The Wittenberg Trail

Some Thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Some Thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street Movement

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton


Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good--" At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the  monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.


G. K. Chesterton, "Heretics", 1908


Now, I happent to be of the opinion that the "Organize Wall Street" movement is being orchestrated and encouraged by some rather nasty people toward some nefarious end.  I may be wrong in substance but, as Chesterton points out, it matters little.  Human nature being what it is (sin-filled and depraved) even the most benign interpretation of the OWS movement reveals an undercurrent of lawless anarchy which can only end badly for those on the street and our society as a whole. 


One need only recall the French Revolution is a more accurate template for OWS than the American Revolution and then look to the consequenses of that period in history. The French Revolution was led by libertarian idealists resisting an irresponsible and oppressive regime.  It was not organized by nasty people for nefarious purposes.  It had far more legal and moral justification than the OWS movement.  But when the mob acted the world crumbled.  It turned upon itself with unprecidented savagery and destroyed everything in its path. The mad thrill of pure destruction.


When the madness reached its apogee and he horror (the Terror led by Mm Guillotine and the Mob) was universally appalled by the rank and file citizens, in stepped the "Strong Man", Napoleon, with his cannon and a "whiff of grapeshot", stepped to the forefront and seized power.  His ambition and hubris led him to attempt the conquest of Europe with all its consequent death and destruction. 


And that is the fruit of the misguided idealists.  The "nasty people of nefarious ends" have viewed and calculated this fruit as a necessary and desirable price for the attainment of their goals.  So, even if I am paranoid and wrong about the nasty people orchestrating the OWS movement that should not be cause for relief.

Views: 3718

Comment by Dave Gosse on October 24, 2011 at 7:05pm
Comment by Dave Gosse on October 24, 2011 at 8:11pm



The report did not delve into exactly what kind of organizations and people  were funding the protest. Harlow did note that a certain non-profit organization  processed some of the donations, but did not report on the organization itself,  which CNN could easily have labeled a "liberal" outfit.

"In terms of  where the money is processed that's donated to 'Occupy Wall Street,' what we  found out is that a lot of it is processed through a Washington, D.C. based  non-profit called the Alliance for Global Justice," Harlow said.

The  origins of the Alliance for Global Justice (AGJ) began in 1979 as the "Nicaragua  Network" was founded to support the Sandinista revolution. The network, whose  mission eventually expanded into a global one, became a project of the AGJ which  began in 1998.

Some of the fiscally-sponsored projects of the AGJ  include anarchists in Palestine, anti-war protests, and "The World Can't Wait!"  movement, designed to combat the agenda of President Bush.

A transcript  of the segment, which aired on October 24 at 11:55 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

SUZANNE MALVEAUX: "Occupy Wall Street" protesters are  still camped out in New York after more than a month. It takes money to keep a  movement going. And the group has raised a lot of cash now. Poppy Harlow met one  of the people who manages now the money.

(Video Clip)

POPPY  HARLOW, So I think one of the most interesting things about  "Occupy Wall Street" is the money. Where is the money coming from? They have  raised about $300,000. Who's funding them? How are they spending the money?  Where is it going? How are they not using the big banks?

(To protester)  Does everyone know you around here as the money man?

PETE DUTRO, "Occupy  Wall Street" finance committee member: A lot of people do.

UNIDENTIFIED  FEMALE: What kind of power? People power!

HARLOW: You call yourself  chief financial officer or something else?

DUTRO: No. There is no  chief.

HARLOW: What are things like these days?

DUTRO: It's  pretty crazy. I mean, this is really like doing an office job in a mosh  pit.

HARLOW: So right here by the food is where you're going to find one  of the donation boxes. This little gray box. I just saw someone stick some cash  in there. What's really interesting – these are all over the park, and what  "Occupy Wall Street" tells me is that they have gotten to the point where  they're getting thousands of dollars of cash donations here in the park every  single day.

DUTRO: It's come from all 50 states. The average donation is  a bit over $47.

HARLOW: How do you make the decisions on what to spend  the money on? Is this a democratic vote? How does it work?

DUTRO: Yeah.  We have our general assembly.

HARLOW: That's made up of how many  people?

DUTRO: Everybody here.


