Turn the Shame Around

Herman CainFrom the Weekly Sift:

For the longest time I didn’t get Occupy Wall Street, but then Herman Cain helped me out: He said something so monumentally wrong that my reaction against it pointed me in the right direction.

Here’s Herman: Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! … It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed.

That’s when I got it. An unjust system’s first line of defense is shame. As long as we’re ashamed to admit that we’re victims, as long as we’re ashamed to identify with the other losers, we’re helpless.

It would be great to have a 10-point plan that solves everything. It would be great to have a party that endorses that plan and a get-out-the-vote movement to put that party into office. But none of that is going to happen until large numbers of us cast off our shame, until we turn the shame around: We need to stop being ashamed that we couldn’t crack the top 1%, and instead cast shame on an economic system that only works for 1%. The people who defend that immoral system and profit from it — they should be ashamed, not us.

That’s what Occupy Wall Street is about. OWS isn’t about plans and parties and votes. That all comes later. OWS is about casting off shame and learning to identify with the other losers …

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  • Billsusanjoejenny

    The system was designed by the 1% to make sure the 99% fail. We have been had. There is nothing to be ashamed about. The only shame now would be to do nothing.

  • Billsusanjoejenny

    The system was designed by the 1% to make sure the 99% fail. We have been had. There is nothing to be ashamed about. The only shame now would be to do nothing.

  • Redacted

    I wonder how much Cain is getting paid for his little Minstrel act. His name being so appropriate for it must get him a bonus.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder how much Cain is getting paid for his little Minstrel act. His name being so appropriate for it must get him a bonus.

  • V.

    well he is not getting elected and thats his fault. Black people have been victims of racism for centuries by his logic its their fault. What a selfish loser, I can’t believe we have podiums for assholes like this to speak out.

  • V.

    well he is not getting elected and thats his fault. Black people have been victims of racism for centuries by his logic its their fault. What a selfish loser, I can’t believe we have podiums for assholes like this to speak out.

  • Anarchy Pony

    I wonder if if Cain plans on those words coming out in that order or if they just sort of tumble out.

  • Anti-Citizen1

    I wonder if if Cain plans on those words coming out in that order or if they just sort of tumble out.

  • DeepCough

    Herman Cain is the reason why African-Americans predominantly don’t vote Republican.

  • DeepCough

    Herman Cain is the reason why African-Americans predominantly don’t vote Republican.

  • go somewhere

    Satyagraha and symbolism would help occupy wall street and their eventual parties and/or demigod if they can find one.

  • go somewhere

    Satyagraha and symbolism would help occupy wall street and their eventual parties and/or demigod if they can find one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Neuropagan Alex Patterson

    I love it when opinion masquerades as fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Neuropagan Alex Patterson

    I love it when opinion masquerades as fact.

  • http://twitter.com/MarcyChen Marcy Chen

    I’m pretty glad he said it.  It’s one less nut we have to worry about.  

  • http://twitter.com/MarcyChen Marcy Chen

    I’m pretty glad he said it.  It’s one less nut we have to worry about.  

  • Nirvanasteve

    Herman Cain Mad Lib time! “Don’t blame _______ [proper noun], don’t blame ______ [noun], if you don’t have a ______ [noun] and you’re not _______ [adjective], blame yourself! It’s not someone’s fault if they ______ [verb], it’s someone’s fault if they ________ [verb].

    Here’s mine:
    “Don’t blame Domino’s, don’t blame that bad pepperoni, if you don’t have a bottle of Pepto Bismol and you’re not feeling very continent, blame yourself! It’s not someone’s fault if they get food poisoning, it’s someone’s fault if they shit all over the carpet.”

  • Nirvanasteve

    Herman Cain Mad Lib time! “Don’t blame _______ [proper noun], don’t blame ______ [noun], if you don’t have a ______ [noun] and you’re not _______ [adjective], blame yourself! It’s not someone’s fault if they ______ [verb], it’s someone’s fault if they ________ [verb].

    Here’s mine:
    “Don’t blame Domino’s, don’t blame that bad pepperoni, if you don’t have a bottle of Pepto Bismol and you’re not feeling very continent, blame yourself! It’s not someone’s fault if they get food poisoning, it’s someone’s fault if they shit all over the carpet.”

  • Jbar

    It depends on how you define success. If I stumble upon a lifestyle where I have unlimited resources and unlimited demands, I guess I’m materially successful, but maybe spiritually dead.

    Or if I have limited resources, limited demands and treat others well, and have a curiosity about the world, maybe I’m spiritually successful and happy with what I have. That’s called being a leftist.

