The Ugly and Awkward Truth of “Occupy London”

One of the protester’s banners at Occupy London declares, “The 99% needs a safety net more than the 1% needs a security blanket.” Many mainstream commentators argue that the protesters are nothing but a bunch of demented anarchists and hateful Marxists in search of either chaos or utopia, presenting no viable alternative to the Capitalism system which they so despise. Yet there is nothing mad or contemptuous in the above statement, nor in the one below, which states, “The banks own you! The government has a credit card with no limit and you are their collateral! We are the 99%.” Both statements, rather, contain an ugly and awkward truth, that we live in a profoundly unfair and unjust society where the 1% – our rulers, the wealthy – have a lot and care little for the 99% who have very little. What’s most at fault here is human greed. The 1% will do all they can to hold onto their wealth, will do and say anything in its defense. If only these few had the courage to own their greed, confess to it, rather than to deny and seek to justify it. If only the 1% would say, “We have the lion’s share not because this is how the system works – capitalism an unfair system in which only the toughest survive – but rather because we are fucking greedy and are simply not prepared to help the 99%, see them prosper more, because if we do then we shall have less, shall no longer be the 99%.” How I long for the 1% to be this honest, to take personal responsibility, rather than hide behind endless increasingly unconvincing justifications for their greed. It has no other name, I’m afraid. Greed is greed.

About Nick Taussig

Nick Taussig is the author of four critically acclaimed novels: Love and Mayhem, Don Don, Gorilla Guerrilla and The Distinguished Assassin. He has also written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and The Huffington Post. Marcel Berlins, writing in The Times, called The Distinguished Assassin “gripping, passionate, political and emotional.” Love and Mayhem was described by Alain de Botton as “full of insight and genuine innovation in form and content…capturing brilliantly all the nuances of passion.” Matt Munday of The Sunday Times referred to Don Don as “a great book.” While Gorilla Guerrilla, according to Natasha Harding of The Sun, is a “thought-provoking tale…beautifully told.” He is also a film producer. His recent credits include producer of Peter Williams’ The Challenge, Jane Preston’s Gascoigne, Ron Scalpello’s Offender and Nirpal Bhogal’s Sket (Official Selection at the 55th BFI London Film Festival with two award nominations), and executive producer of Ben Drew aka Plan B’s highly praised BIFA-nominated debut feature iLL Manors and the BAFTA-nominated documentary film Taking Liberties. In January 2013, he set up Salon Pictures with fellow producer Paul Van Carter. Before his career in book and film, Nick studied literature and philosophy at Durham University, where he obtained a First, then went on to acquire a Master’s in Russian literature from the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He is also co-founder of Mtaala Foundation, an education partnership and sponsorship programme to create and support a school for vulnerable children and at-risk youth in Uganda; and a trustee of Harrison’s Fund, which fights Duchenne muscular dystrophy, getting as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for this horrible disease.

2 thoughts on “The Ugly and Awkward Truth of “Occupy London”

  1. Interesting article. Didn’t think temoshing like that would be published. White Helmets don’t seem to control all of the media. I appreciate the effort you put into translating that article. Prefer to read an article rather than decipher one.“Capitalism once again raises its head as the mother of all problems.”Nope. The root of the problem is human nature itself. Greed. Corruption. A self sustaining cycle.I agree with the message of the article. I demand a change for the better.

  2. replied on November 10, 2011 been following the Occupy Seattle FB page. They just wanna dance, but their party was shut down bforee it started in Westlake. We have a constitutional right to party where ever and when ever we want!!!Another example of what is really important to the Occupy movement. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock requested Occupy Denver to chose leadership to deal with city and state officials. They did. A 3-year-old Border Collie named Shelby was voted in by the group’s General Assembly as its first official leader. The dog would actually make a better spokesperson for the group than some of the humans I’ve seen. Woof!

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