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Police Evict Occupy Boston Protesters | Common Dreams

The crackdowns continue:

The raid brought to an end a 10-week demonstration spawned by the Wall Street occupation in New York.

Police moved in at about 5am [Saturday morning] and the operation lasted less than an hour. A police spokeswoman said the protesters were “very accommodating”.

Two dozen demonstrators linked arms and sat down in protest before the arrests began. The arrests were for trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

The city had set a deadline for midnight on Thursday for the protesters to abandon the site. Many protestors left ahead of the deadline but others stayed.

If We Want a Chance at a Decent Future, the Movement Here and Around the World Must Grow | Noam Chomsky

[WHAT has] played out for the last 30 years is actually a kind of a nightmare that was anticipated by the classical economists. If you take an Adam Smith, and bother to read Wealth of Nations, you see that he considered the possibility that the merchants and manufacturers in England might decide to do their business abroad, invest abroad and import from abroad. He said they would profit but England would be harmed. He went on to say that the merchants and manufacturers would prefer to operate in their own country, what’s sometimes called a “home bias.” So, as if by an invisible hand, England would be saved the ravage of what’s called “neoliberal globalization.”

That’s a pretty hard passage to miss. In his classic Wealth of Nations, that’s the only occurrence of the phrase “invisible hand.” Maybe England would be saved from neoliberal globalization by an invisible hand. The other great classical economist David Ricardo recognized the same thing and hoped it wouldn’t happen. Kind of a sentimental hope. It didn’t happen for a long time, but it’s happening now. Over the last 30 years that’s exactly what’s underway. For the general population — the 99 percent in the imagery of the Occupy movement —it’s really harsh and it could get worse. This could be a period of irreversible decline. For the 1 percent, or furthermore 1/10th of 1 percent, it’s just fine. They’re at the top, richer and more powerful than ever in controlling the political system and disregarding the public, and if it can continue, then sure why not? This is just what Smith and Ricardo warned about.

So pick Citigroup, for decades one of the most corrupt of the major investment banking corporations. It was repeatedly bailed out by the taxpayer over and over again starting in the early Reagan years and now once again. I won’t run through all the corruption. You probably know it, and it’s astonishing. A couple of years ago they came out with a brochure for investors. They urged investors to put their money in what they call the “plutonomy index.” The world is dividing into a plutonomy, the rich and so on. That’s where the action is. They said their plutonomy index is way outperforming the stock market, so put your money into it. And as for the rest? We set them adrift. We don’t really care about them and we don’t need them. They have to be around to provide a powerful state to protect us and bail us out when we get into trouble, but they essentially have no function. It’s sometimes called these days the “precariat,” people who live a precarious existence at the periphery of society. It’s not the periphery anymore; it’s becoming a very substantial part of the society in the United States and indeed elsewhere.

This is considered a good thing. For example, when Alan Greenspan was still “St. Alan,” hailed by the economics profession as one of the greatest economists of all time (this is before the crash for which he is substantially responsible for), he was testifying to Congress in the Clinton years explaining the wonders of the great economy. He said much of this economy was based on what he called “growing worker insecurity.” If working people are insecure, if they’re “precariat” and living precarious existences, then they’re not going to make demands, they won’t make wages, they won’t get benefits and we can kick them out if we don’t like them, and that’s good for the health of the economy. That’s what’s called a healthy economy technically and he was highly praised for this.

Well, now the world is indeed splitting into a plutonomy and a precariat, again in the imagery of the Occupy movement, the 1 percent and the 99 percent. The plutonomy is where the action is. It could continue like this, and if it does, then this historic reversal that began in the 1970s could become irreversible. That’s where we’re heading. The Occupy movements are the first major popular reaction which could avert this. It’s going to be necessary to face the fact that it’s a long hard struggle. You don’t win victories tomorrow. You have to go on and form structures that will be sustained through hard times and can win major victories. [++]

Q+A With Noam Chomsky at Occupy Boston

  • Q: What about the ruling class in America? How likely is it that they’ll have an open fascist system here?
  • Chomsky: I think it’s very unlikely frankly. They don’t have the force. About a century ago, in the freest countries in the world, Britain and the United Sates at the time, the dominant classes came to understand that they can’t control the population by force any longer. Too much freedom had been won by struggles like these, and they realized it. It’s discussed in their literature. They recognize that they’re going to have to shift their tactics to control of attitudes and beliefs instead of just the cudgel. It can’t do what it used to do. You have to control attitudes and beliefs. In fact that’s when the public relations industry began. It began in the United States and England. The free countries where you had to control beliefs and attitudes, to induce consumerism, to induce passivity, apathy and distraction. It’s a barrier, but it’s a lot easier to overcome than torture and the Gestapo. I don’t think the circumstances are any longer there to institute anything like what we call fascism.

Occupation News 10/21-23/2011

manicchill:

Europe

#OccupyLSX Protest Forces Closure of St. Paul’s Cathedral

#OccupyFrankfurt Rally Draws a Few Thousand

#OccupyAthens Movement Changing National Conversation

Canada

#OccupyVancouver Protesters Take Aim at Banks

#OccupyCalgary Protesters Invite Public to Their Camp

#OccupyToronto to March in Solidarity with UNITE HERE

Middle East

Tehran Students Hold Demonstration in Solidarity with #OccupyWallSt

United States

Chemical Bomb Tossed Into #OccupyMaine Encampment

#OccupyChicago Protesters to Spend Second Evening Behind Bars

Man With Knife Attacks #OccupyAlbuquerque Protesters

#OccupyProvidence Members Say They’re Not Moving

#OccupyTheHood Unites with #OccupyBoston

Costs Over #OccupyDenver Movement Debated

Australia

Police Break Up #OccupySydney Protest in Raid

(Source: manicchill)