Down With Evil Corporations!

Right now in NYC some idiots are out in the street protesting corporations.  I saw some brief interviews with a cross-section of the protesters.  They seemed to be faux-communists.  Faux, because they seem not to have a clue what they are talking about.

Over at The American Catholic there is an image which sums up the irony of the protesters’ protests.

protesters

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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27 Responses to Down With Evil Corporations!

  1. JonPatrick says:

    While these protests may simply be manufactured by those wishing to distract people from the failures of the current administration to deal effectively with the current economic problems, it seems that they have tapped into a general frustration with the way that capitalism has evolved in our country, domination by a few large corporations, privatization of rewards but socialization of risk, and so on. It is similar to how the Tea Party has reacted against the increasing power of big government.

    However the Tea Party unlike this movement, had specific proposals to limit the growth of government, whereas it is unclear exactly what the demonstrators on Wall Street and other cities actually want to happen. They compare themselves to the Arab Spring, but the people there had again specific frustrations with their government that they wanted changed. This seems more like just general anarchy, without any real idea where they are going.

  2. albizzi says:

    One may understand that many people are frustrated when one is aware that about 3000 families every day in the US are obliged to leave their home forever becs they cannot afford their home’s credit charges while the US government spent 14000 billions for the banks bailout (surprisingly not only the US banks, the french BNP-Paribas was alloted about $ 180 billions)
    How to explain that the bailout funding was decided for the banks to get rid of the junk debts, in paricular those of the defaulting homeowners, while these debts are kept outstanding on these last ones?

  3. raitchi2 says:

    Yes Fr. Z. your right as always. These people should all be using artisan certified free trade cameras, shirts, hats and everything else. I mean for goodness sakes those things are so easy to find– even Walmart has recently added a huge free trade section. Capitalism, pray for us.

  4. Ed the Roman says:

    365,000 foreclosures a yaer and a fourteen trillion dollar bank bailout? Sources, please.

    “What do we want? We aren’t really sure! When do we want it? Now!”

  5. Jack Hughes says:

    Whilst I do think that some of the demands are simply idiotic, I do think that these protestors do have SOME valid points (I have been engaging in civil discourse with Larry D of acts of the apostasy)

    For example Healthcare, when I read of Americans either going bankrupt or dying because they are unable to pay for health insurance I am glad that I live in England where we have the National health service which although it is not pefect means that people will not die becauese they cannot afford insurance.

    One observation I have made about Americans who self-identify as conservatives is that is almost an article of Faith that the market can do no wrong whilst the government cannot do anything right, now whilst I do not want the government passing riddiculous bits of leglislation, I do think that sensible leglisation that requires employers to protect their employees health and safety (within reason- I do know of batty examples) at work and to set a minimum wage to prevent exploitation are good things, now whist some may argue that a good employer will do these things anyway the problem is that not ALL will.

    Some of the comments I have read over at Mark Shea’s Pathos blog would seem to indicate that many Orthodox Catholics also worship at the Altar of Mammon and enage try to brand distributionists (which the more I look into it the more I begin to see distributionsim as a ‘third way’ between unrestrained captitalism and socialism) as crazy people who are merely closet socialists.

    If anyone is interested in my point by pointresponse to the lazzai-faire capitalists reposne to the wall st bunch please email me and I’ll be happy to mail you a copy, I’ve current covered points 1–3, and 6-12. Just click on my name which will take you to my blogger profle and under contact me you’ll find my email.

  6. Supertradmum says:

    I sold a house rather than having a bail-out. If I could no longer afford to owe a house, owing to being made redundant or whatever, so be it, then I have to sacrifice. Why should taxpayers support each person’s difficulties and why should the government step in as a big brother to cover everyone’s debts? Responsible, simple living and carefulness do not always stop hardships, real hardships, as I know personally. However, what the Popes for 150 years have pointed out is that socialism takes away personal responsibility, motivation, the dignity of work, even simple work, and creates a false utopia in which all people are expected to be the same and have the same things.

