by Glen Ford
It was never in the cards for a plutocrat mayor to long tolerate a movement whose essential logic is the dissolution of his class. â€œIf the Occupy Wall Street movement has been about anything, it is the absolute necessity to rid the nation â€“ and the world â€“ of the collective tyranny of the Bloombergs, the dictatorship of the moneyed classes.â€ The next phase of the movement must more self-consciously â€œhave, at least, the goal of shutting down the infernal machines of capital.â€
â€œBloomberg Pays His Hypocritical Respects to Democracy and Reason, When in Fact His Authority is Nothing But an Extension of the Rule of Capital.â€
New Yorkâ€™s mayor Michael Bloomberg justified clearing the tents and other materials of Occupation from Zuccotti Park, saying the protesters will now â€œhave to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.â€ This is a strange kind of logic from the 12th richest man in America, who occupies City Hall for one reason only â€“ because he has bought the office three times since 2001. Mr. Bloombergâ€™s $20 billion fortune maintains him in the Executive Mansion, not the power of his arguments.
Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat until he found it more convenient to run as a Republican, and then as an independent â€“ thus proving that money, not party, is what counts in New York, as in all American politics. Everything else is a diversion, and a lie. Bloomberg has used the mayorâ€™s office to make the city more hospitable to his fellow economic one-percenters from all around the planet. But, in that sense, he is no different than the mayors of other American cities â€“ including most of the Black ones â€“ who collaborate in every rich manâ€™s scheme to expel the poor in favor of wealthier populations. Theyâ€™ve all got a lot of Bloomberg in them; they are operatives for whoever has the money.
When Bloomberg moved to end the 24-7 physical occupation of Zuccotti Park, it was not on the strength of his argument â€“ which was full of lies and wholly unconvincing â€“ but with the raw power of his police force and its monopoly on violence.
So Mayor Bloomberg, like all the rich manâ€™s mayors in all the U.S. cities that are determined to end their local Occupations, pays his hypocritical respects to democracy and reason, when in fact his authority is nothing but an extension of the rule of capital.
â€œPeople’s Power Cannot Long Coexist With the Power of Massed Capital.â€
Bloomberg, the personification of Wall Street, made his vast fortune selling a machine called the Market Master. Having mastered the market, the logic of money was all that was required for Bloomberg to become master of politics in the nationâ€™s most important city. Bloombergâ€™s career is the story of today’s America, a place where people who market machines and schemes so that money can produce more money for themselves and their fellow Lords of Capital, can then purchase governments and write their own laws in order to maintain their power in perpetuity.
If the Occupy Wall Street movement has been about anything, it is the absolute necessity to rid the nation â€“ and the world â€“ of the collective tyranny of the Bloombergs, the dictatorship of the moneyed classes. If there is to be any lesson in this two-month-long Occupation that is actually useful to people, it is that people’s power cannot long coexist with the power of massed capital. Capital will ultimately shut the people down. The people must, therefore, have at least the goal of shutting down the infernal machines of capital.
I’m confident the movement will weather these assaults, and find ways to create space to exist and interact with the public. The first phase of the movement was to get the people’s attention â€“ and it has been a great success. In the next phase of struggle, every action must be designed to objectively weaken the power of the Bloombergs, and strengthen the power of the people. Ultimately, it must end in a word that begins with an â€œRâ€ – but that will become obvious, in time. Î¦
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
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