To begin with, perhaps the US protesters just didn’t see it, but the Egyptian protests had a very strong, overt and violent anti-Jewish theme. On the one hand they were protesting against the abuses of the Mubarak regime but on the other hand they were protesting against having peaceful relations with their Jewish neighbors. It went as far as resulting in assaults against anyone the protesters thought was Jewish or connected to Israel in any way. While I shouldn’t be surprised that the US protesters take inspiration from an anti-Semitic source, since left wing US protests often have a very strong anti-Jewish/anti-Israel theme, I’m still uncomfortable and concerned with this. My concerns are heightened when I see the US protesters tying Jews to Wall Street and control of the US financial system, something that has happened a number of times at the Occupy Wall Street protests.
What the protesters appear to be asking for, from what I can tell, is government intervention that will result in reducing the influence and activities of corporations and transfering wealth from corporations and “wealthy” individuals to the government, for use by the government to somehow provide jobs, housing, healthcare and other everyday needs to the population. If that’s not nationalization and socialism, it’s damn close.
And with that, I have to run the risk of violating Godwin’s Law, because what the Occupy Wall Street folks are doing and saying sounds a lot like this:
“Hitler, both in public and in private, expressed strong disdain for capitalism, accusing modern capitalism of holding nations ransom in the interests of a parasitic cosmopolitan rentier class. He opposed free-market capitalism's profit-seeking impulses and desired an economy in which community interests would be upheld. He distrusted capitalism for being unreliable, due to its egotistic nature, and he preferred a state-directed economy that is subordinated to the interests of the Volk. Hitler told a party leader in 1934, "The economic system of our day is the creation of the Jews." Hitler said to Benito Mussolini that "Capitalism had run its course". Hitler also said that that business bourgeoisie "know nothing except their profit. 'Fatherland' is only a word for them." Hitler admired Napoleon as a role model for his anti-conservative, anti-capitalist and anti-bourgeois attitudes.”
Corporations did not kick in the door of my grandparent’s home in Prague and take my grandmother and mother off to camps. Corporations did not create the Jewish ghettos in Europe. Corporations did not slaughter most of my mother’s family and six million more of my people. Corporations did not slaughter over two million Cambodians. Corporations did not cause the death of seven million in the Ukraine. Corporations did not kill over twenty million people in China. Socialist governments did.
All things equal, I’ll take corporations over an omnipotent central government.
So you’ll have to excuse me if I see the Occupy Wall Street protesters as a very troubling movement, but my family’s history, and the recent history of the world, forces me to be a realist.