Occupy Wall Street and the History of Corporate Fascism
(Photo by Adam Lempel)
Humanity faces a daunting battle against corporate forces that have historically proved willing to employ any means necessary to preserve an evil system. The police brutality and corporate funding aimed at crushing Occupy Wall Street hint of the savagery unleashed by corporations in countries around the world over the past 150 years. Yet the recent crackdown has provided our rebellion with an extraordinary public relations weapon by demonstrating the veracity of our charges against a ruthless system that despises democracy and justice.
The movement sweeping America is our link to a world-wide chain of rebellion. The majority of the world’s population, which for half a century has borne the brunt of neoliberal policies, is finally determined to stop the onslaught of global capitalism, which is the force sustaining most brutal systems on the planet, from the military dictatorships in the Middle East to the neo-feudalist societies now permeating industrial nations.
Since World War II the United States has expanded its ever-present imperial quest to entail global domination. Our government has used nearly every method imaginable to ensure a world order that benefits big multi-national corporations. It dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though officials such as General Eisenhower knew Japan was about to surrender, to send a message. That message was the same as the one sent in Vietnam—do as we say or suffer a holocaust.
In the 1950’s Vietnam, led by Ho Chi Min in the North, was on the brink of uniting after long suffering under the yoke of French Colonialism. But the United States wanted its puppet government in the South to overtake the country rather than allow the Vietnamese to coalesce under a communist system led by the North. Thus America began to impose its will through operations in the region, lest the domino effect derail the world order. When South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem contemplated cutting a deal with the North in November 1963, Kennedy assassinated him. Contrary to the popular myth that JFK would have pulled out, this coup marked a dramatic turning point, leading to the inevitable escalation that left Vietnam and most of Indochina utterly devastated, with millions brutally murdered.
This was the same message sent in 1953, when America overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and imposed a military dictatorship led by the Shah. This was the same message the Reagan administration sent to El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, slaughtering hundreds of thousands. And it’s the same message being sent by Bush and now Obama to the Middle East— don’t fuck with us; do as we say.
On September 11, 1973 the Nixon administration orchestrated a coup through the CIA to overthrow the democratically elected government of Chile and install Augusto Pinochet on behalf of the Rockefellers and other elites with business interests in the country. After slaughtering thousands, Pinochet flew capitalist hero Milton Friedman in to provide guidance on how to implement free market economics and roll back the socialist reforms of his predecessor. Pinochet followed orders, firing tens of thousands of public workers, dismantling virtually all public services and privatizing nearly everything. Predictably, the country plunged into a financial crisis very similar to the one we experienced here after Bush II implemented similar policies.
Entire libraries’ worth of books, most of which have carefully been kept out of mainstream discourse in America, testify to the revolutionary nature of global corporate capitalism, which has left almost no part of the world untouched. Just ask those who know anything about the history of Latin America or the Philippines, where labor unions, grass roots movements, religious institutions fighting on behalf of the poor and many others have been murdered, tortured and subjected to mass arrests. Ask the people of Iraq and Afghanistan whether the wars that plague their countries are about democracy or corporate greed. Peasants in Vietnam or Indonesia or China who made the shirt you’re wearing have certainly been subjected to similar treatment—slave labor, sweatshop conditions, intimidation, etc.
Big business has launched countless wars in South America, which continue today under a different guise, to ensure corporate domination over basic goods— consider the banana wars fought on behalf of the United Fruit Company in Honduras— and multi-nationals such as Halliburton and Bechtel have influenced the US government to launch invasions that enable them to steal oil (among other resources) from countries such as Iraq.
Occupy Wall Street and the global rebellion spreading across the world face the same nefarious forces. Although we don’t live in a real democracy, we enjoy greater freedoms in America than people do in China, say. Consequently, I don’t expect to be dumped in the Atlantic for writing this article. But we do live in a police state determined to crush resistance. By now everyone knows about the NYPD’s brutal treatment of Occupy Wall Street, the mass arrests, the pepper spray and the intimidation. Someone hacked into my Web Site and shut it down the other week. And JP Morgan Chase recently donated $4.6 million to the NYPD, a clear signal they are happy with the crackdown.
Considering corporate America’s historical relationship with fascism, this should come as no surprise. Not only did corporate America support Hitler and Mussolini’s rise to power—in fact, IBM built the devices used by the Nazis to keep records of prisoners in concentration camps and made a fortune— but in 1934 they came close to overthrowing FDR and installing a fascist dictatorship in the United States. That’s right. Threatened by the populist reforms of the New Deal, heads of major corporations such as JP Morgan (coincidence?), Goodyear and DuPont approached Smedley Darlington Butler, Major General in the Marine Corps, to “pacify” America just as he had made countries in Latin America “safe for capitalism.” By a stroke of luck he refused, confessing the plot before a Congressional committee and revealing that he no longer had the stomach to continue his brutal practices.
This is what we’re dealing with. The individuals working for major corporations are not all evil. In truth, many of them are nice, benevolent people. But they serve an evil system; a system guided by the ethic of capitalism, which by law and in theory calls for the pursuit of short-term profits above all else, regardless of the human cost, regardless of the ineluctable self-destruction it will bring in the shape of environmental catastrophe, economic collapse and nuclear holocaust. The corporate elites are terrified of Occupy Wall Street and the outburst of community and love that accompanies it. These attributes are incomprehensible to the corporate structure, which only knows the language of violence and fosters alienation. As the rebellion gains momentum, nobody knows what further retaliation lies in store.
I have been at Wall Street since day one of the occupation, and it is an entirely different animal now. Liberty Park is bursting with people from all over America who are sick of being exploited, abused and neglected. We want to reclaim what is ours from the oligarchy that rules America and controls most of the world. We are too big to ignore, we have grabbed the world’s attention, and we will change the system.
The police brutality that has accompanied us every step of the way has been our greatest public relations boon because in cracking down on Occupy Wall Street the state is proving us right—it is true that we don’t live in a real democracy, where people can peacefully assemble in protest and our politicians represent the will of the people; it is true that the Patriot Act has unleashed a ruthless police state bent on crushing all dissent; and it is true that corporations like JP Morgan Chase are the forces pulling the strings behind everything.
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Footage of police brutality on Wall Street, courtesy of wearechange.org
Tagged with: 1973 • attempt to overthrow FDR • CIA • global corporate capitalism • History of corporate fascism • JP Morgan Chase donates $4.6 million to NYPD • military coup • Nixon • nuclear war • Occupy Wall Street • pepper spray • Pinochet • police brutality • revolutionary force • September 11 • Shah of Iran • Vietnam
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