Sunday, October 2, 2011

The American Revolution Was Not About Wealth Redistribution

Toward the end of this ABC News report, reporter T.J. Winick suggests that Occupy Wall Street has "yet to attain tea party-like influence," and he poses the possibility that the protesters might have a comparable tea party-like impact on the 2012 elections. This comparison to the tea parties is interesting. The progressive political establishment did everything it could to discredit and destroy the tea parties. Now though the tea party movement has set the modern standard for successful political change. But Winick's comparison is inaccurate in a fundamental way. Tea parties call on the heritage of the American Revolution as a model to return to the rule of limited government. The Occupy Wall Street protesters, on the other hand, are demanding, in this modern age of the gargantuan state, an even larger government role in public life, and especially the expansion of government power to forcibly confiscate personal income and wealth and redistribute it to a relatively undefined strata of today's petit-bourgeois and mass proletariat. Not only do the Wall Street protesters have the backing of the International Socialist Organization, but radical progressives aligned with the Democrat Party are agitating for revolutionary change. Commenting on the "Declaration" from the Occupy Wall Street General Assembly, David Atkins of Hullabaloo writes:

The General Assembly in this well-considered document has hearkened back to a much older and more florid declaration that similarly began with a statement of principles and a list of grievances.

It is an important beginning. The General Assembly has lit the match. Now it's up to America at large to understand what is at stake, and turn a protest into a revolution.
Adkins' link takes us to the Declaration of Independence. But this is incorrect as well. The American colonists were rebelling against unjust taxation and the rise of British tyranny. In contrast, the protesters in New York, and their allies such as Michael Moore and Rosanne Barr, are really agitating for revolution based on a entirely different statement, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. That declaration, issued in 1789, is a fundamental document of the French Revolution, and was heavily influenced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It embodied the Rousseauian concept of the "general will," which was a Counter-Enlightenment precursor to the forced collectivization of the 20th century's communist gulags. This is actually very elementary political philosophy. ABC News makes the comparisons to the American Revolution, which implies a more mainstream or reformist purpose. Adkins cloaks his revolutionary agitation, erroneously, in the Jeffersonian model. This is pure progressive lies and deceit, for what today's radical left really wants is regime change like the Russian Revolution of 1917, which led the the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1921, or the Cuban Revolution of 1959, which replaced Fulgencio Batista with the communist regime in Cuba. It won't happen any time soon. But as long as the economic crisis continues the hardcore progressive-socialists will gain increasing media attention, and the sympathies of the modern left's celebrity fifth columnists and useful idiots.

THEORETICAL BACKGROUND: David North, at World Workers Party, "Equality, the Rights of Man and the Birth of Socialism."

VIDEO CREDIT: Jane Hamsher's communist Firedoglake, "'To Express a Feeling of Mass Injustice': #OccupyWallStreet Hits a Tipping Point."