Lenin in Lower Manhattan

The Occupy Wall Street movement is all about expanding socialism in America. To prove how well socialism works, they have decided to apply that ideology within their own movement. As you would expect, the results are formidable. From the New York Post:

Even in Zuccotti Park, greed is good. Occupy Wall Street’s Finance Committee has nearly $500,000 in the bank, and donations continue to pour in — but its reluctance to share the wealth with other protestErs is fraying tempers. Some drummers — incensed they got no money to replace or safeguard their drums after a midnight vandal destroyed their instruments Wednesday — are threatening to splinter off. “F–k Finance. I hope Mayor Bloomberg gets an injunction and demands to see the movement’s books. We need to know how much money we really have and where it’s going,” said a frustrated Bryan Smith, 45, who joined OWS in Lower Manhattan nearly three weeks ago from Los Angeles, where he works in TV production.

The citizens of the Soviet Union also had problems with government transparency. There, it was the Gosplan who had control over all the money. But then again – they maintained that control in the name of the workers’ proletariat. Since they were (self) appointed by the grassroots (i.e., the people of the Soviet Union) they really did not have any reason to open their books. After all, if you are a socialist, you are inherently good… aren’t you?

Smith is a member of the Comfort Working Group — one of about 30 small collectives that have sprung up within OWS. The Comfort group is charged with finding out what basic necessities campers need, like thermal underwear, and then raising money by soliciting donations on the street.

The Soviet Union also had a Comfort Working Group. There was a directorate of economic resources in each Soviet republic that was charged with finding out what basic necessities the people of the Soviet Union needed, like food, shelter, energy to heat their homes. Then they were charged with coming up with all those resources and making sure that those who needed a loaf of bread would get a loaf of bread.

“The other day, I took in $2,000. I kept $650 for my group, and gave the rest to Finance. Then I went to them with a request — so many people need things, and they should not be going without basic comfort items — and I was told to fill out paperwork. Paperwork! Are they the government now?” Smith fumed, even as he cajoled the passing crowd for more cash.

There were a lot of people in the Soviet Union who needed things and should not have gone without basic comfort items. But for mysterious reasons the Soviet bureaucracy could quite never come up with those resources. Yet the Gosplan bureaucrats seemed to be living well as they managed the people’s money to further the cause of the workers’ proletariat.

The Finance Committee dives on whatever dollars are raised by all the OWS working groups, said Smith, and doesn’t give it back. The Comfort group has an allowance of $150 a day, while larger working groups, like the Kitchen group, get up to $2,000. “What can I do with $150?” said Smith. “We have three tons of wet laundry here from the rainstorm — how do I get that done? We need winter gear, shoes, socks. I could spend $10,000 alone for backpacks people need. We raise all this money. Where is it?”

The farmers of the Soviet Union asked themselves the same questions when they were starving after having produced record harvests.

Pete Dutro, 36, a Brooklyn tattoo artist who is getting a master’s in finance and sits on the Finance Committee, said big purchases like Smith’s can’t get immediate approval. “We don’t have the power for that. They have to go to the General Assembly. If it’s approved, we pay out that amount and make sure everything is accounted for,” he said.

Ah. So when the directorate of economic resources sends a request for more money to Gosplan, the Gosplan bureaucrats cannot approve it right away. The request has to be passed on to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. All this, of course, to make sure that the workers’ proletariat has its say in whether or not the people need bread (or backpacks).

Within the next few days, the Financial Committee will release a detailed report, he said.

Glasnost and Perestroika are coming to Lower Manhattan.

Yesterday, a huge flat-screen TV went up in Zuccotti Park for a movie night and pajama party with popcorn.

Socialism no doubt makes progress. All they got back in the Soviet Union was stale bread and crappy black-and-white TV. They would have loved popcorn.

Organizers hoped it would attract new recruits — even as some long-timers complained that the movement was getting too diffuse after yesterday’s lackluster showing at a police-brutality event in Union Square that barely attracted 50 participants.

The workers’ proletariat has become too bureaucratized. Yes, that happened in the Soviet Union, too. Perhaps they need a Prague Spring now?

Some activists, like those in Pulse, the committee that represents Zuccotti Park drummers, are a bit worn out by all the collective activity. Last week, on a rainy night, someone stabbed holes in many of the protesters’ drums with a knife, said Elijah Moses, 19, of Queens, a founder of the Pulse Working Group. Moses asked the General Assembly — the nightly meeting where protesters collectively vote on OWS decisions — for $8,000 to replace the drums, and build a small shed to lock them up. “They said no — they turned us down. I’m really frustrated,” said Moses.

What? Are people losing faith in the revolution? This happened in the Soviet Union as well. By the early 1920s the glow of the October Revolution had faded and the workers and the farmers of the Soviet Union decided to launch The Great Purge. They sent millions of their neighbors, family members and friends to socialist re-education camps around the country. Of course, these camps were always built at a comfortable distance from where people lived, so not too many questions would be asked as to the nature of the re-education activities.
 
Perhaps it is time for the Occupy Wall Street movement to create mandatorily voluntary re-education groups at a safely remote distance from Lower Manhattan.
 
Occupy Central Park, anyone?