At first glance, I liked the idea of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests. I agree that Wall Street currently has way too much power (in a previous post, I compared Wall Street to Orren Boyle, the conniving crony capitalist villain from Atlas Shrugged). However, it seems that the protesters are completely misinformed about the source of Wall Street's power, and some of the "solutions" they proposed were fairly frightening.
Journalist and anti-war activist Adam Kokesh interviewed several of the protesters in DC. Many of them called for additional government regulations and the re-election of Obama. This seems a bit odd, considering the number of Wall Street operatives in Obama's cabinet, and the fact that one-third of the money he has raised so far for his 2012 campaign has come directly from Wall Street. These protesters seem to think that somehow a candidate that is bankrolled by Wall Street can effectively check Wall Street's power. They fail to understand that Wall Street has so much power largely because they have bought off so many people in government--and have received lots of sweetheart deals, loopholes, and bailouts in return.
While that is puzzling, this sign that was being carried at the protest is disturbing. It reads: "A government is an entity which holds the monopolistic right to initiate force." One of the protesters that Kokesh interviews also says that he supports the use of force by government if it will "maximize social justice...maximize freedom...and improve the lot of everyone." I believe that is very similar to the argument used by Hitler to pass the Enabling Act. And besides, how can people rail against Wall Street having excessive power...and then call for an even more powerful institution, the government, to use force? Do they actually want a totalitarian government?