Two images have come to my attention connected with the current “Occupy Wall Street” movement and everything that connects and intersects with it. One is cynical, one is pointed, and both seem worth sharing.
On the one hand, it could be easy to point to the hypocrisy of not merely those taking to the streets (Wall St. and others), but all of us in the United States and other wealthy countries claiming to want things to change, yet not seeming to realize how so much of what we do is entangled with and dependent on corporations.
Then I saw this photo:
I think that this is the heart of the matter. It is not that most of us want to give up the lifestyle, the relative convenience and comfort, that technology and the corporations that produce and provide it offer to us. It is that many of us who are concerned with justice believe that only systemic solutions to issues like poverty, health care and employment are going to be effective, and do not consider it unfair when someone is “left with” and “has to make do with” an income after taxes that is still at least ten times more than the vast majority of people make even before taxes. Many of us believe that it is possible to keep the incentive of wealth as a stimulus to creativity and productivity, and yet ensure that more people irrespective of wealth or poverty have access to basic necessities and health care.