There is a grassroots protest movement unfolding across America, which includes people from all walks of life, from all age groups, conscious of the need for social change and committed to reversing the tide.
The grassroots of this movement constitutes a response to the "Wall Street agenda" of financial fraud and manipulation which has served to trigger unemployment and poverty across the land.
Does this movement constitute in its present form an instrument of meaningful reform and social change in America?
What is the organizational structure of the movement? Who are its main architects?
Has the movement or segments within this movement been co-opted?
This is an important question, which must be addressed by those who are part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement as well as those who, across America, support real democracy.
Historically, progressive social movements have been infiltrated, their leaders co-opted and manipulated, through the corporate funding of non-governmental organizations, trade unions and political parties. The ultimate purpose of "funding dissent" is to prevent the protest movement from challenging the legitimacy of the economic elites:
"In a bitter irony, part of the fraudulent financial gains on Wall Street in recent years have been recycled to the elites' tax exempt foundations and charities. These windfall financial gains have not only been used to buy out politicians, they have also been channeled to NGOs, research institutes, community centres, church groups, environmentalists, alternative media, human rights groups, etc.
"The inner objective is to 'manufacture dissent' and establish the boundaries of a 'politically correct' opposition. In turn, many NGOs are infiltrated by informants often acting on behalf of western intelligence agencies. Moreover, an increasingly large segment of the progressive alternative news media on the internet has become dependent on funding from corporate foundations and charities.
"The objective of the corporate elites has been to fragment the people's movement into a vast 'do it yourself' mosaic." (See Michel Chossudovsky, Manufacturing Dissent: the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, Global Research, September 20, 2010)
At the same time, "manufactured dissent" is intent upon promoting political and social divisions (e.g. within and between political parties and social movements). In turn, it encourages the creation of factions within each and every organization.
With regard to the anti-globalization movement, this process of division and fragmentation dates back to early days of the World Social Forum. (See Michel Chossudovsky, Manufacturing Dissent: The Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, Global Research, September 20, 2010)
Most of the progressive organizations of the post-World War II period, including the European "Left" have, in the course of the last 30 years, been transformed and remoulded. The "Free Market" system (Neoliberalism) is the consensus of the "Left." This applies, among others, to the Socialist Party in France, the Labour Party in Britain, the Social Democrats in Germany, not to mention the Green Party in France and Germany.
In the US, bi-partisanship is not the result of the interplay of Congressional party politics. A handful of powerful corporate lobby groups control both the Republicans and the Democrats. The "bi-partisan consensus" is established by the elites who operate behind the scenes. It is enforced by the main corporate lobby groups, which exert a stranglehold over both major political parties.
In turn, the leaders of the AFL-CIO have also been co-opted by the corporate establishment against the grassroots of the US labor movement.