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Occupying Wall Street

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Bernie Sanders’s Democratic Socialism
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Abstract

This chapter shows that the Occupy Wall Street movement turned out to be the detonator that propelled Bernie Sanders to boldly run in the 2016 presidential election. Sanders sought to engage the Gramscian “integral State,” to translate the people’s “good sense” into the political power to reform the government. Occupy Wall Street was a brief detonator of social discontent whose fire Bernie Sanders seized. But while Occupy was a protest movement that aimed to change American society without taking power, Sanders aimed to take power to change American society in the wake of Occupy Wall Street. His 2016 presidential run was in fact Act Two of the movement that had started in Zuccotti Park, New York City, five years earlier. Sanders was to engage the American utopia to which every American was entitled but that seemed to have been perpetually deferred.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Beyond the obvious reference to the 1773 Boston Tea Party, “Tea” was an acronym for “Taxed Enough Already.”

  2. 2.

    Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, New York, Harper Collins, 2007, pp. 9–10.

  3. 3.

    Ibid., p. 11.

  4. 4.

    Ronald W. Reagan, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981, The American Presidency Project, https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/246336.

  5. 5.

    Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr., “Obama and the Economy,” Mises Institute, August 6, 2009, https://mises.org/print/5661.

  6. 6.

    Obama, Remarks by the President on the Mortgage Crisis, February 18, 2009, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-mortgage-crisis.

  7. 7.

    Id.

  8. 8.

    Eric Etheridge, “Rick Santelli: Tea Party Time,” New York Times, February 20, 2009, https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/rick-santelli-tea-party-time.

  9. 9.

    Obama, The President’s Weekly Address, April 25, 2009, op. cit., p. 149.

  10. 10.

    Michael Grunwald, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era, New York, Simon & Schuster, 2012, p. 338.

  11. 11.

    Krugman, “The Great Abdication,” New York Times, February 14, 2011, https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/the-great-abdication.

  12. 12.

    Ibid.

  13. 13.

    Michael Tomasky, “The Significance of Bernie Sanders’ Filibuster,” The Guardian, December 10, 2010, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/dec/10/bernie-sanders-filibuster-tax-cuts.

  14. 14.

    Obama, Statement by the President on Tax Cuts and Unemployment Benefits, December 6, 2010, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/06/statement-president-tax-cuts-and-unemployment-benefits.

  15. 15.

    Sanders, The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class, New York, Nation Books, 2011, p. 9.

  16. 16.

    Ibid.

  17. 17.

    Sanders, Our Revolution, p. 47.

  18. 18.

    Blair Taylor, “From Alterglobalization to Occupy Wall Street: Neoanarchism and the New Spirit of the Left,” City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action, vol. 17, n° 6, December 11, 2013, p. 742, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2013.849127.

  19. 19.

    Sanders, “Wall Street Bailout,” op. cit., p. 153.

  20. 20.

    See supra, p. 51.

  21. 21.

    David DeGraw , “The Economic Elite vs. the People of the United States,” AmpedStatus , February 15–27, 2010, https://daviddegraw.org/the-economic-elite-vs-the-people-%EF%BB%BF%EF%BB%BForiginal-99-movement-call-to-action.

  22. 22.

    Sarah Van Gelder, This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement, San Francisco, CA, Berrett-Koehler, 2011, p. 1.

  23. 23.

    Occupy Wall Street, http://occupywallst.org.

  24. 24.

    Pew Research Center, “Occupy Wall Street Drives Economic Coverage,” October 9, 2011, https://www.journalism.org/2011/10/09/pej-news-coverage-index-october-39-2011.

  25. 25.

    John B. Judis, The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics, New York, Columbia Global Reports, 2016, p. 61.

  26. 26.

    Pew Research Center, “Occupy Wall Street Drives Economic Coverage,” op. cit., p. 169.

  27. 27.

    Gautney, p. 4.

  28. 28.

    Steven Greenhouse, and Cara Buckley, “Seeking Energy, Unions Join Protest Against Wall Street,” New York Times, October 5, 2011, https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/nyregion/major-unions-join-occupy-wall-street-protest.html.

  29. 29.

    Devin Dwyer, “Obama: Occupy Wall Street ‘Not That Different’ From Tea Party Protests,” ABC News, October 18, 2011, https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/obama-occupy-wall-street-not-that-different-from-tea-party-protests.

