Occupy the 1%!

  12. Why should Occupy target the 1%?

-- March 12 2012 --

Why should Occupy target the 1%? 

 “To be at once exceedingly wealthy and good is impossible” (Plato).
With some quotes I illustrate the special place of the 1%, their selfishness, the 99% hardly exists. They seem hostile aliens that enslave the 99%. The 1% live in a separated, exclusive and privileged world where the 99% are not allowed to come. To get a Humane World we must creatively disturb the world of the 1% and make it uninhabitable.
Participate in discussions about what to do against the 1%
  in the group “Occupy the 1%”
http://www.facebook.com/groups/238569759557393/. Free download of my latest book “From Chaos to Change, entering a New Era”:  “Down with any elite”, http://members.chello.nl/jsteenis

 “Despite their defeats, the princes do not lose anything” (Jean-Paul Marat).

“In all societies from societies that are very meagrely developed and have barely attained the dawning’s of civilization down to the most advanced and powerful societies two classes of people appear, a class that rules and a class that is ruled. The first class, always the less numerous, performs all political functions, monopolizes power and enjoys the advantages that power brings, whereas the second, the more numerous class, is directed and controlled by the first in a manner that is more or less legal, more or less arbitrary and violent and supplies the first, in appearance at least, with material means”. (Gaetano Mosca) That we are going to change!

 “The type of character produced by wealth lies on the surface for all to see. Wealthy men are insolent and arrogant. The possession of wealth affects their understanding, they feel as if they have every good thing there is. Wealth becomes a sort of standard of value for everything else, and therefore they imagine there is nothing it cannot buy. They are luxurious and ostentatious, luxurious because of the luxury in which they live and the prosperity which they display, ostentatious and vulgar because, like other people, their minds are regularly occupied by the object of their love and admiration. And also because they think that other people’s idea of happiness is the same as their own. It is indeed quite natural that they should be affected thus for if you have money there are always plenty of people who do some begging from you. Hence the saying of Simonides about wise and rich men, in answer to Hiero’s wife, who asked him whether it is better to grow rich or wise. “Rich”, he said, “for I see the wise men spending their days at the rich men’s doors”. Rich men also consider themselves as worthy for public office for they consider they already have the things that give a claim to the office. In one word, the type of character produced by wealth is that of a prosperous fool”. (Aristotle)

“The powerelite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary environments of ordinary men and women; they are in positions to make decisions top have major consequences. Whether or not they do or not make such decisions is less important than the fact that they occupy such pivotal positions: their failure to act, their failure to make decisions, is itself an act that is often of greater consequence than the decisions they do make.” (C. Wright Mills) 

Everybody who is part of the ruling class is Man by the Grace of God. Because he was born in a setting of rulers, from childhood on he has been convinced he was born to rule and in a certain way that is indeed true, because his parents who were also rulers, have procreated him as their successor”. In the future there is waiting him a certain social function into which he can enter when he is of age ……This sanctified character that the bourgeois possesses for his class and that is expressed by an entire ceremonial of recognition (as the way of greeting, the visiting-card, the notifications of marriages and deceases, the entire ritual of courtesy visits etc.) that is called HUMAN DIGNTITY”. (Jean Paul Sartre) 

“The rich confront the rest of society as a solid semi-corporate phalanx. buttressed by law and public policy. By law they hold their positions legitimately and hence can feel complete rectitude. When the national anthem is being sung, they can feel it is being sung in celebration of the legal system that supports them, for the aggrandisement of which every man, the poorer especially, may be called upon to offer his life simply by presidential order, without any declaration of war by Congress. Beyond this, existing policies under the law favour them; they have been adopted largely by their agents with their corporate permission”. (Ferdinand Lundberg) 

“So long as a citizen’s whole soul is wrapped up in the passion for wealth, he cannot give a thought to anything except the day’s takings.  Here is one reason in particular why society declines to take learning and any other wholly admirable pursuit seriously. Everyone is ready in his furious thirst for gold and silver to stop to any trade and any shift, honourable or dishonourable, which hold out a prospect of wealth, ready to scruple at no act whatsoever – innocent, sinful or utterly shameful- so long as it promises to sate him, like some brute beast with the perfect glut of eating, drinking and sexual sport”. (Ferdinand Lundberg) 

Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft when we are hard, and cynical were we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different”. (F. Scott Fitzgerald) 

“Who, if anybody in  particular, really makes the basic decisions that govern society? Who calls the shots…………..virtually every person knows he isn’t calling the shots, nor are any of his neighbours, co-workers or acquaintances. Everybody knows it is some distant and obscure “they” ………. It is true that all persons have their compensation for work determined by a market. The elite, however, do not have their revenues impersonally determined by a market, to the dictates of which they submit. They make market rules pretty much suit their inclinations. Members of the labour force, high and low, come up against a decree that says: So far and not further. They have not acquiesced in this decree, they have not been consulted about it, they are often opposed to it but they are powerless to push it aside. It looks very much as though this decree has been handed down from some esoteric group, for there is no rule against having an expansive income in a booming economy”. (Ferdinand Lundberg)  

“So, when wealth is honoured in a state and the wealthy, virtue and the good are less honoured ……. Thus, finally, from being lovers of victory and lovers of honour they become lovers of gains and of money, and they commend and admire the rich man and put him in office but despise the man who is poor.”
(on democracy) “The insatiate lust for wealth and the neglect of everything else for the sake of money-making were the cause of its un-doing”.
“The arts and crafts are corrupted by the co-presence  of great wealth and poverty”.
Wealth and property should be kept out of the good society since the one brings luxury, idleness and innovation and the other illiberality and the evil of bad  workmanship”. (Plato)

“One doesn’t need to tap their telephones or induce psychoanalysts to break confidence that they (the 1%) are nearly al motivated by
To retain their power and money
To add to money and power as possible
To make use of all the resources of modern science, technology and politics in the retention and the expansion of their power
To keep their share of the tax burden as low as possible
To support whatever politico-economic policies support or improve their position and to struggle against those who seem less likely to diminish that
To have themselves presented to the world as especially worthy people”. (Ferdinand Lundberg)

Underlying the American upper class are a set of social institutions which are the backbone – private schools, elite universities, the “right” fraternities and sororities, gentlemen’s clubs, debutante balls, summer resorts, charitable and cultural organisations and such recreational activities as foxhunts, polo matches and yachting”. (G. William Domhoff)

“The people of the higher circles may be conceived as members of a top social stratum, as a set of groups whose members know one another, see one another socially and at business. The elite feel themselves to be and are felt by others to be, the inner circle of the upper social class. They form a more or less compact and psychotically entity. They have become self-conscious members of a social class. People are either accepted in this class or they are not and there is a quantitative split separating them from those who are not elite”. (C. Wright Mills)

“The basic offense of most of the active rich is that they usually pursue their own visions, skilfully or crudely, not only to the neglect of the rest of the world (as does the poet) but, at times, because they have power, against or indifferent to the needs and wishes of the rest of the world. Not only do they have power but, like most people are thoroughly egocentric”. (Ferdinand Lundberg)

Joost van Steenis (downwithelite@gmail.com)

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