As the Republican Party (that other half of the American electorate) continues to reveal itself as the party of insatiable greed, we on the left get to indulge ourselves in evermore impassioned moral outrage. Moral outrage, at the very least, makes one feel a little better. But what are the chances that this outrage will have any mitigating effect on the perpetrators of these economic injustices and crimes? Precious little, I fear.
We are a social species, that does best when we cooperate and collaborate. But not every human is inclined towards this ideal. Some people are born selfish. Some people are born predators. The rest of us are their prey. They view the world as full of suckers waiting to be fleeced. When we express our moral outrage, we are, unfortunately, preaching to the choir. One cannot successfully appeal to the “better nature” of someone who does not have a better nature. The story of civilization is the story of unremitting exploitation of the many by the few. One empire, built on the servitude and suffering of the masses, succeeds another, and the sole route to freedom is to rise up and kill the ruling class.
“But”, you say, “our present circumstances are nowhere near that desperate. Look, we have a black President.” True enough. A literal call to arms at this moment might be premature. Our democracy might yet be saved by political action. To that end, I have purchased and proudly wear my “Bernie Sanders for President 2016” t-shirt. In the meantime, I’ll be looking over my shoulder.