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Ralph Nader comments on Occupy Wall Street

Ralph Nader has run for President of the United States with the Green Party, and more recently as an independent. This message is at the website, and was also sent out as an e-mail announcement:

Rumble from the people
by Ralph Nader

Inside the barricading bubbles surrounding the Wall Street plutocrats and the Washington oligarchs who service them, there must be worry. After three years of disclosed “lying, cheating and stealing” as one prosecutor put it, with nary a visible stir from the masses, suddenly the barricades are beginning to quiver.

Could this “Occupy Wall Street” challenge in New York City that is spreading to hundreds of communities from Prescott, Arizona to Hartford, Connecticut, be the real thing they have dreaded? Could this be the revolt of the multitudes, the “reserve army of the unemployed?”

It is remarkable what a little more than 100,000 Americans, showing up and staying awhile have done in three weeks.

They’re rattling the corporate supremacists. They have become a mass media story with columnists, editorials and cartoonists grinding out the ever increasing commentary.

There is fascination and curiosity about people who call themselves “The 99 percent!” People are organizing their little societies and 24/7 necessities – food, first aid, shelter, legal advice, music, posters – all without leaders.

The demonstrators are deliberately nonviolent but are angry over deep inequities and entrenched greed and power that are impoverishing and harming millions in need, including hungry children and those without health care. The protesters are keeping the pundits and pontificators guessing about their “real agenda.”

Perfect, so far! Keep expanding the numbers of Americans who show up all over, who stay, who discover each other’s talents and the emerging power of the powerless. Go to 300,000, then 800,000, then 2 million and onward. There are 25 million Americans who want work but cannot get it to pay their rent, their debts, their mortgages and their multiplying student loans. While big corporate profits, bosses’ bonuses and tax loopholes for the wealthy proliferate.

Sparked by an urging from the culture-jamming ADBUSTERS magazine from Vancouver, Canada in July, the Occupy Wall Street effort gets more remarkable by the day. It carries the moral outrage and the moral authority of the vast majority of Americans who are excluded, disrespected, defrauded, unrepresented, underpaid and unemployed. The American dream has turned into a nightmare. They are taught to trust as school children the very public and business institutions that have betrayed them, looted or drained their pensions, their tax dollars and their common properties.

Those protesters at the renamed Liberty Park in New York are going into the nearby stores, with other consumers, and paying nearly 9 percent sales tax on their purchases. While the Wall Streeters are buying trillions of derivatives and stocks without paying a penny in sales tax. Taxing Wall Street speculators could produce hundreds of billions of overdue dollars a year from just a ½ percent sales tax on financial speculation.

The Wall Street “occupiers” and their offspring have good picks for their demonstrations. In Washington, D.C. they chose the insidious corporatists at the Chamber of Commerce building opposite the White House. They went before the building that houses part of the military-industrial complex devouring our public budget that President Eisenhower warned us about in his remarkable farewell address in January 1961 (Read it here:

It will be only a short time before these resisters point to these multinational corporations’ abandonment of America by shipping jobs and industries to dictatorial regimes abroad that repress their 80 cents an hour workers.

Reporters write with some surprise about this new human energy. Look at all the bystanders in suits or uniforms nodding in support at the posters, the signs and the chants. Washington Post columnist, Patula Dvorak was astonished and observed:

“Every Washingtonian I talked to who stepped out to watch the action in Freedom Plaza – from the security guards to the suits – felt a solidarity with the message.

“The banks. The banks are taking all of us for a ride,” one security guard told me. “And they’re in the right place now, because Congress is behind that.”

Though the Occupy surge is going in the right direction – flipping our corporate government from our masters to our servants – no one knows how far it will go, whether it will retain its burgeoning energy and what the backlash will be from the ruling power structures.

Back in October 2008, when Wall Street was crashing on American investors, workers and taxpayers -in that order – our independent presidential campaign held a major rally at Wall Street.

Addressing the New York Stock Exchange, with our participators and their signs, I proposed specific recommendations for law enforcement, a financial transaction tax and accountability for those handling “other peoples’ money.” Few listened.

