Look, I don’t want to sound alarmist, but I think the country…the world…is in deeper trouble than anyone realistically wants to admit. We seem to be devolving from a middle class society, with strong middle class values and an economy dependent on our middle class for both production and consumption, into an almost feudal serfdom, with itinerant workers grabbing scraps of work where they can and putting down their heads wherever they can.
Desperation sets in and pretty soon all sorts of behavior becomes the norm in places where there is no security, no safety net. Right whingers complain about the Occupy movement, claiming it’s just a bunch of shiftless, spoiled kids who ought to take a bath and get a job. But as the people in the linked piece demonstrate, nearly all of them want to work, want to be productive members of society, but society has been slowly closing the gates on productive work paying a living wage that anyone can do in favor of the affluent and their minions.
It’s going to stop, to be sure. and if the Right Whingers think Occupy is a sham movement fronting for socialism, well, they ain’t seen nothing yet. The hungry, the destitute, the desperate, once they begin to march, they won’t be polite. They won’t be respectful. They won’t merely shout and obstuct, they will be violent and raging, and tearing things up and down.
Once those folks no longer have homes and jobs and prospects for work, they will turn their attention on those who do. Human survival, ultimately, comes down to ensuring your own personal survival first. This is what I would call “the capitalism of the cave.”
If economic capitalism is defined as each individual acting in his own self-interest contributing to the greater good, the cave-capitalism will be equally cold-blooded. If economic competition is defined as being that much better than your rival, cave-competition is going to incorporate that, but on a scale that will not be limited to lawful means of satisfying your self-interest.
There will be no safe places. I don’t care how carefully guarded your gated community is, or how many security cameras you have or attack dogs. At the end of the day, if fifty starving people swarm your walls, maybe five or ten will be caught. That still leaves forty to ransack your home, steal your car and things, and eat your food.