In a recent article by Paul Krugman spoke to the whining from the elite in Wall Street who believe that the good that they have done for society is not understood, claiming that “finance is the only thing America does well.”
Not only is it telling of where we are as a society that there is immunity for those who perpetrated this situation—injustice persists—it is even more telling that there is immunity to change among our elected officials. Yes the very same people who were elected to serve the collective ‘we’ of society. Moreover, with those actively participating in Occupy Wall Street being characterized as a bunch (or is it a mob) of miscreants and malcontents deserving of disparaging remarks, by even the news journalists, is telling of a sad state of affairs.
Those protesting are asking such questions as ‘why haven’t we bailed out homeowners’ or ‘why must students be saddled with enormous debt and little to no job prospects’? It is not that Occupy Wall Street protest is diffuse and lacks a defining focus—the one thing reductionist can put their finger on—it is that its focus is the system itself. Its focus is all encompassing of life in a society that is supposed to be of, for and by the people.
Our government officials were complicit in the crime perpetrated against the 99% by making it possible for the finance industry to act as they did—they provided the means for material self-interest (i.e. greed) to run amuck. The signal was evident for at least 30 years with an inequality gap growing larger and larger.
Accordingly those participating in Occupy Wall Street are calling for new thinking that will lead to a better future for all, and not just a select few. So this is not about what’s in it for the (private) ‘me’ rather it is a wake-up call for our elected officials to start thinking about and working for (the public) we! They are no longer exempt from the obligation they assumed upon taking public office.
In a society that has become so consumed by ‘what’s in it for me’ this challenge to immunity can be quite disorienting to the overlords, which can be a very good thing for all.