I speak to many friends about the current occupy movement, and in most instances I hear the same few comments and questions. Most seem confused or unabashedly disapproving of the movement due to the seemingly muddled, unorganized, and unofficial nature of the movement. To many, it seems to be merely angry people displaying their grievances with the rich in a wildly unproductive manner, or self-entitled people whose anger stems from envy. Me? I see something quite different.
Let me begin with the issues at hand, and circle back to my main point. Corporate Personhood, is not inherently wrong, but inevitably wrong just the same. Firstly, our constitution is in place to protect the individual and the people not corporations. The aid that corporate personhood grants to corporations was originally meant for human beings in order to ease suppressed and underprivileged peoples into a successful productive life. More importantly, its intention was to widen the middle class- to relieve the great divide between utterly poor and utterly rich. The very foundation of this country was based upon this premise- widen a middle class, so that more people can live happily. However, with the existence of corporate personhood, the insurmountable funds that should be going to people end up bailing out corporations and so these people remain poor, uneducated, and unhealthy. Where does this leave us? With a rapidly deteriorating middle class. The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. If we don’t put a stop to this, we all suffer. It’s a ‘let them eat cake’ scenario.
Which brings us to our second issue: a fair democracy. Sometimes, I like to remind people that we do not live in a democracy. We live in a democratic republic. There is a distinct difference here. We do not directly get to choose our legislature as a people. We elect officials with the trust that they might make the most informed choices. We do not elect them as purely our megaphones for our desires as a populous. We mainly elect them to know better than us, but with the hope that they take our opinions into serious consideration and of the utmost value. That is what we must remember when voting. The unfortunate dilemma at the crux of the issue here, is that the candidates we chose between are predetermined for us by money. Only those with the greatest funding to their campaign ever truly reach the main populations ears. So we are all ready hindered from electing someone we might find most trustworthy and intelligent. If there was a law that put a cap on how much money could be donated to ANY campaign, then we would see a larger array of candidates in the first place. We would nip the politician problem at the bud. But as of now, no such law exists. That too has to change if we ever are to be sufficiently appeased by our representatives.
Now, having expressed a few of the most predominant issues at hand (and let me recognize that there are many I have not addressed merely for the sake of time, as this is a blog not an essay and really as a musician I’m probably getting myself in a great deal of trouble for addressing the subject at all, and shouldn’t get too high on the soapox in the first place), let me address the most common criticism of the movement. Perhaps, we achieve nothing. Perhaps, the massive uprising before us is smitten before every truly changing anything. In which case I say this: if this country ends up in the condition that we fear, if we cannot change the course of history, then at least let it be seen in history that we were not blind to what was happening to us. Let future generations be assured that though we may have lost, it was not for our ignorance. Perhaps we are powerless. Perhaps, the muddled chants of the masses are ineffective. But let it be said that we were aware of what was happening, and that we cried out our barbaric yawps in disagreement. If that is all that is ever accomplished, isn’t it better than silence?— May McDonough
note: the opinions in this blog do not necessarily represent those of the entire band. I have not corroborated these opinions with any other member of May McDonough & Co.