At the end of this blog I am going to include the declaration read by Keith Olbermann which comes from the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street, but what they are saying can be summed up as “Fix the System”. The system derides them for being naive, not having leaders, and not having demands. But the truth is if they wanted to understand it would be easy to do so; they just don’t want to. Be clear the 1% have and 99% are screwed, this is the system. This is no accident, it is not unfortunate that this has happened, out of all the resources that are available 1% are taking far more than they earn, of the 99% who are trying to earn they are having their homes taken, and they cannot pay medical bills. Is this right?
Instead of asking OCCUPY where are the leaders, OCCUPY can ask “where are the leaders of the 99%?” Where are the leaders of the ordinary people who have been voted for? Why are the 99% being naive in saying fix the system? Whose system is it? Surely as a democracy we can ask our leaders to look after our own interests, is that naive?
Are the 99% asking for handouts? No, they are asking for their taxes to be used to create an economy in which they can work. When they work, they earn money and then they spend; this is how an economy works. Unless it is hijacked.
So they are explaining how it has been hijacked. The system is working in the interests of the 1% only to the extent that working people work without any reward or security. This has changed. The capitalist system has developed over centuries starting from feudal landlords and the monarchy, to industry that then expanded to colonial exploitation, and then developed neo-colonial exploitation where exploitation primarily of Third World countries was controlled by finance mechanisms such as IMF, World Bank or GATT – modern-day conquistadores. In this neo-colonial stage, whilst the Third World were suffering and dying from hunger because of the policies of the corporatocracy, the peoples of the first world “democracies” developed a pleasant standard of living. Whilst the corporatocracy took from the Third World the system had some stability at least for the peoples of the First World, but following Reagan more and more measures have been introduced which have led to greater exploitation of the First World peoples. Whilst First World peoples have always been exploited, since the Second World War they have seen an increasing standard of living. This developing of personal wealth allowed these peoples to turn a blind eye to the exploitation of Third World peoples, but then the prevailing powers got even greedier and turned on the peoples of their own nations. This is the stage where we are at now.
What does Fix the System mean in this context? I suspect that for many of the 99% it would mean a return to the standard of living that was developing from the 60s – that continued through the 70s and 80s – maybe even 90s. Personally I find this unacceptable because I am equally concerned for the Third World peoples who have suffered ever since colonial expansion, but I think far less than this would suffice.
But what about demands? Suppose we are boarding a plane, and it breaks down. The passengers demand that the plane be fixed, and the airline says “be specific about your demands”. And the passengers say “we want the plane fixed so we can fly to our destination.” The passengers are not expected to understand which part of the engine needs fixing, nor do they expect to ask where does the money come from to fix the plane, nor do they expect to have to provide a pilot. It is understood that they earned their money, bought the ticket, and therefore the plane should fly them to their destination. Fix the plane.
Why should the passengers have to know how to fix the plane? The engine is a no-go area for most people, it is understood that the airline purchases and maintains the engine, employs the pilot and gets the plane to its destination. The passengers do not know what is going on, but they have paid so they don’t need to know. The functioning of the plane effectively is secret, and that doesn’t matter until things go wrong and the airline refuses to fix it. If the airline says what do you want us to do? The passengers say fix it, the airline says “what do you want fixed?”, and the passengers say “the plane”.
For some reason the 99% saying “Fix the System” is not acceptable. Why?
Personally I don’t think the majority of the 99% care that rich people are rich. I care, I have always cared because when a few people are rich many people are poor. But what has happened since the recession has been gross. The greed of the very rich has been obscenely excessive. Previously in the capitalist system there had been some form of trickle down as I have previously explained. Even though the rich got richer the peoples of First World countries had a developing standard of living. What happened in the recession? The puppet government, part of the system, gave the banks vast amounts of money – bailout. Following the bailout there was no trickle-down, and what was worse the bankers who caused the recession problem awarded themselves huge bonuses whilst they foreclosed on peoples’ homes. This obscene practice alienated so many people and was a key trigger in the start of the Occupy movement.
Previously people have not understood the economic system, but they worked, paid their mortgages, and generally found the system satisfactory because they could buy what they needed. And the rich were still greedy but there was an acceptable balance – not for me but for most people including my parents who had experienced the Second World War. Having suffered war they didn’t want to struggle for Third World peoples, they didn’t want to join the hippy movement of the 60s where my generation were dissatisfied with what was happening in society – specifically the Vietnam war. They wanted to work, bring up their family in their homes, and live a healthy life if possible.
It is the failure of people like my parents, it is their complacency and the complacency of the Thatcher generation that allowed the corporatocracy to gain such a grip on the system – the economy and the democracy. Whilst a few voices stood up, some in the Labour Movement, others for environmental causes and others for Third World Peoples, the majority drifted content with caring for families. But now that is not acceptable, the 1% have gone too far and people unite behind the needs of the 99% – to Fix the System.
There are many differing views under the umbrella of the 99%, and if these views crystallised as demands the demands would be endless. Some talk of Bildeberg and other cartels such as the Carlyle group. They might point at the inconsistencies of Free Trade, or laugh at the con game that is supply and demand. Some might start to argue for better representation by Democrats or by the Labour party, but in the end it is not specific demands that are required. The system is not working, it is up to the powers-that-be to fix it.
I have already discussed Aaron Russo and the Fed. As the system stands the Fed is a problem, changing the Fed or establishing a central bank like Michael Hudson says will not work. Under the present way the corporatocracy functions, they might work but the corporatocracy would quickly change what is happening. They would find another way of appropriating the Fed’s reserves, they would take control of any central bank. This is because quite simply the system is not working. The corporatocracy need to “Fix the System”. Making specific demands such as the Fed will only allow the corporatocracy to pretend to be reasonable, and give them the opportunity to change the way that they remain as the 1%.
The key to the way the 1% maintain control is secrecy. Whilst they use governments that are ostensibly democratic – elected representational democracies, the 1% manipulate behind the scenes, and control economic directions. If a specific demand was made they would find a way to accommodate such demands in part, and behind closed doors secretly manipulate so that the “new” system would still work in favour of the 1%. When the 99% say “Fix the System” they are making a considered position that requires the corporatocracy to fix the “plane”, and not tinker with the plane whose destination they have no intention of reaching. “Fix the System” means that the 99% can go back to work knowing they can bring up their families, keep their homes, and pay their medical bills to stay healthy.
Sadly I suspect that helping the Third World only figures rhetorically in this scenario.
Here is the statement:-
Secrecy – Fix the SystemPosted: 17/10/2011 in Democracy, Finance, Struggle
Tags: Corporatocracy, hippy, Occupy