Sunday, January 1, 2012
It is here that I deviate from my previously expressed schedule – admittedly, after much delay – and express the conclusion of my elucidation of the Prime Grievances. While there are likely significantly more data to cover concerning the aims and desires of The Movement, others have outlined and extrapolated upon them in a manner significantly more in-depth than I can hope to contrive on my lonesome.
That said, I have as of yet refrained from levying my own thoughts on the matter. While, of course, my word choice and employment will indeed convey upwards of the slimmest indication of Bias, I purposefully decided to hold any overt opinions until such a time as I either defined my observations or abandoned them, of which I believe I have done both.
Thus it is here that I share my thoughts regarding our present circumstance.
Know now that I do not hold any ill will towards greed in and of itself. This is not to say that I endorse it becoming the sole driving force of an individual, but rather that I understand that it should be one of the many motivations for any organism, from self-exalting humans to the humble protists, to possess if it should hope to acquire resources, survive, and reproduce.
Rather, my concern, which has always lingered in the creases of my brain and had only now in the face of such extant and looming crises been made salient, is the contempt the so-called 1% bears towards the likewise so-called 99%.
Contempt is the cognitive and emotional cocktail of one and one's peers elevation, in whatever measure but most concernedly in status and moral character, over others by whichever grounds can be plausibly justified, accompanied by scorn and derision towards those below oneself.
This contempt, so observed, is the other edge to the sword of the Protestant Ethic. The belief that wealth and status is derived from labor and strong character has always possessed the implication that those lacking in such boons are thus deficient in such qualities, respectively. The past months have shown just how sharp the reverse-edge can become. I am terrified by the prospect that with the progression of time and the exacerbation of our socio-economic crisis, that edge will only become keener, more easily wielded, and more frequently used.
I suspect that this contempt was the sole rational shortcut needed for business leaders and captains of industry to internally justify the gutting of the first world's industrial base, and the establishment of exploitative replacements in the developing world. After all, what would one owe to their own workers? If they actually worked hard and lived a decent life, they would be wealthy and wouldn't need to worry about their sole means of survival being excised from them.
Indeed, if they actually spent their time wisely and productively, they would all have more than enough money to afford such trivial necessities in the vein of a house or two, $300,000 medical bills, and three-course meals thrice a day. Even further, if they dared exercise the smallest degree of thrift, they could purchase the little pleasures in life: asteroid-harvested iridium shaving kits, olympic-sized swimming pools filled with century old merlot, their own reality television program, or even a pet Senator or two.
Since the wretched rabble clearly posses none of these things, they surely have an abysmal work ethic, and deserve not a single ounce of consideration. Nor do they warrant paid vacations rewarded over the course of annual employment, reimbursed time spent raising their own children, or even an equitable and scrupulous health coverage policy in the event of bodily misfortune. They should in fact feel privileged, honored even, for having the opportunity to spend even an hour working at a more virtuous individual's business and having earned a single cent.
I believe that the sheer absurdity of such thoughts, explicit or implicit, is self evident. Granted, I exaggerated, but only to make absolutely salient the thought process and sole ultimate conclusion of the initial premise.
It is of course easy to dismiss such notions. I, however, fail to see any other explanation for events transpired.
I am at a loss for conceiving of any other rationale behind a Law firm that serves international banks hosting a Holloween party themed after, and parodying, the mass-scale foreclosures that have, are, and will continue to occur in the United States. ( http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/10/31/legal-firms-halloween-party-mocks-foreclosures/ ) Many of which they themselves are the actuators of. What else can enumerate why these individuals feel it not necessary, not just desirable, but enjoyable to trivialize and invalidate the suffering of other human beings? How else can they take joy in the fact that the lives of millions are evaporating and leaving a precipitate of destitution and despair?
Why should we care? A valid question. While the attorneys at the Steven J. Baum law firm are only guilty of impropriety, civic police forces are culpable for significantly more grievous and, in my opinion, disturbing actions.
Actions including point-blank head shots with tear-gas canisters at Iraq war veterans. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/26/iraq-vet-oakland-police-tear-gas_n_1033159.html ) Actions including the deliberate use of chemical agents as a means of torturing non-violent, non-threatening political dissenters at a college campus. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/19/uc-davis-police-pepper-spray-students_n_1102728.html ).
Again, I ask, what possible thought could an individual have to sanction themselves for such acts? What could enable them to hold themselves blameless for the actions cited and the manifold more unreferenced?
It is my opinion that there was indeed nothing manifest in their minds but the most gross, consciousness encompassing, and conscience blinding manifestations of contempt conceivable when those costumes were donned, those shanty-facades were erected, that head was held in iron sights, and that nerve-agent was fired.
And it is because of my opinion that contempt has come to be the means by which those with power regard those without that I dread the future.
While the 20th century was a chapter in human history written in blood, it was done so with the pen of contempt. I fear that the author has not yet lost it under a pile of out-dated customs and barbaric practices, like so many other means of human relation, but instead holds it tightly, and has dabbed it in a new sanguine pot.