  • Jbar

    It depends on how you define success. If I stumble upon a lifestyle where I have unlimited resources and unlimited demands, I guess I’m materially successful, but maybe spiritually dead.

    Or if I have limited resources, limited demands and treat others well, and have a curiosity about the world, maybe I’m spiritually successful and happy with what I have. That’s called being a leftist.

  • Jbar

    It depends on how you define success. If I stumble upon a lifestyle where I have unlimited resources and unlimited demands, I guess I’m materially successful, but maybe spiritually dead.

    Or if I have limited resources, limited demands and treat others well, and have a curiosity about the world, maybe I’m spiritually successful and happy with what I have. That’s called being a leftist.

    • senorchupacabra

      This. Money and material possessions are not wealth. They are representations, symbols, of wealth. The problem only comes after every single person in a given society mistakes the symbol for the real thing.

      You know what makes us the wealthiest country in the world? It’s that we make more than enough food to feed every single person in this country. However, we confuse the paper money (symbol) for the wealth, and that’s why we have starving people in this country when there is no excuse for it.

      Same concept applies to work. There are plenty of healthy, willing and capable individuals who are looking for work. There are plenty of things for them to work on. However, once again because there is a limit in the symbol (paper money) there is this idea that there isn’t enough “wealth” to go around.

      This is why you have families who go grocery shopping, spend $200 on food and feel about spending the money. The real wealth is all that glorious food you got. That’s what’s important, what’s going to keep you alive. But they miss the symbol, the paper money.

      I know I’m hollering into the darkness and I’m not going to convince anybody of anything. But it’s all just an illusion. And the more we play into it, the more power WE give it. The top 1-percent is only the “top 1-percent” because we keep going along with the illusion that their paper money means something.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ELVARQAQTCKOSF4KL736MX4NN4 Joseph

    This. Money and material possessions are not wealth. They are representations, symbols, of wealth. The problem only comes after every single person in a given society mistakes the symbol for the real thing.

    You know what makes us the wealthiest country in the world? It’s that we make more than enough food to feed every single person in this country. However, we confuse the paper money (symbol) for the wealth, and that’s why we have starving people in this country when there is no excuse for it.

    Same concept applies to work. There are plenty of healthy, willing and capable individuals who are looking for work. There are plenty of things for them to work on. However, once again because there is a limit in the symbol (paper money) there is this idea that there isn’t enough “wealth” to go around.

    This is why you have families who go grocery shopping, spend $200 on food and feel about spending the money. The real wealth is all that glorious food you got. That’s what’s important, what’s going to keep you alive. But they miss the symbol, the paper money.

    I know I’m hollering into the darkness and I’m not going to convince anybody of anything. But it’s all just an illusion. And the more we play into it, the more power WE give it. The top 1-percent is only the “top 1-percent” because we keep going along with the illusion that their paper money means something.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Suuuuure, Herman…suuuuure. And when a guy stumbles into a rigged card game…it isn’t the fault of the guy who cheated at cards and stole money from others…the fleeced should blame themselves instead of hanging the cheater. Sorry, chump…no deal. The game is rigged so that once a person is in a position to secure their advantage…its almost impossible for misfortune to touch them…because everyone else below them absorbs the loss on their behalf…not because the common folks volunteer to take that hit…but because the powerful pay off our politicians to make it work that way. We’re tired of the racket…and it can end with the wealthy grumbling while they slink off back to their mansions a few dollars shorter…or it can end with the thieves and swindlers swinging from gibbets. It’s their call…we’re willing to work with them either way.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Suuuuure, Herman…suuuuure. And when a guy stumbles into a rigged card game…it isn’t the fault of the guy who cheated at cards and stole money from others…the fleeced should blame themselves instead of hanging the cheater. Sorry, chump…no deal. The game is rigged so that once a person is in a position to secure their advantage…its almost impossible for misfortune to touch them…because everyone else below them absorbs the loss on their behalf…not because the common folks volunteer to take that hit…but because the powerful pay off our politicians to make it work that way. We’re tired of the racket…and it can end with the wealthy grumbling while they slink off back to their mansions a few dollars shorter…or it can end with the thieves and swindlers swinging from gibbets. It’s their call…we’re willing to work with them either way.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

  • Anon

    It’s like a rape-support group that finds a rapist’s house and pickets until the rapist’s neighbors and community are all aware of the monster in their midst…

    …the problem is some of the neighbors are would-be rapists, if only they’d had the chance.

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