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|← Slavery||Occupy Wall Street →|
Occupy Wall Street is a resistance movement that is composed of people of all lifestyles and it has no leadership or any formal leadership structure (Gabbatt 4). The movement has a uniform focus and aims at dismantling the mandarins of corruption and greed that have become part of the global financial crisis. This movement has reignited a conversation about the real values that define the American people and which the government must provide for. It seeks to bring about a renewal of the American dream, one that is worthy of respect and that meets the needs of the American people (Occupy Wall Street 1).
According to the occupiers of the Wall Street, the old individualistic American Dream should be phased out and replaced by a new one that binds the people together. The protestors targeted Wall Street because of the apparent role it had played in the global financial crisis of 2008 that led to the Great Recession. The protestors argue that Wall Street is wholly to blame for the crisis because of the policies that they have pursued. Moreover, they believe that Wall Street abused credit default swap market and that the instability of the market could have been known beforehand (Occupy Wall Street 3).
As Bertrand Russell observes in his book The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, capitalism does not provide a bright future for any country’s citizen. Indeed, it might be true that the world is experiencing the end of capitalism, as we know it today. It might be also true that ignorance has kept people supporting captalism, and once people realize that they have been cheated all along, it is high time to rise and defend their rights. Although Russell wrote his book in the early 1920s, his sentiments are quite true and seem to support the current protest in the U.S. and other countries across the world (Gabbatt 6).
The main motivation behind the occupiers of Wall Street is the greed that is exhibited by the policy makers. American system has been brought low by dubious financial decisions as well as the manipulation by a small clique of greedy and corrupt individuals in the financial system. This has led to massive unemployment, poor wages, and infrastructure that are tumbling down. It is no secret that the American Dream is also threatened by these events. According to Vonnegut, the old individualistic American dream is no more. It has been dead for several decades, as the 1% of the greedy men on Wall Street continues to put forward policies that only favor them. They continue to lower their taxes and ever ready to demonize any government expenditure that does not fatten their already fat wallets (Philips 9).
The OWS is a kind of opposition, in that people who are feeling oppressed are rising and saying no to the establishment. After being drained of the available resources by the wealthy and powerful people in the financial system, the American people are rising up and demanding accountability and respect (Chossudovsky and Marshall 19). Indeed, the time has dawned on the American populace that the era of big houses, SUV cars, binge consumption, and massive ccredit is no more, and what a better way of saying no to these events other than to organize and step out in opposition to those who care little about the welfare of the less privileged.
The American people have come to realize that the old American Dream has only favored the rich and well-connected individuals. The people have come out to question the lack of equality and the religion of capitalism as well as well as individualistic mindsets that ignited the fires of corporate takeovers. The rise of the movement calls for a new morality that takes cognizance of equality, interdependence, and respect for freedoms, as enshrined by the constitution (Philips 13).
In short, Occupy Wall Street is both a protest and a resistance to the financials system in that people have decided to question how a few individuals are running the economic sector. They are pointing out that equality demand that all people be treated fairly since everyone should consider the welfare of others in the realization of their dreams as well as the American Dream. Since the occupiers are of the opinion that the old individualistic American Dream has ended, it is time for the new American Dream came to push to the American people forward. This, indeed, is an opposition to the old American Dream. Moreover, the occupiers are challenging how the few people in power and authority are running the economy and who do not care about 99% of the population. Therefore, they are opposed to the influence of the few people who are responsible for running the financial sector (Philips 21).