Skip to main content
You can't evict an idea. You can't lock it up, either. Tommy Douglas, Canada's favourite Canadian, reminded us of this fact over half a century ago. It is still as true today as it was then. The Occupy movement is an idea whose time has come. Occupy has reminded us that injustice demands redress. The injustice of the unequal redistribution of wealth in our society today is the message. Occupy has become the medium. Over the past 30 years, the average income of the working class, today's middle class, has remained overall a straight line, barely keeping up with inflation, subject to the same overall rate of taxation. The average income of the top 1% of our society has gone up like a rocket, simultaneously subject to a spectacular reduction in taxation. Corporate income tax is less than half of what it was 30 years ago. Personal income tax, however, is basically the same. The wealthiest 1% channel their main income through corporate trusts, investments and similar vehicles. Pretty sweet when you really think of it. It stinks when riches become downright obscene as has occurred over the past several years since the latest financial "crash."
So Occupy's idea is to denounce what the working class has suffered these past few decades. What the middle class has come to after all these years. Facing the real threat and horror of seeing our only hopes of true financial freedom, our homes, end up being worth less than what we owe (negative equity), and our pensions being unable to come even close to covering what we will need to survive. We are faced with economic trends and outlooks that will see the middle class end up being a fraction of what it was these past years, becoming slaves to an economy and financial machine that are ruthless in an insatiable quest to feed the top 1%, and rob the bottom 99. Incredible? Unbelievable? Impossible? Occupy reminds us, alarms us, awakens us, to the fact that we have fallen asleep at the switch of what we alone were responsible to accomplish and maintain. Social and economic justice for the vast majority, and making sure that the elite were kept in check, politically, economically and socially. We thought we had brought the aristocracy, the notion of aristocracy and its autocratic power under control, to be kept in check. We wake up today to the sounds of Occupy screaming that the aristocracy of the 19th century is back with a vengeance. Not yet along blood lines but economic ones. The blood lines of aristocracy arise when it makes sure that the redistribution of its newly acquired wealth will be structured to enrich its offspring, the new 1%, and not anyone else.
Class warfare is the inevitable result of the insatiable (and sadly inevitable) greed of the elite. Whether in Egypt, Libya, Haiti, or now, Europe and North America. And instead of showing any sign of relenting, the 1% in Europe and the United States, and yes, Canada, demand even more from the citizenry. The 1% will now lend "us" the money they have "made" on our homes and pensions, at usurious rates which they set in their financial boardrooms, and become even wealthier than yesterday, while the rest of us descend ever deeper into debt, which we are then told is our own damned fault for our "financial recklessness." Cynical arrogance to the extreme is the reaction of the 1%, which sends its baton-wielding "security" forces to shut down the alarm bells that Occupy has been ringing, in extremis, these past several weeks.
"Shut them up, and shut them down!" scream the 1%. The vast majority of the 99% are listening, however. We must remember that it is not about the tents. Which are only a distraction. It is about the message and the medium, which is what Occupy has come to be. It is about the idea that Occupy has come to remind us about so eloquently through its "mike check" low-tech messaging. The idea that the 99% are really in control, and one day soon will show it. The idea that, as history has so constantly reminded us, the 1% trembles at the thought.
Nope, you can't evict an idea, and you can't lock it up, either! If the 99% of the world unite, we will have nothing much left to lose but the nightmare future that the 1% has in store for all of us!
Receive our e-newsletter and stay in touch with all our news, events and press releases.