The Breakdown | Explaining Southern California's economy

The dark side of the the Occupy Movement

Not what you want to see at a protest about banking and finance in Downtown LA.
Not what you want to see at a protest about banking and finance in Downtown LA.
Matthew DeBord

At the outset, I think it's important to remember that the Occupy Movement, from Wall Street to Downtown LA and everywhere in between, has been rational and peaceful. But there will be some cranks who worm their way into any happening of this scale. I spotted the sign above as I was leaving Occupy LA a few days ago. I wasn't happy to see it. But I wasn't surprised, either.

It gets worse. ReasonTV found someone at the Downtown LA protest who was willing to actually talk out loud about the Zionist banking conspiracy. In front of a camera. 

She got fired.

Ever since there have been banks and international finance, there have been crackpot conspiracy theories about the intermingling of money, Jewishness, Zionism, UFOs, secret underground labs, black helicopters, the world government, vampires...

OK I'll stop now. It shouldn't be a shock to anyone that a mass-protest movement that has taken as the target of its ire the nation's financial elite would attract some of this nonsense. 

And it is utter nonsense. I wouldn't advise anyone to even begin googling or wiki-binging on it. You'll go down an oily rathole that has no obvious exit. When you do emerge, you'll feel bad about yourself and stupid for having wasted a portion of your short time here on Earth. If you want the condensed version, Wikipedia has it here and here.

The fact is that finance has done far more good than harm. Of late, its rewards have been distorted, but it's far from a perfect creation. Without it, however, we would be much worse off than we are. The Wall Street crowd has reason to worry that it won't be able to do business the way it has in the past. But it has a chance to prove that it can once again be as useful to society as it was before the financial crisis. It will be the Occupy Movement, along with government regulation, that makes this happen. Anti-Semitic conspiracy rants will have nothing to do with it.

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