Monday, October 31, 2011

Who Are the 99%? Sarah Explains It All For You


  1. I read all kinds of Websites, even what I consider right wing ones. Well, as long as there is some level of honesty. For example:

    America, the land of limited opportunity. We must open our eyes to the truth.

    "The authors carefully avoid pointing fingers or mocking us. They let the graphics tell the story of increasing inequality of income and declining social mobility — both washing away the foundations of the American Republic. Worry not about America becoming like Zimbabwe. Worry about becoming like Argentina."

    As a socialist, social mobility with people starving in the streets wouldn't appeal to me. But it turns out that I don't have to choose between social mobility and socialism, because America is very much an aristocracy with an entrenched caste system. You are what your father was and your kids will be what you are. (And this truth is increasing, not fading as time goes by.)

    It's not a meritocracy, and we have our own World Nobles.

  2. I like this:

    Celestial Dragons (天竜人 Tenryūbito, literally meaning "Heavenly Dragon Folks")

    "World Nobles" works, too.

    If you read Fabius, then you know how dismissive he is of yet another Peasants Revolt [ie: OWS] that will get nowhere and leave everyone much worse off than before, so why bother, etc., etc.

    Could be, but neither he nor anyone else can know till they try.

    Perlstein has a quite dickish post over at C&L insisting that if the OWSers don't get properly political right now, forthwith, he wants nothing to do with them.

    To me, the real benefit of the Movement-becoming-Revolution is that of the demonstration -- showing and doing another way of being and living.

    People who think that the only way to have influence is through the rot-riddled political system vex me.

    Yes, you can get (some) things done that way, but it is not the only way.

  3. Whenever anyone complains about the Occupy movement these days, I always wonder if they are complaining because they think it will be ineffective... or that it will be too effective.

    If a person has any scrap of influence with the current political order, they won't necessarily want to see it upended, even if the are on the Left. Even political outsiders will often fear real change. (The move this far to the Right required tremendous resources applied over a fairly long period of time, after all. Oh, and a portion of the Right worked to create institutions that existed separate from the existing powerful institutions of their day.)

    I always figured that any political movement that was actually useful would be attacked all over the place, not just from the usual Right wing sources. It's what happened to the Civil Rights movement, after all.

  4. It's been pointed out that some of the worst repression against the Occupations has been by Democratic -- even "progressive" -- mayors and civic authorities.

    In fact, wherever there is serious repression of the Occupy Movement, you can be almost certain that "progressives" (and in Europe, Socialists) are behind it.

    This is having an interesting blow-back effect.

  5. I like the video, but I think she's being too generous when it comes to inequality stats. From my research, the top 1% owns more than she stated. It's closer to 42%. And given that average CEOs make many hundreds of times more than the rank and file these days, I doubt her 90 to 1 figure is sufficient.

    But that she's discussing this at all is, well, cool. We need more of it.

    But, let's not hold back on the numbers. We have truth on our side and we don't need to be "conservative" with that truth.

    . . .

    Some progressives (and socialists in Europe) pushing back against OWS is disgusting, but not surprising. They've been coopted and will probably be able to peel some folks off from OWS. I fear that this, in combination with increased police and agents provocateur action could really set things back and turn the country off.

    It's going to take a great deal of discipline to counter all of this, along with superior wisdom.

    Stay non-violent. Recognize coopters and sleazy wingnuts in your midst, and don't give the police even a hint of a reason to go medieval.

    That last part is perhaps the hardest thing to do. Because if I'm walking in the shoes of the people being abused, violently attacked, I don't see myself taking it all lying down. I see myself enraged and fighting back.

    A true dilemma, and one that I haven't fully worked out yet just for myself. On a aggregate level, it's a major issue.

  6. While the Energy Center right now -- at least for the next few days -- is Oakland, California, keep your eye on Greece. The "surprise referendum" on the latest extortion plan from the EuroBanksters reminds me a lot of the "snap elections" called by Ferdinand Marcos -- which led of course to the end of his regime after a great deal of tumult in the streets, and the odd assassination or two.

    Somebody has got to break the thrall the Financial Sector has over governments. Iceland's referenda didn't do it. Maybe the Greek example will.

    On the other hand, Papandreou's own (Socialist) party is now calling for his resignation, and word is that if his government falls because of it, there will not only be no referendum, there will be no further bailout of Greece. Uncharted territory, indeed. Stalemate? Who knows.

    As for the video, yeah, I think her stats are out of date, probably from the early 90's or something like that. Seems that this is all new information for a lot of people, though, especially young people, and an intro like this is good because it gives you the "why" -- beyond one's own personal wretchedness -- and in the right context.

    I suspect she'll do more videos -- she already has -- to drive home the point.