Home | About | Donate

The Other One Percent


The Other One Percent

Ralph Nader

As a high school student, I came across an observation by Abraham Lincoln who said that “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Today “public sentiment” would be called “public opinion.”

Over the years, I have been astonished at how less than one percent of the citizenry, backed by the “public sentiment,” have changed our country for the better by enacting reforms to protect the people from abuses of power, discrimination and deep neglect.


I think Mr. Nader is a remarkable human being and true statesman AND public citizen. It’s amazing how he never falters in his faith even though all those things women fought for ARE being rescinded through a new church-state medical field (as in private Catholic hospitals) alliance that blocks women’s access to reproductive sovereignty. And Mr. Nader cites the progress made by The Black Community even while gerrymandering of voting districts gives right-wing Repugs a disproportionate influence of voting numbers and privileges. Then, too, there’s the New Plantation System devised from today’s Draconian prison-industrial complex. With so many persons of color caught up in prison, probation and parole, the strides MADE by the Black community are also fading away.

Mr. Nader still believes that 1% of active citizens will be able to topple the TPP and TIPP, trade deals designed to shut out public consent and awareness just as the Deep State shuts public awareness out of true international dynamics related to planned wars.

The 1% of active, engaged citizens exists and is fighting on numerous fronts. Eventually, their efforts will align with that part of a benign universe that arcs towards justice. Meanwhile, old battles are being forcibly re-fought and the corruptions to would-be checks and balances upon Dark Power have collapsed; nor are most sitting on today’s Supreme Court worthy of being there… if justice and the rule of law were to mean anything.

ONE or more (than one) percent of citizens can and should be involved (I think numbers already exceed that %), but the real calculus is going to involve Mother Nature lending a major hand in things to break up the consolidations of centralized power that hide behind supposedly democratically-operational governments to do the bidding of that other 1%.


Ralph is right. That is why so much effort is put in to promoting cynicism as well as right-wing culture. There are many examples of progress from the streets. Together we are more powerful than the corporate oligarchy. We as individuals may feel powerless but when we join with others our power is multiplied many times over.
The most effective way to overcome cynicism and helplessness is to link up with folks who are doing something and to do it in ways that speak to people and expand that citizen activism.


I concur. Ralph isn’t saying that if one percent of us stand up, all of a sudden things will get better, but if one percent stand up we create capacity and that capacity grows as more people stand up (until you reach the magic 5 percent number that forces change). The Corporate Owned News (CON) won’t cover the many success stories, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. It means they see us coming, and it is up to us to keep pushing and expanding capacity until they can’t legitimately ignore us, as Black Lives Matter shows, and Occupy before them. For your own sanity, find an active grassroots organization you can align with and roll up your sleeves. Because times are tough and dark, connecting to other living persons who share your vision is empowering and so much more productive than grieving over what’s lost or what we are told is unattainable. We are Americans and we can achieve anything, if we decide to.


Arnold Toynbee in his “A Study of History” did say that it was only a 3-5% of the population that ever truly made a difference. I read him in my early 20’s and found that statement to be factual, and gives me eternal hope.

On the down side, I agree with Siouxrose that, “Nature Bats Last”.


Always glad to read Ralph Nader and his eternal optimism. Thank you as it is hard to stay positive and continue writing letters, emails and demonstrating with the few. Great reminder to go to city hall and to get active.


I’d like to see Ralph’s piece included in kid’s history books. It’s a perfect antidote to learned helplessness.


Mr Nader is quite right to urge the avoidance of despair, but it takes far more than 1% to overcome the resistance of big money and the blind followers of debased religion and corporatism. This 1% can perhaps get a ball rolling, but to actually carry out reforms still takes a majority. And today the majority remain committed to reaction.


One percent is three million people in the US. Shoot, if 50,000 people marched to Washington, the Congress would wet it’s pants. It is a great opportunity when things are in flux, and social media inter-connects, to save ourselves, our country and our struggling planet.