CROWD: To stay warm!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh I voted yes for  us to get a storage facility. I voted on spending the money to get it. I voted  for the U-haul for us to go back and forth with our packages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as I'm concerned, they're doing a very good job of  providing us with what we really need.

DUTRO: And I had a tattoo shop  for many years. I helped run a software development company. I went back to  school to NYU-Poly. And basically, my concentration is finance.

HARLOW:  (On-camera) In terms of where the money is processed that's donated to "Occupy  Wall Street," what we found out is that a lot of it is processed through a  Washington, D.C. based non-profit

Comment by Dave Gosse on October 24, 2011 at 8:13pm
HARLOW: (On-camera) In terms of where the money is processed that's donated to  "Occupy Wall Street," what we found out is that a lot of it is processed through  a Washington, D.C. based non-profit called the Alliance for Global  Justice.

(To protester) In terms of the fund-raising, in terms of how  you get your money and spend your money, what do you think differentiates you  from a big corporation?

DUTRO: First of all, we're by the people, for  the people. And we're not trying to make a buck here. We're trying to feed  people, we' re trying to get them some medical attention when they need it,  we're trying to clothe the people that come down here. We're not trying to be  greedy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They go to great lengths to be as  transparent as possible.


CROWD:  Peace.

DUTRO: My grandparents were in the civil rights movement. My  parents were in the anti-war movement. It's my turn now.

(End Video  Clip)

MALVEAUX: Poppy Harlow is with us from New York. So, Poppy, how  much money do you think they're actually going to raise?

HARLOW: That's  a great question. I asked that, Pete, that, the guy you saw in the piece who's  helping run money down there. He said that his belief is that in the next few  months, Suzanne, they're going to raise about $1 million. I just checked before  I got on set here and they had raised about $300,000. When they were with them  last week, it is up to now about $400,000. So, it's not out of the question.

Read more:
Comment by James Robertson on October 25, 2011 at 1:26pm
Comment by James Robertson on October 26, 2011 at 10:33am
Comment by Robert Martin on October 26, 2011 at 7:54pm
I totally disagree with most of the above comments about the Occupy Movement.  I marched recently in Milwaukee.  Most of the people were middle class,Bible believing people who no fault of their own have been manipulated and lied to by Wall Street and corporate America.  What do expect people to do when they have been thrown out of their homes, fired from their jobs and than told they are nothing but lazy complainers.  Yesterday, an Iraq war vet was crtically injured by the out of control police in Oakland.  The above comments about the occupiers are distastful and down-right unchristian.  I would reccomend that you armchair quaterbacks get out of your pulpits and march with the occupiers in order to find out that they are true patriotic Americans who believe their govenment has been usurpted by Wall Street criminals.
Comment by Dave Gosse on October 26, 2011 at 8:08pm

Hi Robert


What lies have "Wall Street and corporate America" told you?  I'm no lover of banks, and every time I have bought stock I've lost my shirt, so I'm no lover of Wall Street (or its Canadian version, Bay Street), but I would like to know what lies you have been told.


Also, what do you think of the Tea Party?

Comment by Jason Gross on October 26, 2011 at 8:14pm

Robert, I understand that there are a lot of middle class, Bible believing people who have been misled because they choose to not pay attention to what caused this financial mess in the first place.  It was OUR GOVERNMENT passing the Dodd-Frank bill and congress leaning on the the banks to accept sub-prime mortgages, meaning people who NEVER should have gotten a mortgage were given one, because they could pass them on to Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae, the government sponsored organizations.  


I am not saying there aren't bad people on Wall Street, I'm just saying that the people who gave the legal go ahead and applied the pressure to the Wall Street bankers are our Government, especially the liberal democrats and the Rhino Republicans.  


Though there are middle-class people foolishly demonstrating too, the real movers and shakers of this are leftist radicals who want to destroy our country. And any "armchair quarterback" with half a brain who is paying attention to what is going on and doesn't just accept the crap spoon fed to him by the liberal "mainstream" media can figure out what's going on without going to these absurd protests.

Comment by Jason Gross on October 26, 2011 at 8:20pm

Watch the "1%" silence the "99%".  It's brilliant.

Comment by Dave Gosse on October 26, 2011 at 9:05pm

The Sage From South Central Larry Elder

Occupiers demand life
without hardship

Posted: October 26, 2011
4:34 pm Eastern

© 2011 



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