Idea: #Occupy Post Office

privatization The Occupy movement is drifting, trying to figure where to camp next. Meanwhile, the United States Postal Service, despite being all but mandated in the purportedly perfect and holy U.S. Constitution, is being further starved and strangled, at the cost of another 28,000 decent jobs next year alone.

Why not put 2 and 2 together, and demand that the United States not only stop the euthanasia, but reverse course and develop a robust, modernized postal system?

We know the USPS used to be permitted to open and maintain savings accounts, and that national postal services still do so in other nation-states.

We might also observe that the reason everybody states for tolerating the further erosion of the USPS — the rise of email, fax, SMS/text, and internet messaging, and the attending decline in paper-based letters and volumes — is merely a new form of the human process the Post Office was intended to encourage. Why permit the overclass to enjoy making the first half of the point without pressing them on the second? Why not fuse reason and radicalism, on a topic that few could dispute is of deepest importance?

So, Occupiers, why not occupy Post Offices and insist that the USPS be reinvigorated and launched into the business of building and maintaining a modern communications infrastructure, as well as maintaining some appropriate amount of snail-mail delivery? Why not use the USPS to compete with the corporate squatters who are now allowed to suppress public enterprise while sucking money-for-nothing from the patchy, over-priced, for-profit, advertising-intensive, second-rate telecom system in this country? Why not insist that the Postal Service build a modern, universally-available national internet, with lower prices, minimal marketing overlay, and no place for payouts to private investors? Why not out-compete the cell phone oligopolies and their pathetic but hugely expensive war over meaningless market shares? Why not insist that junk mail and corporate marketers pay first-class or even first-class-plus rates to use the public’s physical mail system?

While we’re at it, in our moment of deserved but dangerous bankster bashing, why not also press to restore the banking function to the Post Office? A 2% savings account sounds pretty good right about now, doesn’t it? And the deposits could be used to finance the USPS’s modernization and universalization of the means of citizen-to-citizen communication.

Why not insist on preserving and expanding a major public enterprise that provides decent jobs to people who do honorable, vital tasks? Why not stick it to the Man — and in some vital organs, for a change?

A Zinger from Zizek

zizek I’m not a huge fan of Slavoj Zizek.  His stuff usually strikes me as being both scattershot and overly, self-consciously “theoretical.”  But he does have his powers.

TCT heartily endorses his recent take, as reported in Harper’s, on an issue at the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement:

Harper’s: You were critical of some of the slogans used by protesters in 2008 — “Save Main Street, Not Wall Street” for example. During Occupy Wall Street, people say, “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out.” Is there a better slogan to be had?

Zizek: The problem is that if you mobilize against the bad financial system you fall into a certain ideological trap, the fascist trap. This is the basic fascist idea: we have the truly productive strata — workers, industrial capitalists — and then we have the bad Jewish bankers who exploit them. The problem is not to fight Wall Street. The problem is, why does the system need Wall Street to function?…If Wall Street collapses, then Main Street collapses. That’s how the system works.

TCT would add that it’s also not very advisable to forget that, along with the financial sector, the supply-side bailouts included corporate capitalism’s beating heart — the automobile industry.