I was thinking about the one percent again after hearing John Oliver cite experts for the proposition that 2% of vulnerable victims of Coronavirus, COVID19, die of the disease. A 2% death rate is not as bad as the 3.4% I heard just days ago, you have to like your odds of survival, but, still, you’re talking about millions of dead, potentially. Even at a 1% death rate poor management of the crisis would, in ordinary times, be a death sentence to a political leader who grossly bungles the serious duty under the pressure of actual emergency events.
Luckily for those in power, the vast majority of Americans, deadened by years of increasingly painful political malice and legislative deadlock, regard politics, even now, as a grim spectator sport they can keep track of on their phones. They are desperate not to find themselves living in a dictatorship, they are merely realistic about their options for having any actual say in actually avoiding it. They have no clue how to organize, how to militate, how to demand concessions from power by the sheer force of mass mobilization, power yielding nothing without a powerful demand .
The reasons authoritarians always rely on police power for social control is that when enough people are pushed to the point of desperation, anger builds. Dictators harness this anger and release it as police rage on fellow citizens. Works for the ruling few, if not for the teeming masses.
The essential skill everyone of us needs to figure out is how to organize with fellow citizens, how to gather our forces and discuss the best way forward, speaking to the powerful in a clear, strong voice. The only change worth fighting for is change worth fighting for, to state the obvious yet never stated. Is it worth fighting for a legal end to involuntary servitude that will go into effect one hundred years in the future? I think 1% would buy that idea.
Speaking of one percent, here’s a fun one. Put one billion in your calculator. Assume the least sophisticated billionaire in history, on a full-time IV of his favorite pleasure drug, has his money in a series of FDIC insured bank accounts making 1% interest. Tap those numbers in and you will see what even this drugged out idiot earns in simple interest in one year: $10,000,000. Almost a million a month, not bad for a complete dope! Of course, at 5% the annual earning would be $50,000,000, a significant sum by any reckoning, and at 10% a hefty and very livable $100,000,000 a year in interest, but, of course, those are just numbers. No reason to get excited.
 Frederick Douglass, genius and good twitter friend of @donaldjturnip