Popular movements have their messiahs. Those eager to standup and champion the codswallop of the day. They have little regard for substance and clear thinking; they’re enamored with the indecency of the moment.
Take Che Guevara, for instance. The Argentine Marxist was an utter fool. He bosh mongered throughout South and Central America spreading the good word of incomprehensible nonsense. “In this period of the building of socialism we can see the new man and woman being born,” said Guevara. “The image is not yet completely finished – it never will be, since the process goes forward hand in hand with the development of new economic forms.”
Guevara saw the world around him and was aghast at its crude deficiencies. Why do some live so low in poverty while others live so high up on the hog? The apparent injustice of it all turned his brain to mush as he set off to build what he thought would be a better world.
From the get go his chosen means to reach that end were twisted. Rather than working for a private solution Guevara sought a political solution. With the right government in power and the right policies in place, thought Guevara, the world could be remade in his image.
Yet when Guevara had his opportunity, following the Cuban Revolution, his plans made an absolute mess of things. Guevara established agrarian land reform so that the new Cuban government could spread the “social justice that land redistribution brings about.” No doubt, Guevara was a true believer…and was shocked that his program of “moral incentives” and “voluntary labor” resulted in a rapid drop in agricultural yields and a rapid rise in worker malingering.
When his handiwork in Cuba sputtered, Guevara left to do what he did best – foment revolution. After stirring up strife in the Congo he returned to Latin America in early 1967 to serve the revolution. By then Guevara’s days were numbered. On October 8, 1967, he was captured by Bolivian Special Forces. The following day “the butcher of La Cabana” was executed.
We Are the 99 Percent
The Occupy Wall Street movement is without a messiah, as far as we can tell. For that matter, it’s without a purpose too. After following the movement with disinterest, from what we gather, the protesters believe they got a raw deal because there are no good jobs and they owe $100,000 in student loans.
The We Are the 99 Percent website tells their misfortunes. Many of them thought that a college degree would automatically guarantee a good paying job. One fellow, for example, is disheartened because he racked up $175,000 in debt to become a starving artist and no one will pay him to make art projects. Another is discouraged because she has two kids, college debt, and no health insurance. There must be several thousand – or more – of these stories posted.
In short, they are angry because Wall Street got a bail out and they didn’t. Above that, and their student loan debt, there seems to be no unifying objective for what they are after. Certainly, they have every reason to be mad as hell about the Wall Street bail out, but they seem to have misplaced their rage.
Following the money from Wall Street back to Washington, you’d think the protestors would be fuming at the government. But they aren’t. They seem to think that if the Occupy Wall Street movement gains enough support, they too can get their hands in the government cookie jar.
You can’t help but feel for them. At just the moment they graduated college the 60 year credit expansion reached on inflection point. They put their faith in a system, did what they were told would guarantee success, and the rug has been pulled out from under them. But like Guevara they are looking for solutions by political means. This only sets them up for further disappointment.
Go Occupy Yourself
Here at the Economic Prism we are suspicious of popular movements like we are suspicious of politicians, paper money, and credit driven bull markets. The madness of crowds is inherently unpredictable. When the herd runs one way we run the other. We’d rather watch from a safe perch than chant in unison, beat the drum, and pump our fist in the air while getting trampled with a crowd of mindless lunatics.
The point is, there are plenty of opportunities out there for those who don’t expect them. What we mean is if you are part of the 99 Percent, and you want to succeed, you should do the exact opposite of what you were led to believe. Moreover, you should quickly exit the movement.
The political means Occupy Wall Street is after won’t achieve your ends. The days when getting a college degree would ensure you a cushy agency or company department job and a comfortable middleclass lifestyle are over…and for that you can be grateful. For with a little ingenuity and a lot of determination you can do much, much better.
These days you must believe in yourself and pursue private means if you want to move forward while the mob moves backward. What better way to stick it to the Man than to shun the government and go occupy yourself?
The sooner you get on with it…the sooner you can flip the bird at the buffoons in Washington as you pull one over on them.
for Economic Prism