I guess there are a million reasons why I don’t write in this blog as often, and I can examine all of them, but most of the things I list will be excuses. The real reason is that I simply don’t make the time to sit down in front of the computer and let thoughts flow through my brain, into my fingers, pass through the keyboard, and land on the blog. I simply don’t make the time. Now, should I make the time? Yes, because I’ve been letting myself coast instead of truly examining my thoughts and behavior. I must live an examined life, so to speak. So, let’s take the time to think about things, even if my thoughts aren’t perfect.
I believe the Occupy movement is rather important — not just now, but in a historical sense. I’ve been reading Glenn Greenwald’s new book, and I’m getting angry about things I had let myself forget. (Why did I forget about telco immunity after illegal wiretapping? Probably a lack of agency, but that’s just an excuse.) His book shows how the elite escape the justice system in America. The US is controlled by an oligarchy, which isn’t bad in and of itself, but it becomes bad when these rulers aren’t constrained by the rule of law. Who is in this oligarchy? Government, corporate leaders, media? Because of the revolving door, there’s no meaningful distinction here. They’re all the same people, switching from job to job. So, when people argue about the blame in the financial crisis, whether it was government or corporate greed, it doesn’t really matter which is which because the people in both worlds are the same people. The Occupy movement is important because this is the first popular uprising against the financial elite. They control our government and act with impunity. They must be stopped. They are the 1% that are being talked about.
I don’t know if our government needs radical reform. I’m inclined to think that it doesn’t. One of the problems with monarchy is that it requires the right people — and more often than not, you’ll have the wrong people. I don’t know that democracy solves this problem. You still need the right people in power. (Plus, you need the rule of law.) So, I think rather than thinking about reform, it is essential to take out the people currently holding power. I won’t necessarily agree with the new people, but all I want is a respect for the rule of law and a hatred for the old rulers. Part of this will involve voting people out. We must also disinvest in evil companies, or at least demand better CEO’s. We must break the current political parties. We must turn off cable news. A revolution needs to sweep the oligarchy from power.
There is another thing we can do, which is rather controversial: Resort to violence. It’s odd to find myself ambivalent about violence. So, I’ll talk through the reasons for violence. The fact is that the bankers are guilty of fraud and bringing down the economy. Instead of facing justice for crimes, they got big bonuses. Bullshit. If you go back a hundred years and further, these people would have been tarred, feathered, and run out of town. Perhaps justice can be done — if the mob carries it out instead of the courts. Oddly enough, when I discuss this with people — suggesting that instead of setting up encampments or protesting, the aggrieved burn down mansions, my suggestions face less pushback than I would expect. People seem less afraid of the idea than I do myself.
The only thing holding me back is that I wouldn’t do this myself. I couldn’t actually lead a mob, hold a torch, and light someone’s house on fire — even after all the nasty things they’ve done. Thus, I can’t put my money where my mouth is. So, I have no business advocating what I wouldn’t do myself. I hope that this sentiment comes from an inner civility and conscience, not from a lack of courage.
I can still promote all the things I mentioned earlier. I still want these people punished. I want their reputations tattered and their power taken away. I want them disgraced. And, once that has happened, I want their crimes prosecuted.
I don’t believe it will fix all our problems, but I do believe it is a good start in restoring the rule of law and restoring power to the people of America.