Occupy America (2011), by Lori37 at Flickr Commons
The breath of fresh air from Occupy and related activism challenges corporate power and capitalism. It rebukes the dominant political parties, which are dependent on the 1% for their funding and in turn represent them in Congress. As Gordon Lafer has said, "If the Republicans are cheerleaders for the 1 percent, most Democrats are quiet collaborators."1 Both parties have accepted that the major problem facing the country is the deficit--which of course it is not. The project of class-coded austerity (complete with bad cop Republicans and good cop Democrats) is deemed unavoidable, both to pay for the mess and to continue enhancing the wealth and power of the 1%. Neither party wants to discuss what has happened to working people over the last three decades, a scenario which is likely to continue as incomes stagnate or fall for the vast majority of the 99% and wealth and power further concentrate at the top. This not just true for the 1%, but also for the one-tenth of 1% and even the one-one thousandth of the 1%--that is, those billionaires who decide who the viable candidates are and what economic policies Congress and the media should take seriously.
Click here to read Tabb's entire article in the Sept 2012 Monthly Review.