This was the question asked by French clergyman Abbe Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes at the onset of the French Revolution. These were the question he put forth at the time and the resounding answers that seemed to naturally echo back:
1. What is the Third Estate?
2. What has the Third Estate been in the political order hitherto?
3. What does it want to be?
Though in the present our woes are different than they were during time of the French Revolution and the modern culprits seem elusive and indomitable, I assure you friends that we are still battling the ghosts of ancient monarchies. The capitalist class effectively effaced and replaced the kings and queens yet they have made one grievous error: they have not abolished the injustice which was the original cause of the people’s discontent and rage (and rebellion).
We are still living in a system where a few have seized an extremely disproportionate amount of wealth to secure eternal prosperity by supplanting and enslaving an overwhelming majority. You and I are often quick to place the blame for our frustration on the Government. This is wholly wrong and playing right into the hands of the ‘privileged’ class. The government, itself a corporate-style hierarchy, has long ceased to be the voice of the people and has become the scapegoat of the Business owners. With the belief that the financial misery (and consequent general unhappiness) is the result of a few missteps of policy making, we aspire to electing yet another ‘representative’ government. However you must have realized now that you and I do not pay the politicians, the business do.
The businesses have seized the one arbiter that we thought we had and is using it against us. These businesses have accumulated immense swaying power and seemingly unending resources that they may even cast doubts among us as to validity of the current uprising against them propelling us to break into factions. Be assured, they are mistaken, because the power they flaunt was given to them by the individual sacrifice and can be wrenched away as easily by the people united. In the west we have offered them passivity in exchange for peace and our liberty in exchange for the bare minimum. In developing nations they have given the same without asking for returns for fear of death by starvation.
However the capitalist masters are not satisfied with present chasm between the people and the Few. Their abuses grow in proportional increment with our declining will. We have grown weak and weary from long hours of work and diminishing leisure (I have heard of those who must work up to 16 hours a day to secure a living). We are given only the opportunity to create families (for further propagation of the working class) but not the opportunity to enjoy it (for fear of our attachment to it?). Imagine what you may do if you had an extra four hours in the day! If only the banks did not consider you ‘high risk’ and charged you an insurmountable amount of interest (akin to financial prison) on you loans or if taxation was fair and you did not have to bear a lion’s share of sustaining the common welfare. How long do you wish to sell yourselves in exchange for inequitable wages? In light of our renewed struggles against insatiable greed of the Capitalist masters, are we far removed from the Tennis court oath or the storming of the Bastille? We must take this opportunity and again wrest (forcibly if need be) our freedom from the New Monarchs and return to it the people.