Skip to comments.What does the Occupy Movement stand for?
Posted on 12/08/2011 8:16:07 AM PST by Chuckmorse
Progressive author and linguist George Lakoff follows the old Frankfort School smear that conservatives are secret fascists and are mentally ill. The Frankfort School, otherwise known as the Institute for Social Research at Columbia University, influenced liberal intellectual circles in the 1960s and included as its members such left-wing icons as Theodore Adorno, Wilhelm Reich, and Herbert Marcuse.
Lakoff accurately expounds the beliefs and orientation of the Occupy Movement in a Huffington Post article Words that dont work (12-7). In the process of responding to conservative pollster Frank Luntz, who spoke at the Republican Governors Association, Lakoff advises to the Occupy Movement with regards to how to frame their message. Identifying the progressive understanding of morality Lakoff writes:
What lies behind the Occupy movement is a moral view of democracy: Democracy is about citizens caring about each other and acting responsibly both socially and personally. This requires a robust Public empowering and protecting everyone equally. Both private success and personal freedom depend on such a Public. Every critique and proposal of the Occupy movement fits this moral view, which happens to be the progressive moral view.
In this statement Lakoff displays a fundamental distrust progressives hold of human freedom when he claims that a robust Public, which is a euphemism for an authoritarian State, is required in order for citizens to care about each other and act responsibly. Conservatives view government as a means to maintain law and order and the social structure that allows citizens the freedom to do that which comes naturally, caring about each other and acting responsibly out of self-interest.
Lakoff calls for this robust Public the task of empowering everyone equally. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote of equality as meaning that all men are created equal. As such, all individuals, endowed by the creator, are entitled to strive to achieve the privileges and blessings a free society has to offer. Conservatives believe in equality de jure or equality under the law. Progressives believe in equality de facto which requires state intervention to ensure that everyone is in fact equal. This is the essence of the collectivist principle. Since collectivism runs contrary to human nature, self-interest, the need to be free to determine ones own destiny, the collectivist state requires that all aspects of life including property ownership, wealth accumulation, education, and outcomes be equal. This would mean an end to individual rights since individual achievement and success, which emanate from those natural rights, would contradict this principle.
Lakoff asserts that both private success and personal freedom depend on such a Public. In other words, individual achievement and success can only occur within the context of the authoritarian state and that, therefore, all rights and privileges emanate from the State. Lakoff accurately notes that every critique and proposal of the Occupy movement fits this moral view, which happens to be the progressive moral view. Lakoff then proceeds to describe his view of the conservative point of view:
What the Occupy movement can't stand is the opposite "moral" view, that Democracy provides the freedom to seek one's self-interest and ignore what is good for other Americans and others in the world.
This proposition is based on the false assertion that self-interest, that which is inherent in the life of every human being including, might I suggest, George Lakoff, by necessity means that the self-interested person ignores what is good for other Americans and others in the world. This is a provable and damnable lie as conservative Americans, particularly religious conservative Americans, are the most generous and caring people in history when it comes to helping their neighbors in need at home and abroad. Lakoffs real complaint is that conservatives are generous by their own volition and without the need for external government coercion.
That view lies behind the Wall Street ethic of the Greedy Market, as opposed to a Market for All, a market that should maximize the well-being of most Americans. Conservatives support regulation that protects private investment from deception and fraud, and conservatives opposed the taxpayer funded bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and all the banks and the bailouts of the banks and industries affected by their collapse. By using the term Market for All as opposed to the more American paradigm, the regulated free market, Lakoff alludes to some sort of an alternative to the free market. In this regard he indeed channels the Occupy Movement. We should expect them to elaborate on this further.
This view leads to a hierarchical view of society, where success is always deserved and lack of success is moral failure. The rich are the moral, and they not only deserve their wealth, they also deserve the power it brings.
This portrayal of conservatism is obviously false and ridiculous. Conservatives view moral failure for what it is, moral failure whether the morally failed person is rich or poor. It is also untrue to suggest that conservatives think that rich people necessarily deserve their wealth as conservatives would be more inclined to view this on a case by case basis. What Lakoff is really complaining about here is conservative respect for the institution of legal private ownership of property and their revulsion over the alternative.
