I am deeply ashamed that I linked that NYT article. If you read it (Hi Mom!) then you noticed how the voice was decidedly not in favor of the protestors and focused more on the restoration of order. It wasn’t the piece itself that made me link, but the news that it carried with it: that OWS had been swept out of parks.
But now I see a little more going on. The Ed Show has some love on there (my homie James tipped me off to an old friend of his Arianna Jones on the show, wassup gurl, GET YOURS!) and the reaction across the media – including the mainstream – has kind of shocked me. Most Americans support the movement. But I stand by my previous assessment: all this will end in a whimper and the continuation of the status quo.
Or it gets bloody.
Maybe I want it to get bloody.
Now why would that be? Let’s explore that.
My personal belief is that democracy fails when it’s taken to the Federal level. Too many interests and hands get in the way of an actual functioning consensus that involves all the people under that national umbrella.
But on the Federal level things can work, as long as the transgressions of the monied elite are “minor” and the masses feel that there is hope, there is liberty and the chance of improvement … as long as the dream lives, the system can chug along and dispense its version of justice.
But as soon as options shrink and the transgressions grow major, then grumbling appears.
In America’s case, we have an acute shortage of options for most people. And I mean American options, not Chinese options. For your average Chinese graduate, if he has a stable iron ricebowl job at XX company doing whatever; if he can buy a home and support a wife and one child; if he can make sure his parents eat good … well then he’s satisfied.
Most Americans yearn for a little more. Maybe it’s the media, maybe it’s just our own historical condition (we had our 1950s), but Americans want to feel that their job means something. That they are worth something, that their dreams for real impact, real significance, can actually have a chance of coming true. We want to dream a realistic dream. Rob us of that and it starts to get all bad.
So our options are shrinking and we’re waking up to that. That sucks. But that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the unbelievable transgressions made by those who stand outside of the democratic system. Shrinking options within a system that is even remotely just can be handled. People innovate, people carry on, people grumble… but realize that we’re all basically in the same boat.
When the police throw out the grumbling dreamers and protect and coddle the elite transgressors, mass movements begin.
What the police and the transgressors have done, for centuries, is divide and conquer such movements. Buy out the weak, legislate those in the back rows into submission and crush the impassioned front row hard core. So if this thing ends peacefully, then I foresee something of a “buy on the dip” situation happening, or maybe better put, an “Obama Moment”
In which small concessions are given (with one finger still on the chess piece to ensure the ability to move back) in return for people returning home. The concessions are then retrieved over time, as those who struggled for them fade and a new generation just begins to learn that they have to fight for their rights.
But perhaps, perhaps, perhaps … the People can convince enough other People and gain the backing of enough opportunists to achieve …
What is it that we want?
Prosecution: Make a List now, of those who need to face trial.
Protection: Draw up legislation now, from among those of you who know the law, that will tie transgressors and abusers of the system down for a generation or two
Potential: We want our Dream back. We want a True Belief and what that requires is a national effort to move the boat onto a different course.
We need the nation to stand up as One and decide that We Will Do This.
What could that mission be?
Transfer of Military Funds into the Education and Green and Medical sectors?
A National Scientific Drive to switch from non-renewable resources to free and abundant energy?
A concerted effort to re-visit the Moon and set that rock up as a resource farm?
We need a Renaissance.
And I believe a true re awakening can only come after the blood because a bloodless re awakening is, in human history, rare and trivial.
But wouldn’t it be great to slip off of the wheel and do something truly New?