Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Occupy Tea, plenty of common ground

I wrote last October that the Occupy Wall Street movement was a missed opportunity for those on the left and right of American politics to team up and challenge the corporatist Republican and Democrat parties. Both the right-wing Tea Party and left-wing Occupy movements were enraged by government support for banks and corporations, which they call crony capitalism. Yet they seemed culturally divided, full of scorn for one another and deriding the other movement as a natural rival.

I'm glad that I'm not the only one to see this. James Sinclair, blogger and attorney in Florida, writes:
Occupy Wall Street, at its core, is a reaction to the increasing power and influence of large corporations. The Tea Party, at its core, is a reaction to the government's constant interference with private enterprise. But wait a minute—aren't those things connected?

Bailouts, subsidies, tax breaks, special rights and privileges, regulations designed to restrict competition—to name a few of the many ways the government protects and stimulates corporate interests, and those things are every bit as anti-free market as, not to mention directly related to, the high taxes and excessive bureaucracy that gets Tea Partiers riled up.[3] In other words, aren't these two groups—Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party—raging against different halves of the same machine? Do I have to draw a Venn diagram here?

Oh, alright, I'll draw a Venn diagram.
And he does, a simple thing with the Tea Party circle intersecting with the Occupy circle with the words: 'Large corporations lobby the government to have more power, and in return the government enacts laws and regulations favorable to large corporations'. Yet the American left and right seem to be stuck in a cultural hatred for one another, and remain divided while the corporatist centre stands tall.

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