The more money you have, the more socialism you can afford

A fortnight ago, I went down to the first day of the ‘Occupy London’ agitation and was unsurprised to see the usual suspects: Islamists, vegans, hippies, fascist anti-fascists, nutcases, Julian Assange, Italian communists, anti-Israel activists, and so on – I''m sure you know the types I mean. 
Quite a bit has been written about the anti-Semitism, extremism, and anti-Western sentiment present at the Occupy Wall Street protests over the last few weeks, and various videos full of horrifying anti-Jewish sentiment can be found within the internet’s various nooks and crannies (one terrifying one here). Similarly, a great deal of thoughtful opining has filled the front pages of websites and the comment sections of newspapers over the persons responsible for the world-wide movement and the question of both the content and context of the protestors’ message.  There appears to be little difference between the loons and scum of Occupy Wall Street and the loons and scum of Occupy London.
With the exception of a few angry religious supremacists, the vast majority of persons appeared to perfectly fit the stereotype that represents the idealist fighting for proletariat rights – that is, the university-educated, middle class, moral relativizing, perpetually outraged, expensive tent-owning, seasoned protestor. As I noted in my last post, which took a brief glance at the London Anti-War assembly (pretty much the same crowd), it was all, once again, an angry conformist mass of non-conformism.
Yes, there’s a lot of capitalist money involved in setting up anti-capitalism protests, and were it not for the wonders of the free-market, I fear there would be far less revolutionary fervour going around, and far more destitution, which is nowhere near as fashionable. But reactionaries throw all morality and rationalism out of the window, partly because nothing is as important as their ideals, and also because most of the time these trifling notions actually conflict with their ideals.
In fact, the London newspaper, the Evening Standard, recently did a ‘profile’ of some of the protest leaders, who, it turns out, are mostly from comfortable upbringings. One is actually the son of a multi-millionaire property developer. Rather amusingly, there was even an article reporting how one protestor was fighting the monster of global capitalism while at the same time managing to appear rather chic. This particular reactionary recommended those wanting to achieve such dizzying levels of fashionable iconoclasm to go to those well known products of a command economy: Topshop and Urban Outfitters.
My good friend Tom Wilson (who wrote a really rather good piece about the London protests here) recently told me that while passing the protest site, the protesters were quietly engaged in a general meeting. They refuse to elect representatives, because apparently they only believe in ‘direct democracy’, and so all decision-making apparently has to be made by consensus. Fortunately, this consensus did not require 99% of all humans, but rather just those protesting, because even though they passionately represent the 99%, even though they don’t believe in such representation…look, never mind, I don’t get it either – what I mean to be saying is that while they were working out their modus operandi, everytime someone would suggest a particular approach, one of the leaders, a woman with the megaphone, would thank them for their contribution and gently suggest her, better, alternative. Just as Stalinist Russia needed no democratic input from the masses because Stalin was the brutal voice for the masses, so too are these brave, young idealists by St. Paul’s cathedral the great, unchecked voices of the victims of British capitalism - actually, they even claim they represent those murdered in Darfur by the Islamist government, or the murdered masses in Syria, or those starving in Somalia because Islamist gangs deliberately prevent any food getting to them.
In his rather brilliant book, ‘What’s Left?’, Nick Cohen notes how the middle class ‘men of the people’ increasingly turned on the working class as the Marxist-sympathising philosophers, artists, writers and various other paradoxes realised that the masses weren’t so keen on the whole murderous revolution side of life.
The apparent failure of the working class to follow their prescribed destiny of escape from the prescriptions of others is becoming increasingly obvious once again; although in recent years, the far-Left have been delighted to find the warm companionship of the radical Islamists. The latter’s support for the oppression of women, murder of homosexuals and extirpation of Jews is once again a problem that can be ignored – after all, are not the real victims, which the far-Left to leech upon, not the demonised illiberal Islamists themselves, victims of the rather nasty Islamophobia that is pleasurably espoused by Zionists/capitalists/imperialists etc.?
One serious point that did stick with me, however, was the presence of the Guy Fawkes mask, which is increasingly becoming the icon of the London anti-capitalist movement. I believe by wearing such masks, the protestors are not actually referencing the tale of Guy Fawkes himself, but rather are alluding to a rather awful film made a few years ago with Natalie Portman and someone other film person, set in a future fascist Britain, where a man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask sets about destroying the despotic institutions of state with the support of the oppressed masses.
Is this not the point? That once again, it is not a rational critique of the free market, or a particular issue with our current system of regulation, that guides the protestors; rather, it is some vague outrage that they need to stick it to the man – the cruel fascism of Zionist, imperialist, capitalism must be conquered! Reactionary lunacy usurps genuine contribution with a faithful regularity amongst such crowds, and Occupy London is a prime example.
Someone mentioned to me the other day, that if one considers the average wage and ignores the fact that there are children of multi-millionaires hanging around, that the ‘99%’ lot are actually the top 0.001% : the tiny percentage of humans through history who have enjoyed anything like our current standard of living.
The more money you have, the more socialism you can afford - this is something kibbutzniks noted during hyperinflation in 1970s Israel. But it’s not just the hypocrisy, irrationalism and utter ignorance of the protesters that irritates both me and the guy who’s doing a bona fide hard day’s work to earn some money – it’s the support from the well-off proletariats at Occupy London for the anti-Semites, Trots and radical Islamists that should anger any genuine liberal.
Both the Socialist Workers’ Party and the Revolutionary Communist Party were clearly present when I went along, as well as various other Communist organisations. These are groups which support the Iranian regime, claimed the Serb nationalist genocide of Bosnian Muslims was an ''imperialist'' conspiracy, disrupted anti-apartheid protests in the 1980s because they were ‘distractions from the revolution’, and espouse the most terrifying forms of totalitarianism, inter alia.
It was not a surprise to see Islamists slamming the ‘evil’ of interest loans, and Italian communists waving the hammer and sickle, because this is really what any mass movement of centrally organised iconoclasm truly represents: cold and considered amorality - anything is acceptable to fight the greater evil of British imperialism, Israeli intransigence or American capitalism.
I believe it the picture below that I took which says it all: it is the capitalist wonder of Starbucks - the company that has brought cheap, reasonable coffee to people all around the World, employed tens of thousands of people, supports thousands of local charities, supports huge conversation projects, contributes vast amounts to economies etc. - it was this miracle of the free market that sustained the protesters gratis, not two hours after the start of the ''occupation'' against such ''evils''.
Capitalism, like liberty, represents the removal of constraints, and it''s only serious flaw is that it''s a system which allows its enemies to flourish through the tolerence of intolerence. Occupy London may illustrate great idiocy; but conversely, it''s also a symbol of freedom. Let us hope it is only the latter which is successful.