  30. 30.

    Obama, “Remarks by the President on the Economy in Osawatomie, Kansas,” December 6, 2011, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/06/remarks-president-economy-osawatomie-kansas.

  31. 31.

    Id., Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, op. cit., p. 147.

  32. 32.

    Id., Remarks by the President on the Economy in Osawatomie, Kansas, op. cit., p. 170.

  33. 33.

    Pew Research Center, “Rising Share of Americans See Conflict Between Rich and Poor,” January 11, 2012, https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/01/11/rising-share-of-americans-see-conflict-between-rich-and-poor.

  34. 34.

    Todd Gitlin, Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street, New York, It Books, 2012, p. 33.

  35. 35.

    Anna Szolucha, Real Democracy in the Occupy Movement: No Stable Ground, New York, Routledge, 2017, p. 170.

  36. 36.

    Ibid., p. 174.

  37. 37.

    Id.

  38. 38.

    Ibid., p. 170.

  39. 39.

    Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International, New York, Routledge, 2006, p. 81. Ibid., p. 171.

  40. 40.

    U.S. Constitution, op. cit., p. 61.

  41. 41.

    King, op. cit., p. 147.

  42. 42.

    Obama, op. cit, p. 147.

  43. 43.

    Taylor, “From Alterglobalization to Occupy Wall Street,” p. 739.

  44. 44.

    Ibid.

  45. 45.

    Ibid.

  46. 46.

    See supra, p. 81.

  47. 47.

    John Nichols, “Occupy Wall Street: Bernie Sanders, Progressives, Big Unions Endorse; Obama’s Silent,” Nation, October 5, 2011, https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/politics-occupy-wall-street-bernie-sanders-progressives-big-unions-endorse-obamas-silent.

  48. 48.

    The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was founded in 1903 by the merger of The Team Drivers International Union and The Teamsters National Union. It now represents a diverse membership of blue-collar and professional workers in both the public and private sectors.

  49. 49.

    James P. Hoffa, Hoffa Says Teamsters Stand with Occupy Wall Street Movement,” Teamsters.org, October 5, 2011, https://teamster.org/blog/2015/11/breaking-hoffa-says-teamsters-stand-occupy-wall-street-movement-0.

  50. 50.

    Sanders, Outsider in the White House, p. 332.

  51. 51.

    Ibid., op. cit., p. 80.

  52. 52.

    Mark Bray, Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street, Winchester, Zero Books, 2013, p. 4.

  53. 53.

    Ibid., p. 60.

  54. 54.

    Taylor, “From Alterglobalization to Occupy Wall Street,” p. 734.

  55. 55.

    Gitlin, p. 81.

  56. 56.

    Gitlin, op. cit., p. 171.

  57. 57.

    Taylor, op. cit., p. 167.

  58. 58.

    Marco Briziarelli, and Susana Martinez Guillem, “The Counter-Hegemonic Spectacle of Occupy Wall Street: Integral State and Integral Struggle,” Revista Científica de Información y Comunicación, 2014, p. 151.

  59. 59.

    “What is MoveOn?” MoveOn.org, https://front.moveon.org/about.

  60. 60.

    Jennifer Schuessler, “Academia Occupied by Occupy,” New York Times, April 30, 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/01/books/academia-becomes-occupied-with-occupy-movement.html.

  61. 61.

    West, “A Love Supreme,” The Occupied Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2011, p. 1.

  62. 62.

    Gitlin, p. 110.

  63. 63.

    Gramsci, p. 239.

  64. 64.

    Ibid., p. 271.

  65. 65.

    Ibid., p. 267.

  66. 66.

    See supra, p. 139.

  67. 67.

    Pew Research Center, “Rising Share of Americans See Conflict Between Rich and Poor,” op. cit., p. 171.

  68. 68.

    Marisa Holmes, “Mic Check! Bernie Sanders Swallows Occupy’s Microphone,” International Times: The Newspaper of Resistance, January 21, 2016, http://internationaltimes.it/mic-check-bernie-sanders-swallows-occupys-microphone.

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Correspondence to Nicolas Gachon .

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Gachon, N. (2021). Occupying Wall Street. In: Bernie Sanders’s Democratic Socialism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-69661-0_9

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