    Christian charity is dead in countries where there is socialism. The rich are targeted as the enemy and the poor are made vassals of the state. What is missing in all these debates is the idea that personal responsibility includes being personally charitable. Example, a friend of mine had her house ruined in a flood. All her family is dead. She has had to move from bed and breakfast to bed and breakfast for nine months, as there are no hotels in her area. In a very wealthy parish, where most of the members are retired in four or five bedroom houses, no one for nine months has asked her to move in. She must move every three or four days until her house is fixed. People expect a government to step in. Socialism has not only deadened charity, but destroyed at least two if not more underclasses of the desire to work at any job. Youth in my village will not do farm work, or cleaning, or bar tending, as it is too hard and they can get more money from the government. These are the real evils of socialism, not the rampant capitalism and greed, which, as evil as these are, actually create jobs. Do I think that capitalism should be left without regulations-no, absolutely not. But, to attack the capitalist system is to attack the freedom to work, create a business, and even be rewarded for thrift and hard work. Where are the Church leaders speaking of subsidiarity? Why are so many Catholics socialists, to their peril?

    The entitlement philosophy of the mostly young reveals a sickness which is encouraged by the language of the present administration, which is fanning the flames of class warfare. Not all of us are called by God to be rich or even successful. That is the Protestant view of salvation. Not all of us are even called to live a middle-class life-style. The lies of capitalism and the lies of socialism come from the same source-Evil, a person who only wants each person to be obsessed with the material world and lose his or her soul. The times belong to Satan-another name for Mammon.

  7. NoraLee9 says:

    They are protesting the fact that 90% of the wealth in this country is held by 1% of the population. What they are asking for is that millionaires be taxed as they were before the Reagan administration. I’m here in New York, and am a proud member of the Teacher’s Union. Although some of the protesters might not be the most articulate folks in the country, it is pretty clear as to what the “fuss” is about.
    The Old Testament is adamant that usury is evil. There’s a reason for that. I have seen student after student graduate and struggle to pay for college; then graduate from college, and go to work at Starbucks.
    One of MY friends from college (NYU class of 1980) is sleeping on my couch. His job went to India. He’s at graduate school to learn another trade. Graduate assistance ships at City College don’t pay enough to cover rent in NYC.
    I am no liberal, and the article about the government trying to force the Church to mint female priests is frightening. I think the way some Catholics blindly follow the Republicans is frightening too. These fools will NEVER out law abortion as long as there are votes to be had by promising to outlaw it! They are really all about protecting their money.

  8. wanda says:

    Bearing in mind that 40-50% of people in this country pay no federal income taxes whatever and that the top 1% of the wealthy pay 40% of the taxes as it is. Raising taxes on the job creators (private sector) will not help a thing.

  9. MarylandBill says:

    I think it is unfortunate that people on both sides of the issue see things in such simplistic terms. I have a few thoughts on these issues.

    1. I think it is troubling that so much wealth has been concentrated in the the hands of a very small number of people. While I am very much in favor of people being able to profit from their labor, we need to recognize that the richest people did not get there purely through their own efforts.

    2. I think we need to be very careful in how we look at the question of equitable tax burden. Statistics like 40-50% of people in this country pay no federal income taxes are true, but they ignore the fact that these people usually still have to pay payroll taxes which are regressive (meaning the rich pay a smaller smaller percentage of their salaries in payroll taxes than the working poor and middle-classes (Not that the rich don’t work, I just wanted it to be clear that you have to work to pay the payroll tax :)).

    3, Tax policy needs to take more from the rich than the poor for the simple reason that you can’t take from the poor that which they do not have (Nor would it be moral to tax someone from essential income (i.e., what is needed to provide food and shelter and other basic needs).

    4. I agree that it would be foolish to tax the rich to such an extent that they can no longer create new jobs. I do think however, what has frustrated many is that so many businesses seem to bringing in great profits right now, and rather than trying to expand their businesses, they are sitting on the cash.

    5. I think a big part of the anger over wall street right now is that so much investment these days seems like little more than gambling. Its one thing to invest in a company, its another to invest billions in exotic investment vehicles that serve little purpose other than to increase profit while also greatly increasing risks and when the risks become reality demand billions in Federal funds to save the industry.

    Jesus isn’t a communist or a socialist, but that doesn’t mean he likes what he sees in American Capitalism.

  10. irishgirl says:

    I lived through the protests of the 1960s, and the 2011 version is just as stupid as they were over forty years ago.
    Bravo to The American Catholic for this picture! Shows the irony of it all!
    I’m almost wishing that a good old douse from a water cannon would clean those protesters out of Wall Street!

  11. ContraMundum says:

    Really, Fr. Z — how difficult would it be to find Chinese-made goods in your possession? Yet you claim to find their one-child policy repugnant! The car that you drive — was it assembled by members of a trade union that insisted on, and received, benefits for “civil partners”?

    How about food sacrificed to idols? Did the Christians who bought such meat in the market lose their right to say that idolatry is wrong?

