Wednesday, August 10, 2011

‘Have-nots’ worldwide are rebeling against governments

It’s happened throughout history. The masses rise up and destroy oppressive governments.

Remember the so-called “Arab Spring” this year when the common people rose up against dictators throughout the Middle East?

The common man revolted against decades of tyranny. What they’ve done has galvanized the rest of the watching world. Cries for freedom continue in countries like Syria and Libya. The Have’s and the Have-not’s reached critical mass and change is happening there.

It’s not pretty. It’s bloody in most cases. Sometimes peaceful protests work, and sometimes they don’t. The growing gap between the world’s wealthy minority and the increasingly disenfranchised citizens can be seen not just in the Middle East, but throughout Europe and the United States.

Now, we’re in the “Summer of Discontent” for the West.

As riots continued for a fourth day around the U.K., supporters of the controversial far-right group English Defense League (EDL) asked followers to stay away from alcohol when forming neighborhood watches.The irony is the EDL (who have caused cops plenty of grief in the past) want the rioting to stop and are ready to defend neighborhoods under assault from the radical element riding the riots.

Even the EDL realizes that what’s happening is hurting their economy more. For every person protesting the economy peacefully, five are taking advantage of the current unstable situation and are looting stores and burning cars and buildings. I suspect there’s a combination of those who are “have-not’s” and are sick and tired of going without everything from food to medical care, to just plain criminals.

It took the shooting of a man by the police to ignite the riots, now going into their fourth day. Behind that rage, citizens are scared as they see what’s happening to their crippled economy. Fear stalks their stock markets and the streets, as the desperate need for jobs increases.

Just like here in the U.S. People need jobs. We need manufacturing. We can’t keep going on like this. When companies like GE don’t pay a cent in taxes and are showing profits while the rest of America suffers, there’s something wrong. Profitable oil companies getting outlandish tax breaks and federal money are pushing people’s patience to the brink.

I mentioned a study in my first post this morning - The rich are different — and not in a good way, studies suggest that gives a chilling insight of what the majority of Americans are up against. Psychologist and social scientist Dacher Keltner says the rich’s life experiences makes them less empathetic, less altruistic, and generally more selfish.

In fact, he says, the philosophical battle over economics, taxes, debt ceilings and defaults that are now roiling the stock market is partly rooted in an upper class "ideology of self-interest." Can you say Tea Bagger? Is it any wonder that most Americans are angry that a richly-funded minority group has hijacked democracy at least once now (during the contrived debt ceiling crisis)?

The common man in America is watching helplessly as so-called “entitlements” get slashed and corporations become more influential. No surprise. Look at our current Supreme Corporate Court’s track record during the last few years. The common man is defenseless against the mega millions and power the wealthy wield to get their way.

There’s so many organizations packed with CEO’s and legislators I couldn’t list them all in a week. But I’ll give you a real good example this coming Sunday – “Meet ALEC: a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” in my As It Stands column in The Times-Standard. 

As It Stands, it took a revolution to establish our government for ALL OF THE PEOPLE. Let’s hope it won’t take another one to regain the rights we’ve all lost to the wealthy. 

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