Occupy Wall Street
Former Fox News talk-show host Glenn Beck has reached a conclusion regarding the four-week-old Occupy Wall Street protests that have grown almost since their start: They manifest a communist plan to collapse the U.S. economy. REUTERS

Former Fox News talk-show host Glenn Beck said the Occupy Wall Street protests that have grown in the past four weeks are part and parcel of a communist plan to collapse the U.S. economy.

Beck also said the Occupy demonstrations occurring in numerous cities around the world represent a coordinated effort by communists to collapse the capitalist economic system, not reform it.

This is a Marxist revolution that is global in its nature, Beck said Friday.

Appearing on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Beck said that although not everyone protesting the U.S.'s high unemployment rate, stagnant wages, and other social problems stemming from the long, painful 2007-2009 recession is a communist, segments of the far left are represented in the coalition and that the coalition's leaders are Marxists. They are communists.

Beck also said Occupy Wall Street had two branches.

One branch would engage in violent protests and call for the overthrow of the capitalist system in what would amount to the start of an armed rebellion against the U.S. government, if not an outright civil war, Beck said.

The other branch would then appear, and be peaceful, Beck said, to create an image of how much better the second branch is compared to the violent first branch (i.e., it would be nonviolent and seeking reform peacefully, through the democratic process).

Beck said the second branch we'll see soon and it will appear to be more Tea Party-like, and that one will be run by Van Jones.

Beck also said the first branch of Occupy Wall Street is the brains behind the movement and is being led by President Barack Obama.

He [Obama] is a street organizer. He knows everything that's going on and he knows all the people that are involved, Beck said.

Occupy Wall Street: So Far, Not Conforming to Beck's Description

Occupy Wall Street's demands and grievances are numerous and varied, but one general theme is that the coalition believes both public policy and tax law changes in the past 30 years have resulted in a society in which the rich/upper income groups, including banks/financial institutions, are reaping most of the financial rewards from society, at the expense of everyone else, including the middle class, the working class, the working poor, and the poor.

Occupy Wall Street argues this trend in society is anti-democratic and unjust: the coalition says public policy should change to help create a more-fair, more-egalitarian society -- one in which the decisions are made by a majority of the people and serve everyone -- not by and for the rich/upper income groups, the coalition argues.

So far, the group has sought to reform the U.S. economic system: There has been no sign that Occupy Wall Street is seeking the collapse of the U.S's economic system of corporate capitalism.

Also so far, Occupy Wall Street has not presented Wall Street's investment banks, or the Democratic congressional leadership, or the Republican congressional leadership, or anyone, for that matter, with a list of demands or changes the coalition would like to see occur.

Occupy Wall Street has emphasized a nonhierarchical structure, and that's perhaps one reason they haven't issued a formal list of demands, but most groups in the coalition appear to agree on several points:

1) Increasing taxes on the rich/upper income groups -- in the group's phraseology, the wealthiest 1 percent of society -- to get them to pay what the coalition argues is their fair share in taxes.

2) A large increase in federal spending to create jobs to lower the 9.1. percent U.S. unemployment rate, improve the nation's infrastructure and education system, and better fund other social programs, such as health care.

3) Protection for Social Security and Medicare entitlements.

4) New laws to strengthen unions, encourage collective bargaining, and boost union membership.

5) An end to corporate welfare tax laws and programs.

6) Some form of debt relief for middle- and working-class citizens, as well as the poor.

To date, there has been no sign that Occupy Wall Street is seeking to collapse the U.S. economic system of corporate capitalism, and replace it with, for example, democratic socialism -- variants of which exist in many Western European nations -- or with another economic system.

Fox Ended Beck's Show Last June

A controversial conservative/libertarian talk-show host, Beck rocketed to fame in 2009, in part due to the American public's bewilderment at the dizzying array of special facilities and interventions by the U.S. Federal Reserve and Congress needed to both keep credit markets liquid and provide fiscal stimulus to the economy during the financial crisis and subsequent recession --- the nation's worst since the Great Depression.

However, Beck's popularity waned in 2010 and 2011, and his Fox talk show's rating's declined, in part due to the fact that at least some viewers appeared to grow skeptical of Beck's repeated, apocalyptic predictions. Fox ended Beck's show in June.

Political/Public Policy Analysis

It is a very sad commentary on the condition of major U.S. media outlets to know that a person like Glenn Beck would be let on the air, let alone given ample cable network airtime.

In a word, Beck's analysis of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement borders on the ludicrous. The liberal or what some call the left segment of the U.S. ideological spectrum forms the bulk of protesters, but the coalition also contains populists, libertarians, moderates, conscientious objectors, environmentalists, independents, and people who have never previously been involved in a social/economic demonstration. Naturally, the coalition includes some who would describe themselves as socialists or democratic socialists, but to conclude at this early stage of the movement that Occupy Wall Street is a communist plan to take over the U.S. economy is absurd.

Of course, this is not the first time Beck has used incendiary rhetoric and fear-mongering to characterize a political movement or program he disagrees with: His television show featured ample portions of the above for the better part of two years. His show cycled from demagoguery, to ludicrous/crazy conspiracy theories, and to tenuous if not absurd causal links and conclusions.

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