Being disgruntled by the opprobrium of an unfair and insidious socio-economic-political system, and shouting it to the four winds does seem as a healthy beginning for igniting change. But, is it really enough to manifest the need for change? And, more important, does it augur change that will lead to a more equitable and democratic society? Unfortunately, that is probably not the case in these United States of America.
As long as the Occupy Movement keeps spouting how they represent the 99 percent of the population, the truth about the unfair distribution of wealth, income and power in this nation will never come to light in a way that it is truly understood by most everyone. It isn’t the One Percenters alone we should be directing our ire against, but the next group of lackeys as well who are just as bad. The Occupy Movement, to gain any respect by showing cause of anger and legitimate concerns, must be a movement of Eighty Percenters who in total now only hold 7 percent of the country’s wealth and zero percent of the country’s influence and power.
Will that create or provoke some form of class warfare? The answer is yes; but better to recognize abuse coming from a large segment of the population – and 20 percent is no small chunk – than lie to ourselves into believing that the ogre is only represented in that 1 percent. It might seem “safe” to do so, but capitulating to the squire class, even if some of them (the moral squires) recognize and identify with the need for change, will assure those in the plebeian class, the Eighty Percenters, that theirs, and their children’s is a future of slavery.
However, it isn’t the distribution of wealth alone, but how the nation’s affairs are conducted to serve the desires of the few; those few who have contracted the services of society’s hit-men. The hit-man who answers to the name of Congress who keeps us docile and poor with its laws; the hit-man known as the Pentagon who serves as world policeman and keeps commerce flowing at any cost, not just in dollars but in blood as well; the hit-man that is Wall Street serving the needs of the industrial-military complex; and the hit-man that is the nation’s executive, no matter what political robes, with the big R or the big D monogram, it might be wearing.
The Occupy Movement is facing the PR-machine of the powerful now working full blast to quiet or dilute OC’s message with one of their own, a message of deceit. No, not just the lukewarm messages or characterizations of ridicule to “hippy-ish” displays or to inconveniences created by their actions; or to the cost in “police overtime,” or damage caused to the parks or other public facilities. No, those are frivolous things that hold little popular support, as proven in the past during the Civil Rights and Anti-war protests of half century ago.
The elite’s PR-machine has become subtle, sort of parasitic to the movement, a joiner of sorts. Now that American-style capitalism is being shown for what it is – predatory, immoral and obscene – it has been re-baptized as “economic freedom.” And suddenly we are being told that we (rich and poor alike) are “hardworking taxpayers” and that only Washington is to be blame… yes, Occupy Washington not Wall Street, they say; and government spending has acquired a new name: waste.
Knights and Squires, the Twenty Percenters, are putting on their “We-identify- with-your-plight” masks to hide their hideous ugly faces. They are no longer known as entrepreneurial profit-mongers but job creators; and their unfair, most often obscene, compensation and bonuses is purely deserved “pay-for-performance”… also making sure that any taxation of the rich is simply portrayed as “taking money” from hard-working Americans who are the sole job creators.
This tacit campaign to convince even those at the bottom of the economic ladder that we are all in this together, all sharing in the sacrifice, will work as it has in the past, for we prove to be among the most easily “brain-washable” people. That is, unless the Occupy Movement formalizes and clarifies in a simple way its unequivocal mission. And it needs to be a mission with vision… a mission stated with a sole voice. And it must be a mission with timely goals that either are to be met or there would be consequences; that the alternative to reform is neither appeasement nor subjugation, but revolution. And that the prospect of conflict is real; one in order of magnitude not seen in this nation since its civil war a century and a half ago.
© 2011 Ben Tanosborn
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