Are We Making Progress?

Politicians speak of the importance of putting aside their differences with those across the aisle in order that they might come together to pass legislation that will move the country forward, and help the country progress.

Nobody ever says what we are progressing towards though. I oft get the feeling they do not know.

What is the goal of the country? Of the world?

Russell Brand made headlines a few days ago when he gave an interview on the political system. One site went so far as to say he “may have started a revolution.” Certainly he expressed shortcomings in what the political system has become, but revolutions require something to replace the current system with.

This is similar to the protest that was the Occupy Wall Street movement and its 99% slogan: It is a statement that “X is bad,” but at no point does it offer a Y.

The key quote here is:

What shocks me is that most of the critics of today’s capitalism feel even embarrassed, that’s my experience, when you confront them with a simple question, “Okay, we heard your story, protest horrible, big banks depriving us of billions, hundreds, thousands of billions of common people’s money… Okay, but what do you really want? What should replace the system?” And then you get one big confusion. You get either a general moralistic answer, like “People shouldn’t serve money. Money should serve people.” Well, frankly, Hitler would have agreed with it, especially because he would say, “When people serve money, money’s controlled by Jews,” and so on, no? So either this or some kind of a vague connection, social democracy, or a simple moralistic critique, and so on and so on. So, you know, it’s easy to be just formally anti-capitalist, but what does it really mean?

The 99% crowd forgets the bigger picture. If not the top 1%, the majority of Americans are in the top 10%… of the world. Not everyone can be a billionaire, but everyone probably can have running water.

I like that Russell Brand was able to articulate what he had an issue with well, and I object to nothing he said, but let’s calm down here. I mean, people are upset with politicians!? No shit. We know the problems, but it is nowhere near a revolution unless there is a goal in mind. And it seems like it would be a good idea to come up with one, because there does not seem to be one now.