Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Agree?

Occupy Wall Street

Where they Agree?

Tea Party

  • Government is corrupted, flawed but necessary
  • Market externalizes costs, exploits labor for profit, the invisible hand needs a guide.
  • Environmental science identifies real limits (climate)
  • Agnostic or Creation Care.  Nature has inherent value.
  • Wealth inequity has increased to historic and unacceptable levels
  • Property rights are socially constructed and have changed over time.
  • Alternative values and lifestyles, less materialism
  • Focus on community
  • Pro Planning
  • Highly educated, young, in debt, out of work


  • Crony capitalism: big business has captured  government so that it gets favorable regulations, subsidies, and projects
  • Wealth gets access to government power
  • Loss of opportunity for middle class life, jobs, status, security, hope
  • We need more autonomy
  • People need to accept more responsibility
  • Localism


  • Government is the problem.
  • The market is good.  Its outcomes are good, natural, God-given or otherwise accepted as given.
  • Environmental science is alarmist (climate, scarcity, pollution)
  • More fundamental Christian:  God will provide, humans > nature
  • Against socialist wealth redistribution programs such as smart growth that invests infrastructure to service urban areas (where elites and minorities live)
  • Property rights are inviolate
  • American values & exceptionalism, consumerism, grow our economy and world power
  • Focus on individual
  • Anti-Planning
  • Midde class, older, anti-intellectual


About admin

Hull is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability http://cligs.vt.edu/
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2 Responses to Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Agree?

  1. Daniel O says:

    Cool! This is one of the most coherent overviews of the commonalities of the Tea Party and OWS I have been able to find. I am curious if the items in the “agree” column have led to any actual collaboration? I know little about the tea party, or it’s attitude towards sustainability. I think Permaculture could be a great way for OWS and the Tea Party to collaborate. There are some things being done with Permaculture at the actual OWS encampments to reduce the environmental footprint of so many people Occupying the same spaces together: http://www.occupy-wallstreet.com/permaculture/

  2. admin says:

    Yes. I’m trying to suggest there are areas to collaborate, and when that narrative grows strong, needed change can happen. I think areas of agreement more likely to emerge include campaign finance, redistricting, and role of lobbying. If we change those things and give democracy a chance, then the future looks bright.

    Unfortunately I’ve been unable to find much agreement on topics of sustainability, permaculture, or related environmental/social issues. The Tea Party rhetoric is so strongly anti-environment and anti-science that arguments about potential economic/social disruption due to resource limits, climate chaos, or pollution externalities are dismissed out of hand as alarmist, biased, and anti-Christian.

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