99% against the 1% is not a left issue

Power is the prime issue and not inequality of wealth. Power is that some people can do what they like to do without considering what happens to other people. An egoistic, selfish and despicable attitude. Because power and money are interrelated I propose to replace the pivotal role of money in decisions by the idea that all people have the same status. 

It is a question of cause and effect. Why have people more money? Because they have more power. Of course you cannot completely separate the two items but power is the central point, having more money is the consequence of having power. Because power is a vague idea and very difficult to attack, we should concentrate in actions on the money aspect. Not because it creates inequality but because it gives power that is abused – in the first place to secure a better living for power-bearers than for people without power. By replacing the inequality aspect by the idea that all people have the same status, the struggle is elevated to a higher plane that exceeds the left-right contradiction.

When all people have the same status the nearly ten million kids that die each year before they are five years old have also a right to live. That is not about inequality, that is about having a decent human life. All people have the right on decent food, education, housing, medical care, in general on a decent life. That is now not the case, first the extravagant life of the powerful is secured then the left-overs are for the people without power. Many 99% do not have a decent life. They work hard in an often bad environment and are just able to survive. That is not about inequality, that is about human dignity. 

The 99% can undermine power by putting pressure on the principal reason why the 1% have power, to have an extravagant and privileged life. Leftists look at the consequences of power, the inequality without challenging the power aspect. Occupy should consider why some people want to have much more money – to have a different life than common citizens, to have a life that is only expressed in money-terms. It is the idea that when you have power you have right on more, you are better than the 99, you have a higher status.

We must not ask for a few dollars more but impose that all people have the same status by preventing that the 1% can live their extravagant life with all their surplus dollars. Then there are enough dollars for all people to have a decent life.

Joost van Steenis


About Joost van Steenis

My latest book "How to make Revolution, developing the Fourth People's Power", can be downloaded for free from my site http://members.chello.nl/jsteenis. It contains new ideas how to take the money and power away from the most powerful people, the elite. It strives to get a new society in which not money is the pivotal point of all discussions but the idea that all people have the same status. New action means are introduced to reach this paradigm shift (a revolution) that concentrate on direct actions in the living sphere of the elite.
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4 Responses to 99% against the 1% is not a left issue

  1. Pingback: The 1% as focus-point for actions | downwithelite

  2. Pingback: General ideas around actions | downwithelite

  3. Pingback: The fight against the 1% is not a left issue | downwithelite

  4. Ed Goertzen says:

    PG 407
    That the time had come to bring the issue into the open and so began the celebrated Putnam Debates.
    Held in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Putney, they opened
    on 28 October 1647, and although the debate came to nothing in that
    no concrete decisions were taken, it did produce a vivid picture of the
    aspirations of contemporary political thinkers who were reaching
    toward the concept of universal manhood suffrage, men like Thomas
    Rainsborough (or Rainborow), who had raised a regiment for
    Manchester composed largely of New Englanders, his sister being the
    wife of the governor of Massachusetts. An inveterate intriguer and a
    committed Puritan, he provided the most succinct articulation of the
    Leveller position when he addressed the General Council of the Army
    on the first day of the debates. In response to the discussion led by
    Ireton about who should be included in the franchise, Rainsborough
    “I think that the poorest he that is in England has a life to live as the greatest he; and therefore, truly sir, I think it’s clear that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that government that he has not had a voice to put himself under.9
    These were stirring words, their implication greatly in advance of their times, and they were made in response to the publication of an even more radical document entitled An Agreement of the People for a Firm and Present Peace which became the main focus of the debate. Far more outspoken than any other paper produced for consideration by the army, this called for biennial elections to a new parliament which would rule without assent of the House of Lords and the king, the creation of electoral districts with equal numbers of inhabitants, religious freedom and the abolition of conscription. It was the work of John Wildman, a fanatical young lawyer, and its demands were equally extreme (for the day at least): in place of the traditional notion that the right to vote should be equated with a property qualification there would be a new electoral system which Wildman summarized as, ‘Every person in England has as clear a right to elect his representative as the greatest person in England.’ To Ireton this
    sounded suspiciously the introduction of universal manhood suffrage without property qualifications, and in his view it was nothing less than a call to anarchy. Like Rainsborough he spoke at length and with great passion in trying to counter a theory which he believed would only lead to further unnecessary confrontation:
    “If the principle upon which you [Rainsborough] make this alteration, or the ground upon which you press that we should make this alteration, do destroy all kind of property or whatsoever a man has by human constitution, I cannot consent to it. The Law of God does not give me property, nor the law of nature, but property is of human constitution. I have a property and this I shall enjoy. Constitution founds property. If either the thing itself that you press or the consequences of that you press do destroy property, though I shall acquiesce in having no property, yet I cannot give my hand to it because it is a thing evil in itself and scandalous to the world, and I desire that this army may be free from both.
    Ireton understood the revolutionary nature of the proposal — that, were it to be accepted by the army, it would have to be forced on the country, thereby instigating a new round of fighting – and he argued forcefully and cogently against it. Being a man of property himself he was in a parlous position, for it could appear that he was protecting vested interests; and being a high-ranking officer in the army he could sympathize with the voices of colleagues such as Captain Edward Sexby, who argued that the soldiers of the New Model Army were merely mercenaries unless they had ‘a right to the kingdom’, that is, they enjoyed the vote. It could not have been an easy matter for the diligent and idealistic Ireton to listen to the arguments of the rank and file who had supported the war against the king and who now believed that they should be rewarded with the right to take part in national affairs. He entertained a visceral dislike for them and thought their ideas hopelessly idealistic, but if the Levellers and the other soldiers had fought and suffered to bring in a new order, then logic was on their side.
    The presence of Cromwell in the chair turned out to be the decisive factor. He sided with his son-in-law and also upheld the view that it would be wrong to introduce a constitutional change which…….

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