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Bank Mutiny Day December 7: Another definition of "direct action"

Guardian:

[Man U's Eric] Cantona was once a famous exponent of direct action against adversaries on and off the pitch. In 1995 he was given a nine-month ban after launching a karate kick at a Crystal Palace fan who shouted racist abuse at the former Manchester United star after he was sent off. But while sympathising with the predicament of the protesters in France, the now retired Cantona is urging a more sophisticated approach to dissent.

He said: "I don't think we can be entirely happy seeing such misery around us. Unless you live in a pod. But then there is a chance... there is something to do. Nowadays what does it mean to be on the streets? To demonstrate? You swindle yourself. Anyway, that's not the way any more.

"We don't pick up weapons to kill people to start the revolution. The revolution is really easy to do these days. What's the system? The system is built on the power of the banks. So it must be destroyed through the banks.

"This means that the three million people with their placards on the streets, they go to the bank and they withdraw their money and the banks collapse. Three million, 10 million people, and the banks collapse and there is no real threat. A real revolution.

"We must go to the bank. In this case there would be a real revolution. It's not complicated; instead of going on the streets and driving kilometres by car you simply go to the bank in your country and withdraw your money, and if there are a lot of people withdrawing their money the system collapses. No weapons, no blood, or anything like that."

He concludes: "It's not complicated and in this case they will listen to us in a different way. Trade unions? Sometimes we should propose ideas to them."

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goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Oh, sure, nobody likes bankers. But I wonder what would happen if everyone in a 401K just decided not to make a contribution to it in the month of December.
Just idle speculation. A thot experiment, if you will. What do you think would happen?

Submitted by lambert on

I don't actually have a 401(k) so I don't know, but I seem to remember it's quite difficult to get the money out (and I know people who would like to do that so they could invest the money locally, so that's one possible good outcome). So, you say "masturbation," I say "off-point hypothetical," and that makes us even.

* * *

Surely this is right:

The system is built on the power of the banks. So it must be destroyed through the banks.

What would you do?

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

No, no, no. That would be expensive for the worker bee.
I'm just wondering what would happen if several million people temporarily changed their payroll deductions so that they don't make any contributions in the month of December. What do you think would happen? Would there be any impact, limited impact, no impact?

Submitted by hipparchia on

is that allowed? i thought this was one of those things you get to decide only once a year, during 'open enrollment', but it's been a long time since i had a 401k, so i don't remember the details.

Stephanie's picture
Submitted by Stephanie on

... I told the dept in charge that I wanted to stop making deposits into my 401k acct., which came directly out of my pay, effective immediately. And it was done the next pay period. There was no enrollment period as there is with health insurance, or perhaps there is an enrollment period, but once you're enrolled, you have some little control over your deposits.

Lambert said: I don't actually have a 401(k) so I don't know, but I seem to remember it's quite difficult to get the money out (and I know people who would like to do that so they could invest the money locally, so that's one possible good outcome).

Yeah, it's more than difficult. I wanted to take money out to pay my r.e. taxes, but they offered me a loan, which included pay back more than I had originally contributed to saving. WTF -- If I had that much money to save, I would have been doing that!!!

Also, if I did have money to save, I'd invest in my mattress.

Submitted by lambert on

That said, one thing that would happen is that (a) you'd have the money, and not the bankers, and (b) you could put it where you could keep an eye on it, and make your immediate surroundings better.

gizzardboy's picture
Submitted by gizzardboy on

Back to the original question, what would happen if a lot of people just took their money out of their banks? Banks hold only a fraction of what is deposited in them in reserve for possible withdrawals. If too many people all show up wanting their money it is a problem for the banks. It is called a "run on the bank" and it can cause bankers and the FDIC to have shit running down their respective legs.