Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: About Occupy Wall Street

290 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 12 Newer→ Last

  • 3410,

    Russ,
    The whole Van Jones bit is in there twice.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    There are some local attempts to get this happening here - Occupy Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and, er, New Plymouth. It seems to have a fairly broad set of goals, encompassing pretty much all the issues that people of a leftist persuasion currently care about.

    2, ,4, 6, 8! Stop the [your cause here] before it's too late!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to 3410,

    Russ,
    The whole Van Jones bit is in there twice.

    Gah. I did a dumb thing and lost half my post and then wrote it again. Fixed now, thanks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    There are some local attempts to get this happening here - Occupy Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and, er, New Plymouth. It seems to have a fairly broad set of goals, encompassing pretty much all the issues that people of a leftist persuasion currently care about.

    I really like Gio's Occupy Wellington post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It was rather interesting seeing Patu for the first time on the big screen at Film Soc on Monday night – because I think whether Mita intended it or not, there was plenty of “weird and confusing” among the “thoughtful and sincere."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    I did a dumb thing and lost half my post and then wrote it again.

    That's what she said. Get a Mac.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    There are some local attempts to get this happening here – Occupy Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and, er, New Plymouth. It seems to have a fairly broad set of goals, encompassing pretty much all the issues that people of a leftist persuasion currently care about.

    One downside of living here – no locally-based Evil Empire worth targeting. Well, not since Faye & Richwhite buggered off, anyway.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Horrocks,

    When people take to the street, things are always messy and confused. Actual politically engaged democracy-in-action tends to get like that.

    God knows, if you sampled the views of a random selection of people in street protests during the 1960s or 1930s, you'd get a fairly similar sense of messy confusion. Or, for that matter, Tahrir Square earlier this year.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2008 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I really like Gio's Occupy Wellington post.

    Fascinating.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to James Butler,

    One downside of living here – no locally-based Evil Empire worth targeting.

    Maybe not, but they have plenty of toadies in these parts.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • maupuia,

    We are the 99 percent is fascinating and, at times, heartbreaking.

    And here's someone who's attempted to "parse the data and ideology" of the posts.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2011 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to maupuia,

    And here's someone who's attempted to "parse the data and ideology" of the posts.

    Is it really that hard? They seem to be variations on "I did everything I was supposed to do - stay in school, get an education, work hard and nobody told me I'd end up fucked like a two bob hooker and I'm really really pissed about it ." Which is hard to disagree with.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Get a Mac.

    Yep, that's the joke I was looking for.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Horrocks,

    Also, before we get too carried away with the whole Tea Party + Occupy Wall Street scenario (e.g. this), maybe it's worth looking at some history. In the 1920s & 30s, there was a similar explosion of activism in the streets, which was just as diverse as today, with similarly blurred distinctions between left wing (socialist, communist, anarchist, etc) and right wing (national socialist, fascist). It was messy and confusing and its consequences (politically an socially) were complex but immense.

    I think it's asking a bit much to expect anyone to sum up what's going on in simple good-bad terms, or to make sense of it in a single column. What's happening is an explosion - with all the chaos and confusion that implies. But it's an explosion of discussion and thinking and ideas, as much as anything else.

    I feel more compelled right now to dive into the chaos and engage than I have in years. It's a moment of openness and potential and possibility - in stark contrast to the rigid hopelessness of the last 20-30 years. And that's exciting and fills me with hope - for all the confusion and fear it also provokes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2008 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The idea that "it's all the fault of evil (and quite possibly Jewish) conspiratorial bankers" unsettles me.

    In short, 21st century capitalism relies on a large middle class whilst at the same time failing to maintain that middle class's income levels in the face of globalisation and resource exhaustion.

    In order for people to maintain their expected living standards in a society with increasingly limited employment prospects, property inflation was encouraged - this gave people an alternative source of "income". Governments fully bought into that, seeing it as the route to a docile "property owning democracy".
    Maintaining this bubble required increasingly large loans, a demand government was reluctant to staunch.

