Rapper Immortal Technique and the OWS Message

October 15th, 2011
in Op Ed

by J. Clinton Hill, The Market Direction at hillbent.com, bio here

immortal-technique As social activist and poet Gil Scott Heron, once said: “the revolution will not be televised”. Of course, Gil never envisioned the ubiquitous and virtual nature of the internet or YouTube’s capacity to democratize and stream alternative media either.

Today, we feature Russia Today’s interview with Immortal Technique, a popular music rapper, who shares his voice on behalf of an up-and-coming generation.  Some people may de-legitimize the OWS (“Occupy Wall Street”) movement as un-American, but doing so is akin to denial. Unlike the Tea Party, whose participants have been known to brandish firearms at their rallies, this is a peaceful demonstration that is being met with police violence in some places.  However, the longer this movement persists, the stronger its foundation will grow and its supporters will harness their resources to financially pressure lawmakers and corporate America through strategically leveraged boycotts and other effective non-violent means.

Follow up:

Besides, when did it ever become un-American to politically protest and express a dissenting opinion towards the establishment? What is un-American are political and business leaders who lack the moral courage to refuse kicking the proverbial can down the road and extricate our nation from a dysfunctional and unsustainable economic feedback loop of boom and bust cycles generated by destructive fiscal and monetary policies. Keynesian measures have proven to be wasteful and inept when wielded by corrupt or incompetent policy makers. On the other hand, if you feel something trickling down your back, I can almost guarantee you that it is not the rain of economic prosperity, but its qualities are wet, yellow, and odorous!

When the founding fathers formed a government “of the people, for the people, and by the people”, I am almost sure they did not intend to include corporations, lobbyists, and other unaccountable fictitious legal entities. Thomas Jefferson, our country’s third president, and another un-American individual by today’s standards, so presciently expressed:

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around (these banks) will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power (of currency) should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

I predict that the OWS movement is only the beginning of something much larger to develop. Many of my top 1%-5% economic tier friends were slow to perceive that President Bush had lost his moral authority with the American people or betrayed the GOP’s traditional commitment to fiscal austerity. It took consistently overwhelming polls of disapproval to convince them of the indisputable truth. In late 2008, many of these same people found themselves mentally challenged to conceive that the U.S. and global markets were on the brink of financial collapse (while I was in the midst of closing down my hedge fund operations). I could list other examples of such follies, but I think you get the point.

For some strange reason, people cling to the fallacy that obstinate denial of inconvenient truths and potential black swans will magically banish their existence to black holes within the cosmic consciousness of their universe. Another alternative is to click their heels three times (e.g. QE1, QE2, and QE3) like Dorothy did in the Wizard of Oz and find their lost selves safely restored to the familiarity of the past. Unfortunately, such a thing is not possible in a global economy buttressed by the advent of the digital age of democratized information. Ironically, some erudite elites remind me of frogs who fail to perceive that they are being slowly boiled to death. (This is one of the side effects of cultivating an insensitive nature towards Agape.)

Today, I see similar attitudes among many of my successful business contacts. In fairness to them, most never grew up poor (like I did) so they view the world through a different prism. Occasionally, I like to visit red-neck biker bars and drink beer with the locals, or hang with my Nubian brothers in the hood and rap about “the man on the street vs. the man on Wall Street”, or take time out for soccer, tacos, and cerveza with my some of my hard working Latino/Mexican-American homeys. Heck, I even go to WalMart and talk to people in parking lots and observe their emotional dispositions and consumer spending patterns while I am shopping there myself.

Most of both my liberal and conservative economically privileged friends and colleagues will not venture in the Twilight Zone of poverty and a shrinking middle class. Some see such excursions as beneath them, while others are too afraid or mistakenly believe they cannot find enough common ground with the proletariat to sincerely engage them.

From my socio-political economic reconnaissance sorties and informal statistical sampling, I find that the voices of the people pretty much contain the same message regardless of their conservative or liberal political leanings. Many are fed up and unmotivated to participate in a system that fails to fairly apply the rules of free-market capitalism for those deemed “too big to fail” while concurrently doling out tax loop holes and shifting reductions in social safety nets and education programs to subsidize the interests of corporations and the military industrial complex.

Whether this is all true or not is another debate. What matters is that perception becomes reality and people will behave accordingly when they reach a tipping point. In due time, the politically divided masses will come to realize that the socio-political economic stakes they share are much greater than the ideological differences promulgated by insincere politicians and their constituent lobbyists.

Right now, the OWS protesters are merely marching by the houses of the elite 1%. If things do not change soon, then we may actually one day witness them storming the gates and scaling walls to drag off inhabitants to the guillotines of justice. (God forbid.) It is no accident or coincidence that we are experiencing a plethora of political and social protests on a global scale. Hopefully, our leaders will wake up worldwide and engage the common man before it is too late.

Enjoy today’s video…



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  1. Russ says :

    Why do we have have the impression that rappers can't communicate. Immortal Technique was more eloquent that may of the politicians that I know. This movement may have legs, but the longer it persists, the more the powers that be will want to bring it to a grinding halt. I don't know what the winter will do. The city will probably claim that any fires at the location are a safety hazard.

  2. Dan Remy Email says :

    A well thought out and clarifying article that says why we are mad as hell, but yet willing to peacefully demonstrate (for now). Wall Street bankers drank champagne in mockery and Blankfein of Goldman Sachs called OWS the "FLEA Baggers". These guys have no idea what's happening to us and truly don't give a damn.

    I believe that we deserve a dignified party name: "The American Majority Party".
    Our slogan: Of the people, by the people, for the people.

    Capt. Dan Remy, US Air Force

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