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Ayn Rand Institute: “Occupy Wall Street” seeks to end capitalism

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“Occupy Wall Street”  is more than a bunch of rich kids making love in the park, smoking dope and railing against capitalism, says the Ayn Rand Center’s Don Watkins.

“The real motive of the protesters is not to end ‘crony capitalism’ — it’s to attack real capitalism and end whatever is left of it in America,” says Watkins.

The movement continues to grow. Celebrities are giving their endorsements.

“Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon have dropped in,” reports Tina Susman for the Los Angeles Times. “A seasoned diplomat dispenses free advice. Supporters send everything from boxes of food and clothes to Whole Foods gift cards. They even have their own app, for the legions of fans following them on iPhones and Androids.”

So, what the protesters really want? The Media Research Center asked them:

 

Watkins at the Ayn Rand Center is wary of the movement: “Some Americans have expressed sympathy with the Occupy Wall Street protesters because they oppose bank bailouts and the incestuous relationship between Washington and Wall Street. Americans are understandably upset by what they see as ‘crony capitalism,” writes Watkins:

For years, Washington has favored certain bankers by intervening in the market. But that has nothing to do with genuine capitalism. Capitalism means that the government does one thing–protects us from force and fraud–leaving us free to conduct our economic affairs as we see fit. A capitalist government doesn’t intervene to pick winners and losers, or to save companies from their mistakes.

But the Wall Street protests aren’t calling for an end to government intervention in markets — they want to increase it. Most of them, for example, want to increase wealth redistribution in the name of fighting income inequality.

“Contrary to their rhetoric, they do not oppose the banks on the grounds that Wall Street is in bed with Washington. Notice, for instance, the plans to protest outside the home of investor John Paulson, who cannot be accused of getting government favors, and the lack of complaints about taxpayer money being poured into GM, Chrysler, and Solyndra. They chose to protest Wall Street because, whatever its flaws, it symbolizes genuine capitalism.

“What the protesters object to is not government stacking the deck to determine winners and losers. They just want the government to pick different winners and losers. They want to take the ‘capitalism’ out of ‘crony capitalism’ — not the other way around.”

Susman at the L.A. Times, however, doesn’t see the kids in the park as a threat. She asked some of the demonstrators about their long-term strategy and goals. “At a certain point, there’s a valid criticism in people asking, ‘What are you doing here?’” protester Chris Biemer, 23, told her.

Biemer, who recently moved to New York from Florida with a degree in business administration, says that ideally the group should team up with a nonprofit organization and get office space.

“It’s possible to stay here for months or longer, but at some point we’re going to become a fixture,” he said of their home in Zuccotti Park, a privately owned, publicly accessible plaza dotted with trees and flower beds about midway between the Stock Exchange and the former World Trade Center site.

Protester Victoria Sobel, “who like Biemer serves on Occupy Wall Street’s finance committee,” disagrees, writes Susman — and said the group’s strength lies in its ability to remain highly visible and in a place where anyone can visit and participate:

The 21-year-old New York University student happily reported Wednesday that bookshelves had been delivered to the UPS store where the group receives mail. They’ll sit beneath a tarp in the park, all part of Sobel’s vision to solidify the group’s foothold.

“It’s a moment of clarifying for us,” Sobel said, confident that as autumn’s chill turns to winter’s subfreezing temperatures, Occupy Wall Street will stay put. “We’ll layer,” she said with a laugh, when asked how they’ll manage the cold.

“Tourists stroll in to snap pictures and read the protest signs scattered across the ground,” reports Susman, “then wander off to their next sightseeing stop. Executives drop in on lunch breaks to talk politics and economics. Police hang back on the sidewalks, and follow along when groups of protesters stage marches.

