I just now posted the following on the Occupy Wall St. forum. Since it's based on what I've been writing on this blog, I decided to post it here as well:
Occupy Wall St. has done a great job of mobilizing support worldwide,
especially among the young, and making the world aware of the
debilitating effects of inequality on the social fabric. Unfortunately,
the powers that be (i.e., the oligarchs, plutocrats and the politicians
controlled by them) are not about to relinquish any fraction of their
power simply because a bunch of latter day "hippies" is upset.
I learned myself, from bitter experience during the 60's and 70's,
that you can shame, blame and embarrass the ruling class as much as you
like, but that in itself will not have much of an effect on their
If the impetus behind OWS seems now to be a bit stalled, it may well
be due to the sad reality that the 1% see no reason to either share any
of their wealth or give up any of their power, even in the face of
massive protests and embarrassing media exposure. Nor is it likely that
more aggressive, or even violent actions will make any real difference.
Despite the fact that they are hugely outnumbered by the 99%, their
power, economic, political, and military, is far greater than that of
all of us combined -- many times over, in fact.
Was it Sun Tzu who wrote, in The Art of War, "never attack from a
position of weakness"? From years of bitter experience I know that to be
true. Which does not mean I lost my battles. Only that I chose them
carefully, and learned to act only from a position of strength.
So. The question now is: how would it be possible for the 99% to act
from a position of strength rather than weakness? My answer: there is
only one force in the world, as far as I can tell, powerful enough to
stand up against the forces of greed, manipulation and exploitation, and
that is, very simply, the workers. The workers of the world, to coin a
phrase. Workers are the ultimate source of the wealth accumulated by the
oligarchy and also its secret vulnerability. It's only vulnerability,
as far as I can see.
The workers of the world are a sleeping giant, though this is
something they seem blissfully unaware of, so we rarely hear from them
these days. They have been all too ready to accept the line handed out
to them, as today in Europe, that the so-called "economic crisis" is
largely their fault. They borrowed too much, demanded too many benefits,
high wages, pensions, their unions made too many demands.
So now they are being called on to save "the world as we know it" by
accepting "austerity," a euphemism for crushing exploitation. And this
is true also not only for Europe but the entire world, the Americas,
Asia, Africa, the Middle East, everywhere. The world over, workers are
being duped into competing with one another for crumbs.
If these workers could manage to organize, just as the great labor
unions organized early in the 20th Century, they would be capable of
acting from a position of strength that could rock the world -- and in
fact save the powers that be from themselves, since as should be clear,
despite all their frantic efforts, their precious "economy" is on a
downward spiral into the pit.