October 14, 2011

“Take back the street.” The “99%er’s.” “The movement.” The level of self-delusion among participants and newsreaders in this country is breathtaking.

For a handful of weeks now some malcontents, joiners, and admittedly, one or two dozen people with legitimate complaints against society have gathered on “Wall Street” to take back the country. They have no stated aims. No coherent message. Several are seeming escapees of mental institutions.

Some of the “movement’s” inconsistencies are evident immediately. For one, they are not actually “taking” anything. They are not storming the floor of the Stock Exchange as any revolutionary with sand would do. They are sitting in a nearby park and engaging in drum circles and drug-doing.

Granted, some brave souls recently tried to thwart society’s direction by stopping its vehicles. Yet one is at a loss to explain how shutting down (or more accurately, inconveniencing) drivers on the Brooklyn Bridge will bring about economic equanimity.

“Not one commentator ever asks, ‘If you want things to change, but the other side has all the money and guns, how do you expect it to happen peacefully?’”

These exhibitionists are nothing if not wholly misdirected. For example, they are not squatting at the wholly private Federal Reserve headquarters, where power lies, but near Wall and Broad, where power is merely exercised. It’s like protesting your local police department because you are upset about the laws passed at the State Capitol.

Is anyone actually putting pressure on the people who envision and then enact loathsome financial regulations? No. They never do. At least not in this country. Thus, they will never succeed.

So what we have is a fictional foray into synthetic significance. For every adolescent it is forever 1969. It doesn’t really matter whether this movement is backed by George Soros or George Bush (Sr.)—both are more akin in their philosophies to one another than with any of the “movementeers.” Someone is bankrolling these bums, but entirely in the service of an ostentatious obfuscation.

There is an old true story told about financier Jay Gould. When asked what he would do if there were ever a threat of a genuine revolution in America he answered, “I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half.” This is not a facetious statement. He was deadly serious because this tactic always works. It has been refined since then to encourage letting off steam rather than letting off gunpowder, yet it is generally the same.


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