A One-Percent Solution; James Burke Connects

 

So. I was over to BJ’s place at the Dumb Perignon early this morning and watched a short film he’s posted that draws some startling comparisons between the Occupy Wall Street protests and the recent uprisings in the Middle East. Click on his button over there =} on my Bloggie Roller to see what I’m talking about. It’ll take you just a few minutes to catch the drift, but watch the entire thing.

As I watched the film, I started drawing comparisons in my own mind. Somewhere in my ADHD-addled brain is the memory of an article I read in our local newspaper sometime in the last ten years. The article was discussing how many Middle Eastern countries are ruled and controlled by only one percent of their populations. Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Saudi Arabia were but several named in the piece.

These one-percent micro-minorities controlled the governments, military, churches, the industry and also the wealth of each of these nations. The great majority of these countries populations lived lives many standards below the one-percenters, and many were living in poverty. The one-percent enjoyed unimagined wealth, living in palaces and enjoying lavish lifestyles while the rest struggled to make livable wages.

President George W. Bush was quoted to say something along the lines of, “Anytime the minority ruling class of a nation abuses its people, those people will rise up and seek democracy.” He then went on to say that his war plans in Iraq and Afghanistan were basically his kick-starts to that democratization process.

Yes, I know that I liberally misquoted the Bushkin, but I surely caught his driftings. For the W, Kick-starting Democracy was his middle name. Old George W surely wanted all of the peoples of the world to enjoy, as he liked to call it, true democracy. Except, I guess, America.

If Georgie Porgie wanted Americans to enjoy true democracy he wouldn’t have assisted Wall Street with their high-jacking of our economy. He did other stupid shit that endangered our freedoms as well, but hopefully my point is made.

So I’m thinking about all of these connections between today’s Middle Eastern uprisings and the Wall Street protests, and I thought about the BBC TV series that I think was named Connections. Am I the only one who was riveted by the historian James Burke’s ability to connect the dots of history? One of my favorites of the late Seventies program was when he connected the invention of the clock spring to the mechanical heart. Or was it he connected the spring to pornography? Lot of Carta Blanca beer and my Gram’s magic mushroom potions between 1978 and today.

Another favorite was when he connected the invention of the plow to a super computer. OK, wait. Maybe it was the plow to untangling the DNA strand. But, like my Gram always says, she’ll say, “Who gives a shit, Mooner. Plow yer ass over to tha friggie an fetch me a cold one.”

Me, I don’t lay 100% of the blame for America’s current One-Percent tyranny at the feet of the One Percent. Much of the blame should be born by those of us who dissent, but do so quietly. I’m speaking here of the great non-voting American. Those of you who know the difference between right and correct, yet you have chosen to avoid getting your lazy asses off the couch because you’ve been just too fucking comfortable to concern yourself.

The One Percent has spent the last twenty years slowly killing the fabrics of our democracy by theft. They have stolen the state houses, US Congress, the banks and our wealth. Our relative standard of living has gone from middle class prosperous to unemployed. Many of us were sold homes we couldn’t afford (with mortgages supplied by the One Percent), and then the One Percent kicked us out when the payments went late.

Effectively, the One Percent is foreclosing their way across America.

Regrettably, like all of History’s gluttons, our One Percent have appetites of the bottomless-pit variety. Since they can never get enough to appease their need for greed, they won’t stop themselves. But they will be stopped, and hopefully soon.

And, hopefully, without bloodshed.

Occupy Wall Street has been so far only marred by the violence of the authorities. Maybe the One Percent will pay attention and back off. Maybe not.

I just thought of an old business joke about a backwoods traveling salesman who had a product that cost him a dollar. He was getting rich, selling thousands a month for $2.00. When he was asked the secret to his success, he answered, “It’s that one-percent profit that’s making me rich.”

Maybe I need to go fishing. Manana, ya’ll.

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4 Responses to “A One-Percent Solution; James Burke Connects”

  1. squatlo says:

    I think part of the plan from the folks in charge is to make it so hopelessly futile to become involved that no one bothers to try. When people used to ask why I had such an attitude about Dubya I would almost find myself sounding like a lunatic running off the litany of illegal or immoral actions from that administration. You’d need an hour to even get started, and I’d try to pack all the crap into thirty seconds and end up sounding like a nut on a soapbox in the street.
    The attacks on the environment, financial policy, warrantless wiretaps, outing CIA officers, illegal detentions, extraordinary renditions, authorizing torture, firing US Attorneys, cozying up to EnRon and the rest of Halliburton’s connections to Cheney, etc… where do you start?

    People see the two sides as co-equal obstacles to progress.

  2. Squat. The part that pisses me off most is that I can’t just blame the right-wing Christian fuckballs and feel good about myself. As long as corporations can fiance political campaigns and politicians, every one of the politicians will be at the very least, somewhat bought.

    Have you been over to BJ’s place to see the Victoria “Would somebody butter my bread, again… no, more than that” Jackson video? It’s on your point and funny as all get out.

  3. I also have to lay blame on both parties. While it’s safe to say I share much more of the democratic party’s ideology – I have VERY little shared ANYTHING with democratic politicians. Mooner – you make a very good point about the middle class suffering the most. If the middle class is the backbone of America – then you know what happens when you fuck your back up…shit just ain’t ever right again – and it’s a damn near impossible injury to “fix.” If we fuck up the backbone of America any further – it could be one of those “career ending” injuries and we’ll be all fucked up and in traction for the rest of eternity. What a cheery thought!

  4. admin says:

    Reck. Ruin the backbone and we become spineless. Ashamed to say it, but most Americans are just that. Myself, I’m likely considered far to the left of center on most issues. I think American society has immatured beyong true democratic capitalism.

    OK, and you guys don’t start on my ass about how that’s an oxymoronic statement. I’m speaking in the most general of terms.

    And since it’s been a while since I said it… FUCK RICK PERRY!

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