Clear Goals of Occupy Wall Street
This new democratic movement, which is encouraging horizontal leadership, is building a new civic infrastructure. Given this fact, we’re reprinting an editorial from this past Sunday’s Inquirer written by Kevin Cox (works in communications) and Keith Cox ( his father who is information products entrepreneur).
We find it interesting to see how many commentators, pro and con, suggest that the Occupy Wall St. movement lacks clear goals and focus. Spend a few hours talking to these folks as we have, and you’ll see that the Movement’s goals are pretty darn clear.
Goal #1: Put a human face on the tens of millions average Americans from every social, political and economic strata who’ve had to put on hold plans to have a job, form a family, own a home, and live a normal life as a result of the dysfunctional mess the United States has become. OWS is a way to let people across the country know that they are not alone in their struggles.
Goal #2: Spotlight that the industrial -scale financial fraud at the core of the modern financial services industry is a major source of this mess— because the entire political and legal system has been bought off—virtually nobody’s being held to account. Just as we have the right to defend ourselves when we are being mugged, Americans have the right to defend ourselves from corporations that exploit our markets while moving jobs overseas or that evade taxes while using our roads, schools, and other public infrastructures. [that’s what the Comcast protest was about—why 10 people were arrested—Greg]
Goal #3: Point out that no partisan 10-point plan will solve the mess we’re in. The profound changes that we need will require the hard, slow work of rebuilding popular concensus by engaging with ideas from every point of the political and social spectrum. Wall St. and big corporate interests love never-ending political paralysis because it leaves them free to cold-bloodedly strip the country bare.
You can agree with OWS or not. But for those who are having a hard time getting it, as Upton Sinclar once observed: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Final note from Greg and Deb: Check out the movie Margin Call directed by J.C. Chandler, now playing at The Ritz in Philadelphia. The Hollywood version of the Meltdown, staring Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons. A terrific follow-up to the documentary Inside Job (the real thing). It illuminates Sinclair’s quote and the three above goals very well. God bless the fact that we’re still a democracy and this movement will not be thwarted. It’s only just begun.