I wrote a post several weeks ago that (I thought) was on the subject of making conscious choices in our daily lives, and about taking responsibility for those choices. I chose the Occupy Wall Street protests as a backdrop for the discussion, which, as it happens, became the focal point of the piece for the majority of the people who read it.
That was unintentional, but I was pleasantly surprised at the volume of reactions that it generated. Indeed, some of the more intelligent and spirited discussions I’ve had on the subject came about almost directly as a result of that post – it was referred to on the one hand as “briliant and eloquent”, and it was characterized elsewhere as “capitalist propaganda”.
I was equally surprised by both characterizations, but in any event, the resulting discussions prompted me to think about Occupy Wall Street in a different, broader way, and after conducting extensive research on the subject (in the form of online articles, blog posts, Facebook comment thread disucssions, and barroom arguments), I have drawn the following irrefutable conclusions:
1. This anger is justified. There is no doubt that the game is rigged, and that the vast majority of us are balanced precariously on the ever-shortening end of that stick. Insofar as “they” have enriched themselves at the expense of “us”, we are absolutely righteous in our indignation. As I
We should take all of their money away and put them in prison for a significant period of time. Way longer than someone who gets caught growing pot, for example.
2. We helped make the mess. If we aren’t willing to make a change, then they have all the power, and if they have all the power, then nothing is ever going to change.
This was the central idea underlying my previous post, and I won’t belabor the point here. Suffice it to say, that if you keep using your credit card to shop at Wal-Mart, things will keep getting worse. We must take responsibility above, beyond and in addition to our righteous indignation. We helped make the mess, and just like when we were kids, we have to help clean it up.