Contagious Consciousness

The 'American Awakening'?

People in the press, especially the progressive 'alternative' press, have taken to calling what's going on in New York City and elsewhere as the "American Autumn". These writers see similarities between the protesters against corporations and their CEO's and the protestors who brought down authoritian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and even Libya.

I think the path towards Wall Street, and elsewhere, actually began with the "Wisconsin Winter". The public employees who occupied their State's capitol in protest of their Koch Brother's backed governor's legislation to strip them of their rights may have been the first stages of a growing American class consciousness.

For the last 70 or 80 years, America seems to have lacked the consciousness of class that much of the industrialized world has. The kind of mass protests that have been seen in Greece are rare here, and there could be several reasons why that has been.

The main reason might be the notion of "The American Dream". The notion that with hard work, a person can move through the social strata. This is a great notion, but it may be based on some dated notions.

Even 50 years ago, there were jobs available that did not require extensive educations. A person with a high-school education could find a job at a steel mill, etc. The union would make sure he or she had a wage that kept place with the cost of living. The earnings could be used to pay off a house, put a child through college, or allow for a retirement.

Thirty years of pro-corporate policies have created a new reality for too many. The reality of working as part of the "McEconomy" in a Wal-Mart, etc; with low wages, limited benefits and little opportunity to advance, or risk a lifetime of debt and put themselves or a child through college, with now little guarantee that they'll be in a job that uses that degree.

A second issue is that for all the charges of "Class Warfare" that the GOP levels any time any legislation that would help workers or put their intererests ahead of corporations, the right has been waging their own version of it for decades. To me, one common trait of any right-wing movement is a "corporate state", and to do this, there's a need to get the citizens to vote against their economic interests. The main way to do this is to divide the %99 by creating outgroups; the current 'other' seems to be Latinos, as states in places like Alabama and even Pennsylvania follow Arizona's lead in "ethnic profiling".

But could all this be changing, there's still some work that needs to be done to build an American awareness of class. For one, the occupiers need to, as much as they may not want to admit it, realize they need to build themselves into a political movement. They need to build some political power to break the hold of the %99 on the process; if this means building the infrastructure that it would take to allow a true working-class political party to rise, so be it. Second, there is a need for more working-class voices like Carlisle's Rick Smith; an industrialist once said "I can pay half the working class to kill the other half". Who needs to do that any more, when one can just purchase advertising on Beck or Limbaugh's programs, or FOX News, and let them spread division.

A final thing is that for President Obama and other Democrats to see that the "occupiers" are actually much of the party's base. A need to stop pandering to the %1, and allow voices like Bernie Saunders (I-VT) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) to take leadership roles in the party is a necessity. If not, and America continue down the path towards "USA Inc", the next popular uprising may not be as peaceful.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Good article. Right on target.

tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 5 years ago from home


The wall street occupiers when asked why they are there give huge generalization reasons- like "were here to protest corporate greed"- how unspecific can you be?

theyre protesting "global warming"? ok? and what else -Wall Street Corruption. wall street ....

"economic justice" another reason... anything specific?

okone guy just kinda gets specific here yet they say-

"There's not liberty for us. There's no education, no health care. We don't have equality. Equal rights are kind of a joke at this point. If you're rich, you're rich. And if you're not, good luck.".. Where in the Constitution-Bill of Rights etc... is it listed all those things are to be given- not earned?? "USA land of opportunity not the land of gimmies and guarantees"....

when comparing these occupiers to the tea party there are some serious differences- the T Party cleans up after them selves not like those occupier SLOBS.

the Tparty they have few messages/causes-

Limited federal government

• Individual freedoms

• Personal responsibility

• Free markets

and more powert to the people and states less power to fed govt

in other words,-govt spends too much we have to cut spending not 500 different "causes:

BUT....Occupy Wall Street bunch say they are angry that the big Wall Street banks "have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them." YET they ignore the fact that 3 of the top 7 donors to Obama's campaign in 2008 were the very Wall Street banks that the Occupy Wall Street vagrants are protesting.

The same- occupy wall street rats-are anti wall street big businesss-YET Obama administration is absolutely packed with ex-executives of giant corporations and big Wall Street banks. Earlier this year, Michael Brenner wrote the following about the current composition of the Obama administration....but some how the Obamaites get the pass...

Occupy Wall Street is upset that "our privacy" has been sold "as a commodity."

Well, why aren't Occupy Wall Street protesters calling out Barack Obama for his horrific track record on civil liberties. YET- The national security apparatus that George W. Bush set up has been greatly expanded by Barack Obama. wheres the protest there???

It was the Obama administration that decided that it was necessary for TSA thugs to man-woman handle our private parts before we board our flights and it was the Obama administration that decided that TSA "VIPR teams" should run around the country conducting approximately 8,000 "unannounced security screenings" a year at subway stations, bus terminals, ports and highway rest stops.

Its sad these protestors-most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters are intellectual hypocrites. They are so scared that a Republican might win in 2012 that they won't say anything bad about Obama. so their fake protests should not be even remotely compared to the Tea Party. Its odd the time square occupiers walk past George Sauros crib to go to the Coke Brothers Pad... but thats just a coincidence Right I guess only some Millionaires are bad right?? sorry i went so long...


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author


Way to show how well the "%1" have trained you!

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

@tom hellert: What flavor Kool-Aid did they give you with the brainwashing????

TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author


It's mixed into that Koch Brother's 'tea' :P

TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author

As you show how well "%1" has influenced you.

tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 5 years ago from home


get a new real arguement the 1% give jobs to 75% of the other 99% and those jkers down there are just a different 1% that drink the liberal obama aid

Like i said the Koch brothers are not responsible for EVERYTHING TEAPC....George Saurous is just a kindly old greek guy right?

cmon tea ya cant say that!!!


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author

Soros is, in a sense, he's trying to use his money, IMO, for the good of all.

The Koch's, IMO, are using their money and resources to help themselves and those few that stand to gain.

TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author


You'll have to do better that "%1" propaganda than you likely heard from Bec, Limbaugh or another Koch mouthpiece.

TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author


I'll define "Better" for that "%1" Tea addled-brain of yours.

Show me evidence, from someplace OTHER than FOX News(?), Beck or Limbaugh that Soros has DIRECTLY contributed to the Occupy Movement.

I can easily bring up the 'pinking' of Scott Walker and the Koch's dealings with Iran and other enemy nations.

TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author


It's gotta be something in that "Tea", I've found a new "Tea Brain" to 'Crash'--Check out "Lion's Den Media".

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