“Protest numbers vary as people drift in and out of the park. Some live in the area and come by for a few hours each day or week. Others stay there around the clock, their sleeping bags, guitars and clothing bundles spread on the ground. On Wednesday, they included a sleepy-eyed young man in a rumpled T-shirt cuddling a pet rat, and a woman who pranced about in her underwear …”



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Roger Zimmerman

    Watkins’ statement is eloquent and insightful. The protesters should be picketing those that sought and received bailouts, not the entire concept of free enterprise. While they are at it, if they are really interested in decreasing the cost of college and increasing their job prospects, they should be advocating less government involvement in financing education and less government interference with employers.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henry Solomon

    The protestors would like us to believe that they are for fairness, but they are really against capitalism, and they represent the truly ignorant. That this movement could exist in this country reveals such a lack of knowledge of the enormous value and morality of capitalism, that it is an indictment of our system of government education. This failure reveals a failure of government, not capitalism, as the financial failure reveals the failure of governmental intervention in the economy.

  • http://newconstitutions.thinkertothinker.com Jeff Olstad

    It’s too bad this protesters are wrong. With a little twist of Philosophy they could have been supporting capitalism. It’s a terrible thing to see otherwise intelligent, college educated, young people with such upside-down backwards thinking.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Charles a. Botts III

    Mr Watkins is wrong that the Wall St Protesters seek to end Capitalism. The Occupy Wall St. Protesters are bearing witness to the fact that Capitalism in it’s classic sense is dead or dying, and it’s successor- Crony Capitalism- is a corrupt, unjust and unsustainable economic system. The protesters are pointing out the obvious that the current is broken, singularly committed to short-term profits, benefiting the privileged few, shifting the true long-term costs to the rest of society, while avoiding paying their fair share of the maintenance of the governments that provide the secure and safe environment that enables them to make their profits. All the protesters want to do is start the discussion of what is to follow. The our country and indeed the world can no longer afford to allow economic entities to operate as though they have a God given right to use our resources and abuse our workers and consumers and the rest of society picks up the tab, and pays the true costs, and suffers the consequences. All, so that the privileged few can wallow in obscene conspicuous consumption. The bought and paid for Congress telling the rest of the society that that is the way of the world is over. Do we solve our problems and move on to the next phase of societal development? Or, do we allow time to be wasted fighting for a system as corrupt and as obsolete as slavery and feudalism? That’s what the 99%’ers are doing. .

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment StormeeATL

    Typical statement from Watkins, only thing Ayn Rand ever proved is that masses of people could be brainwashed by jingoism and rhetoric, long before Limbaugh,Beck, etc because experts at brainwashing through modern mass media

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bluebonnet

    These “children” are sheep of the left who support them. They just follow like dumb sheep. They are so stupid and pityful. Trash of humanity.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Everly

    Occupy Wall Street is a joke. A combination of dopey kids, boomers who can’t leave the 60′s behind, the perpetually radical chic, and professional leftwing agitators. They want to destroy capitalism, which means destroy America. Most goofy among them are the over 50 crowd, who live well, drive Volvos and BMWs, own stock, and yet show “solidarity” with the young moonbats. Some folks just never grow up. They think that by supporting this, they are hip and cool. All they are doing is electing Republicans in 2012, as most Americans are turned off by their antics. But don’t tell them!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jana

    No, OWS is not wrong. In fact, these people, and no they aren’t all dumb, dope smoking, brainwashed idiots, are just like you and me. From 90 year old grandma’s, war veterans, unemployed professionals, and blue collar laborers, their agenda is simple.They want Government to stop taking the taxpayer money and using it against us. Our jobs have been given away to foreign countries, our taxpayer money has been used as payoffs to big business which has hoarded it and/or used it to further themselves and not made loans to the American People or used it to stimulate their CEO bank account. These people have been smart enough to disregard the media propoganda, the Government and Political Party rhetoric and have been able to discover the huge lies that you and I just sat back and took all in the name of business. It’s like me baking 5 pies, putting them on a window sill to cool and when I discover that 4 and them are gone, thinking that it’s OK for somebody that weighs 400 lbs needs them more than me, and I only weigh 100 lbs. If you don’t believe me, then visit their website, talk to them, do your own research! The do not support the Democrats and they do carry Impeach Obama signs regardless of what the Democrats want you to believe. They aren’t associated with ANY political party, nor labor union, or anything like it! They are intelligent, they are hurting, and they are huge and they are all over the world! People are tired of being controlled by government, big business, World Bank, and the few that are holding all the money while the rest of us starve, globally! I’m 61, white, female and lost my job in January of this year.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment timby

