Is Capitalism a Sin?

If capitalism's ethic is the maximization of personal greed, isn't capitalism a sin?

OWS and Conservative Media: Grasping at Demonization Straws

It's instructive to witness the 15% or so of Americans who supposedly worship free market capitalism as if it were the word of God defend the banks against people protesting the massive government bailouts by throwing any mud they can at the:


impoverished-trust fund,


communalistic-Jew hating,





The OWS movement is very threatening to the people who own the country and their lapdogs are grasping at demonization straws.

Occupy Wall Street: Moderate Demands on the Banks

The question of what is to be done is complex and nobody knows what will happen. No demands have yet been issued.

A preliminary list of demands was suggested by one person but has not been voted on:

I can make some guesses as to what will happen. Any official demands will almost certainly arise from the protesters on Wall Street. This can be a very difficult and long process. Decision-making is consensus-based, which means that any member of the group has veto power over any decisions that are made. It's critical to keep in mind that no official demands have been issued and will not be until consensus has been reached. This is true in the New Orleans chapter and presumably all other chapters as well.

The desired route to change seems to be through the national legislature and, to a lesser extent, the judiciary. The options for legislative reform are innumerable, but there are a number of steps that both would be looked upon favorably by protesters and could feasibly pass the Congress. I'll just list some that focus on the chief issues and that could have passed, except for #9, in a Democratic Congress of the type that was in existence in 2009. Many protesters, including myself, would like to see more structural reforms, but that is a broader topic that is being debated in groups all over the country. It is important to note that these reforms are pro-capitalist, so Occupy Wall Street, as with the Arab Spring, is a reform movement rather than a revolutionary one.

1. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act.

2. Prosecute the bankers responsible for the financial crisis.

3. Use anti-trust legislation to break up the "too big to fail" banks.

4. Institute a financial speculation tax.

5. Increase income taxes on the rich.

6. Increase capital gains and estate taxes.

7. Decrease taxes for the non-rich.

8. Close corporate tax loopholes.

9. Minimize the influence of money in elections, by more fully incorporating public funding mechanisms into elections and/or passing a constitutional amendment to repeal Citizens United.

10. Institute consumer protections to prevent usurious lending practices.

11. Modify mortgages to mitigate the foreclosure epidemic.

There are many more issues, such as the wars, health care, minimum wages, social security, education, the environment, unemployment, and everything else, that will be discussed in New York and will hopefully produce an Economic Rights Act. Until then, we can hope that the changes listed above will go into effect as soon as possible.

Further reading on these demands can be easily found online.

Interviews with the Occupiers: Occupy New Orleans

Interviews with the Occupiers

Forget what you've heard about the Occupy Wall Street protesters: the supposedly bohemian, bourgeois, disorganized, lazy, naive, pot-smoking communists who still live with their parents and want more government money.

In the New Orleans encampment outside of City Hall, veterans, musicians, students, nurses, the unemployed, unionists, Christians, teachers and pensioners started their vigil on October 6. They have little money. They have put their lives on hold to protest and sleep on the ground for no pay or personal recognition. They are ultra-democratic: each protester has veto power over any decisions made in the group. They are drug-free. They carry many different signs - wouldn't it be strange if they didn't? - "Tax the Rich," "End the Fed," "Bail Out Hospitals, Break Up Banks," but their politics are rigorously developed and highly critical.

Ask any of them why they are there and they will recite a litany of abuses at the hands of their banks, their employers, their government, their police, and anybody else with power.

The half-truth is that that they have no demands. The truth is that the demands are obvious and general. They want accountability for the bankers whose stated business ethic, the maximization of personal greed, collapsed the global economy, destroyed the lives of millions of people, and led them to sprint to the US Treasury with one palm outstretched and the other clutching a copy of Atlas Shrugged. The occupiers want the bankers to stop committing crimes.

To insure they and their fellow Americans are never fleeced again, they call on the lessons of the civil rights movement and Tahir Square. They believe in and practice nonviolence with ascetic devotion.

But they don't want your sympathy. They want you to join them.



Lazy Media: The Coverage of Occupy Wall Street

Has anybody else been following the media coverage of Occupy Wall Street? If you read these stories it would seem the protesters are named Disparate, Disorganized, and Diffuse.

But why? Any 8-year-old could tell you that the protests target the investment bankers whose stated purpose is to maximize personal gain, whose actions destroyed the lives of millions of people, and who were rewarded for ...their greed with trillions of taxpayer dollars.

It must take a master's degree in journalism to ignore the most basic fact about these protests. This is because most journalists do not want to look at the facts. It is better for their careers if they are lazy and don't examine things too closely. It is much easier to selectively quote the young and the desperate than it is to ask tough questions of the people who own our country and determine its policies. The duties of journalists are to inform people and expose lies, not to ridicule people whose love for others and personal desperation drive them to act for democracy and justice.

The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movements

The Tea Party was a creation of Fox News: in fact, the original name of the movement was "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties." The Tea Party essentially did not exist before FN became involved.

The point of the Tea Party is to focus the - legitimate - anger of the white working class, which has been hammered incessantly over the past thirty years, into getting out the vote for business-conservative Republicans. This is why more literal Tea Partiers such as Ron Paul, who enjoys great support among the Republican electorate, will not be elected president: they don't understand that when the greed and ineptitude of the bankers inevitably lead the global economy to a structural collapse, they have to sprint to the US Treasury with one hand out and the other clutching their copies of Atlas Shrugged and The Road to Serfdom. The brazenness of this move brought the normal operations of the so-called "free market" to the surface and it became intolerable for almost everyone. Bush was terrible for the Republican Party, so it was critical to invent a new narrative blaming Obama, communists, African-Americans, the poor, teachers, Muslims, unionists, and pensioners for the very real problems facing our country and created by the undemocratic alliance of the Democratic and Republican Parties with neoliberal business interests.

The Occupy Wall Street movement does not have the same origins, although it may yet be co-opted by powerful interests within the Democratic Party. OWS is very threatening to the criminals who own our country, so it is important that the movement be seized by more business-friendly interests who support the status quo and can give populist speeches in times of crisis while working behind closed doors to enshrine the same corrupt system, e.g., Obama or someone like him.