mechanisms that are necessary to organize a complex late-modern economy — and that’s the point. The vast and distributive regulatory framework will neither disappear with deregulation, nor with the withering of a socialist state. What is required is constant vigilance of all the micro and macro rules that permeate our markets, our contracts, our tax codes, our banking regulations, our property laws — in sum, all the ordinary, often mundane, but frequently invisible forms of laws and regulations that are required to organize and maintain a colossal economy in the 21st-century and that constantly distribute wealth and resources.

In the end, if the concept of “political disobedience” accurately captures this new political paradigm, then the resistance movement needs to occupy Zuccotti Park because levels of social inequality and the number of children in poverty are intolerable. Or, to put it another way, the movement needs to resist partisan politics and worn-out ideologies because the outcomes have become simply unacceptable. The Volcker rule, debt relief for working Americans, a tax on the wealthy — those might help, but they represent no more than a few drops in the bucket of regulations that distribute and redistribute wealth and resources in this country every minute of every day. Ultimately, what matters to the politically disobedient is the kind of society we live in, not a handful of policy demands.


Bernard E. Harcourt

Bernard E. Harcourt is chair of the political science department and professor of law at The University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, most recently “The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order.”

Tomado de https://occupywallst.org/

Images taken from en.wikipedia.org, guardian.co.uk, yearoftheblacksmith.org, deathandtaxesmag, notmytribe.org y huffingtonpost.com