    I hate to break these folks bubbles. Our government has been batting ZERO on everything they get into. They would ruin a one car funeral. They have good intentions however, when it comes to putting their plans into practice things go awry. It seems that they create more problems than they solve. I for one want less government. I want a balanced budget; honesty in Washington; to cut wasteful government programs; and more due diligence in their interactions. Much if not all of the problems would go away if Washington practiced what they preached; where held to their campaign promises; and lobbyists/ special interest meetings where held in the open instead of the dark of night.

    As for these misguided souls, the folks responsible for this mess are in Washington not wall street. Yes wall street has it’s part. However, those that enabled this calamity reside in Washington. Washington has turned it’s collective heads away when it comes to enforcement of it’s rules and regulations. Either through incompetency or malice they have allowed the greed monster to thrive. Their grand thoughts of a world economy have been dismal failures and now they want to distance themselves from the fallout.

    So have fun at your camp-out/love fest as nothing will be accomplished except your 15 minutes of fame. Sure there will be come politicking to make it look like someone in Washington really cares. However, in the end it will be politics as usual. See the government is being controlled from special interest/lobbyists and elitists. This has been proven over the decades.

    It will take more than a few hippies to make a real political change in the Washington landscape. Guess what? You folks don’t have political clout that is required to make these changes.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Eddie Sutton

    My greatest fear is that my country will
    soon be in a “real” civil war. I am a
    capitalist and believe that no-one is
    entitled to something they have not earned.
    The greedy are the greedy…poor or rich,
    you ain’t gonna change that. If they break
    the law…punish them. I pray for my
    children and my grandchildren. As for me, I’m
    too old to give a damn…but I do for their sake and my country. God help us!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Leslie

    People in this country are so spoiled and so bored that they look for reasons to complain. I say get a job, whatever you can find. Be grateful for what you have. MOst of the people protesting are spoiled college brats that have no idea how to work. The protest is entertainment and something to do besides getting a job. If you can’t get a job, make one.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Chris

    I do not believe they are wrong. They are upset with the greed that has taken over this country..the lack of morality, humanity, and ethics that had once made this country stand out above the rest. I do not believe this is a left versus right issue, so much as an issue of the most basic of human rights. I had an incredible work ethic my whole life, until I was 34 and my life all but taken away from me by a prescription cholesterol drug which I once touted as a lifesaver…only because I was educated by our health care and pharma based system. Now I am forced to be one of those who is forced to rely on the entitlement programs I paid for my whole career. Special interest money and all who take it in office, need to GO!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Everly

    Newsflash – Update. OWS has received an important endorsement… The American NAZI Party! I kid you not.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment DC

    How disappointing to see the Ayn Rand Institute buy in to the lies that entrenched executives are spreading about OWS. If they had any integrity they would embrace the OWS opposition to bail-outs, subsidies, limitations on liability, and diversion of corporate funds to the pockets of a few executives. OWS supports the providers of capital, and that is what capitalism is all about.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jeanette Stamm

    I am totally in agreement with the Occupy Wall Street movement, as I read about it. Our crony capitalism has gotten so corrupt and out of control that it needs perhaps to be destroyed or at least knocked down a notch or two. How can you not agree that big banks and corporations are totally out of control?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bob

    Isnt it interesting that those who support the American capitalistic system, and who are anti communist..think nothing of filling their homes with “Made in China merchandise”.
    Yes America, your way of life is going to change whether you like it or not…you sold your soul and your jobs upon the alter of capitalism.
    And just think..it was only 42 years ago that you were boss on the planet and on the moon too!

  • http://andstuff@wordpress.com Stella

    Honest capitalism is this: trade to another what is of lesser worth to you for what is of greater worth to him, and vice versa. Listen to these protesters at least a little. They love mankind and they love themselves! Fair trade is possible, but not with class warfare, and not with lies. :)

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