Columbia’s Bwog reports that a staggering 200+ Columbia faculty members have signed a petition declaring their support for Occupy Wall St.
Which falls on the heels of Cornel West’s visit last week:
I’ve been putting on my own type of counter-protest, but my friend Zach went into the thick of the action. Zach is anti-corporatism (as I suspect many rational people are) and he had this to write:
Few things could be more depressing than witnessing perfectly-justified outrage at American corporatism like the bailouts alongside demands for more corporatism. This is not a pro-democracy rally to liken to the Arab Spring, where people live under unspeakable despotism. In a sense, it was the cathartic airing of people with – for lack of a better term – ‘first-world’ problems.
The economic ignorance of the crowd was truly depressing. Many held signs to “Tax Financial Transactions!”: an idea to collect a tiny dividend on each of Wall Street’s stock trades. No one seemed concerned about the economic implications of such a proposal. If the State has done so much to insulate cronies in the past, why would we want it to collect more money by raising further barriers in financial markets? People chanted together, “How do we close the deficit? That’s easy, Eat the Rich!” With the national debt as high as it is, and entitlements soon costing unfathomable trillions, basic arithmetic appears beyond many protestors. Some people were advocating for a ‘Vanguard Party’ to impose – without any sugar-coating – a Stalinist, strong-State Communism on the U.S. This is a cheap fantasy for people well-fed and free of the horrors of the Stalinist regime.[…]
As I departed at the protest’s end I thought that there is something of a grand irony to Zuccotti Park serving as the final resting place for the march. John Zuccotti, whose internal correspondence I have read in the New York Municipal Archives, was a deputy mayor that worked to bring New York from the precipice of bankruptcy in the late 1970’s. The City joined arms with major financial interests that had gambled on municipal bonds to finance New York’s stagnating welfare state. Together, with some government unions, they found a way to, once again, sustain the city. Not long ago, the park used to be known by the name ‘Liberty Park.’
A fitting eulogy for self-proclaimed anti-corporatists, timidly begging for more corporatism.
I couldn’t have said it better.