day 71: below the surface
Even if the Occupy Wall Street movement is not in line with government plans as I suggested in my last post, nobody tells us that a movement like that will actually have any impact. Other global movements like the Pace movement concerning the Iraq war showed that the governments don’t give a hoot about our opinion anyway. After all why should they care as long as they believe that we have to be protected from our own stupidity? It starts with little things like the situation which I described in my last post where my teachers didn’t accept that I was officially an adult fully capably of deciding myself whether it is wise to continue my journey at night on my own. It ends with the government telling us that we as lay people have no clue as to how our financial system should work. And to be honest, partly I even agree with them: If the goal of the Occupy Wall Street movement is just to restrict some bankers’ bonuses, then it’s really a sign that the people involved in the movement have actually not much of a clue as to what’s wrong with our society. They just want to get rid of the symptoms instead of curing the system.
Forcing bankers to accept lower bonuses is not much of a change in any case, because after all it’s just about having a house, a family, enough to eat and the possibility of buying all the crap you don’t even need in the first place. In Western countries we already have all that. It also means that with this underlying assumption people don’t have any reason to want social change bigger than a less unfair, more evenly distributed financial system, i.e. to want more than just that the 99% have a bit more money. As long as you’re not starving in the first place a bit more money won’t make a big difference apart from the amount of junk you can afford. Only if people actually realised that more money wouldn’t make them any happier either there would be a possibility of real social change.
Instead of trying to protect people from the consequences of their own stupidity we should trust that they have the potential to free themselves, encourage them to learn and to overcome the illusion that money or consumerism will make them happy. After all if they, as in the people in power, wouldn’t keep people stupid by means of media propaganda there would be no reason to protect these people from their own stupidity.
Sadly this is a type of social change that is harder to achieve than forcing some bankers to accept lower bonuses though. As things stand I believe we’re just all too full and content to start that kind of a revolution. It would be like starting a revolution on a gut feeling or on the hunch that something is not quite right. Well, I find it highly unlikely. What do you think?