Anti-Capitalist Protests?

By Mark Graham

The recent protests taking place on Wall Street have not failed to grab the headlines.  There is however one main talking point all the mainstream media outlets seem to be focusing on, that is the fact that the protests are supposedly anti-capitalist.  Of course at first glance this appears to be true, though it is impossible to comprehend how a movement can be anti-capitalist when it is protesting an industry that has been bailed out by trillions of tax payer dollars.  Surely that is not true capitalism or the free-market in action.  The media though seem to be determined to brand the protestors as anti-capitalist and so in some sense of course they can be considered anti-American, as has been recently alluded to by the increasingly popular GOP presidential candidate, Herman Cain.

To make matters worse the media seem to be intent on railroading the movement into becoming a pillar of the leftist scene.  All this despite the fact that it is obvious from the protestors that they are made up of a diverse group of people with many different political creeds.  The one thing however that unites them is that they understand that Wall Street is the cause of the nations current problems.  The Tea Party and the Republican party also seem to be reluctant to embrace this force for change.  Tea Party Congressman, Allen West, has said the protestors hate capitalism and are opposed to the free-market.  This though is nonsense, surely he and the rest of the right-wingers can see that insider-Wall Street cronyism is not the free-market in action.  Many of the protestors on the Streets are even supporters of GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul, the radical libertarian Congressman from Texas, who surely is the nations biggest proponent of the free-market at work.

The problem with the protestors however is the fact that they are such a diverse group of individuals.  They have no actual plan as to what can replace the current corruption than runs through government and Wall Street.  This poses a problem as to what the movement actually stands for except dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs.  However the fact that the protestors can not  articulate their grievances in the fancy economic jargon that is popular on television does not take away from the fact that they have identified the problem which is causing the current economic crisis.  Doubtlessly a leader or more preferably a few must immerge from within the movement.  The danger is that this unorganized group could be co-opted by either of the establishment political parties similarly as to what happened with the Tea Party, which was hijacked by the Republican leadership to their advantage in the previous elections.  Most likely it is the Democrats that would try this tactic, as President Obama’s ratings seem too low to get him re-elected, but the protestors must remain aware that the current administration is exactly what they are protesting against. Obama received more money from Wall Street in 2008 that any candidate in history and he is anything but an enemy of the current system, though he may at times do a good job as posing as such.  The Republicans are also a danger and are in no way favorable to the movement, indeed according to Herman Cain during an appearance on “Face the Nation”, the movement is jealous of the success of the bankers and their behavior is “un-American.“  So it is paramount if this movement is to have a real effect on the status quo that they stay independent of both political parties.  To make a true difference the 99% must stay separate from the 1%.