The angry mob

When you think about politics, you quickly see how it is important to separate cause and effect. If an effect is what you want, you have to figure out what kind of action would cause that effect, and make that action come about.

Some people haven’t gotten the memo however and continue to demand effects with zero, zilch, no, nyet, none, nicht, nada understanding of the underlying cause. They don’t want to know. They don’t care. What they want to do is demand things from others and blame whoever is in charge for their own failings.

This world has its drawbacks, it’s true, but it has one salient advantage: it rewards those who learn how it works and make it work for them. Whether this is setting up a homestead on the frontier, or finding some job in life that requires more than minimal responsibility and thus pays well, life rewards intelligent effort.

However, our society’s institutions operate from the opposite principle, which is pity for those who are not succeeding. In an effort to take away the sting of failure, they have for the past 200 years embarked on a program of convincing us that we are all equal and thus, if we aren’t rich, we are victims of the rich.

When conservatives talk about “class warfare,” the talking heads on TV roll their eyes as if this is just some drunken rant that conservatives are afflicted by. The obvious hidden truth is that they absolutely fear this message because it’s true: people who feel like victims blame others for their own failings.

The “99%” who are out there on Wall Street are not 99% of anything except the disaffected, entry-level-employed, disorganized, self-impressed, morally confused, narcissistic, and directionless urban young people who have found no way to succeed in this life because their lives consist of the pursuit of their own pleasures.

Looking at the 99% crowd, I see quite a few people who obviously have some kind of trust fund or familial hookup in order to be able to live they way they do on a bartender’s salary. Could it be that, as usual, politics is more a question of fashion and impressing your social group than a plan for our future?

In fact, when you think about it, the entire message of the Occupy Wall Street crowd is a social message, not a practical one. They don’t talk about cause and effect. They gather together a big group of unhappy people and validate that unhappiness by scapegoating Wall Street.

Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants. – Occupy Wall Street

Do bad things happen in high finance? As Willie Sutton said, “That’s where the money is,” so expect that people will be constantly trying to get in and take some of it. But we see no evidence that the majority of traders are corrupt, or the stock market is inherently a bad thing.

Like most things modern, it would do well to be under the command of a wise leader and not be left up to some driverless, external, mechanistic system which operates for its own convenience and considers our fate only secondarily, but it’s no different from the rest of our modern society in that regard.

Modernity is predicated on the conviction (derived from Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ argument) that with the right system (e.g. markets, democratic voting, competition and selection, conjecture and refutation, trial and error, peer review, or in general management), bad motivations in individuals can lead to good outcomes – therefore (ultimately) we should ignore motivations and focus on systems. – Bruce Charlton’s Miscellany

The media in this country does not have a leftist bias. However, the majority of its employees do, as do most people in entertainment, politics, law and other services of a society to its people. This is the “opposite principle” of our society’s institutions.

These institutional types are delighted over the Wall Street protests. For years, they’ve been hoping for something equivalent to a communist revolution in this country. Why? If you’re not succeeding, and you want someone to blame, your thoughts inevitably lead to a Utopian ideal that fixes your anger.

But at the end of the day, that is all the protesters and the horde of media chatterers have to offer: anger. They are not offering logic, or solutions. Just a protest, with more demands for what should be done and no way to do it.

If you go to any business and talk to the employees who do the menial work, a majority of them have this kind of view. “Man, it sure sucks that I sweep the floors and there’s some guy in an office making eight times what I am,” they say. They never mention that the guy in the office is more effective and vital.

Resentment is natural in the human world, especially when dreams don’t turn into practical plans. But it is not a solution. It does not change the causes of the effects we see; instead, it angrily demands we change the effects. It is incoherent and dangerous in that its primary motivation is revenge.

You will not see any voices in our mass media or politics mention this because, since 1789, politicians have learned to fear the resentful crowd and its guillotining/lynching tendencies. But don’t be fooled. What you see out there are not the architects of our future. It’s an angry, thoughtless mob.

13 Comments

  1. Razumov says:

    Nevertheless, the thoughtless mob is the legitimate successor to the myopic mercantile class that enjoyed the windfall of 1789. The mercantile state has no true existential justification in the absence of higher social orders.

