Columns » Hightower

A rebellion for fairness and justice

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The corporate Powers That Be keep thinking we'll stay hitched to their plow no matter how severely they lash us economically and kick us politically. But, to borrow one of George W's convoluted phrases, they're badly "misunderestimating" America's workaday people.

As the Occupy Wall Street movement demonstrated, and as shown by the ongoing actions of fast-food workers and others who've been shunted into poverty-wage jobs, we Americans are innately rebellious. In fact, from the revolutionary Declaration of 1776 forward, Rebellions R Us!

Shays Rebellion in the 1780s, strikes by women mill workers in the early 1800s, the Populist movement of the 1880s, and on into today's uprisings, we've never taken well to the moneyed powers grabbing more for themselves at our expense — and now they are grabbing more than ever.

Wall Street elites, corporate profiteers and inheritors of multibillion-dollar fortunes are trying to divert our attention from their oligarchic greed by spending lots of money on PR campaigns, front groups, and politicians to tell us that "Big Government" is our problem.

I was born at night, but not last night!

The ones knocking down the middle class and holding down the poor today are those same elites, profiteers, and heirs. The corporate media won't talk much about this reality, but a growing majority see it and are participating in a spreading rebellion against it. Because, after all, they're experiencing the abuse.

The great anthem by rocker Patti Smith pretty well sums up where we Americans are — and where I think we're going: "People have the power — to dream, to rule, to wrestle the world from fools." Ordinary folks are awakening to the realization that the fools have seized power, and the folks are now making moves (and movements) to seize the fools by their short hairs and reclaim our dreams.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.

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