Talk about a victory for the little guy. A bunch of Reddit users have caught a hedge fund company in the middle of one of the worst things that they do, that is purposely crashing a stock (thereby disrupting a company, its employees, its investors, and everyone whose 401(k) is invested in it) in order to short sell it and scalp profits off of a company already fighting for both its relevance and existence in an ever increasing digital world.
Let's be clear, market manipulation is wrong. It doesn't matter if it's the government, a hedge fund manager, a company board member trading off of inside information, or otherwise. Any case of market manipulation is completely against the concept of a free and open market and should be repugnant to both conservatives and liberals alike. That is why I couldn't be more gleeful to see what's happening to those who would purposely scalp others, financially speaking, for their own personal gain.
Yet, in all things, there are some disturbing trends going along with this victory which should scare us, and cause us as a society to assess how we should treat those who have wronged us.
You see, it's gone far beyond just celebrating a victory over financial greed, no, that's not enough, people have begun to dox the managers of the hedge fund and have been threatening them, harassing them, harassing their families, and have even driven one couple to divorce over the fall out from all of this. Is this who we are? Is this who we've become? Is this "American?"
Inevitably, someone will say, "they deserved it," but did they? They already lost their fortune, they already had to declare bankruptcy, and they will likely never be able to get a job in the financial sector again which means that it's cost them their careers. Is that not enough? Now we must add "a pound of flesh" onto the scales of "social justice" and make "examples" out of them?
I would have expected such things in Communist China, or even Soviet Russia, but in America? How have we fallen so far as a moral society?
Yes, we're seeing more and more examples of it in our society today. Disrupting both politicians and regular people in restaurants and public venues, blocking cars and smashing windows of people who are not supporting your desires, burning down businesses who haven't donated or "done enough" to support your "movement," or any number of other disturbing violences perpetuated in the name of "social justice."
In this we see the crossing of the line from "Robin Hood" ism into Bulshevism. SJWs are the new brown shirts or Komosal. Online doxxers are the new secret police. What violence is done is considered "justified" as long as it is in support of an approved group or movement. This should scare us, all of us, because it can always go both ways.
My liberal friends always used to quote a poem from the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller. It goes like this:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Yet today, those same liberal friends are cheering the mob as they come for those they disagree with. Today we could write it as: First the came for the capitalist, and I did not speak out -
Because I was not a capitalist.
Then they came for the conservatives, and I did not speak out -
Because I was not a conservative.
Then they came for the Christian, and I did not speak out -
Because I was not a Christian.
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.
The destruction of free speech, the freedom of ideas, and the freedom of belief and religion can only lead to one of two outcomes, totalitarianism or civil war. Neither one is a desirable option or something we should want, but yet we see people cheering for things that will lead to it.
We must always remember that the civil society is worth saving, because only that will prevent us from repeating the entirety of human existence which tells us that two incompatible groups can only war and kill each other.
We can still stop what's coming, but we have to be quick about it. It's time for all of us to work hard to maintain the civil society. Even with those with whom we disagree. Otherwise we will see the worst that mankind has to offer.
Let us pray it never comes to that.