  12. Finarfin says:

    NoraLee, the Republicans most likely will not end abortion, or even limit it very much, but they can keep it from expanding. That is much more than what the Democrats can say about abortion & gay marriage.
    Read the article by LifeSite News: “Obama’s First 100 Days: The anti-life plan is now established.” I find it amazing. The record of Obama and the deomcrats far surpasses anything most Republicans would even conceive.
    In sum, to blindly follow the Republicans is a pretty safe road to keep ourselves out of persecution, if nothing else. It’s the democratic government that orderd the HHS mandate, not the Republicans.

  13. XYZ321 says:

    One of the most important functions of the President is appointing judges to the Federal bench. While those in Congress (regardless of party) are unlikely to end or limit abortion, the US Supreme Court, with the right judges, may be in a position to recognize that laws allowing for mothers to kill their own offspring while in the womb, are not a fundamental protected Constitutional right. Such a ruling would send it back to each state, but that is a better result than the current one. Please remember that when you vote for President of the US, you are voting for the type of judges you want appointed to the federal bench.

  14. AndyMo says:

    “These fools will NEVER out law abortion as long as there are votes to be had by promising to outlaw it! They are really all about protecting their money.”

    Sure, the Republicans are in bed with the banks and Big Business. What the leftists in charge of these demonstrations are doing a good job of shifting attention away from is:

    The Democrats in general, and Obama in particular, receive MORE money and MORE political capital from these “big corporations” than the Republicans do. Look over here! The Republicans are guilty of doing something that we’re even worse at!

  15. albizzi says:

    Ed the Roman,
    I apologize, there were not 14 , but $ 16 TRILLIONS given in bailouts to the banks.
    See: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=104913
    (US senator Sanders about Federal Reserve audit)

  16. justamouse says:

    I’m betting Dorothy Day would be getting arrested at this one were she alive.

  17. AvantiBev says:

    Nora Lee, Finarfin, and all Catholics who think abortion will be ending by political or judicial decisions, listen up. Abortion will end when your sisters, daughter, grand-daughters, nieces, grand nieces, or great-great-great granddaughters FINALLY and thoroughly reject the Sexual Revolution, bring their knees together, dress and act like ladies who value themselves, fill the moat with an alligator or two and pull up the drawbridge. Abortion is the enforcement tool of the Sex Revolution as the guillotine enforced the French Revolution and the NKVD, gulags and firing squads enforced the various Commie revolutions. No political party can do for women what they MUST do for themselves before we can begin to turn this Reign of Terror and Tawdriness around.

  18. AvantiBev says:

    As for the moral component of our debacle:
    “When government spends on the scale Washington’s got used to, that’s not a spending crisis, it’s a moral one. The Irish have a useful word for the times — flaithiulacht — which translates to ruinous generosity, invariably with someone else’s money. There’s nothing virtuous about “caring” “compassionate” “progressives” demonstrating how caring and compassionate and progressive they are by spending money yet to be earned by generations yet to be born. That’s what “fiscal Conservatives” often miss: this isn’t a green-eye-shade issue. Increasing dependency, disincentivizing self-reliance, absolving the citizenry from responsibility for their actions: the multitrillion-dollar debt catastrophe is not the problem but merely the symptom. It’s not just about balancing the books, but about balancing the most basic impulses of society. These are structural and, ultimately, moral questions. Credit depends on trust, and trust pre-supposes responsibility. So, if you have a credit boom in an age that has all but abolished personal responsibility, it’s not hard to figure how it’s going to end.” – Mark Steyn AFTER AMERICA

  19. Tom says:

    99% of the worlds cookies are eaten by 1% of the monsters….. boycott Sesame Street!!

  20. justamouse says:

    I disagree so strongly with this attitude that these protesters are Obama Liberal Operatives.

    Have any of you been on the phone when a bank denied your TWO shortsales for no good reason? Because they get to put it on their loss sheet? Are non of you aware of the mass deregulation that brought us to this place? The lack of healthcare, the rising cost of education and the lower paying jobs, the higher interest with pay getting lowered-lower than when this recession started?

    Are any of you paying attention to the people out there that are bleeding from the teeth of this capitalism?

  21. contrarian says:

    It is difficult to entirely boycott immoral industries, so I agree with the general sentiment on this thread that the picture is a bit beside the point. I agree, though, that we should try to boycott grossly immoral industries as much as possible.

