On the surface, the differences between the Occupy movement and the TEA party movement are quite apparent. The OWS movement trashes parks and streets, commits violent acts against businesses, and all manner of degenerate behaviours. The TEA party movements, on the other hand, generally hold their protests with minimal litter, no known acts of vandalism(that I know of), are generally respectful of communities’ laws regarding assembling and protestation, including to those in the law enforcement community representing those communities. But describing the visual and audible differences is not my point, although those differences certainly play into it. That is, the biggest difference between the two movements has to do with freedom and liberty.
I believe that the two differing groups have vastly different ideas on how freedom and liberty are achieved, and, in essence, who has the responsibility for making a person’s freedom and liberty a reality.
The OWS movement in their own words;
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments.
That is the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City.
Seems innocuous, doesn’t it? Until, of course, you get to their “solutions” to combat what they see as the problem.
Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.
Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.
Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.
Demand four: Free college education.
Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.
Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.
Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.
Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.
Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.
Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.
Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.
Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.
Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.
These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.
These “demands” all have one thing in common. That is, the removal of responsibility to individuals over their own lives. Even the requests for spending money on “ecological restoration” removes their own responsibility over the environment they can affect, dumping it on someone else. To put it quite simply, in order to attain what the OWS movement sees as freedom and liberty, their demands only “liberate” themselves from personal responsibility.
Contrast this with the TEA party movement;
Core Principles of the Gateway Grassroots Initiative:
1. Free Market Economics. A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we. As government can do nothing but distort the free expression of personal and economic liberty, we therefore support limited government.
2. Constitutionally Limited Government. We, members of the Gateway Grassroots Initative, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States as the supreme law of the land. We believe it is possible to know the original intent of the government our founders set forth and stand in support of that intent, as enumerated in such documents as, the Declaration of Independence and Federalist Papers. Like the founders, we are federalists, and support states rights for those powers not expressly stated in the Constitution. As the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, in all other matters we support the personal liberty of the individual, within the rule of law.
3. Fiscal Responsibility. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty must be fiscally responsible or it will place onerous burdens of taxation upon its citizenry, which unjustly restricts the very liberty it is designed to protect and abrogates the rights it is designed to secure.
• Limited federal government
• Individual freedoms
• Personal responsibility
• Free markets
• Returning political power to the states and the people
Limited Government – As our Founding Fathers recognized, restraint of government is necessary to protect the liberties of the people.
Fiscal Responsibility – Government at all levels must learn to live within its means. To saddle future generations with the crushing burden of our excess spending is unconscionable.
Personal Responsibility – Liberty is unsustainable without responsibility. Each citizen must take responsibility for the consequences of his or her own actions while respecting the rights and dignity of others.
The Rule of Law – Consistent, independent and uniform application of the law is critical to a free and prosperous society.
National Sovereignty – We must maintain a strong national defense, effective security for our borders, and sole control over our land and our laws.
And they are much the same no matter which TEA party group site you wish to visit. The TEA party groups universally espouse Personal Responsibility over one’s own life. Which means, that when a TEA party member starts to talk about freedom and liberty, they are not talking about imposing upon another person to provide for that freedom and liberty, but rather, that each person take their own responsibility over their lives.
OWS wishes to “liberate”, but in fact, espouses slavery. The TEA party promotes freedom and liberty, and applies the responsibility for such on each individual. And that is the major difference between the groups, even thought the flashpoint of their anger and angst was essentially the same. The TEA party is populated by conservative minded people. The OWS is populated by those seeking government handouts. The TEA party supports the free man. The OWS supports the liberated man. The free man is accepting, and even demanding of personal responsibility. The liberated man is terrified of it. Having personal responsibility means accepting, and even taking the blame. Not having it leads to blaming others for one’s own mistakes and circumstances.
The OWS movement, at it’s core, demands liberation, which, inherently, requires the action of another to accomplish. And the action they require of others is to free them from that responsibility over their lives.
And that same basic idea, of personal responsibility(TEA party), or avoidance of it(OWS), is inherent within whatever issue is being discussed, whether it be economic or social. Indeed, it could be said that every issue is both economic and social, so that distinction shouldn’t matter at all for whatever particular issue one is talking about.
I know where I fall, regarding personal responsibility. What about you?