Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The 99 Percent and What They Are After

I know a guy whose life requires him from time to time to run the gauntlet of 99 percenters.  I'll try not to identify him to closely, but let's stipulate that he's not filthy rich himself, though he does get to go to meetings where people talk about great affairs. And he evinces no great hostility to the 99ers (though I guess not specially sympathetic either).

Anyway, he reports that he's chatted with some of these folks in his comings and goings. And what gets him is how (in the strict sense) ignorant they are about their own situation.  I.e., if you take my friend's word for it, they know next to nothing about where the real pressure points might be, about who has how much, about where precisely to leverage the system.  In particular, he says, they seem to know nothing about who in power they ought to be lobbying and how.

I don't know quite where to go with this one.  I know that some sympathizers will say this is not about pressure points, lobbying, blah blah--that all that stuff is just knuckling under to the system and we want to move beyond the system. As perhaps you might say, change we can believe it.  This is surely an appealing posture and in a way, I sympathize: in a well-run world, ordinary folks wouldn't have to spend all their time worrying about the intricacies of the market, etc.

Well, yes.  But paraphrasing Trotsky: you may be done with high finance, but high finance may not be done with you.  Ignoring the nuts and bolts may be a luxury that simply is not on offer.  

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