    As always, the gang running the D-Review site have some great things to say.
    Give them a visit. There is much about these protests that are admirable, though it would be difficult for me to join in with them. While it’s true that we can’t make the perfect the enemy of the good, there is much that seems to be a common consensus about these protestors that isn’t even good, outside of a general sentiment of antipathy towards greed. :(

    It would actually be interesting to form a Distributist group down on Wall Street, with our own signs. :)

  22. Spera_in_Deo says:

    I agree with Justamouse. I have just joined this blog, and have admired Father Z for a long time on his Catholic Conservatism. Then I read this and feel really confused. Quote: “Right now in NYC some idiots are out in the street protesting corporations.” I am guessing you said the opposite about the Tea Party demonstrations?” [That is like asking me “If you don’t like apples, do you then also dislike basketball?”]
    Catholicism transcends politics…. as this protest does….. They are as much against the Democrats as they are against the Republicans for letting this happen in their own country. I have just seen 200 police in Boston (home of the original Tea Party) move in and destroy probably thousands of dollars worth of private property into 3 garbage trucks. Now that is Democracy. [I can’t for the life of me figure out what your point is. I must be slow today. Thanks anyway for the kind words at the top!]

  23. Spera_in_Deo says:

    In a catholic forum, I was confused why you bought it up in the first place….. however you did. Your first comment didn’t really answer my question, so I must be slow today too. Can I take it to mean that two sets of people who had in their minds legitimate angst to gather and protest that I see a similarity, you dont?

    Just to clarify, What is a Faux-Communist? What would your comment be if that picture was taken in Egypt, all using the same equipment, wearing the same clothes, which they were… or were they the great freedom fighters of democracy?….. sadly now the are in the process of genecide.

    My point was, when people are pushed to the limit, something has to give. Thank God its just a peaceful legitimate protest which according to your constitution is right and proper yes?

    I am so sorry my first post has to be all negative, but I am really in solidarity with these people.

  24. NoraLee9 says:

    For the record, AntiBev- I’m with you. I don’t think the solution will come from politics. There has to be a groundswell of women who open their eyes, and realize they have been co-opted by the “revolution” of the 19060’s. Thank you for your well written post. I am always confused by the government, et alia, who claim “science science uber alles.” Roe v Wade was promulgated before the advent of sonography. Once it had been established that human life begins immediately after conception, one would think these nice people would at least follow their own rubrics. There was just too much money being made killing babies, I guess.
    And thanks for the Gaillic lesson. I should really spend some time learning the native tongue of my ancestors….

  25. AnAmericanMother says:

    The problem with “solidarity” here is that there’s no clear statement of the problem and certainly no solution proposed.
    I do have sympathy for the kids who were sold a bill of goods by their colleges and obtained expensive, useless degrees in Feminist Studies etc. But they should be at the college administration building, not on Wall Street.
    And I have sympathy for anybody who’s lost a house. But they should be over at Congress, which created the real estate bust by forcing the banks to lend money to people with no ability to repay, then directed the ‘bundled’ toxic debt to Freddie Mac etc. And then doubled down on stupid with the Dodd-Frank bill and the Durbin Amendment.
    The OWS group, not so much. The union organizers are out, Craiglist has ads for protesters, and nobody on the ground seems to have any clear idea of what their goals are. Not to mention the drinking, drugs, trashing property and defecating on police cars and so forth.
    Plus the group here in Atlanta is beyond weird. They “vote” on stuff via call-and-response chant (not Gregorian) and they shouted down Rep. John Lewis of all people. I don’t agree with him very often, but he put his life on the line in a *real* protest where *real* issues were at stake and he deserves a modicum of respect.

  26. AnAmericanMother says:

    Spera,
    A “faux-Communist” is what used to be called a “Parlor Pink”. Well meaning middle class folks, by and large, who feel that there is unfairness and injustice in the world and want to do something about it. They get caught up in the slogans and the emotional high of demonstrations, and don’t stop to think about who is leading them and where they are headed. If things go far enough, they are the first put up against the wall.
    Kerinskyites, Girondists, often that pungent phrase attributed to Lenin – useful idiots.

  27. catholicmidwest says:

    Love it, love it, love it. I’m a chemist by trade, and I insist that if anyone wants to complain to me about chemistry, first they have to take off their synthetic-blend garments, including their UNDERPANTS & SOX, and then eschew their computer and cell phone, and finally stop brushing their teeth and using soap for a believable period of time, say a week or so. Then I’ll listen to them…from a distance. While laughing. With a fan running to dispel the odor.