Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Filthy Rich

I never had much luck being a leftist. I tried to be politically active in college, but even though my politics leaned left I couldn't stand the actual leftists. I don't know that they liked me much, either. I was hissed at an SDS reunion after I suggested that their 'revolution' only benefited a few people. I was ostracized from Ann Arbor's fake shantytown [Divest Now!] when I contributed generic coffee from Krogers [capitalist pigs] rather than Guatemalan shade-grown free-trade coffee from the co-op [which I couldn't afford]. I was denounced as a right-wing ideologue [my finest moment] in a seminar on Economic Democracy when I suggested that the military offered poor youth a chance to escape from the ghetto and the farm. I was fired from PIRG for refusing to aggressively fund-raise in a grossly impoverished neighborhood. And I was a loyal Black Action Movement [Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Western Culture has got to go!] soldier until the afternoon the mob targeted Regent Sarah Powers [a friend of the family with a long history of progressive social activism]. The next morning she climbed the Bell Tower in the center of campus and jumped.

So me and the left, we've got some issues. I still believe in economic democracy and deep ecology. I hate that a small minority now own most of the land and a majority of the wealth. I think that government has created an environment where this is possible - our governor has helped sell Hawai`i to the highest bidder and called it economic growth - and I think government can help turn things around. I'd call it socialism, but I hate big government. Anarchism is the only term that fits.

I think a lot of Americans feel the same, though I can't think of a single politician who does. But then I read stories like this one out of Helsinki - that 2% of adults own half the world's wealth [or as the Economic Times of India put it, A few filthy rich own half the world] - and I think, maybe it's time for another revolution. If only we could have one without the ideologues.

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