    In NZ, with a conservative banking system and no financial markets tradition, these loans were provided by accountants in rural towns shovelling money at their mates, Elsewhere, more sophisticated stratagems were used. Either way, it was a bubble with the government, media and mainstream population wholeheartedly engaged. (How much of TVNZ's 2007 output was house pr0n?)

    The "evil bankers" were simply meeting a demand. The ordinary traders, administrators and geeks were just doing a job no different to people in similar jobs at Google, or Apple. (Both of which rely on complex financial markets for their existence).

    It might be convenient to scapegoat Wall Streeters, but the real culprits might be closer to home.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Maybe not, but they have plenty of toadies in these parts.

    Yep, but hating on Saruman and Wormtongue is pretty unsatisfying when you know the big kids are sticking it to Sauron.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    There is a huge disconnect between Auckland's north facing harbour suburbs and the rest of the country. I was shocked to drive through on my way from Tamaki to Newmarket recently. But it's not sufficiently pronounced to stir the level of class angst that's arisen in the United States. I do think that skilled agitators can use it to drive general discontent in their direction.

    The "evil bankers" were simply meeting a demand. The ordinary traders, administrators and geeks were just doing a job no different to people in similar jobs at Google, or Apple. (Both of which rely on complex financial markets for their existence).

    Oh rubbish. There's a difference between lending and long/medium-term investment on one hand and complex instrumentalisation and derivative trading on the other.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Dylan Horrocks,

    I feel more compelled right now to dive into the chaos and engage than I have in years. It's a moment of openness and potential and possibility - in stark contrast to the rigid hopelessness of the last 20-30 years. And that's exciting and fills me with hope - for all the confusion and fear it also provokes.

    Totally, utterly. It seems to me like the world has hit a teachable moment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Herald headline offers light relief: "Ex-president brings credibility to Act lineup"

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to James Butler,

    Yep, but hating on Saruman and Wormtongue is pretty unsatisfying when you know the big kids are sticking it to Sauron.

    Well, until you get back to the Shire and find it covered in sticky oil.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to George Darroch,

    There is a huge disconnect between Auckland's north facing harbour suburbs and the rest of the country. I was shocked to drive through on my way from Tamaki to Newmarket recently.

    In other words, gated communities minus the gates, right?

    I'm tempted to exclaim, "Mr Key, tear down this gate!"

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    I feel more compelled right now to dive into the chaos and engage than I have in years. It's a moment of openness and potential and possibility - in stark contrast to the rigid hopelessness of the last 20-30 years. And that's exciting and fills me with hope - for all the confusion and fear it also provokes.

    Totally, utterly. It seems to me like the world has hit a teachable moment.

    I really hope so. I just get twitchy about things that look even a little like John Birch-style banking conspiracies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I just get twitchy about things that look even a little like John Birch-style banking conspiracies.

    Yes, I was reading up on their policies and thinking it sounded quite reasonable, until it hit the whole antisemitic part.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to George Darroch,

    There's a difference between lending and long/medium-term investment on one hand and complex instrumentalisation and derivative trading on the other

    Not really.

    Say one is a bank (of some kind) and have customers who want five year fixed rate mortgages, but only takers for one year term deposits.

    One option would be to borrow short, lend long and hope for the best. Get an All Black or two to testify to your solidity and rely on the term deposits being reinvested at an acceptable rate,

    The other option might be to use a derivatives exchange to lock in the fixed rate so that if rates change, you can fill the gap. Or get Japanese investors to lend in yen for the five year term and use currency derivatives to deal with the exchange risk.

    The first makes you a worthy philanthropist who came unstuck, the second an Evil Manipulator, right?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Mandy S,

    I dunno, I find it a bit weird and confused to go looking for the outsiders and extremists in a mass grouping and try to extrapolate some meaning from what they say. Of course extremists like any number of Randians are going to be attracted to the chaos.

    Overall most of the messages, from the majority of people I have seen, seem to saying the same thing, corporations should be taxed more effectively and banks should be regulated better.

    Having said that though, did you see the 2 joint appearances by none other than Ralph Nader and Ron Paul?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 14 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 12 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.