Originally posted here, this was an op_ed analysis of the nascent Occupy Wall Street movement.
Too occupied with demands to occupy
From a national movement to a worldwide uprising, the Occupy Wall Street protests have spread rapidly to more than 1,500 cities globally and is taking place in excess of 100 cities in the U.S., according to the Occupy Wall Street website.
Initially, the publicity was meager, but the Occupy movement has since sparked a storm of debate among the thinking public.
What are the Occupy protests really about? What’s the focus of the movement?
It seems the demands of the people worldwide range so widely that it is hard to decide what they are occupying.
Inspired by public protests across the world – from the riots in Europe to the rebellions in the recent Arab Spring of the Middle East – the Occupy protesters have been swarming over the nation with the intent to be heard as the “99 percent,” and demands of disparate issues to be resolved.
Earlier this month, the Occupy movement took over Santa Monica College, aiming to inspire students to join Occupy Los Angeles. Mike Feinstein, former mayor of Santa Monica, said that regarding America’s economic strife, “It’s not a recession, it was a robbery.”
James Ayer, an Occupy SMC rally attendee, said that “Our economy is driven by greed, you can’t get rid of it.”
He addressed more than one rally leader about that, but while all of them had solutions on how to take away power from the wealthy, many were focused on limitations, rather than regulations. While unregulated greed has skewered the American economy, greed itself, a human instinct, is not to blame.
The idea of the Occupy movement is brilliant, since there is certainly much wrong with the nation on all governing and financial levels.
The country teems with wrongs that beg to be admonished and addressed.
America is in desperate need of a revolution, and many protesters are hoping for a societal change parallel to the ones wrought by our parents’ youth in the volatile era of the 1960s.
Protesters know that this is their time to speak and sow the seeds of dissent in people’s minds about political and economic issues.
But despite all the optimism the Occupy movement has brought, it has not yet brought forth the revolution that it wanted, or the recognition from those who should have heard them out.
What the protesters have not noticed of their predecessors is that they had a goal – a specific goal with a specific solution.
The Occupy movement protesters seek to bring about a massive societal change, which is not a bad thing on its own, but it is destructive for the movement.
The protesters have been quick to blame corporate greed and yes—corporate greed is a major factor in America’s current downward spiral.
But greed is a necessary evil in America’s capitalist system. It is not the corporate greed, but the unregulated corporate greed that is the problem and the cause for people’s discontent.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters shouldn’t be marching along Wall Street, but in Washington D.C., where money-obsessed politicians have worked to remove the regulations put in place to protect the working American people, while letting the one percent wreak havoc on the nation’s economy.
The movement also lacks a specific focus. The Occupy Wall Street Declaration, which mirrors America’s Declaration of Independence, lists a wide variety of grievances that demand swift admonition, ranging from corporate infiltration of politics, to civil rights, to discrimination, to animal cruelty.
Those are all serious issues, but they are not the ones to be addressed by this movement, and are best fixed in the wake of a singular goal.
Many claim the movement is meant to be spread out with all kinds of issues being protested against, but that isn’t the case.
The idea of fixing all of America’s woes at once would be commendable, but it is impractical.
It leaves many bemused by the thought of supporting a movement that cannot even decide which of their demands is truly paramount to their mission, and just what actions are most important.
One focused movement speaks louder than a mixture of issues combined.
The single most important goal is separating corporate greed from politics and ending the privilege of the wealthy to manipulate the rest of America to suit their ends at our expense.
This will take care of many of the problems Americans face that the Occupy movement lists as its grievances and goals.
But if they continue to think of all these issues and focus their strengths in the wrong places as they have done so far, then the strength of the thousands upon thousands of people in these protests will be too diluted to get anything done, and the movement will fade into history with nary a change to its name.