Posted 10 years ago on Sept. 29, 2012, 1:36 p.m. EST by Krypton
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
In grave times like these, when the resources for success slip farther and farther away from the average person, I would think that it would be extremely stupid for a presidential candidate, especially one born into wealth, to come along and try to run on a platform of telling people that there should be next to no government help; that they should get off their ass and find a way to beat back the dogs of failure with their own bootstraps. To run on a platform of basically encouraging people, in that, if they want something in life, they just gotta find a way to take it, when there's not much in this world that doesn't already either belong to the top 1%, or wasn't already sold by the top 1% to foreign capitalists.
Could they really be asking for a militaristic, nihilistic, populist uprising?
They may get one.
Or they may not.
I was watching footage of the protests of the Civil Rights movement from the 60's, and scratching my head, wondering what the difference was, in why more people aren't in the street trying to affect change today. I suppose that, while people of all colors and denominations came out to fight, the oppressed subjects were a specific group, and that may have helped define the struggle, which made it a starker reality and harder to deny/ignore. Today, the oppressed subjects are pretty much everybody; from the youth, with zero-tolerance laws and obscene college tuition costs, to the elderly, with proposed benefit reductions to medicare and Social Security.
Back in the 60's, the enemy was fairly widespread. Laws needed to be changed, so the government was the target, although the real enemy was the shriveled heart of white bigotry, and that was only going to take the weathering of time to eradicate, if it ever could happen. Today, laws need to be changed (Citizen's United), so the government is the target, but the real enemy is not just gulp the wealthy, which includes congresspeople and a vast cabal of others who have already leveraged themselves with pretty much ALL the resources, but -once again- the hearts of those non-wealthy Americans who have been cajoled into supporting the arctic jungle of laissez faire nation-scaping.
Time has seemed to have had at least a slightly greater effect on neutralizing bigotry, but the cause of the welfare class is far from new, and, in looking at various recent polls, street-level support for unfettered capitalism is only getting stronger and more extreme.
Could it be a calculation of the ruling-class to have used the "American Dream" to turn the populace into an isolated, materialistic, apathetic throng? Or is that just a happy accident for the elite? As the possibility of going from rags to riches grows farther and farther out of reach, as it will when the wealthy (who go to great lengths to prevent sharing their resources) gain power over legislature and dividends flow uphill, average Americans have seemed to cling tighter and tighter to the increasingly empty promise that hard work alone garners the brass ring, and fight fiercer for that promise to not be taken away by any means, especially government means. We cling tighter and tighter to what we already have, even in so much as to defend our meager possessions from neighbors, and, in some cases, friends. We grow distrustful of our fellow man, especially one in any sort of need, and strive to pad our homes, like bomb shelters, with the material goods that allow us to live an isolated, yet not bored, existence.
The result is a populace, perfectly pampered and properly pacified, that sees and feels the entire struggle of the day, but with the overriding individualistic notion that each of us is on our own. That it is not a struggle of a people versus a system, but of a person versus their own inability to win. As the tools of communication and organization have never been more powerful, nor has the ideology that each of us is an island.
Civil resistance has long been a youth-dominated occurrence, as students' lives are still structured in close coexistence and their anchors of attainment are few. Unfortunately, youth, by its nature, is also somewhat easily dismissed by elders in power. The Occupy Wall Street movement has come an incredibly long way in rectifying that trend. People from all segments of humanity have come together in a common cause, as a larger and larger percentage of the population find themselves dispossessed, but the numbers are still far short of where they should be, at least as far as data shows economic devastation.
Even if the Democrats win another round in the White House, and perhaps even a majority in Congress, recent years have shown that the people's fight will be far from over. Depending greatly on what is actually accomplished, legislatively, in the following handful of years, people may still find themselves desperate; still find themselves clinging to bootstraps; and it's important to remember that we can achieve more together, than by individual effort alone. If the ideology of the powers-that-be doesn't come around to placing real value in substantively changing the system to benefit us all, they may find themselves in a position of having to beware the bootstraps we choose to pull.