No doubt social media has helped to galvanize popular occupation movements, the tired, nouveau pooor, and huddled masses now flooding Times Square and elsewhere in New York City exercising their rights under the watchful eye of the Statue of Liberty. The sign on the left of the picture reads: “These Economic Royalists Complain That We Seek To Overthrow The Institutions of America. What They Really Complain Of Is That We Seek To Take Away Their Power.” The quote is attributed to FDR. It is an overly simplistic misappropriation of ink.
A crucial part of the FDR quote, as related to mob rule, didn’t make it on to the sign. Here is the quote in its entirety:
These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.
“I am going to start my life as an adult in debt and that’s not fair,” student Nathaniel Brown told Reuters Television. “Millions of teenagers across the country are going to start their futures in debt, while all of these corporations are getting money fed all the time and none of us can get any.”
Well excuse me, Nathaniel. I and most of my peers in their teens and twenties started our adult lives in debt. Except the debt we held was for education and the self-gratitude we forestalled in order to work off our financial obligations. We are the 99% that paid for the liberties you enjoy. Ironically social media is credited for electing President Obama, and the current mob protest movement occupying cities and seeking attention was likely part of the movement that created the “change” that was the platform of his election.
New York City suffered a more devastating blow in 2001 in a message targeting the pulse of America’s financial district than the current Occupy Wall Street movement can deliver through calls for disruptive change. Moroever, if this call for forced redistribution of wealth has any merit, isn’t Washington D.C. a more appropriate venue for protest than Washington and Times Square? After all, our President attained his office based on grass roots efforts to overcome the money machine of corporate greed that Wall Street supposedly symbolizes. Seems to me you’re owed some change from him on your dollar.