Peace and liberty activist, Adam Kokesh, caught up with some early “occupiers” at McPherson Square in Washington D.C. who were attempting to show solidarity with those at “Occupy Wall Street”. Although the student protesters spoke of broader issues, they were mostly carrying signs about the high cost of college education. When Kokesh drilled deeper into the standard “we’re here to support the 99ers” reason for being there, they revealed a disappointing level of understanding. Unfortunately, they seemed grossly misinformed as to why the cost of college has skyrocketed, the fact that Obama has escalated the wars, and why large corporations can operate as oppressive cartels.
When one young student claimed education inflation was due to “privatization” of universities, Kokesh correctly informs her that it’s the government involvement in student loans in collusion with private profits that is primarily responsible for bloated costs (much like the government created the housing bubble through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac policies, which was then exasperated by banking schemes to repackage those home loans as derivatives and credit default swaps that led to the 2008 financial collapse).
Lacking the understanding that the government has become the enforcement arm of corporate interests results in the mentality that there’s actually a separation between them. Kokesh explains that large corporations and cartels would not exist if it was not by the force of government. It’s odd that when it’s widely accepted that corporations own the government, people would still demand more government enforcement or regulations? It seems evident that we’ll only experience a more just world when we remove their power to “enforce” anything.
In an interesting exchange, a seemingly intelligent and compassionate protester claimed that violence was acceptable as long as it “maximizes social justice.” To which Kokesh countered, “I believe force against another human being is always morally wrong no matter what the excuse or any individual’s judgement of what is good for the rest of society, and any initiation of force inevitably is detrimental to human happiness.” Although the protester, Doug, agreed with that statement, he ultimately insisted that it’s the role of the government to use force. So much for the idea that the role of government is to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution.
These students hardly seem cut from the same cloth as the hardcore mob occupying Wall Street. One protester, who looked more like she was seeking cheap thrills than expressing serious grievances, actually looks forward to another Obama term because she believes he’s ending the wars — not quite an anti-establishment protester. When Kokesh, a decorated Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, tried to explain that Obama has actually increased the wars, she abruptly ended the interview in disgust.
While their solidarity with Occupy Wall Street should be commended, this group strikes me as the type of people that will go back to their normal life if Bernanke or Geithner is fired as a token victory. To their credit, the Wall Street protesters generally seem much more aware of the systematic problems, that both puppet parties are using every bloated aspect of the government on behalf of the elite to screw them out of a fair and free future.
Visit adamvstheman.com to follow Adam Kokesh’s reporting.