Does anyone pay attention to what is being said when this ‘1%’ thing is thrown around?
Here’s a direct quote from the OccupyWallSt.org About page and must therefore be the definitive statement of the movement’s intentions:
‘The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.’
If you replace ‘richest 1% of people’ with different words like ‘Muslims’ or ‘Jews’ or ‘Whites’ or ‘Blacks’ or ‘Poor People,’ wouldn’t you have a serious problem?
Why is it that Occupy Wall Street can define a 1% minority out of a population and engage in open hostility and bigotry toward them? Bigotry against a part of a population is bigotry no matter what the rationale for it happens to be. Occupy Wall Street is not talking about corrupt rich people. It is not talking about criminals. It is talking about ALL rich people. It is equating wealth with villainy.
It should be obvious that not all of the richest people are in fact helping to write unfair rules. Michael Moore is rich. Is he writing some of the unfair rules?
Why is Occupy Wall Street unable to confine its hostility to actual policy?
In Germany, during the buildup of Nazism, people grew increasingly angry toward the wealthy and then turned that anger toward Jewish people. Angry crowds, encouraged to chant mantras and direct hostility toward groups that they define as evil become extremely dangerous when exposed to a charismatic leader who is willing to exploit them.
I do not oppose constructive change of policy to make the economic situation more fair and to prevent the corporate control of government. But I do oppose the fundamental and defining aspect of Occupy Wall Street which is to associate a particular group of people with a generic and unspecified evil.