Picnic on wall street 🔗 1439057915
It would seem that the hip thing to do now is to go out and "occupy" the banking district of cities. This is all well and good, but like the "Arab Spring" protests, they will not accomplish much in the long run, and are little more than an excuse for police-stating in the short run. In the Arab nations the goal was at least accomplishable (overthrow of a dictator), rather than being largely undirected rage against "the system" as in OWS. Of course, people are just as angry here in the EU and US at "the system" as any of those Arabs are, but they aren't quite sure just why.
This confusion is mostly due to the difficulty in grasping and holding to account a vast faceless bureaucracy and their corporate minions as opposed to a smiling dictator and his minions. People find it hard to believe that so many eyes on a position of power could allow the kind of abuses that are common to dictatorship. So, they end up lashing out at any obvious symptom, oblivious of the root cause of all of this; the cancer that pulses in the heart of all government.
They all speak of particular symptoms (Wall St. criminals, Obama, Congress, etc), but you could liquidate all of these and change nothing. Like the Arab nations ousted their dictators, we could throw all the upper management of the mega corporations in prison, and re-staff the entire government, but things magically wouldn't change at all. They cry for transparency; but their blind spot for the root cause (lack of accountability) will net them only a brazen government in the end. Until they demand (and implement!) a system that is responsive to the people's desires, real change will not occur, and they will continue to rage futilely against the machine.
Suppose we did "throw all the bums out" and make the heads roll of the wall street crooks. Within the year, new crooks would have appeared like shark-teeth to replace them; and neither the ouster or the lack of change would be directly due to the protestations of the disenfranchised. The guys chosen to replace after the ouster could even be angels (though this probability approaches 0), and it still wouldn't fix the accountability shield that the modern state gives it's agents. Like lord Acton said, power corrupts; and sovereign immunity is as close to absolute power as it gets.
The question arises, though, why do we have government who's agents and friends (corporations) are effectively above the law thanks to liability shields (sovereign immunity and the corporate veil, respectively)? Weren't all the western democracies founded on the liberal principles of equality under the law? Universal Brotherhood? Didn't we make all of these fancy charters and constitutions and other straight jackets to keep the government responsive to our wills, rather than doing as it pleases? How on earth could ALL of them fail? Well, it's because they all have a fundamental defect; they didn't know how power really works.
The notion of the state has always been one of violence and coercion. If people do something "wrong", the government is there to force them to do "right", or at least exact vengeance. They can only accomplish this by acquiring the means to destroy. Well, if you can't destroy without first acquiring something which was created, which is the more fundamental power? Clearly, it is creation. So, consider this: perhaps voting (determining who is in office) is not so important as how much creative power you "give" the government. In the end it's power that matters. That's why no set of laws will stop a government which has acquired enough to overpower it's citizens.
Consider any other physical object -- you cannot move it if you do not have enough power; enough leverage. You want a good purchase on whatever you grasp, lest it slip from your hands. Anything which can exert it's own force will have to be overpowered. Now consider government -- do you or any other person think you have the power to move it? No, you have to band together, and try to use it's own power against it (judo throw); this is why we have corporations. Where did the government get all this power such that we need to go to such lengths just to make it serve our interests?
In our world, creative power is represented by money and other assets which represent purchasing power (creation). Well, if we are to keep the government accountable to the will of the people, we must have some rationing mechanism; some way in which we can restrict their flow of money when we are displeased. Sadly, the rationing mechanisms are called "Tax evasion", "Terrorism" and "Black Marketeering", any of which will get the full force of the state to smash those who try.
This is because our governments all acquire their power in fundamentally illiberal means; it is just raw force. Involuntary Taxation is the norm; it is barely different in the way it is carried out than a mafia protection racket. Fiat Money debasement, the other tool of the tyrant, can only work with legal tender laws (which is, again, force).
So, if OWS is to actually accomplish their goal of a system which satisfies their needs, they have to strike at the root. Demand honest money and voluntary financing of government; accept no substitutes. Otherwise, you won't get what you want. After all, thanks to withholding and Fiat currency, they already have your money. Why should they listen to you?