Glenn Greenwald recently appeared on Dylan Ratigan’s television show to discuss his new book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful. Greenwald argued that many of our leaders don’t even pretend anymore that we should aspire to fairness. Here’s the thought process underlying these claims we so often hear from those who oppose the Occupy movement: “Inequality will be deserved and legitimate because were all playing on an equal playing field.” According to Greenwald, the reason for so much citizen anger (tea party and occupy protesters) is a growing perception that this inequality
is not the byproduct of fair and reasonable and well-deserved accomplishments but the byproduct of cheating, of a tilted playing field, that the winners exempt themselves from the rules to which the rest of us are bound. Typically, it is the law that constrains the most powerful from abusing their power. When law ceases to apply to them, as it has, the only solution that citizens have is to go outside of the system of law and begin to demand that change. That is why so many citizens are taking to the streets and protesting and realizing that working within the system is no longer a viable course of action.
How can this energy be harnessed, for instance through the Occupy movement?
The status quo–the failure to accommodate or to adhere to rules for anyone outside of this 99% is itself extremely volatile and itself extremely dangerous and destructive in that a course of action where citizens do go out on the streets in the United States has become a more attractive and really the only alternative for effectuating the kind of change that people thought that the 2008 campaign would bring.