We must take the power and the money away from the 1%



Developing the Fourth People's Power

Joost van Steenis
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  Chapter 17

Are the 1% the only target?

Also lower bosses can be pressured



People stand central so the question is not what is the target but who is the target. Targets are all people who take decisions that violate or negatively influence the life, the freedom, the privacy or the well-being of the 99% often for their own benefit or the benefit of their bosses, the 1%. The 99% have hardly influence on decisions taken over them. To get a Humane Society without a 1% it is necessary to target the 1% who keep the power and money pyramid standing up. In the revolutionary period the 99% develop an own power that blocks any new 1%.

The 1% do not take all decisions that influence our life. They draw up the general lines, the idea that decisions must never disfavour them and the guideline that money dominates all decisions. They decide how high profits are in comparison to the sales or that salaries, bonuses and perks of CEO’s may reach ridiculous heights. The goal of actions is to take away the reason for their greed, the extravagant eliteworld and the possibility to amass huge amounts of money. Their power is based on money. When the possibility to spend and amass money disappears the 1% are as powerless as a general without soldiers. Attacks should creatively disturb the private living sphere of the 1% to make the exclusive eliteworld uninhabitable.

Many decisions are taken on lower levels of the power pyramid by lackeys and other servants of the 1%. It is just the mafia. Decisions of lower leaders directly influence the life and the interests of the 99% and not the life of the 1%. It are decisions in agreement with what decision-takers think favour the wishes and the interests of the top-bosses.

The puppets of the 1% in the private and public sector are hardly put under pressure when they hurt the 99%. Bankers, sheriffs and higher police officers who evict people in foreclosures, directors and chiefs of personnel who sack workers or higher civil servants who take wrong decisions are never pressured when they unnecessary and negatively influence the private life, the well-being and the freedom of common citizens. They must acknowledge there is not only a power above that forces them to take certain decisions but that there is also a power below that demand different decisions.

Also politicians take decisions that are negative for the 99%. They are elected and one of the principal causes for the division of the 99% in left and right. Attacking leftist politicians alienates rightist 99%, attacking rightist politicians alienates leftist 99%. Such attacks strengthen divisions in the 99%. Politicians should only scarcely be attacked. Though they take wrong decisions, these decisions can also be blocked by pressuring not-elected civil servants who execute the political decisions. Attacks on lower bosses do not split the 99% and have an indirect influence on politicians. Besides politicians are often after only a few years replaced by other politicians and the building up of pressure on them has to start again. Lower bosses in the private and public sector remain much longer on their post, just as the 1% are always on top of society. Attacks on them have a lasting influence.

To correct injustices the 99% may pressure lower bosses. For many activists the 1% are too vague, too much behind the screens, too difficult to attack, too far from where the 99% live. Attacking lower bosses is easier and activists can be like a fish in the water because many live in neighbourhoods were the 99% lives. In these attacks the 99% build up experience for more difficult attacks on higher placed targets. By attacking lower oppressors the 99% learn that the present world is not changing. Basic injustices like the disparity in wealth and power continue to exist. By pressuring lower bosses you get small successes that strengthen the movement. It makes other 99% clear that it is possible to readjust injustices. The self-consciousness of the 99% starts to grow.

Most workers in the private and public sector on lower echelons do not take decisions, they only execute decisions that are taken above them. The most obedient servants may be attacked but it are only warnings that they should be careful not too much to follow orders from above. Lower servants who are in direct contact with the public are often abused and attacked. They are used to a certain amount of violence and sometimes even trained to cope with it. For activists it is often more dangerous to harass lower officials who also belong to the 99% than directors of institutions.
Because persons stand central, we should contemplate how bosses react on actions of common citizens. Top bosses have seldom been attacked. Attacks on them give surprising results.

People in the highest echelons of our society have no practical experience with angry citizens. In their offices they hear of the violence but in their private mansions they live quiet and undisturbed far from the harsh sides of society. When some activists enter their front lawn their existence starts to shake.

The 1% and their servants are unprepared for action methods based on penetrating in private living spheres. When masses demonstrate, the 1% use security forces and do not mind if people are hurt or killed. That changes when arrows fall in their backyard, when the 99% put direct pressure on bosses by stealthy intruding their private quarters. Confrontation with security forces should be avoided.

The goal of actions against lower bosses is to change decisions and thus getting small successes that fuel the movement. The goal of actions against a 1% is their withdrawal from decision-taking circles, the weakening of the power pyramid. It is a warning to other top-people that the world is changing. But “we should attack the enemy in all places where the army cannot be used”.


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