Sunday, October 9, 2011

Data and Ideology of the We are 99% Tumblr

This collection of data about the We are 99% Tumblr is fascinating.

The image of that 4-year-old boy is tragic. It really hits on the fact that children - the most vulnerable in our society - have been hit the hardest by the policies of our cruel, neoliberal state. The dismantling of the welfare state is destroying opportunities for them, and they aren't even out of diapers yet! Then you have those who are 18-29, and they are drowning in student loan debt and are jobless. But they are fighting back, and doing it in a very, very savvy  way. (Read this amazing letter from someone who used to be part of the Tea Party Movement - it's very supportive). We also have the older who, in the twilight of their lives, have been robbed of things. When did we stop taking caring of one another in this way? When did we decide to turn our backs on community? All of us - the 99% - are paying dearly so a  tiny percentage of people can maintain overwhelming power over our politics and over the global economy.

On another note, I'll be posting and writing about my time in Austin, Texas soon (I'm collecting my notes). I was there this past weekend, and I met some of the crew at Occupy Austin (@OccupyAustin) - solid, open, friendly group of people. There was a lot of lively debate, and observing the General Assembly was great. As one speaker said, "we are witnessing a living, organic form of democracy." Very true. Very true indeed.

I am heading to Tulsa on Tuesday to meet with the Occupy crew there, and I am really looking forward to it.


Anonymous said...

I disagree that the Tea Party is an older version of this movement. The Tea Party is a Libertarian movement, and Libertarians believe in limited to no government, forget rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure that apparently we won't have the ability to rebuild until a failed bridge kills one of the oligarchs, forget investing in education, providing a more secure future for our elderly through Social Security so when we are old we can have at least some measure of dignity instead of abject poverty and no medical care. The lives of people before the New Deal were much harder and there was zero safety net to cushion the blows of capitalism. The values of that WW2 vet you pictured better states what this is about than the Tea Party. Government should not serve the interests of only a few, bought and paid for by that same few at the top of the pyramid at the expense of everyone else. It is not about age. Many people in their mid and elderly years are participating in this movement across the country, not just the young. There is a poignant piece in the first edition of the Occupy Wall Street newspaper about a young man who has watched his parents loose the old family home to the Bank of America. We are becoming a third world country and I now have hope that people are finally recognizing who the culprits actually are.

Anonymous said...

There are some similarities in demand between the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Both movements seek to harness anger about the bank bailouts for example.

What both movements have trouble with is that the solutions do not break down cleanly along ideological lines. For example, Paul Krugmen took time on his blog yesterday (and again today) to defend the need for bank bailouts (, and Obama has received more donations from Wall Street than any candidate in 20 years (

These types of connections do not make sense in the traditional Republicans=business and Democrats=people analysis. It does not even stand up well to the slightly more sophisticated both parties are Corporatist analysis because it ignores the fact that bailouts are not just pragmatic, but are part of a fundamental economic philosophy.