We are the 4%

I saw this very nice piece of propaganda on FB:

tight, clear, broadly acceptable

This piece is compelling because it speaks to almost everyone.  The rich don’t have to feel attacked, nor do bankers.  People high up in corporate governance can rest assured that if they are fair, if they are “good corporate citizens,” then we can work it out.  This recognizes that the financial system is not going to be brought down by these Occupy and other related protests, and instead what we want is something which is both accessible and broadly reasonable.

I don’t want to be reasonable.  I am not part of the 99%.  I am more like the 4%, which think corporations are structurally-flawed institutions and if we are serious about “saving” this planet (what ever that means) we need to be replacing corporations with networks on intentional communities, internet-based collaborations and worker co-ops.  To rob Jerry Mander. trying to reform corporations is like trying to reform guns (or perhaps better WMDs).  If they exist there is an inherent danger that someone (or many) will get hurt.   Tangled in the very identity of corporations is hurting many people so a few might profit.

one of the many fine comics found at stephaniemcmillan.org

It’s similar to banks —  theyare largely unreformable in their current structures.  As their larger corporate sisters do, banks seek near term profit over sustainability and community welfare every time.  This is not the type of structure I want to continue.

I am cool with democracy.  I would prefer a redistribution of income so that we did not have the current inequity, but if we can just get rid of banks and corporations, I’ll be happy.

I am the 4%.

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

11 responses to “We are the 4%”

  1. Anna Orange says :


  2. crystal says :

    We are more than 4%. I think we are more like 15%, less than Spain, Italy, Greece where those with a anti-corporate analysis might be as high as 25%. As for the liberal Occupy stuff, just remember that Occupy is a brand, not a coherent movement, and many different perspectives adhere to the brand.

    • paxus says :

      @Crystal – it is important to remember that Occupy is a brand. And brands have power, and Occupy certainly has influenced things and morphed into useful things (see the work Solnit is doing on re-occupying foreclosed houses).

      And you are right that i might be under-estimating with this numebr i pulled out of the air. I was thinking more in the US context, tho, rather than an international one. But perhaps there are more people who identify as anti-corporate in the US. You might well know.

      Paxus in Rome
      11 Falling Leaves 2012

  3. Davi Rios says :

    It is worth noting that in the United States, publicly traded corporations are legally REQUIRED to ¨seek near term profit over sustainability and community welfare every time¨ unless shareholders have voted otherwise.

  4. Ed says :

    “banks seek near term profit over sustainability and community welfare every time.”

    You suggest banks should do otherwise? Why should a bank determine what is in the best interest of a community? Individual members of the community should have thevright to determine their own best interest and provide for their welfare. Corporations exist to benefit their shareholders (or in the case of worker-owned coops, their employees). No one should expect a corporation to act in the best interest of people not affiliated with it.

    It is true, of course, that most corps do offer many positive externalities for the broader community as a whole ( such as providing good jobs, and creating markets for local products). The beauty of capitalism is that by when everyone acts in their own self interest, as we are all want to do, society as a whole benefits.

    • paxus says :


      The beauty of capitalism is that it efficiently extracts resources (dumping pollution on who ever it can), centralizes wealth and destroys the eco-system.

      i really think you probably have the wrong blog, Ed, there are lots of places where you can espouse the beauty of capitalism. Your comments are feeling like a trolling adventure to me. If no one else is interested in dialoging with you on your analysis, I am going to start blowing your comments away.

      Interesting that you highlight good jobs and local markets. Actually capitalism (in its most pervasive globalized form) is good at creating terrible jobs. Markets will exist without capitalism, they pre-date it. And local markets are best served where large corporations are not playing.

      Paxus in Rome
      11 Falling Leaves 2012

      • Ed says :

        Paxus, if you like, I’ll stop posting here, although I enjoy reading your posts and your responses.

        I do have one question for you, if I may ask. You live in an income-sharing community where individual members draw about $85 per month in spending money. How then do you afford trips to Rome, California, and Amsterdam?

  5. paxus says :


    You are of course welcome to read my posts. What i am unexcited about is arguing about the advantages of corporations and your personal property rights and ill found fears of squatters.

    My life is more complex than Twin Oaks as you can probably tell from the blog. I consult, i have a side business, i get donations for the political work i do (especially the anti-nuclear and poly workshops) and i live cheap on the road and i have a very frugal Dutch partner who finds the cheapest tickets our there.

    Paxus in Rome
    12 Falling Leaves 2012

    • Ed says :

      Interesting. I didn’t realize that one could live at in income-sharing community yet have outside earnings to spend on yourself.

      • paxus says :


        Basically, the rules are that you can not spend money on yourself while you are at the commune, but you can save money to be spent while you are on vacation. They are called Vacation Earnings (or VE for short). We are trying to avoid envy generating behaviors while people are there. AND technically right now i am not even a member, because i am on leave. And thus off the property code, dont get allowance or health insurance, and have no labor obligation to the community.

        Paxus in Rome
        12 Falling Leaves 2012

  6. Velva says :

    I do not know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing problems with your site.
    It appears as if some of the text in your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else
    please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too?
    This may be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Thank you

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