I can’t travel every well because of podiatric and money issues, but I’ve been following the Occupy Wall Street protests since they started and began to spread. The opponents denounce the protesters as un-American, anarchistic, bums, grubby, spongers who never had to meet a payroll…well, you can name a few yourself. You can add to your vocabulary from Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the crowned head off all political morons, Rush Limbaugh.
The marchers point their fingers at the great investment banks that pay their officers insanely high salaries and even more insane bonuses.
I recall the “Pilgrimage of Grace,” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrimage_of_Grace), an appalling episode during the English Reformation of Henry VIII that amounted to a popular uprising against the privileges of the nobility and the Church. Let’s say it didn’t end well for the people protesting. It’s stomach-turning to read about but it’s a valuable lesson about telling truth to power.
As far as the protests, I’m perhaps a bit too old to appreciate zombie V for Vendetta masks and make-up, but I can understand signs protesting confiscatory student loans, the tax structure, and the salaries those people on the 38th floor pay themselves. I can appreciate joblessness because I’ve been out of my occupation since May 2010 and there is no door left to pry open.
I’m on a job board where there is a repeated question (I paraphrase): “Briefly describe how you would change the economy more quickly without a revolution.”
The answer is really simple: You can’t. This is not Revolution No. 9, it’s overthrow. I prefer it without force and violence, but I can’t stop it either. Nor would I wish to. This country has fucked over students, seniors, working Americans who have lost their stake in our democracy. I’m not seeking a Communist state or Cuba (except for the cigars), just a recognition that whatever we’ve been doing, it isn’t working anymore, and when it works it’s work for fewer and fewer people.