October 8, 2011

Why I agree and disagree with #Occupy Wall Street.


First of all, let me acknowledge the beauty of non-violent civil unrest.

The #Occupy Wall Street protest is quintessentially American and it embodies some of the qualities that made America into the country it once was and the country it can be again. There is obviously something seriously wrong with the current state of affairs across numerous sectors of the American experience. Monetary policy, massive governmental bureaucracy, the emergence of a pseudo corporate police state are all serious concerns for the average citizen.  This protest, no matter how it is spun by the media and government,  is bringing many of these issues to light and that is important.


One of the things that both concerns me and invokes my disagreement in regards to certain demands of the protestors is the desire for more governmental regulation to reel in the corruption on Wall Street. Since the inception of the financial crisis that officially began in late 2008 (though many would argue earlier) there has been a basic lie that has permeated the economic consciousness of the country that has been enforced by the mainstream media.  That is, essentially, the housing crisis was caused by the blatant deregulation of large multinational banks that allowed for this crisis to be let loose on the American public. Or in other words, the crisis was caused by the “free market.”


Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me qualify that statement. I personally oversaw 250 million dollars of commercial and residential mortgages being originated and sold on the secondary market when I was CEO of a mortgage firm from 2004-2007 in my late 20’s.   That being said, my observation is exactly the opposite. The housing crisis which led into the broader financial crisis was caused by the over regulation of banks and the market.  Being that with government support and interference they were able to exist and thrive in a market that was so regulated and inherently “unfree” that the banks were allowed to run rampant.


The primary aspect of freedom whether it be on a personal, social, or on an economic level is responsibility.  If anything, these banks and corporations in their collusion with the government displayed no responsibility because they didn’t have to. The “free market” was rigged and responsibility was taken out of the equation.


When I had my own awakening and walked away from the financial game in late 2007 I moved immediately to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA where I lived for over 1 year.  As I began to confront my own role and responsibility in regards to the financial crisis,  I began to avidly read economic theory from a variety of viewpoints and positions. After analyzing an abundance of data in regards to the philosophy of economics I saw how perverted and purposefully complex this subject is made when presented by the mass media. I also realized how so much of what was given for the reason of this crisis was inherently false.  The persistence of this lie has made even the most noble protesters demand more of the same poison.

The brilliant and prophetic british author and social critic George Orwell’s most notable work, 1984, contained these immortal words:




We have seen how the state and corporate propagandist has managed to fool even our most brilliant citizens. Convincing people “the free market is bad”  “the free market caused this”  “we need more regulation” is Orwellian in its fullest sense. We have nearly 10,000 regulatory bodies in this country.  They are not only impotent but in many ways just as responsible as the large banks and corporations that caused this crisis that will undoubtably get much worse in a relatively short period of time.

Goldman Sachs is not a manifestation of the free market.  Walmart is not a manifestation of the free market. JP Morgan is not a manifestation of the free market. They are, as a fact, the result of the merger of corporate and governmental agencies to create an over regulated and inherently unfree system where only very few large corporations exist.

Since Elephant is primarily a blog of Yoga and the mindful life, I will leave you with this food for thought. Yoga is a coordinated system of axioms that brings about a resurgence in consciousness, responsibility, compassion, and awareness upon its application.  And because Yoga is a coordinated system of thought it can be applied to other systems to determine their relative truth or untruth.  This ability can be directly applied to what solutions emerge from this demonstration. Hopefully, the leadership of this protest will begin to demand specific and exact remedies to this problem like lets say, immediate audit of the Federal Reserve Bank or the immediate cessation of subsidizing any bank on Wall Street.

In any event #Occupy Wall Street is beautiful.  I can find many more things I agree with than I disagree with in regards to this protest.  Keep on rockin- in any event you ARE making a difference. Hopefully that impact will go in the right direction to a more free and open society.

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