Now is our time. Now is our rendezvous with destiny.
Occupy USA is spreading with fevered determination across the nation. Citizens occupying cities across the USA are courageously rising up against the status quo, and in doing so, fulfilling Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s prescient observation that some generations have a “Rendezvous with Destiny.” Occupy USA is our rendezvous with destiny, and FDR’s speech could serve as our battle cry.
When the wealthiest one percent hold an estimated 40 percent of the country’s economic resources, conflict is inevitable. The Princes of Wall Street justify their entitled status under the guise of “free market capitalism,” while in actuality the “success” of the “chosen” few has been funded by our tax dollars. The cherry on top of this liberty-stealing insult is that the economic royalists are misers with their money, leaving it out of the system where it could create jobs. Instead they are the spoiled Scrooges of America, petulantly hoarding it all for themselves.
Living wage jobs are scarce after years of catering to and funding the royalists, now referred to as “job creators.” We were meant to have liberty, not to work as slaves for royalists whose money would run and ultimately threaten to destroy our hard-fought for freedom. The despotic royalists of Wall Street try to justify their position and entitlement by painting the American people as lazy, unwashed spendthrifts. FDR beat this meme to a bloody pulp in 1936.
On June 27, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Democratic National Convention, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his “A Rendezvous With Destiny” speech, wherein he addressed the same economic slavery the wealthy are imposing on Americans today. Roosevelt explained:
Liberty requires opportunity to make a living – a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.
Listen to a clip here, courtesy of alethinos59:
After a terrifying three and a half years of Depression, FDR charged into office seeking swift and immediate relief for the people. With a congressional majority and overwhelming public support, FDR enacted emergency legislation to stop the national bleeding. In contrast with President Obama, the only check FDR faced was the Supreme Court.
In reaction, the economic royalists of his time wailed that the people sought to “takeover” their institutions. This was then, as now, nothing more than a vehemently phony justification for the inequitable power they had acquired. FDR — who having attended Groton and then Harvard, was wealthy and privileged — was called a traitor by his own class as he waged war for economic equality. He denounced their charge:
These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power.
In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.
This is fitting ground on which to reaffirm the faith of our fathers; to pledge ourselves to restore to the people a wider freedom; to give to 1936 as the founders gave to 1776 – an American way of life.
That very word freedom, in itself and of necessity, suggests freedom from some restraining power. In 1776 we sought freedom from the tyranny of a political autocracy – from the eighteenth-century royalists who held special privileges from the crown.
For out of this modern civilization, economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things.
There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small-businessmen and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction.
The savings of the average family, the capital of the small-businessmen, the investments set aside for old age – other people’s money – these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.
For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people’s property, other people’s money, other people’s labor – other people’s lives.
The irony should not be lost on anyone that the greatest champion of the 99% was himself a member of the 1%. This demonstrates that today’s conflict isn’t centered numerical amounts of wealth, but rather the values of those who have the most and yet continue to believe that they are entitled to get even more while giving nothing to society.
The battle for political and economic equality is a constant; the powerful elites will always mercilessly cling to a status quo that enables them to steal from the middle class and the working poor. Contrary to Fox Propaganda, Occupy isn’t a bunch of class warriors; it is quite literally comprised of people from all walks of life and they don’t resent the rich for being rich. They resent Wall Street for stealing from them and then refusing to give them a fighting chance.
FDR called it a mysterious cycle in human events, wherein some generations are given much while from others much is expected. In 1936, he said,
This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny. It is not alone a war against want and destitution and economic demoralization. It is more than that; it is a war for the survival of democracy. We are fighting to save a great and precious form of government for ourselves and for the world.
And so again, in 2011, our generation has a rendezvous with destiny. Occupy USA is a fight for the soul of our country; for this is no longer the land of equal opportunity, economic equality or even free market capitalism.
The royalists feel entitled to Americans’ money now, and having embraced their moral depravity with prideful contempt, they also see no reason to contribute to the country or her people. These very people were forced to give to the Princes their jobs, their material goods, their money, and even their property under the guise of “shared sacrifice”. Yet the Princes assume themselves to be above paying taxes — taxes being, in their mind, a way for the little people to fund the royalists’ organized money, rather than something an entitled “job creators” should have to shell out.
FDR, the man who redefined the role of government in the lives of the people, is ranked as the top chief executive in our history in surveys of historians, presidential scholars and political scientists precisely because his concept of the role of American government led to accomplishments that are still immensely popular and indeed, coveted. FDR’s vision and words can propel our modern version of this reoccurring fight for freedom.
Occupy USA is the People v the Royalists, all over again. Occupy USA is our rendezvous with destiny.
Image: Mystic Politics