One of the many mania (or is it manium?) of our age is the unreal belief that a small and inconsequential action on the part of an individual can help solve a major problem or crisis.
Now we wear wrist bands to save the small-eared sea lion, we wear lapel pins to fight sagging testicles, we grow mustaches to fight baldness in cats.
Every morning, it seems, on some street corner or another, I walk by giant inflatable rats. They're put up by our dwindling breed of union men. They're protesting the use of non-union labor, low wages or some other corporate indelicacy. I'm not sure that this marching or shouting gets anyone anywhere. Certainly the wage gap between the working class and the corporate class smacks, today, of the late 19th Century. So, it seems that the barking and the ratting out and the occupying is little more than the tale of sound and fury told by an idiot, signifying nothing.
No one, maybe outside of Christopher Hedges, is pointing the finger at the root cause of unemployment. The $10 million paid to a middling CEO is equal to 200 $50k/year jobs. In other words, the plutocracy sees more shareholder value in paying one man $10 million than in paying 200 $50K.
Wrist bands won't stop this. Nor will tents in privately-owned parks (a privately-owned park sounds like something out of Louis XIV France. Let the peasants hunt thrush one day a year.) Nor will forwarding a link, nor will a like, nor will (ha ha ha) this inconsequential blog.
I don't know what the Mahatma would think of the feeble fights against corporations, against fracking, against hunger in Africa. But I do think of this probably apocryphal
exchange he had with Churchill:
Churchill: “What do you think of Western civilisation?"
Ghandi: "I think it would be a very good idea.”
I have a feeling that we are in the midst of a trend that is relatively inexorable. The rich will ride their horses over the poor and the middle-class will disappear like a fist when you open your hand.
All the liberal progress forwarded by the American New Deal, minimum wage laws, a 40-hour work week, the right to organize, a social safety net, affordable higher education and decent public education seem to be falling by the wayside.
One of our political parties, ostensibly half our electorate, have given way to near absolute lunacy and radical reactionary thought.
The other of our parties is in the thrall of Wall Street and worries more about bankers than ordinary wankers.
Sorry kids, a ribbon on a lapel, a slogan and a logo aren't going to change shit.