The lords of finance in the skyscrapers surrounding Zuccotti Park, who toy with money and lives, who make the political class, the press, and the judiciary jump at their demands, who destroy the ecosystem for profit and drain the U.S. Treasury to gamble and speculate, took little notice at first activists on the street below them three weeks ago.
The elites consider everyone outside their sphere marginal or invisible. What significance could a young woman named Ketchup, who worked in a Chicago theater cooperative and pays her bills as a waitress, have for the powerful? What could she and those in Zuccotti Park do to them? What threat can the weak pose to the strong?
Those who worship money believe their buckets of cash, like the $4.6 million J.P. Morgan Chase gave last week to the New York City Police Foundation, can buy them perpetual power and security. Masters all, kneeling before the idols of the marketplace, blinded by their self-importance, impervious to human suffering, bloated from unchecked greed and privilege, they were about to be taught the folly of hubris.
Even now, three weeks later, the elites and their mouthpieces in the press continue to puzzle over what we want. Where is the list of demands? Why don’t they present us with specific goals? Why can’t they articulate what they need? The goal to us is very, very clear. It can be articulated in one word: REBELLION.
We have not come to work within the system. We are not pleading with the Congress for electoral reform. We know electoral politics is a farce. We have found another way to be heard and exercise power. We have no faith in the political system or the two major political parties. And we know the corporate press will not amplify our voices which is why we have a press of our own. We know the economy serves the oligarchs. We know that to survive this protest we will have to build non-hierarchical communal systems that care for everyone.
These are goals the power elite cannot comprehend. They cannot envision a day when they will not be in charge of our lives. The elites believe, and seek to make us believe, that globalization and unfettered capitalism are natural law, some kind of permanent and eternal dynamic that can never be altered. What the elites fail to realize is that rebellion will not stop until the corporate state is extinguished.
It will not stop until the corporate abuse of the poor, the working class, the elderly, the sick, children, those being slaughtered in our imperial wars and tortured in our black sites, stops. It will not stop until foreclosures and bank repossessions stop. It will not stop until students no longer have to go into massive debt to be educated, and families no longer have to plunge into bankruptcy to pay medical bills. It will not stop until the corporate destruction of the ecosystem stops, and our relationships with each other and the planet are radically reconfigured.
And that is why the elites, and the rotted and degenerate system of corporate power they sustain, are in serious trouble. That is why they keep asking what the demands are. They don’t know what is happening. They are deaf, dumb and blind.