Referring to the rich as "hardworking taxpayers" ignores the fact that a great percentage of the rich do not get their wealth from making things, but rather from investments in other people's labor, and that most of the 1% are managers, not people who make things or directly provide services. The hardworking taxpayers are the 99%.
While I cant verify whether or not Mr. Lakoff himself is involved in making things I would take strenuous issue with his complaint against investments in other people's labor. The investment of private capital is the engine of civilization, it is the means of expanding goods, services, invention, and creativity. Such investment is what makes it possible for people to make things. A lot less than 99% of the population pays income taxes. In fact, the number is about 60% just to be accurate.
Conservatives are trying to cast Progressives, who mostly have businesses or work for businesses or are looking for good business jobs, as socialists. Whatever one thinks of socialism, most Americans falsely identify it with communism, and will reject it out of hand. Lakoff is absolutely right her although he didnt mean to be. Progressives, liberals, socialists, or whatever theyre calling themselves these days are, indeed, capitalists. Indeed all Americans are capitalists and are fundamentally conservative. Yes, progressives own businesses, including the top corporations, they work for businesses, they look for good jobs. Indeed the majority of the top billionaires on the Forbes list of richest Americans identify themselves as progressive or at least as liberals. Just like conservatives, liberals want to keep as much as possible of that which they earn, they seek good investment, and they prefer a minimum interference by government into their lives. If Lakoff wants to find real so-called progressives, those who have a Market for All, he could still settle in North Korea or Cuba, two of the remaining holdouts adhering to a genuinely progressive point of view.
Lakoff writes about how private success depends on public investment - in infrastructure, education, health, transportation, research, economic stability, protections of all sorts, and so on. On this point Lakoff is technically correct. We pay taxes to support the infrastructure, public schools, health, and other costs associated with the legitimate functions of government. We also willingly pay for the social safety net to serve, as Ronald Reagan stated, the truly needy.
Local and state governments make deals with private corporations to encourage them to locate in their jurisdiction, hire people, and introduce the economic benefits associated with their endeavors. What Lakoff is really calling for here, by means of demagoguery, is a transfer of wealth and authority to the State.
Lakoff claims that corporations govern our lives far more than any government does - and for their profit, not ours. Corporations can only govern our lives at the connivance of the government. The government regulations that Lakoff would be more inclined to support actually help the bigger corporations at the expense of the smaller players and competition.
An example of this would be the Dodd-Frank banking reform regulations which hurt smaller banks and leave in place provisions that guarantee future bailouts for institutions deemed as too big to fail. While we want corporations to profit, because their profit when obtained honestly is a profit to all of us, we do not want corporations to receive protection from the government. This is an issue which needs to be addressed by both conservatives and liberals. Lakoff and the Occupy Movement stand for a radical and regressive alternative.
Entitlement monsters wanting everyone elses stuff without working.
That seems the best I’ve heard yet about these people.
I turned on the TV and saw these hideous creatures on a show called “The Real Housewives”. The Occupy scum should pester them, they are the epitome of excess and I would imagine is a portrait of Ancient Rome before the Fall...
Isn’t “Occupy” derived from the word on the signs on the airplane lavatories meaning someone is taking a dump inside?
It’s a movement about nothing.
Spoken like a true Marxist. As far as I can see, the dopes on these Housewife's shows make their own money. In some cases they own businesses that employ people. They are not getting one dime from me or any other taxpayer. The perceived excesses that disgust you are putting food on the table for a slew of retailers, caterers, limo drivers et al. Maybe you would rather have these old bats sit on their cash for decorum's sake and see these lower echelon people in the welfare line?
Th same thing the Hippie Movement stood for: Words of "peace" and "freedom" but really about "gimme, gimme, more government to gimme more stuff."
The power of the Soros machine to exploit losers of all ages in a coast to coast astroturf event
That’s about it
My basic point is "IRONY"! Don't jump down my throat go read through my ten years of posting before calling me a Marxist.