Now the powers-that-be are starting to listen, because instead of a one day event, they see day-after-day aroused citizens rallying back home and before the perpetrators of the predatory abuses.

When the corporate and political bosses hear the rising roar from the people, they start sweating. Now is time to turn up the heat without pausing.

Visit for more information on how to join the movement.


  1. Alan MacDonald Alan MacDonald October 23, 2011

    Great idea, but all these compatible and truth-telling figures (and Occupy) need to get on-board with what Dr. Paul has diagnosed and is publicly sharing.

    Yes, Sanders, Kucinich, Nader and others on the left are all serious and informed, but they will be ‘left’ at the starting gate by Dr. Ron Paul if they (and the Occupy movement) don’t articulate the real causal problem of the disguised EMPIRE — and commit to confront and be overtly “Against Empire” [Michael Parenti].

    Here’s what’s happening as we speak:

    My post to NYT Caucus blog ‘Breakfast Menu’ re Dr. Paul ‘outing’ of Empire on national TV TODAY!:

    On NBC’s Sunday News ‘show’, “Meet the Press” (10/23), corporatist Empire lacky, David Gregory, attempted to torpedo Ron Paul by running a video clip of Paul stating that America has morphed from Republic into an EMPIRE.

    Paul rightly did not back-down and reinforced that our country has indeed become an Empire, although he did not have the time to explain that it has done so more guilefully than the Roman Empire or the Nazi Empire, because TWO-Vichy parties have been used instead of just one as in France during WWII.

    Quite opposite the intended torpedoing of Paul that Gregory and the corporatist/fascist media of this Empire intended, this truth telling and education of the American public by Paul comports exactly with the yet to be fully articulated concerns of 99% of Americans as to what is really wrong with their former country. The seminal cause of “what’s wrong” is precisely that our country has been OCCUPIED by a disguised corporate/financial/militarist global Empire as surely as France was more visibly occupied by a less sophisticated and wannabe global Empire, the Nazi Empire.

    As the Occupy movement will soon conclude, Paul’s statement and diagnosis of the problem is exactly correct, we, the 99% of Americans are now captured and Occupied by an Empire that is not quite yet fully recognized — but its disguise and sophisticated TWO-Party Vichy sham of camouflage is being more clearly ‘seen through’ by all of us every day.

    And unless some other articulation of this deadly problem appears and is articulated by the Occupy movement as a political-economic agenda, goal, demand, etc., then Dr. Ron Paul will be the only doctor to have correctly diagnosed this most important under’lying’ cause of all the ‘symptom problems’ and ‘identity issues’ which Empire is causing from; vast economic inequality, Wall Street looting, increasing foreign wars of empire, public bankruptcy, massive environmental destruction, etc., etc., …..

    Dr. Paul has diagnosed the causal cancerous tumor hiding in our body-politic, and unless some of the best of the ‘left’ get ‘on-the-stick’ and start to come-out publicly and “call-out” the Empire the political die is cast entirely in favor of the Libertarian side of the political equation.

    I know that Nader is aware of and willing to confront the disguised Empire, because he committed to me in a Portland Maine church campaign event that he would ‘fight empire’. I also strongly suspect that Bernie understands what the hidden Empire has been doing to America, and would also commit to confront and be “Against Empire”. But these guys have to catch up, and perhaps even ally with Ron Paul, just as the Occupy movement, if it really wants to represent 99% has to understand that all Americans — except the 1% ruling elite inside the Empire — need to be brought together in this effort “Against Empire”, and start shouting with signs “Occupy the Empire” if they are to succeed.

    Stopping the Machine is very important —- but so is stopping the Empire that owns and runs the machine!

    Best luck and love to Occupy and 2011October,

    Alan MacDonald

    Sanford, Maine

    Liberty, democracy, and “Multitude” [Hardt & Negri]




  2. Deran Deran October 15, 2011

    I thinkthe Occupy… movement has Ralph Nader, and libertarian socialism, has been the intellectual underpinnings for the movement.

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