You who want to know that the Occupy Wall Street protests are about and what the ‘demands’ are had best reflect on the old saw, “Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it.”; get it? And come on, you know what these people want; they want the banking/financial types (individual and collective royalty) to be made to stop using their power to dominate and control, for their own enrichment, the lives of the nation’s millions of citizens. Here are the possibilities in a nutshell:
1) The banking/financial community get it – that they have gone too far – and begin to listen to the masses along with making real changes in their behavior. The masses are empowered, and just possibly some balance could be struck that would hold for a time. This option has the variation that the financial powers attempt to appear to follow such a course while actually supporting the removal of protest leaders, various divide and conquer strategies and all while offering seeming concessions. This would lead to an optional version of the second possibility.
2) The banking/financial community use their influence to bring the media and enforcement communities down on the heads of the protestors, the protests wither and the elite grazing on the amber waves of the masses and fruited plain of middle class desires continues unabated. Of course, the protests would not be ended, but would go into a new phase, more circumspect, more guided by their own kinds of excesses; the country divided along increasing numbers of fracture lines.
3) The banking/financial community could attempt to crush the protests either directly or indirectly and end up only shaking more ripe fruit from the tree of discontent. The demands of a crowd are always more concrete than the thoughtful machinations of the labor negotiator. The desire to not be mistreated by an economic elite can, in the movement of the crowd, become a nasty affair; then a very simple form of the demand might be expressed as the great unwashed drag the plutocrats from their aeries to join the crowds for a more face-to-face explanation of grievances.
(There is a forth option involving a reasonably competent and independent polity, but since neither of these conditions obtain, there is no point in considering it.)
Thus far a mild form of the second option has been the choice of Wall Street and its political sycophants. The response has been more inline with the third option, but the real power of money influence and the police state has yet to be applied. The obvious first option will not even be considered and will, therefore, force the nearly complete capitulation of either the people or the moneyed interests.
The history is that the people have long been dominated by moneyed interests; it has become the habit to see the rich as superior people and deserving while the poor are slovenly and disreputable. The absurdities of such habits of thought are seldom given voice. Evidence is accumulating that the rich, as a class, are less like the human species than the masses, but as interesting as the research is, it has always been obvious that people who would ruin the lives of others to gain wealth are different from normal people.1
In the close-knit communities in which humanity formed, such people were obvious and useful, just as any number of human styles were useful. Their ways of thinking and acting were moderated by community habits of collective values. It is exactly that dynamic that we play out today, but on a much different level and by quite different standards. Today such human styles are sociopathic and psychopathic, that is, they are allowed, by the form of our societies, to express without the modulating influences of community; without guidance such ways of organizing a life experience creates monsters.
John Paulson, of hedge fund infamy, is not a serial killer, but, with carefully planned intent, his financial scheme with Goldman Sachs destroyed the financial security of thousands, perhaps millions of people, literally stealing from them billions of dollars and passing any obligation for repair onto the very people cheated. In a stunning admission of relationship, the Godmother of veneration for such maneuvering, Ayn Rand, had as real-life hero the psychopathic murderer, William Edward Hickman. It would not be wild speculation that John Paulson’s actions killed, maimed and otherwise damaged thousands, and that to do such things with foreknowledge represents the behavior of a psychopath as much or more than the 2 recognized murders and various petty robberies of William Edward Hickman.
And Mr. Paulson is not alone in his privilege; there are thousands like him gathered like flies to honey around the flows and accumulations of wealth in the society. Who they harm is not a concern to them, but it should and must be made to be a concern and that is where Occupy Wall Street comes in.
There is only one authority of final consequence, and that is the collected people. Any narrowing of interest always disadvantages the many. Wall Street wants to make its own rules which will, as we have seen, impoverish the people, over 90% of them anyway – not rhetorical impoverishment, but the real road to serfdom; individual worker/laborers “negotiating” with the monopolized moneyed collective on the world market of wages. “So what if it costs $50,000 dollars a year for a family of four to live a minimum life in the USA; work for $8 an hour or forget it.”
A person would have to work 3 full-time jobs at that pay to get close to $50K; that’s 24 hours a day, 5 days a week for 50 weeks a year. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution wages were set so that the “savings” for capitalization could be extracted from the workers. This was done by paying just enough to men, women and children that, when all worked, they could just put together enough to live (or not die in distressingly large numbers). That is the “Golden Age” conditions to which our present industrialists/financiers aspire.
So, what do the Occupy Wall Street protesters want? They want their world and their lives back. No more, no less. If we all join in and if we are ready to take the beatings that will come as the moneyed interests fight back with all the psychopathology they can muster, we will win.
Learn how to explain these things to people; become an Occupier of the Mind as well as an “Occupy Wall Street” participant no matter where it is that you might find yourself. A million people commenting in a friendly way – and in an effective way – to the clerk in the store, with the person in line next to you, to friends, neighbors, relatives; everyone, every time, every chance: Faux News can be defeated in this way.
A few million get it, though are still a small minority, but the truth is compelling and right there coiled to spring out from the shadows. The national media is almost saying some true things. Some of the words still have enough meaning left in them that they can be spoken with effect. First a thousand, then a million and then ten million speaking with the one voice of the human microphone can shake the foundations of the criminal enterprise that our financial and political system has become. Occupy All Streets: everyone, every time, every chance.
- Google “psychopathology of the rich” or “corporate psychopathology” and read to your heart’s discontent. David Sirota’s article also references some of the newest research. [↩]