one percent of everything

In response to this:

The recent Occupy Wall Street protests have aimed their message at the income disparity between the 1% richest Americans and the rest of the country. But what happens when you expand that and look at the 1% richest of the entire world? Some really interesting numbers emerge. If there were a global Occupy Wall Street protest, people as well off as Linda Frakes might actually be the target.

In America, the top 1% earn more than $380,000 per year. We are, however, among the richest nations on Earth. How much do you need to earn to be among the top 1% of the world?


Why stop there? Why not go further?

Every human on the planet is no doubt part of the top 1% of privilege compared to the other 99% of life on our planet. And even pond slime has its privileged position as part of the minuscule proportion of matter manifesting life as compared to inanimate matter on our planet. And perhaps our whole life bearing planet is in turn part of an even smaller proportion of privileged happenstance in a vast beautiful but barren universe.

But where does that get us? Very far from the point.

Probably less than 1% of the occupy movement are actually motivated by base envy.

The point is that with privilege comes responsibility. The old word for it is stewardship.

From those to whom much has been given, much will be required.

If it is very clear that the 1% are fucking it up (and it is!) then it is not wrong – in fact we have a duty – to remind them (us) that they (we) are answerable for what is being done with what has been given. And it is in the nature of things that we are always answerable downwards as well as upwards. If the cry from below is not responded to, then the thunder from above will have to be.

They is we, but let that not be a means of diluting responsibility. There might be a certain nobility in that on the part of those who have less, but it would be utterly despicable cowardice and worse on the part of those who have more. From those to whom most has been given. most IS required.

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