    Resentment creates reactions, but it does not create systemic crises. Unless your articles are engineered to bag you a role in the intelligentsia of a new society, cut loose those scruples and jump on the populist bandwagon.

    1. Nicholas Marville says:

      Here’s why populist bandwagons and new societies don’t match:
      http://www.amerika.org/politics/our-own-special-breed-of-pollen/

  2. Avery says:

    The difference between the Tea Party and Occupy, besides their choice of who is to blame for everything, is precisely the mob element. Ann Coulter’s recent book “Demonic” does a good job explaining how mob mentalities are essentially leftist in nature.

    1. EvilBuzzard says:

      I was thinking another set of differences would be The Ruckus Society, The Tides Foundation, The Ford Foundation, et al…

      This Occupy thing is being bankrolled to the hilt. They’ve got medical stations, lawyers on 24 hour call, an entire logistical system. I’ll bet you there is someone within that so-called mob that has the tooth-to-tail ratios worked out and knows exactly how many boxes of pizza they’ll need for the next three days. This is far from spontaneous.

      1. Ryan says:

        exactly, its like a free act like im “che” card for 99% of the people there, and im sure you’ve experience a myrad of people posting this and that about the whole thing on “social media”. the whole “social media” thing is what will define our generation, its all about how we appear, its all just a psudo-futurist facade covering up for imibicilc nihilism and narcissim. everyone of my “real world” comrades is completely absorbed in this facade and have NO REAL OPINION OF THEIR OWN, I sit here and really thnk that jeezus these people are really just sheep, they don’t care, they don’t think they just want the reward that drops down the hole whem they spout some dogma.

        1. Ryan says:

          the best is most of the “activists” haven’t even read a word of engels or marx, they have NO OPINION, they are just aping what the pretty people do, its so freaking laughable, but equally disturbing

          1. crow says:

            Trust your feelings, young Luke. Believe in the force.

  3. Slava M. says:

    What is true is that this mentality is not sustainable. Our era will be in retrospect considered the “Age of the Weak”, where weakness was, in effect, held in the highest regard and strength considered an evil.

    Long after we are gone, our successors will look back and laugh. But much more damage must be done before humanity suffers a rebirth.

    1. EvilBuzzard says:

      I absolutely blame society for the travails of these poor, miserable twenty-somethings. I do not blame the society that busts it’s ass off pulling the 80 hour weeks. I blame the society where kids play soccer in leagues where teams get DQ’d for winning by too many goals. I blame the society where bad children sit in The Thinking Chair instead of having their butts whipped.

      These twenty-somethings leave this cacoon and suddenly it’s “Welcome to the NFL, Prison-Bitch!” They are not ready. They do not have a prayer. It may well be that they never will.

  4. I was sent a link to Occupy’s list of demands. It was absolutely ludicrous and many would contradict others (open borders view against environmentalist stance to name but one). The silent majority needs to be a little less silent about calling this bunch out for the self-righteous, overgrown children they are.

  5. Mihai says:

    Like it or not, what we see here is the avant-guarde of the future chaos and dissolution. It is clear that capitalism is nearing it’s final days- its death is now a certainty and the only question that can be posed in relation to it is – WHEN ?

    While I agree with the majority of this article, I don’t agree with the part that says that stock market economy isn’t something bad and that the majority of trader aren’t corrupt. the opposite is true. They are the ones who brought us on the brink of the abyss in the first place, with their pseudo-values of mercantilism, materialism and so on.
    We shouldn’t morn the death of capitalism in any way. What is on the brink of the abyss deserves a final push.

    With that being said, looking at the faces that participate in this “movement”, one cannot help but a have a very grim vision of the future decades. The most inferior strata of society will disolve the last vestiges of order and bring us a dystopian society of complete anarchy and chaos.

    Isn’t it ironic, that people with the mentality like those on wall-street, summoned the forces of the mob in the 18th and 19th century to subvert and overthrow the European organic orders and systems, are now being themselves overthrown by the very forces they once summoned ?
    I really can’t help but smile at this thought…

    1. Ryan says:

      get out of here your dirty communist!… macarthy i’ve got one, mihai, sounds asiatic.

      1. Mihai says:

        Learn to read first, please do…

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