Whilst we all admire and share the sentiment of the ‘We are the 99%” protests, the real question s whether it will bring change.
A big fat NOPE.
Cavemen staked out exclusive territories for themselves and their families.
Then somebody hit on the idea that stealing land, crops and wildlife was easier than the DIY method. USA is using cheap labour this tactic in Iraq – it’s easier to steal oil from countries employing cheap labour and with no environmental responsibilities than do the ‘honest’ thing in your own country. Why do you think the west has ‘Gone green’ yet China is the most polluted country on Earth? – Yes, Sir, One does not shit in one’s own back yard but throws it over the fence into the neighbour’s yard whilst virtuously proclaiming ones Eco credentials.
Endless wars ensued until some of the population was lording it over the rest. The 1% forced the 99% to do their bidding.
Medieval times were no different – The lords had servants and retainers to serve them. The wealthy employed boys to sweep chimneys and empty their toilets. One famous aristocrat declared in his bankruptcy proceedings that he didn’t know how to put toothpaste on a toothbrush so required an allowance for a valet.
Tudor society was divided into four broad groups. At the top were the nobility who owned huge amounts of land. Below them were the gentry and rich merchants. Gentlemen owned large amounts of land and they were usually educated and had a family coat of arms. Most important gentlemen never did any manual work. Below the gentry were yeomen and craftsmen. Yeomen owned their own land. They could be as wealthy as gentlemen but they worked alongside their men. Yeomen and craftsmen were often able to read and write. Below the yeomen were the tenant farmers who leased their land from the rich. There were also wage laborers. They were often illiterate and very poor.
In the 16th century about 50% of the population lived at subsistence level. In other words they had just enough food, clothes and shelter to survive. For them life was very hard.
Doesn’t sound much different to today does it?
India and China – No different. For a Communist country, China has a lot of sudden billionaires dispersing their wealth far and wide to avoid the clutches of the envious peasants left in their polluted wake.
The French had a revolution, taking the rich to meet Madame Guillotine but it has achieved nothing in the long run.
The 1% or course, have no desire for change and relish using their power, friends and minions to do their bidding.
The minions, for their part, have neither the capital, opportunity, contacts or multi-generational drive to enter the exalted realms of the wealthy. Should they try, the ‘Rich man’s club’ will strike them down like a beggar seeking admission to the Ritz Hotel.