James C. Scott, a Yale political science professor, has just published, Two Cheers for Anarchism. In it, he invites readers to consider the possibility that the greatest gains for human freedom have come not from the orderly exercise of democracy but from the “disorderly unpredictable, spontaneous actions” of those who challenge the system. (“The Anti-Economist,” by Jeff Madrick, Harpers, 3/13 pg. 10)
Jeff Madrick uses Scott’s argument to defend the achievements of the “Occupy Wall Street,” movement. Its critics say the protest was a momentary bubble on the body politic. But Madrick warns us not to dismiss the success or failure of the movement too soon. Cause-and-effect doesn’t always work in straight line. More likely, a bubble that bursts in one place will pop up later in another. The importance of the OWS movement, according to Madrick, is that it laid the ground work for a public discussion of accountability in our financial systems. People are asking why the architects of the last depression, those who robbed countless Americans of their financial security, who bent if not twisted banking practices to the point of malfeasance while garnering obscene profits for themselves, should not be considered criminals and sent to jail?
Madrick contends the question of accountability was born with OWS movement. Its street demonstrations may be gone but another bubble has popped up in its place. Newly elected Senator Elizabeth Warren, who sits on the Senate Banking Committee, is seriously asking if “too big to fail” hasn’t come to mean, “too big for trial.” (“A Senator Who’ll Smack the Banks. Yes!” by Craig Matters, Money, 4/13/ pg. 7) It’s a good question, sparked by a citizens movement that, if Elizabeth Warren has her way, may soon be answered in Congress.
(Courtesy of what-time-is.com)