The Rising Tide of Unrest
#OCCUPY is not an American phenomenon, it is a world-wide tremor reverberating around the world. Unrest exists across North Africa and the Middle East. It exists across Europe and it’s hard to predict where it will end as it spreads. Economics and politics are conjoined twins with the added human dimensions of population and resource pressures.
Recently, conservatives have been bandying the specter of “class warfare” in their rhetoric as if the reality of declining economic balance were nonexistent. The export of industry and predatory lending have left middle class America treading water if they are able to swim at all.
I have read and heard people dressing down demonstrator protesting the abysmal circumstances by suggesting the should “get a job.” The last time anyone (allegedly) suggested that if there were no bread, they should eat cake was Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution, a mere 220 years ago.
Those skillful cozeners with a rapacious hunger for profit at any cost have only been limited by the law. Those laws have been so corrupted by the lobbyists and sophists as to have changed the “government for the people and by the people” into plutarchy rather than any recognizable form of democracy.
It has been said that Americans are “good businessmen” but among the population of Americans who make an honest days pay for an honest days work and there are the those whose quick wits and craft have allowed them to seize on every chance to multiply an honest days work for easy money. This is the way of humanity and sometimes people are blind to the excesses of easy money.
Those of lesser ability might find using a gun appropriate method; those who have studied finance and calculus prefer to use a pen. Occasionally they too get locked up too. Bernie Madoff for example is doing 150 years for stealing $50 billion but he’s not doing hard time in Sing Sing. He’s doing his time at “Camp Fluffy” in Virginia. Not everyone is as smart as the 1%. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/25/madoff-behind-bars-exclus_n_694134.html
So, What does the #OCCUPY movement stand for? They stand for the same thing that that the original revolutionaries of our revolution stood for. Instead of the corporate autocracy that we have, the patriots had the oppressive indifference of colonial England and the crown.
I have tried to find the manifesto of the original patriots, the ones before Jefferson, et al. Unfortunately, their words were lost in the seething unrest of 1763 when the French and Indian War had ended and England decided that the 13 colonies should pay their share through taxation. The 13 colonies had no representation in England and chafed under the fact of taxation without representation.
The original discussion began sometime in the prehistory of ancient Greece and preceded Plato’s description of Socrates Apologia, but for our purposes it began with Locke’s Two Treatises of Government (1690). For our purposes of current affairs, the first unrest undoubtedly began in the drawing rooms and pubs of the colonial age of the American colonies.
Much as today’s #OCCUPYers, the unrest was general and without form but over time the unrest finally coalesced into a political movement resulting in the American Revolution. Europe, just a decade or so later was involved in the French Revolution and collateral unrest elsewhere in Europe.
We are not under Britain’s heel but we are under the heel of international corporations and the 1% of people here who can actually claim to breathe, bleed, and die. Their proxies, the corporations, neither breathe, bleed, nor die. They could be characterized as today’s vampires.