This past week saw two "riots" on college campuses. There was a bit of a scuffle with cops as the Occupy Cal group (i.e. the "99%-ers) tried to establish a campsite on campus. Across the country at Penn State, a spontaneous riot broke out following the announcement of Joe Paterno's dismissal for his failure to adequately respond to news that one of his assistant coaches was raping 10-year olds in the team showers.
Each of these confrontations is worthy of much discussion, but what I find most interesting at the moment is how the events at Penn State undermine the narrative being presented by the Occupy crowd.
Joe Parterno is the 1%. Even by the standards of University faculty, sports coaches have extremely high pay. Paterno was bringing in around a million dollars a year, while several other head-coaches bring in multimillion dollars salaries. University payscales are a perfect microcosm of the more widespread inequalities that the Occupy movement decries.
My view is that "gods are not allowed to make mistakes"-- when someone of Paterno's stature and power is this neglectful of his duties, he deserves to be thrown out on his ass. However, consider the reaction of the great masses in the Penn State community -- they defended Paterno, with massive public protest. They embraced the idea that a person like Paterno is above the law; he is so great that he can do no wrong. Even more telling, there was no Karl Rove manipulating public opinion behind the scenes. This was totally spontaneous.
I have read innumerable essays by concerned leftists pondering why the lower classes repeatedly vote against their own interests. These overly partisan egalitarians find the obvious answer -- it's the other party! (i.e. the Republicans). If they would open their eyes, this riot (which is just part of a long-standing phenomenon) would put their partisan theories to lie. There is no need for sophisticated propaganda to create massive inequality. A college education does not cause people to open up their eyes to what really matters. The truth is that most people are morons. Most people are willing slaves who fantasize about having a king. They dream of a benevelent lord who will provide them with bread and circus, absolving them of any responsibility for their own lives.
A half-century of middle class unionism and public universities has done nothing to lessen this peasant mentality among the masses. It's time to consider the possibility that democracy has failed. Democracy is impossible because when power is given to the masses, they give it right back. Those of us who want freedom will have to find it ourselves. If we want a society of equals, we will have to find it separately from the servile masses. We obviously can't physically separate ourselves from them, but we can weaken the institutions that they use to force themselves on us.