PhD Economists and Economic Professors Call For Protests → Washingtons Blog
PhD Economists and Economic Professors Call For Protests - Washingtons Blog

Sunday, October 18, 2009

PhD Economists and Economic Professors Call For Protests

You know that the government and the giant banks are not being responsive to the needs of the economy and the American people when even PhD economists and economics professors are calling for protests.

Indeed, many top experts and even politicians say that the American political system has suffered almost total regulatory capture, where Wall Street calls the shots. See this, this, this, this, and this.

As respected financial commentator Yves Smith points out, PhD economist Dean Baker, economics professor William K. Black and others are helping to organize peaceful protests outside of the annual meeting of the American Association of Bankers.

Smith notes:

If you saw Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, a disconcerting bit was his discussion of a series of research reports put out by Citigroup for some of its asset management client in 2005 on “Plutonomy”. It argued that a world ordered to suit the whims of the top 1% was well underway. The only thing that might get in the way was that the other 99% had the force of numbers on its side.

Sometimes it takes a show of numbers to change the dynamic. As Baker pointed out:

The elites hate to acknowledge it, but when large numbers of ordinary people are moved to action, it changes the narrow political world where the elites call the shots. Inside accounts reveal the extent to which Johnson and Nixon’s conduct of the Vietnam War was constrained by the huge anti-war movement. It was the civil rights movement, not compelling arguments, that convinced members of Congress to end legal racial discrimination. More recently, the townhall meetings, dominated by people opposed to health care reform, have been a serious roadblock for those pushing reform….

A big turnout at this event can make a real difference.

Baker is correct about Vietnam.

Specifically, in a little known fact, Nixon was considering using nuclear weapons in Vietnam (and see this).

At that time, Nixon was also repeatedly publicly saying that he didn't care what the American people thought about Vietnam, and that he was going to escalate the war anyway. However, according to a biography by a well-known historian, when Nixon saw hundreds of thousands of protesters on TV, he dropped his secret plan for nuking Vietnam. Remember, Nixon dropped those plans even though he said he didn't care what people thought.

Indeed, this has happened repeatedly throughout history whenever people have been willing to stand up. The Ukranian people stood up to tyranny and won. The East German people stood up to tyranny and won. The people of the Philippines, Serbia, Czechoslovakia, Indonesia and other countries around the world have won against tyranny whenever ordinary people have poured into the streets in massive numbers and demanded freedom.

Note: Any websites publicizing this or any other protest should have web readers click an "I Agree" button promising to be peaceful before they are taken to the web page giving specifics about when and where the protest will occur.

Everyone attending a protest should sign written pledges in advance to be peaceful and not use any violence under any circumstance.

Everyone should dress nicely for protests. As Yves Smith says: "Dress nicely! One favorite strategy is to dismiss protestors as ruffians.".

Everyone should also bring cellphone cameras or videocameras. If police turn violent or use agents provocateur to incite violence, we film it all, and broadcast it worldwide on the web. That would make the government look really, really bad.

If you see anyone trying to incite violence, have a group of people escort them away from the protest.


  1. It takes no special expertise to call the rabble out into the streets. -Nor to exhort into their deaf ears to remain peaceful, law-abiding, non-violent citizens.

    As we have seen presumed here, neither does it take any special expertise to know WHEN to call the indecent multitudes out into the streets either.


    The especially gifted genius-of-incitement patting himself gleefully on the back once he has all the mulling cretins out into the streets -will probably note for himself -with some vile self-satisfaction -just how much more ferocious they are in person, -their hideous smells, -their vulgar, rank and foul language, -and- their sure propensity toward violent, lewd, drunken and promiscuous behavior.

    They have no idea why they have been called out, -is the general rule.

    The childish hubris of the academics always appalls me.

    All pretense of education is a fraud.

    I never met a man woman or child -who could not do something I could not do. There are two sides to that ancient coin, folks.

    And you don't want to go there anytime soon, ---if ever.

    When the wholly rapacious crowds are finally ALL out in the streets, there always seems to assemble a bunch looking to make things change, and to force the issue on their terms, and by their own rules, -rules that are miserably hysterical jokes to them -and them alone.

    And this time -I dare say- they will come looking for anyone who is over the age of twenty-five -that still has all their teeth- -or perhaps just -no- tattoos.

    Either -fatal social flaw- is likely good enough evidence for being a likely enough suspect to round up for the gallows, if they are so formal this time.

    This is your lot, humanity-

    Unleash them whenever you will, Professor.

  2. As someone who participated in many anti-war protests in DC in the 70's, I can report that they were mostly peaceful. The only violence I saw was perpetrated on the protestors, other than the after-march face off between "the crazies" and the riot police on the National Mall. Given that the situation was much more incendiary then, I would not expect that protests would become violent now.

    My own view is that the left would assist the Obama administration by mounting its own protests, instead of leaving the floor to the right-wing populists. Unless there is massive opposition to the the Great Rip-Off, it will only continue and get worse. So far, the administration is too weak (or too complicit) to stand up to the plutocracy that rents the government by buying influence.

    Get the money out of politics. Institute public funding of campaigns and outlaw campaign contributions and all other forms of legalized bribery.

  3. I know this is kind of tangential, but Daniel Ellsberg wrote about the nuclear option and Vietnam in his book "Secrets." My recollection is that hitting Vietnam and maybe even China was discussed by more than Nixon. Also, Ellsberg is recounting his role in nuclear policy planning, the first installment is about a first strike that would have killed an estimated 600 million people:


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