Posted 4 months ago on Nov. 4, 2013, 3:57 a.m. EST by UncommonRebels
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Four reasons why I hate Occupy's "anti-capitalism" message:
(1) It's negative advertising. A "pro democracy" message would allow Occupy for fight for the same things. Countries like Denmark are still capitalist, but the economic classes are not stratified because taxes provide for basic economic needs, which allow greater economic participating and thus democratic participation.
(2) "Anti-capitalism" isn't very inclusive. Most Americans still associate capitalism with the American dream, so "anti-capitalism" rhetoric implies that Occupy wants to burn down the current system, would require civil war (which would be stupid).
(3) "Anti-capitalism" assumes that capitalism is "actually existing capitalism," an extreme minority point of view. Mainstream economists, including arguably the greatest expert on economic inequality, Joseph Stiglitz, who spoke at Zuccotti Park during the early days of Occupy, define capitalism as requiring (a) a for-profit system of financial ownership and (2) participatory competition. Occupy's definition ignores the second and most important prong of capitalism, the one that separates it from feudalism: the necessity of upward mobility. Stiglitiz and other notable economists say the USA's current system is not capitalism as the rich oppress competition. Occupy says the USA economic system is capitalism. That's unnecessarily confusing.
(4) Lack of realistic plans to peacefully "end capitalism." Seems like we could organize, grade politicians on their democracy choices (like the NRA grades them on gun policy), and vote our way back to democracy, but that's social democracy, not anarchy. I'm not saying it would be easy, but it seems possible. Occupy has abandoned the incremental approach in an effort to jump to anarchy. I would like to hear some plan to get there other than demolishing society.
Opinions and thoughtful commentary appreciated. I want a peaceful, egalitarian society, but I think the way to get there is to turn this ship around, not sink it. Other nations have done so. I think this "anti-capitalism" message (rather than "pro democracy") is holding Occupy back from pushing for real change, and it's hard to view anti-capitalism rhetoric as anything other than a battle cry for war, violence, and destruction.