The American Fall: Protesters Occupy Wall Street
In light of the recent Wall Street protests I thought I’d chime in with why I believe the American Fall, as opposed to the Arab Spring, has officially begun. We live in a country where laws are established to protect the masses from harm. We go as far as we can to stop or prevent behavior that entices and incites troubling consequences and predictable ramifications. But are we really doing all we can for the benefit of society? Let’s take a look at corporations and their value systems. These corporate entities are able to shirk responsibility of poor decision-making time and again, unless the action has reached a point where a larger than usual number of people are effected. Look at the housing bubble bust and on a smaller level: the Bernie Madoff affair.
People have an inherent desire to believe in something that is clearly too good to be true. Where do we develop this warped sense of trust? It is the humanity that some of us were born with. A gift that has been taken for granted and advantage of since the beginning of time. Gross incompetence allowed Bernie Madoff & Co. to thrive financially while bilking people, including family and close friends out of billions of dollars. The SEC, whose job it is to regulate the financial matters of the country, would rather adopt a skeptical approach to smaller investment companies who can easily dip under the radar, even when numerous people have filed complaints against them.
I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men. – Woodrow Wilson
Who does the government really protect? Is the importance any less because the entity is smaller than say a company such as Enron or Lehman Brothers? Corporations are allowed to cause harm to many, pay fines, get bail outs because they’re considered ‘too big to fail’ and yet they continue polluting, scamming, swindling and bilking Americans under the umbrella of those who are supposed to protect us – the little people. We have been lied to and people are finally waking up. They are tired of the blood, sweat and tears being toiled in the name of the almighty dollar when they’re told time and again that they are, in fact, small enough to fail and many do. Far too many Americans have suffered financially over the last decade. Those people are waking up.
Occupy Wall Street is what I like to describe, for the time being, as a disorganized protest and a stark rallying cry. This is one of the most unpredictable types of protest. It has the potential to balloon into something much greater than itself. Why? Because when protesters are willing to put themselves at risk without fear of retribution, absolutely anything becomes possible. When moral outrage begins, all it takes is heightened emotion to fuel the fire that will spread that outrage like a plague.
I estimate that this protest will do more in the way of actually helping President Obama’s re-election bid in 2012 than making sleazy Democrat and Republican legislatures (and their fundraising camps and lobbyists) truly understand the message – because neither party has any control of the movement at present time.
The Tea Party movement was infiltrated in the beginning and I expect the same might happen, if not already in process, with the Occupy Wall Street protests. This could have a domino affect on the 2012 election if President Obama starts vocally and publicly supporting the seeds of discontent that were planted and have grown ever since he took office in ‘08.
The real movement begins when people start to understand that there is a one party system in American politics – and it is run by an oligarchy. The party swap changes that happen every election cycle or so are nothing new. Case in point – since Obama was elected to office we’ve engaged in yet another military campaign – against (Libya) on the recommendation of Newt Gingrich, extended the Patriot Act set in motion by the George W. Bush administration and expanded TSA – airport pat down anyone? Facts likes these are hard to swallow no matter how small you cut it.
While chewing, ask yourself why the government which includes the current administration has failed to prosecute some of the biggest financial fraudsters that are largely to blame for the current state of the economy. It has been in perpetual upheaval since Bush left office and distant cousin Obama took it over. If you get an actual answer instead of the standard side by side comparison based excuse of – ‘Bush did it way worse so we win’ – then you’re off to a pretty good start.
Next up: How to rebuild a civil society that has been deliberately and systematically dismantled from the bottom up.