Is the World Pissed Off Enough Yet?

I’d say it’s pretty close. Millions of people have taken to the streets in every part of the planet. They protest being cheated, by oligarchs and crooked politicians, mostly. They are enraged by bogus elections. They see all around them that promises to do something about poverty and lousy public services have meant nothing. They are disgusted by corruption.

Even in democratic Brazil, which has a much-admired president, Dilma Rousseff, over a million people marched to protest. They began by protesting an increase in bus fares, since rescinded, but that has morphed into a general rage about the people at the top of the income heap and their galloping corruption, the inequality, the lack of progress with the poor, and what many consider the waste of money on the coming Olympics.

Millions of people have taken to the streets.

This is not unusual. Practically everyone has had it up to here with the filthy rich, whose wealth comes from the rest of us, and with the officials who enrich themselves with graft, corruption, and outright theft of the public wealth. It has been suggested that defenestration from the 20th floor is a suitable fate for most big bankers.

Democracy and the world in general are in real trouble, for surely more than the following two reasons: First, the economic trend toward oligarchy has made most people worldwide worse off, even though the modern world has the capability to provide for everyone. Second, the ever-escalating power of computers threatens a new sort of “1984” that will diminish everyone’s freedom. It has already contributed to a gross escalation of economic inequality that can only get worse, to say nothing of the recent exposure of extensive government spying operations worldwide.

Practically everyone has had it
up to here with the filthy rich.

Generally, people will be happy and not rebellious or violent if they can live freely with enough income to provide what they need. Even if nobody has much, people will be happy if there is not much inequality. The most important thing the government can do is to allow that to happen.

But the natural progression of capitalism has entered a new and more problematic phase with the present generation of computers and the internet. As Jaron Lanier noted in the 9 June 2013 issue of the NYT, computers have become so ubiquitous and powerful that they are determining the fate of people everywhere. And the people being rewarded by this trend are the capitalists who own the fastest computers and the best algorithms, and who make no contribution at all to the betterment of society, but build inequality instead.

Lord protect all these bastards if we decide as a mob that we’ve had more than enough, because none of them will make it out alive, and that would not be a desirable outcome.

But is it really true that these guys are what has caused all this misery? Why, I believe it is! Reports show that the outrageous pay that CEOs take home is indeed causing inequality. And what inequality it is! Some say that Czarist Russia was the last time it was this bad.

The outrageous pay that CEOs take home
is indeed causing inequality.

The fact of this hatred for the rich and corrupted hasn’t penetrated their skulls yet, however. They still think they are the source of all things good. They still think they are the “job creators”, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. They still think they can indulge their corruption at our expense. Few of the rich see anything amiss in spending on meaningless luxuries that “Doonesbury” cartoonist Gary Trudeau once nailed as “sickening excess”.

Massive demonstrations have occurred just about every place where there is massive inequality. And every place they occur just so happens to be a place where too many public officials and private capitalists are rotten to the core. Where there is no difference between them and common thieves. The poor know they are getting screwed over.

There is a significant correlation between personal and national unhappiness and the market economy. Read about it in Robert E. Lane’s book, The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies. Where does this unhappiness come from? After all, many people who have very little wealth live happy lives. But not if their wealth is essentially stolen from them by corrupt politicians and people with so much money that it’s meaningless, who create massive inequality and are devoid of any sense of responsibility or empathy.


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