A group of young folks announce their intention to occupy Wall Street [or a nearby park] and the Occupy movement goes viral. An obscure French economist publishes a fat book with a provocative title and suddenly the grotesque inequality in the distribution of income and the even more grotesque inequality in the distribution of wealth is the topic of the day. The only member of Congress in living memory actually to embrace the label “socialist” announces implausibly that he is offering himself as a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President and despite being too old and having really unstylish hair, he raises four million dollars in a few days and storms into Iowa, where he pulls more people to a speech than are listed as living in the little town.
What’s up? Every reliable sign points to a virtually permanent Republican lock on the House of Representatives and a Democratic nominee who is a bought and paid for servant of the financial classes. Is the great dormant beast of the American public beginning to stir, or is this just a flea crawling up an elephant’s leg yelling “rape?” Lord knows, I did not see the Sixties coming, even though I was there at the time, but then, the Sixties ended up giving us Reagan and a professional military freed up to pursue endless war.
Will there be one more hurrah before I pass the torch to my grandchildren? Or am I simply intoxicated by all the Beaume de Venise I have been drinking since arriving in Paris? As soon as I get a new credit card [I lost mine and had to cancel it], I shall order a Bernie T-shirt. I have given his campaign five hundred dollars, but that was just a jeu d’esprit.
We shall see.