'Populist Outrage'


Apparently, anger is in.

Phrases such as 'populist outrage' and the like keep popping up in every media account of the current political-economic situation.

As the NY Times opinion piece I linked to above shrewdly points out, hope (seemingly so popular a mere couple months ago) now feel terribly out-of-style.

Isn't it interesting to observe the shit hitting the fan during this noteworthy retrograde of Venus (who rules money and other stuff we find valuable) through Aries, the sign of the warrior? I am not being melodramatic when I say this popular attack against those who (correctly or not) appear to be shirking their responsibility for this collective financial mess we're in is, quite likely, on its way to becoming some type of war.

That is, indeed, how angry I believe folks currently are. And I do not see it disappearing anytime soon.

Remember how I mentioned in my last article that what we're smelling now are prophetic whiffs of what's coming mid-2010 and beyond? Hold tight, people. If this 'populist outrage' isn't adequately addressed by the peeps in charge by then, we're in for a much bumpier and more dramatic expression of it come next year.

A person would have to be hiding under a rock (with good reason, I suppose) to have missed the big story about outrageous sums of bonus money being paid to corporate executives out of the federal bailout bucks funded by taxpayers. This is such a poignant illustration of what's developed in the political-economic sphere over many years of unbridled (and unregulated) financial shell-games, an artist couldn't devise a better one.

Here's another retelling of the same story: When things aren't going so well for the global capitalist bigwigs, they want the government to bend the rules so they can receive free money they don't really deserve (since their poor business practices are what led them to need it in the first place, and since many of them don't even pay their own taxes properly). Once they get the money, paid for by the people, they don't want to explain to the people what they are going to do with it, nor be limited in how they may use it. Then, when the people decide they don't want it going to line individual executives' pockets, what do the bigwigs do? They complain about how the rules (their precious bonus contracts) can't be broken by the government.

What conclusion can be drawn from this story? Apparently, in some eyes, government rules only apply to certain sectors of the population.

In other words: These folks just do not get the concept of fairness. This sort of self-serving mindset ('The people? Let 'em eat cake… or McDonalds!') represents, dare I say it, the makings of a revolution.

To give the astrological version, these prophetic whiffs clearly emanate from the early traces of the Uranus-Pluto square, a generational milestone of a transit just beginning to enter orb of influence. If there's an astro-indicator of revolutionary upheaval and change, this one's it. As I've discussed before, Pluto's entry into Capricorn last year augurs uncomfortable purges and transformations in the regulating structures that hold 'civilized life' together—governments, banks, institutions—that we're only now at the very beginning of witnessing.

On a more general level, Capricorn is a sign of rules and regulations, the tools we create to discipline ourselves so that, over time, we may achieve goals which wouldn't otherwise be possible, were we to behave too impulsively or inconsistently. When Capricorn frameworks turn cold and out-of-touch, however, they become a jumble of soulless laws that no longer serve a majority's needs… and, in this context, certain conscience-lacking subgroups of folks will inevitably find better and better (sneakier and sneakier) ways to exploit the loopholes. Sound familiar? Guess Pluto arrived just in the nick of time.

Uranus, of course, is the great disturber, not giving the slightest crap about the chaos he creates in his mad mission to liberate the individual. We're already witnessing him going head-to-head in opposition with Saturn (presently in Virgo, another sign that sometimes focuses too much on 'doing it by the book', at the expense of a broader view), as these two attempt to broker a compromise between maintaining ground-rules and fostering innovation.

Yet, Uranus has been in Pisces (since 2003), a sign where his radical change-making has been occurring on a more subtle emotional level. When Uranus hits Aries, a crude fiery impulsive warrior sign, in May 2010, the subtlety will give way to something much more obvious. And when you throw the simultaneous Aries arrival of Jupiter (who turns mere events into extravaganzas) into the mix, I'd be shocked if we weren't witnessing a more dramatic example of this current 'populist outrage' erupt next summer.

This Uranus-Pluto square is essentially a dialogue between the now-hardened rules and regulations that those in power will seek to preserve, to justify continuing to behave as they long have because 'it's the law' or 'that's just how it's done' (Pluto in Capricorn), and the increasingly angry and immediate-action-driven agents of change, individuals who answer to the authority of their own instincts (moral or otherwise) rather than what law or tradition tells them (Uranus in Aries). Sophisticated arguments loaded with legalese (Capricorn) must do battle against individuals' first impulses of whether something is right or wrong (Aries). Needless to say, a fired-up Aries cannot be reasoned with. Such a dialogue is indeed what we witnessed when Jon Stewart went after CNBC's Jim Cramer. (Watch it here.)

Don't expect this tension to be resolved anytime soon.

Hope is due for a comeback, by the way, in case you were starting to worry that all the news was chaos and rage. A conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Aquarius soon enters our consciousness, in effect from May through the end of '09… and I'm sure the collective mind will bring forth some incredibly inventive and humane ideas to cool the fires of 'populist outrage' now burning during this time.

It's our job to follow through on these ideas, for longer than just a feelgood moment or two, lest we so hastily forget the longer-term astro-forecast continues to call for massive societal change, like it or not.

Let us not get too high on the upswing of hope that's due to soon sweep through, appearing to quell these tides of change… though there's nothing wrong with enjoying this break in the storm. Just don't prematurely throw away your life-preserver.

Capitalism and Moral Sentiments (The Huffington Post)
Has a 'Katrina Moment' Arrived? (The New York Times)