Actually the five minutes I saw today was a trashed woman with more plastic surgery than Joan Rivers getting some award for supporting a "Chicano Movement" group.
For those not educated, the Chicano Movement seeks to re-conquer the southern US, some want to take back all territory to the original 13 Colonies of the USA.
Google Aztlan. Now if you think I'm a Marxist for making a crack at old drunken botoxed hags supporting liberal groups who HATE the so called 1%, then you need to get back on your meds.
These old women craving rewards are supporting the very people who want to take all their money and leave them homeless!!! LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER!!!
Man.....George Lackofbrains....these Democrats do try to put a brave face upon a disaster....the occupy people represent the Democrat party.....what? the rapists?....
George Lackofbrains speaks - “Rape is such a harsh word. We progressives like to think of it as enforced-love, and we’re going to enforce-love all you taxpayers.”
I turned on the TV and saw these hideous creatures on a show called The Real Housewives. The Occupy scum should pester them, they are the epitome of excess and I would imagine is a portrait of Ancient Rome before the Fall...
It says nothing about who they support politically. (The Housewive's of Orange County are Right Wingers BTW) You focus solely on conspicuous consumption and how that somehow equates to societal decay. As a Conservative, I do not care how a private citizen spends their own money. If they want buy gold plated toilet seats and donate them to the homeless, who cares.
What does the Occupy Movement stand for?,
It’s just another tool in Obama’s army for the push to socialism.
Jon Corzine, former CEO of collapsed brokerage firms MF Global and Goldman Sachs, is missing 1.2 billion dollars of his clients money but gives tens of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party. A former U.S. senator from New Jersey and governor of that state, Corzine is a longtime leader of the Democratic Party who served as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2004. He has donated generously to the DCCC and the DNC. He is also a huge financial supporter of President Obama, acting as his first economic advisor. As Democrats align themselves with the Occupy Movement, they have amassed millions in financial contributions from Wall Street. The fact that Obamas guy on Wall Street now faces possible criminal charges for the very behavior Democrats pretend to condemn exposes their hypocrisy. Just imagine if this disgraced former New Jersey Governor had an R after his name. Hed be the top story on every network, televised hearings would drown out all other news, protesters would be storming his mansion and every other Republican associated with him would be spit on. I think we all know where most of that 1.2 billion dollars went, and it reeks of the Democrat Socialist Movement. This is what happens when elitists with a Marxist past control not only the halls of government but the nation’s largest financial institutions. Obama and Biden pushing their STIMULAS bill and bragging that Jon Corzine was the first person they called to help them put it together ............Priceless.
My best FRiends! Lazlo from PA has called me a Marxist for making fun of the freaky loons on "The Real Houswives of OC" (A program that was on the TV when I turned it on... swear to God, I Tivoed Top Chef and so when I turned on the TV that was on).
I made a joke that the #OWS folk should protest them, since they are drunk, fall on themselves, give money to all the groups we hate like LA RAZA and FReeper Lazlo in PA calls me a "Marxist"!!!
Wowzers!!! I've seen some crazy things in 10 + years on FR but calling a FR a Marxist for criticizing hags who support: Illegals, La Raza, Aztlan!!!
You have taken my 10 years of posting, tied it up in a ball and thrown it in a sewer.
You question my acquisition that Real Housewives = Ancient Rome. Well sir, what are your educational degrees? I happen to have a BA in History, Masters in Business. Unless you are a PHD go crawl back into your hole...
By attacking me personally in a vicious and disgusting manner you are attacking Free Republic, Jim Robinson and all of my fellow close FReepers who have been FRiends a lot longer than you've been here!
Viking Kitties Anyone???
I hope so because I want to keep donating but there is no FReepathon!!!
I want Viking Kitties, I pledge my life Lazlo in PA is a troll!!! And would put up $1000.00 of my own money to prove that. JR, Onyx and the Mods know I put my money where my mouth is.
If I am a Marxist than I have no idea who Lazlo in PA is? Maybe a lost castoff from DU???
I’d hold off on calling my FReeper friends Marxists, newbie. Your posting account could go poof.
I can’t stand those “Housewives” shows. Total garbage.
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