I’m going to rant a bit on the “Occupy” protests. So, brace yourselves! (Or, as our illustrious VP, Low Blow Joe, would say: “Gird your loins!” ;)
This week, rather than ranting about whether or not a major Presidential candidate may have called a woman “Sweetie” 15 years ago, or whether our current President DID call TWO women “Sweetie”, on camera, during his campaign for the job 3 years ago, or whether that same current President knew about a plan to arm dangerous Mexican drug cartels with American weapons; No, rather than turning this into a platform for speculation over minutia, I will instead stick to important issues: Kids misbehaving.
This week’s rant: Dystopian, or Destructive?
By now, most of you have heard that Occupy Oakland is conducting a “general strike” today (Wednesday, November 2nd). Never mind that an actual strike is a work stoppage to make a point about work conditions/wages to one’s employer. And people camping in parks for weeks on end can’t technically be considered “employment” (at least, not until O’s Jobs Bill passes).
Nonetheless, “strike” is their term, so let’s run with it. This is being presented as a courageous move, a show of solidarity. Some occupiers are even couching it in language reminiscent of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, “Atlas Shrugged.” (On DVD next Tuesday, by the way.)
True enough, Rand’s working title for the story was “The Strike,” but she scrapped it due to Teamster (at the time) connotations. The disconnect here is not subtle. Occupy organizers wish to cloak themselves in heroic archetypal imagery (“combatting the evil 1%,” etc.). Yet, through our abysmal indoctrin… er, education system, they have missed the actual, truly heroic aspects of John Galt, and, truth be told, Robin Hood, as well.
Galt was a producer, whose innovations by themselves would benefit all of humanity, without the government taking even a single penny of his wealth. Yet, because government insisted on restricting his efforts via punitive taxes & regulations (Directive 10-289, anyone?), he went on strike. His strike deprived government and society of his talent AND treasure. The country went to hell & they *begged* him to come back & LEAD them. He refused, because they would not agree to his one simple term. (Read the book for more on that.)
Likewise, the story of Robin Hood has been contorted. Occupiers (and, frankly, most others) would probably tell you he “stole from the rich & gave to the poor.” That is patently false. In the legend, acting King John imposed hefty taxes & duties upon all of society, to expand his wealth & fund the crusade his brother was leading. The poor were, of course, hit very hard. When their money ran out, their property & crops were seized. Robin saw people starving, at the hands of their government, and set out to restore their rightful property. Essentially, it’s a moral tale about private property and actual justice, NOT redistribution and “social” justice.
In America today, we are nowhere near the circumstances in which Robin Hood found himself. We are, rather, MUCH closer to the dystopian collectivist landscape Ayn Rand envisioned (and how could she have imagined such a place, having emigrated from the grand Communist Utopia of Russia? *sarcasm*)
No, here in America today, the bottom 47% of wage-earners either pay no taxes, or get refunds above and beyond what they pay in. And that’s not counting social subsidies (i.e.: SNAP, WIC, TANIF, Section 8, Medicaid, minimum wage, etc.).
This being the case, then, it is patently absurd for occupiers to assume the mantle of “heroic warriors for the downtrodden.” If they truly were, they’d be occupying regulatory bureaucracies and calling for “the 99%” (or at least 47%) to put “skin in the game.”
But the current course of the occupy movement (strike aside) suggests much more a desire for destruction than a dystopian “going Galt.” But, with “the 99%” calling for even more regulation and punitive taxation on the producers, they are more likely to end up with an Atlas Shrugged scenario, as those producers, those Galts, reach their last straws, “go Galt,” and leave #ows literally high and dry.
What the occupiers don’t understand, because they don’t follow through to their “demands’ ” logical conclusion, is this: The “top 1%,” (like Galt, Mulligan, Wyatt, Halley, et al) can outrun the collapse of this system, because they don’t *depend* on it. Question is: can YOU? Occupiers?