The answer is simple -- trite, really. Of course, they get it from the same 99% they wield it against. I was reminded of this recently by a number of things -- Les Visible's brilliant posts:
The Meaningless Lives of Endless Compromise.
Dessert Toppings and Floor Waxes.
[h/t Washington's Blog]
... and Mark Passio's most recent podcast.
Anyone who studies martial arts learns quickly that much of the power of the practitioner comes from the ability to turn their opponent's strength against them. That's how an 80 year-old master can easily defeat a much younger, stronger attacker. In the case of the 1% vs. the 99%, the difference is even more obvious. The 1% have no power, except that which we give them.
It's true they have us arranged in such a way we work against each other. They are at the apex of a huge pyramid designed to lock us in place. But it's up to us to examine what it is we contribute to the strength of that pyramid, and withdraw that support. Most people are unwilling to do this for fear the weight of the entire pyramid will come crashing down on them. But you know something? It's possible to do this. It has been done before. Contemplate on the victories of the past -- the Montgomery bus boycott, for example. There's a reason for this biblical verse: "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." Isaiah 40:4
It's about taking personal responsibility for our participation in the machine. Yeah, we've been tricked. Yeah, we're facing real hardship if we don't "go along to get along." But in the end the bad guys need us to act in certain ways to turn our power against us. We have the choice to deprive them of that power. There's my thought offering for the day ...