Agitation is the entire reason we continue to breathe, continue to strive, continue to innovate and try our damnedest to make things better and make things that do what we want more efficiently. Anger is just the reaction of a mind in rebellion against mediocrity and against the status-quo that keeps it locked-up and in stasis. There is something to be said for the righteous anger toward injustice, toward small-mindedness, and toward time ill-spent.
It is no surprise to me that violent “fringe elements” of the Occupy* movement have gotten significant recognition from the media, and it is no surprise to me that they exist at all if simply for the fact that violence is effectively written into the fabric of inequality that makes-up the noose around the 99%’s neck. It is no surprise to me at all that violence is the chosen response of a slowly-growing range of individuals in Oakland and in other areas of the Occupy* movement, given that the governments we elected to represent us locally, state-wide, and federally have failed miserably at their jobs. Instead of representing the people that make up their constituencies, they have instead elected to take money and marching-orders from narrow-minded and monied interests whose only “interest” (if you can call them interests at all) are the advancement of narrow objectives that hold no positive outcomes for the constituencies. Instead of advancing agendas built in consensus with each other in the interest of “the most benefit to the most people”, politicians have enriched themselves and the rest of the aristocracy leaving the rest of the world to pick through what remains of the “wealth” that is meant to “trickle-down”.
The 99% has been so thoroughly enslaved that we are still scratching at the surfaces of our cage, and we are still discovering (much to our horror) those methods of enslavement we believed only possible elsewhere in the world. “Never here”, we thought. “Never in America”, we told ourselves and each other, resolving ourselves to denial and disillusionment with the totality of the truth: that we have been born into economic bondage and that we blindly accepted images of what could be, rather than forsaking what was being force-fed to us and instead forging our own futures. We’ve spent far too long remaining distracted by modern-day equivalents of Roman games, bad food, drugs, and otherwise utterly useless and impossible pursuits of happiness, packaged in an easy-to-wash, no-muss-no-fuss, scratch-free coating.
Is it any surprise that the 99% is finally waking up to the psychological and ultimately physical torture that has been foisted upon us over the previous millennia? Think about it: the advent of centralized money (moneychangers and bankers being the earliest models of these), the systematic devastation and decimation of entire cultures for resources and arable land, and the enslavement of masses of otherwise humble and ultimately-human beings through institutionalized and dogmatic religions, the wholesale embrace of propaganda as a tool of mass psychological control (politically, spiritually, and economically in the case of capitalism), and the ever-present threats of force behind those that claim power and lordship over the known world.
There are many breeds of people on this Earth and only slightly fewer breeds involved in what our forebears will understand as the defining conflict of Humanity at this time in our civilization: the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the various strata of individuals that live-out their character-arcs somewhere along this axis. The question will be whether or not we have the wherewithal, the constitution, and the depth of faith in our fellow man to change hearts and minds through rational discourse, emotional engagement, and without physical incident… or whether exercise of superior force will be required to remove roadblocks in the path of human progress.
The obvious question that remains to be answered is which breed are you? Will you remain silent and blind to the crimes of the civilization which you inhabit, whose exploitative means of production and wealth extraction weaken, cripple, and ultimately kill Earth and all of its inhabitants? Or will you finally admit to yourself:
“Damn it! I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”