Why Are You Out There?
When someone attempts to impede democracy actions are good things:
Writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau was once locked up for refusing to pay a poll tax. He opposed the tax on moral grounds – in a democracy, he argued, a man shouldn’t have to pay to vote….
That night, so the story goes, Thoreau looked up from his jail cell to see Ralph Waldo Emerson…standing outside. Emerson looked at him and asked, “Henry, why are you in there?” Thoreau fired right back: “Ralph, why are you out there?”…
The man outside the bars may be every bit as much a prisoner as the one inside. Or even more so, if his so-called freedom is built on a foundation of denial and lies.
Now, Thoreau was anything but a Christian. That particular idea, though, was downright Biblical. It’s more or less what Jesus is getting at [in John 8:31-47]. Jesus is comparing two kinds of freedom: the outward kind, built on a foundation of happy lies and outright denial, which in the end turns out to be just another kind of slavery; and the inward kind, which comes from a clean conscience before God, and can never be taken away.
Far be it for me to cite The Sequel; I’ll take Bentleyville’s current Presbyterian minister* at his word. And tell anyone who happens to be in the area of One Liberty Plaza this afternoon to say “hello.”
*Full disclosure: one of the previous Ministers is an ex-roommate of mine. That said, the above was found from a Google search, purely a fortuitous coincidence. At least as far as I know.
I really should keep up with fellow bears more. Last I read the “about” you worked for Morgan Stanley. This would have made participating in OWS especially wonderful. Now I see you are a principal. That is to say that, in Marx’s view, you are no longer a wage slave and have become a capitalist. The man didn’t forecast perfectly.
I would like to know more. Obviously I can’t ask you to give me what you sell to your clients, but how are things going ? What do you do when you aren’t occupying Wall Street ?
I am teaching an intro micro course in EnglishItalian to students attracted by the word “management” (here pronounced with the accent on the silent e). Yesterday I had to explain the word “marginal” to people who don’t like the word “derivative.”
So I used the link which won me my status as angrybear
On topic there was a front page banner headline about OWS in La Repubblica which is Italy’s largest circulation newspaper.
The about page is out of date. Time to re-write.
Forty years after reading Thoreau, I still start salivating whenever I see a woodchuck. While most everyone has read Walden, I remeber reading a book Thoreau wrote on Civil Disobediance and the need to do the time to be effective. I certainly feel I have been co-opted by material success since my college days and I think that the OWS might really be the beginning of the realization by the 99% that they have too. It is one thing to let a few make obscene amounts of money, destroy the environment, wage senseless wars for profit, etc when you have a decent job, can afford some time off, can pay to educate your children and have a little something set aside–whether privately or through the government–for retirement. If you are unemployed underemployed or live in fear of unemployment, if your income has not kept up with inflation, if you recognize that your children’s lives will be more desparate than yours and if you keep hearing that social security and medicare are not sustainable at the same time that the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few increases, civil disobediance becomes a more attractive option.
Re woodchucks. We have one that lives under our shed. It gives us great delight when we get a glimpse of it. Most people around here consider them pests and shoot them.
I run into them periodically when I go camping and think they are sort of cute. If I had one in my back yard and it was digging up stuff, I might feel differently.