Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Misdirected Anger

I am not the only one thinking that “Occupy Wall Street” is picking the wrong target. Matthew Good at The Guardian suggests that they should Surround the Pentagon instead, pointing out that Wall Street got $700 billion of taxpayer money one time, while the Pentagon gets $1 trillion of taxpayer funding every single year.

He points out that the barons of New York have been in place for decades, and that the purpose of capitalism is to enrich the capitalists. We have been perfectly happy with that for so long as the nation enjoyed relative prosperity, and only now that financial hard times have fallen do we see the situation as some great evil. He points out that “when the empire knew better days we did not question our princes, but exalted them.” Nicely said and absolutely correct.

Reality is that it is the role of government to impose upon capitalists the restraint which they will not impose upon themselves, and government has failed to do so. The imbalance which we see today is not a failure of capitalism, which has enrichment of capitalists as its sole purpose, but of government, which is supposed to protect and serve the people which comprise society which it governs.

He points out, and I think rightly so, that what we are witnessing is the collapse of empire, the creation of which has been the activity of our government instead of the protection of its own people as is its proper role. The driver of empire is the military-industrial complex against which Eisenhower warned us six decades ago, and it is centered not at Wall Street, but at the Pentagon in Washington DC.

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