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My 2 Sense

OCCUPY - What's not to understand?


The media, the banks, Wall Street and the politicians just don't seem to “get” what the Occupy Movement is all about.

The main bone of contention they have is that the movement does not have a cohesive vision statement and goal because too many disparate people with too many different viewpoints are involved.

Congress
How about this? The 99%, by definition, would have many, many different views, desires and goals, however the Occupy Movement has allowed them to come together under one very simple idea, which is that 1% of the population hold most of the wealth (and power) and the majority 99% have neither. How tough is that to understand? The goal is equally simple; to change this inequity.

America was built on the concept of a classless society with equality of position and power and an equitable distribution of wealth. This is dramatically no longer the case. This is exactly what the 99% are saying and yet there is so much resistance and resentment to such a simple statement of fact.

We applaud the Arab Spring risings against dictators who not only oppressed their peoples, but also robbed them blind. How different is the 2008 financial rape of the country and dare I say, the world by Wall Street any different? Okay, nobody in authority in America is killing demonstrators. Tear gas, batons and pepper spray are doing the job for the moment.

A little rudimentary history lesson here: Before the 13th Century, there were basically 3 classes of people in Europe; royalty, the aristocracy and the peasants. We'll leave the church out to keep this simple. Power and wealth rested with the King or Queen and the Lords, Dukes and Barons of the aristocracy. Sometimes the power shifted more to the aristocracy depending on how much money the King borrowed from them to go fight wars. Money is power.

As villages became towns and towns became cities, a new class developed; the middle class, the bourgeoisie, the burgermeisters, composed of merchants, manufacturers, craftsmen, exporters and importers.

And they created great wealth and with it power. This new class or force was the primary reason for the creation of parliaments as this class demanded to be heard. They cared as little about the poor as did the aristocracy.

Enter America and Canada, new nations whose premise was the elimination of the class system and the merry pursuit of happiness, ergo money, by all its citizens. And prosper they did. Those who prospered the most, wanted the most and vis versa to the point that they financially supported politicians to gain favour.

And the democratically elected representatives of the people, those who would be kings as it were, who also wanted money and power, sold their influence to this new aristocracy.
Which is where we are at today. All our institutions; banks, stock markets, industry and commerce control the money and with that power, the country and to some extent the entire world. There is supposed to be a constitutional contract whereby the government's primary duty is to protect the people from enemies from without and within. Well the citzens are under financial attack and are losing, so the government should fulfill its promise and protect the people from Wall Street, the bankers, Freddie and Fanny and all the rest. Which brings us back to the simple fact that when the difference between the haves and have nots gets too great, revolutions occur. The Occupy Movement is the initial ‘fair warning.' Remember, America began as a nation with a revolution against unfair taxation and representation.
The thing is that America, and in particular the Republicans, are terrified of socialism. The media and the Republicans are screaming blue murder about class warfare and the unfair distribution of wealth suggested by the Occupy Movement. But what has been occurring for the last 100 years but war on the middle class and the upward distribution of wealth to the rich via tax breaks, legal insider trading and various forms of preferential treatment?

If extreme socialism is the equal distribution of wealth with everyone getting the same, then extreme capitalism is where the rich own and have everything and the 99% have absolutely nothing. And we know that won't work.
So the solution has to be somewhere in between. We need a socio-economic-political system where all are taken care of with some dignity, but there is room for those with initiative to profit and become wealthier. A system that is fair and not rigged to allow some to unfairly profit at the expense of others; a system where elected officials create policies to the benefit their constituents and not themselves and those who would profit at the expense of others.

Democracy and capitalism are not perfect, but let's try to keep them at least honest to the principles they espouse.
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