Ben, there is a lot about your post I agree with, especially these:
o a big dose of reality to recognize just how fat, arrogant and ignorant we have collectively become
o a big dose of humility -- not "anger" at everybody else but ourselves
o a true willingness to roll up our sleeves and rebuild our crumbling system
The public is to blame for a large, large part of it, but I also think that the people we put into office over the years have created the system that we are so angry at today. Its been molded and formed by corruption, greed, and idiocy, and the system has become so powerful, that the average person is mostly helpless against it. Yes, we elected the people in office but I doubt that the American public at large WANTED a corrupt and unfair system, and through our laziness and complacency, that is what happened. Its a two sided coin. My hope is that the Occupy protests are a realization of our failure as a society which lent itself to the formation of our system today. If people are willing to finally stand up to the big players, hopefully it will be a wake up call for us all.