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Bishop Robinson: OWS isn’t anti-capitalist, Wall Street is

Bishop Robinson: OWS isn’t anti-capitalist, Wall Street is

Updated: Bishop Robinson will be on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight at about 9:45 p. m., talking about Occupy Wall Street.

Bishop Gene Robinson says that the protestors occupying Wall Street aren’t anti-capitalist. Rather, they are protesting the ways in which the capitalist system is corrupted by the financial industry.


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Laura Sykes

(?Mr) Wingate

I have been able to see to video so am able to assure you that Jim’s 2-sentence summary of a 4.23 minute video is accurate and fair.

Bishop Gene Robinson makes the interesting point that the protesters are not, for example, against Apple. They are not against Steve Jobs for having made lots of money. They are against the misuse of capitalism, whereby some on Wall Street have used money to make (sometimes enormous sums of) money without putting anything back into society.

I am English, and we have a similar protest in London. Here too, the protesters are as a whole neither anarchists nor Marxists.

What seems to be missing from both sides of the Atlantic is evidence of a social conscience. This is not true of manufacturing (Bill Gates is well on the way to eradicating malaria single-handed) where there is a long tradition of charitable foundations. But among the young who have achieved great wealth by making money with money, I see less evidence of a desire to plough any of this back into society.

I hope I am wrong – please tell me I am – but I think it is this that the protests are partly about. Our finance minister, George Osborne, keeps saying: ‘we’re all in this together’: the protesters are pretty sure this is untrue!

C. Wingate

Jim, I will have to take your word for it that you have represented Bp. Robinson’s words accurately, as I cannot see the video here. However, it is untrue that the protesters are not as a whole anti-capitalist. It is no great secret that they are being supported by various Marxist and anarchist organizations, and one would have to expect that people representing those views can be numbered among those present, perhaps in substantial numbers. Surely many, perhaps a majority of those present, view matters as he says: that our current financial structures are corrupted and need reform and greater oversight. I personally would endorse that general assessment. But I do not think he can legitimately represent himself as the voice of the protesters in this wise, nor as a reporter of the protests. And he is not doing the church a favor by presuming to adopt either role.

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