In the battle of the 99 percent against the 1 percent, I am neither. And I mean it!
Look, it’s not like I don’t understand the frustration of seeing so few people in control of so much. It’s a bit of our own economic apartheid over here in the ‘States.
But shifting control from that one percent to a different group of one percent – the voices that are emerging as the leaders of the various Occupy Together and/or Occupy Everything movements cropping up across the country – is not something that I am willing to go through. Especially when the new group of self-proclaimed leaders is just that: self-proclaimed, untried, untrue, untested, unelected. They are not people who have experience doing on a large scale what they are doing here in little public gathering places in a few towns around the country. Being reactionaries against the status quo, able to string together a few good words that get the rest of the people unified enough to say, “Yeah, that’s what we’re fighting for! What she said!” …that’s not enough to run a country.
When you get right down to it, “What do we want?” “Change!” “When do we want it?” “Now!” “What do we want to change it to?” “Ummm… we are developing that as we go forward…” doesn’t leave me with a very comfortable feeling. I am not at all convinced that the twitterized masses are going to be better at making sure that everyone gets what they need, or that they will do so without dis-incentivizing the pursuit of greater things. I’m not sure if they are simply trying to make us a “communist” society (note the small “c”)? Which may be fine, if that’s what the majority of people want. Is it? Do they know what’s good for the people of this country? What the people want? If so, how do they come by this knowledge, when for several centuries it’s been necessary to have rather elaborate procedures to determine the will of the people? Is it enough to simply state that you’re representing the 99%, to actually be representing them?
I don’t think so. I would say to the Occupyers: Do not presume to represent me. Do not presume to know what I need and want, or what would be better for me. I exercise the little leverage that I have, in the ways that are either presented to me or that I can make up on my own. I have been struggling to make things work for me my whole life, and I expect to continue. I do not need or want or welcome or invite a new group of people to take power away from the old group and to change the game because they don’t know how to play the old one. I’m not the enemy, I’m not the 1%; far from it! But I’m not the 99% either. I am not at all on the same page as those who would try to simply stop the wheels of commerce and industry to get people to sit up and take notice. I have work to do, I have mouths to feed, I have to try to scratch out some kind of future for myself and my family. If you do not understand the interconnectedness of everything you are trying to stop with all of the other things that need to keep going, then you just shouldn’t be messing with it. I contend that there is no way that you could understand this interconnectedness without having lived another decade or two on the planet. It’s not something you get from wanting to be different from your parents, or from what you studied at university. It’s not something you gain from immediate observations.
There are other things to be done. Things that have a strong basis in the roots of our government. Take a look at the movements out there that are trying to effect serious term limits for our elected officials. What we need to do is to eliminate the self-protective feifdoms that these guys in Washington have established. I firmly believe in the concept of a truly representative government, and believe that it requires true representation, which we do not now have. The way to change it is with an initiative that comes from the populace, that forces the elected officials to accept the will of the people.
What you are doing is to try to force us to see things in your way, rather than doing the hard work of developing an honest consensus. I’ll tell you right now, this citizen-voter is not going to see things your way without a fight.