Market Overview

Preparing for the US Day of Rage on Sept. 17


According to, a group of left-wing radicals is preparing to stage a massive protest on Wall Street on Sept. 17. The "US Day of Rage" would consist of acts of non-violent civil disobedience to protest corruption on Wall Street and US capitalism. Similar protests are planned in other financial centers as well. According to the article, protesters hope to squat in the financial district of Manhattan for months in order to achieve their goals, which appear to be a bit nebulous.

The controversial group known as "Anonymous" is one of the event's endorsers. In an ominous video released Tuesday in anticipation for the Sept. 17 protests, Anonymous claims, "The abuse and corruption of corporations, banks, and governments ends here. Join us, we are 'Anonymous'. We are legion. We do not forgive, we do not forget. Wall Street, expect us."

By setting up a tent city on Wall Street complete with kitchens and barricades for a considerable period of weeks if not months, protesters hope to make their stand against capitalism. According to an article from the Daily Caller, the Canadian anti-consumerist publication AdBusters is calling Wall Street protesters to action: "On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, and peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices."

It appears that US Day of Rage protesters are hoping to storm Wall Street in a manner similar to the method used by protesters in the Arab Spring, so as to mirror the protests in Tahrir Square. Another group supporting the Sept. 17 protests known as "Occupy Wall Street" explains on its website that, "When our leaders can no longer be trusted, it becomes the duty of the people to fight for social justice."

In this way, Occupy Wall Street hopes to use the Arab Spring tactic to realize its "one demand", which according to the group's website "is for the people to decide through democratic concensus". A poll on Facebook has been set up suggesting that the one demand might be an end to corporate personhood. Other possible demands according to the Facebook poll include "Abolish capitalism", "Raise taxes on the top 2%", "Tax Wall Street", and "Presidential Commission to Separate Money from Politics".

Although these protesters-to-be should be commended for their desire to partake in the democratic process, perhaps we should question their aims and the means to their ends. While most of us can appreciate that the US economy and global economy are in a dire state, I am not too certain that shutting down the financial district in Manhattan is the proper approach. Yes, it may do well in getting attention, but are such actions productive or counter-productive? As an adherent of the Austrian School, I can somewhat understand groups' wanting to increase taxes on the wealthy or wanting to increase taxes on various forms of securities trading, but abolishing capitalism? Are you serious? No pun intended, but the idea of abolishing capitalism sounds pretty rich, to say the least.

Does this beast have teeth? Perhaps, but we will have to see. According to the Daily Caller, "Thousands of people are likely to descend on Wall Street". Even so, I am not too sure that the goal of "abolishing capitalism" is a feasible, realistic, and popular idea. To me, trying to get rid of capitalism sounds like trying to get rid of rainstorms; the idea is absurd because the market & basic economics exist with or without the explicit label of "capitalism" anyhow. The question of getting rid of capitalism and the expansion of left-wing protests only highlight the bigger culture war in America going on that will hopefully be addressed at the ballot box in 2012.

Even further, in terms of revoking "corporate personhood", that is really an issue for the courts and not the White House or Congress. From what I recall, Pres. Obama actually spoke out against the Citizens United v. FEC decision granting corporate personhood during the 2010 State of the Union address.

See, this is the problem with left-wing politics. Seriously, if you want to redistribute the wealth, you have to first create wealth -- and how do we create wealth? Enter capitalism. We can see what happened with the USSR and various other socialist nations. And in the end, in terms of completely abolishing capitalism, to be honest I'm not really feeling the "rage" in American society.

Getting rid of corruption in politics is one thing, but wanting to have the White House separate money from politics? Are you serious? I'm not sure that such a position could ever retain a sense of credibility. How do you even argue in support of positions like abolishing capitalism and separating money from politics? Wanting to protest to make your voice heard is one thing -- actually protesting about worthwhile positions is apparently something completely different. As for the coming US Day of Rage on Sept. 17 on Wall Street, we shall see.

Posted-In: News Politics Economics General Best of Benzinga


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