My Mother and Father were sharecroppers. In case you don't understand, that was the lowest rung on the economic ladder in the US. They worked on a shares basis and the owner could throw you off the land when they wanted and for whatever reason, or non-reason.
Cash almost didn't exist so goods were charged at stores usually owned by the landowners. Quality was low and prices were high and yet complaints were few. If the customer didn't like it they could take their business someplace else.
Of course someplace else, if it existed at all, was miles away and with horse drawn wagons as the majority transportation it was very difficult to get there. And then you needed cash.
I grew up in that world.
It had improved by the time I was a teenager and my parents made it out by working two jobs and buying their own farm. I worked on the farm all my life, and in other jobs from age 14 onward. My parents couldn't afford college for me and there were no loans and I could never quite get a scholarship. If the school had three I would come in fourth. I was a Baptist at Baptist schools, a Methodist at Methodist schools and thankfully there were no Buddhist schools.
I tried some factory work but that didn't set well so I joined the Navy and it finished my education and gave me a grand old time of immense fun and some terrible frights. Along the way I grew up, married the best woman in the world and we had two children. I finished my working career in corporations advancing from sweeping the lab floor to having a business card saying, "Senior Vice President."
I note these things not to brag, but to establish who I was and what I became. And the further point is what motivated us?
In all of this my parents generation and my generation had goals. They knew where they where and where they wanted to go. I was much the same.
As a country we fought WWII and then the Cold War while, at the same time, enjoying economic growth and living conditions improvements unparalleled in the history of the world.
It wasn't easy and much can be credited to what FDR started and the unions and later the civil rights struggle. And even the Vietnam demonstrators seemed to have mostly good intentions although the presence of "fellow travelers," "useful idiots" and people such as Bill Ayers and wife hurt much more than they helped. Whether the Leftie demonstrators like it or not thousands died because of their actions.
But through all of this we had "goals." We knew what we wanted and we stated them and we worked towards them.
We also learned that when people couldn't tell you what they wanted it meant that they didn't know or they knew but wanted to conceal it from you. The former meant they would likely cause more harm than good. The latter meant they wanted to change society to their vision and they knew that their vision would be rejected by the majority.
I think the Occupiers are made up of both types. And I think the latter is controlling and directing the former.
I see them as people who, instead of wanting to expand, want to control. They are of a group that thinks government can fix all things and that someone in DC will know how much electrical power will be needed at some point. In other words, they are basically socialists, Marxists and communists.
They represent people who take a good thing and then destroy it by demanding that we "do more."
They typify "Best is the enemy of Good."
And instead of attacking the cause, a government that has been co opted at all levels by speculators... Wall Street gave more money to Obama than McCain....They attack the effect.
We let people like this nearly destroy the country in the 60's. I've gotten old despite my plan to live forever and my energy is more directed to hearth, home and family than it ever was. And I confess that I am very worried.I'm not sure we can survive their types again.
So when you say thanks at your Thanksgiving table today add a little prayer for the country. It surely needs it.
(Partially posted on TalkLeft.)
"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them." - Karl Popper
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.” - William Pitt
"Logic. There is little logic among the cultural elite, maybe because there is little omnipresent fear of job losses or the absence of money, and so arises a rather comfortable margin to indulge in nonsense." - Victor Davis Hanson