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Forum Post: Beware the Bootstraps of Desperate Men

Posted 1 year ago on Sept. 29, 2012, 1:36 p.m. EST by Krypton (73)
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.

http://armchaircongress.com/node/55

8 Comments

8 Comments


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[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

Maybe the reason you don't see all the protesting in the streets is that 53% of the working class are making it, while a vast majority of the 47%ers are retired and the remaining are working two jobs along with getting government asistance to survive.

Maybe that will change if Obama gets re-elected. Instead of having a portion of the 47%ers receiving government assistance and wanting a decent paying job we need to have more like 85% receiving government assistance and wanting a decent paying job.

Then you will definitely see protesting in the streets. I was out at a car show today and lots of people there are business owners. The topic of conversation was as follows:

If Obama gets re-elected I am not going to do anything more then I have to to make my business survive and the profits I make will be re-invested not into the business but in a a secure investment.

This is the attitude with businesses across the country - Obama has created such uncertainty that people who own businesses are having a "wait and see" attitude. If he does get re-elected don't expect the economy to improve under his watch - you can take that to the bank.

[-] 1 points by Krypton (73) 1 year ago

If you call "earning just enough to provide for families, and maybe save a hundred or two a month", "making it" -- which, actually, I believe is supposed to be the new model for success, in the new "we do it together, and sacrifice as one" America. That's supposed to be as successful as we get. Subsistence, plus enough savings a month to supplement social security in 20-30 years.-- Are you okay with being the first generation in almost 70 years that isn't supposed to want to live beyond your dreams? Not that you have a choice, no matter who of the 2 majors you vote for. It's simple. If you're not okay with that, if you're not okay with accepting any of the blame/hardship from Wall Street/Government actions, take to the streets.

We need to get the Electoral College abolished, so we can actually have a chance of getting a third party elected, and place the entirety of the burden of the future where it really ought to be. On the backs of the wealthy Wall Streeters still breathing our air and enjoying our sunshine. Voting for Obama is just voting for further sacrifice and status quo, even if it's better than slipping backwards under a possible Romney regime.

As far as business owners holding our economy hostage, I believe that's probably true in many cases. Most business owners I've known are strict conservatives, and I suppose that mentality is indicative of the short-sightedness often found in the average conservative. "Sink the ship to shame the captain". It's very much a war, between "individualists" and "collectivists". I just wish that the "individualists" could notice how "collectively" they're working to destroy the world.

[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

First off I would like to say that the new norm for American society right now is going from middle class to lower class and from owning a business to not owning a business.

If the people want a 3rd party candidate they will vote for that person. Right now the vast majority of people are satisfied with their living standard.

Part of the 47% aren't and want something better in life. We all want something better in life and the way to accomplish that is for this government to take the strangle hold off the working class and businesses.

In addition to that the people of this country have to stop being "stupid" about buying cheap chinese goods but instead should demand from our government that all goods manufactured for consumers be manufacturered, built and sold here in America.

That's where the majority of the problem is and that's why there aren't any jobs.

But you add in the 'enviornmentalists" who don't want to see another hole being drilled for oil nor a coal company mining more coal what's left.

All plastic products come from oil - heating comes from natural gas and coal - metal products come from steel mills and manufacturing comes from business.

We are losing all of these - the younger generation think that if all these things are taken out of society everything will be fine and earth will be a much better place to live.

Well, I doubt it especially when you have no more plastic products nor metal products. - there aren't any alternatives except making things from wood.

[-] 1 points by Krypton (73) 1 year ago

"If the people want a 3rd party candidate they will vote for that person."

The electoral college makes that very hard, when the votes are split 3+ ways.

"Right now the vast majority of people are satisfied with their living standard."

Maybe. I doubt it, but you might be right. Or, people might just feel a little better about their spam dinner, when they see their neighbors eating cat food.

"In addition to that the people of this country have to stop being "stupid" about buying cheap chinese goods but instead should demand from our government that all goods manufactured for consumers be manufacturered, built and sold here in America. That's where the majority of the problem is and that's why there aren't any jobs."

Hmmm. Chicken or egg? Was the primary sought-after profitability factor of outsourcing the sales increase from cheaper goods, or the decrease in labor costs? Somehow I think the drastically decreased labor costs came first. Selling a cheaper product to an already increasingly disenfranchised populace was probably just logistically necessary.

"All plastic products come from oil - heating comes from natural gas and coal - metal products come from steel mills and manufacturing comes from business."

Plastic can be recycled. Cheap chinese crap can be recycled here in America to manufacture new, less crappy goods. It'll take a greater mind than mine to figure out how to power steel mills from renewable sources (hydroelectric?), but I take it on faith that it could be done.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

"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."

That is my greatest fear. That if Obama is re-elected the Left will breathe a collective sigh of relief, assume everything is going to be wonderful now, and go back and curl up on the couch. That is supreme folly and madness!!! Anyone who knows what is really going on will realize that, at best, Dem control of WH and Congress would amount to nothing more than a small amount of time to try to make a few (probably small) reversals. Even if it happens, Dem control will not last forever and would be in danger of going away in only 2 years. If the (R)s do not become more centrist (and there is absolutely no indication that they will), they will always be standing by ready to pounce like rabid dogs at the first opportunity they have to continue their extreme right-wing agenda of financial elitism and 1950s-throwback whitebread American values.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilence. ~ Thomas Jefferson

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17442) 1 year ago

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 would like to respond to the above. There is no difference. You cannot fight if you are living hand to mouth. The Civil Rights movement was pushed by the middle class African Americans. The women's movement was pushed by white middle class women (then they were told to make sandwiches while the white middle class men intervened). The "hippies" were by and large from white middle class backgrounds.

If you are spending your time trying to figure out where the next meal is coming from then they aren't going to be out on the streets masquerading as movements. When these people respond, it will be conveniently labled as a riot. We will have food riots in the country.

[-] 2 points by Krypton (73) 1 year ago

Yep. I think it's part of the calculation of the elite to keep just enough people just barely above the poverty line, but always under threat of slipping backwards, so fear keeps us in line. Honestly, I think the elite would be fools to not have thought it out in ways like that. They'd be fools to not have calculations on how to subjugate the masses and take it all. It's very much a war. Most of us just don't know we're in it, yet.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17442) 1 year ago

Why not, right? It is a tactic used in other countries.

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