We are witnessing two inchoate, high-energy movements in the United States. The first – the so-called Tea Party movement – appeared in 2009. It is a quintessentially American revolt against the political establishment. The second – Occupy Wall Street – appeared little more than a month ago. It is also opposed to the same establishment. But, unlike the Tea Party movement, Occupy Wall Street has international resonance. Perhaps the reason for that rests with the fact that many of the Tea Party movement’s remedies hark back to a reliance on individual bourgeois virtues and a rejection of the welfare state. In contrast, the remedy for the multiple grievances of the Occupy Wall Street movement all boil down to one big thing: a radical, state-mandated redistribution of income. Indeed, Occupy Wall Street’s mantra – tax the rich – is simply the second point in the ten-point action plan laid out in The Communist Manifesto: “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” In spite of their shared antipathy towards the establishment, it’s as if the descendants of America’s Founding Fathers were dueling it out with the offspring of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Never mind.
The full article can be downloaded here.