Forgive me, those opposed to OWS, for being so vulgar as to have to make a rather obvious point. I'll get to it in a moment.
Now, every society has at least one or two very stupid ideas that even otherwise intelligent people often believe, for whatever reason. In earlier days it may have been the divine right theory of kings, or that people couldn't handle any measure of democracy, or that one race had a right to own another.
In our present age, we entertain some very stupid ideas about rich people. In other ages people were stupid about priests or aristocrats, but ours is stupid about the capitalist bourgeoisie.
Now you may have heard about the recent flap over Governor Rick Perry of Texas mistaking a fictional satirical character ("Jeremy, 38") for an actual Occupy protestor in Toronto. Jeremy is a creation of anti-Occupy satirist Mark Schatzger, and here is what Schatzger (via Jeremy) had to say:
“It’s weird protesting on Bay Street. You get there at 9 a.m. and the rich bankers who you want to hurl insults at and change their worldview have been at work for two hours already. And then when it's time to go, they're still there. I guess that's why they call them the one per cent. I mean, who wants to work those kinds of hours? That's the power of greed.” – Jeremy, 38
Now you can see what Schatzger is getting at. It's designed to play on those old deeply anchored puppet strings of guilt and shame those of us who are not millionaires have woven into us from an early age. Not that we are ashamed of not being millionaires, necessarily, but we are deeply ashamed to question (wait for it . . .) their right to all that money.
That's right. You don't question what a millionaire did for his money -- whether he actually earned it or not. But of course, the reason why we are so programmed into not asking such a question is very real: the truth about the rich is very embarrassing to them -- so embarrassing that many of them, even, do not want to know it about themselves. They have some very tenacious delusions about themselves, that is for sure. And their egos defend these delusions with the ferocity of a drowning man whose life preserver is being stolen.
Oh the righteousness of the indignant ego! Oh the beleaguered rights and reputations of bankers!
Never underestimate just how much of the mumbo-jumbo people are fooled and intimidated into accepting is just sheer bluff. It's really quite astonishing. An even half way honest person will every day of her life feel like the little child in the famous "Emperor's New Clothes" fairytale who can see the Emperor is indeed naked. Will she have the self-confidence, the moxie to say, "dude, your dick is flapping in the breeze. Put some fucking clothes on." Or will she cower and not trust her own eyes and assume the Emperor (or Mark Schatzger, or the class he toadies to) really is wearing something, despite the evidence of her own eyes?
In Canada, the top 1% owns about one third of the property. It's even worse in the U.S. Now tell me, you defenders of the rich, please, and this brings me to the vulgar and obvious point I started saying I simply must make: show me your evidence that 1% of Canada does approximately one third of all the work. Does this enquiry not simply flatten all claims to the "justice" of the 1% owning so much? They would not only have to be the hardest working people in the country, they would have to outstrip the average Canadian many, MANY times in industriousness.
Ah, but I'm sure there is some rationalization. But we don't hear it so much, do we, because the challenge to the "right" of the rich to so much wealth is so seldom made in the first place.
BTW: How did Mark Schatzger get his job? Did he put in long hours? Take big risks? Well, whatever he DID do, I can tell you what he DIDN'T do once he got that job: think. It is possible, for all I know, that Mark Schatzger busted his ass to get his job, but one thing is for sure: he doesn't bust his ass doing it.