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Re: <nettime> Occupy Wall Street and the Left
Flick Harrison on Thu, 19 Jan 2012 20:44:47 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Occupy Wall Street and the Left


Just to bring this back to digital technology... Kodak filed for bankruptcy today.

"Besides potentially aiding in the patent sale, bankruptcy protection could also allow Kodak to shed hundreds of millions of dollars in pension obligations. Kodak said in a filing that it contributed about $245 million to its U.S. pension obligations last year, and that it has been unable to shrink those liabilities to a more manageable level."

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/eastman-kodak-files-for-bankruptcy/?hp

The economy is so removed from reality that the 99% aren't even participants in it, let alone beneficiaries.  Speculation and restructuring determines everything.  Hard work and creativity are irrelevant.
 
This Kodak story is terrifying for anyone who understands it.  The "Kodak Moment" is burned in the American cultural mindset like Apple pie, and here we see that both the technological ingenuity and the brand power of this yankee giant are nothing but commodities to the capitalists.  Sell the patents, troll other patents, sell off the bits and pieces, take a big CEO bonus, file for bankruptcy, ditch the pensions and move on to the next company.  "Which company was that again?"

Pensions are "liabilities" to Kodak.  That about says it all.

It will be interesting to see this battle play out in Romney vs Obama.  B.O. has smartly positioned himself as slightly sympathetic to Occupy, and he can only hope the Republicans choose a candidate which allows him to frame the debate as Community Organizer vs Vulture Capitalist.

He'll later have to prove his credentials by undermining Occupy - maybe by starting a war - but perhaps the focus of Campaign 2012 on the ills of capitalism will provide more leftist momentum than the backroom boys can handle. The Tea Party has proven a useful tool of the right, whose power might have begun to recede; co-opting and manipulating Occupy is a trickier proposition, I hope, if only because it represents a much broader global constituency, and, well, actually has its analysis right.

-Flick Harrison

--
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