"Occupy Wall Street" Needs a Time Out!
Even if you have been living under a rock for the past twenty years, shunning all human contact and leading an impossible existence sustained only on elderberries, by now you must have heard of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. The basics of this “movement” (it pains me to substantiate its existence) is to protest the current socio-financial state of the world. Their message: stop allowing the 1% (top business executives, banks, etc.) to rule the 99% (the “people”). Their method: literally occupy financial districts.
I support the right to oppose and protest (within certain logical limitations) and certainly believe there are times when it is the most effective way to incite change. Just wanted to get that out of the way before I start in on the rest …
This “Occupy Wall Street” movement may have, at its very core, a logical and perhaps even decent idea – but no one will ever know. There is an old adage – actions speak louder than words – which I believe sums up this entire situation into a nice and tidy package of five words. Personally, I can sum it all up in four letters – as can many others. Disregarding my personal views for a moment, these four letters are still of great importance as they show the frustration and anger felt by the general public. Is this negativity directed at the 1% being protested against? No, it is because of the protesters. To use another adage, everything has a time and a place. Protest, believe it or not, falls into this category of “everything” and therefore is not always the best course of action. Here, I would say, is a prime example of this – this is not the right time and place for a protest like this.
Before dismissing me as another disillusioned youth, hear me out on this matter. First, I would like to pose this question regarding the “Occupy Wall Street” movement – what have these protests accomplished? The logical starting query is “What are they trying to accomplish?” but I think by this point that is as clear as it will ever be. So, we move on to what they have done. And truly, what? They brought media attention to their “movement” and broadcasted their message around the world. They have certainly managed to impact and disrupt parts of society at all different levels. They have managed to challenge the infrastructure and support networks of major cities all over the globe. These are not all bad things, per say, and I would dare to say there have been positive consequences. But were these changes intentional? And the answer to that is no, the positive changes coming out of this hoopla were not and are not the ones demanded. Instead, they are just the result of the challenge to municipal infrastructure – and would have been cheaper, easier, and safer to address in other ways.
So what of their goals then? Have they convinced the “1%” to change their ways and listen to the 99%? Let that sit for a moment … think on it.
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?! The 1% they refer to is fairly simple and easy to understand – they are the ones at the top of the financial sector. They have too much control and are out of touch with the rest of society. A bit of a stretch, but okay, we can work with this. But the 99% - now here is the problem. Who are the members of this unseen, unspoken, wholly ignored and utterly disgruntled 99%? Logically, they are the rest of society, the ones who are not a part of the 1%. According to the protesters, they are the ones who want change, the ones who see no other way – the ones like them. Somehow, these protesters feel they are a fair representation of the invisible 99%.
Yea … no. For the protesters to be a proper representation of the 99%, the 99% would have to support them and their goals. Perhaps the vast majority of the population do not agree with the current management of the financial sector; perhaps most people want to see change. Or perhaps the opposite is true; who really knows? Do you see my point yet? Allow me continue. If 99% of society were in agreement on an issue – any issue – the entire structure of Western governments would collapse. Where are the parties, where is there room for dissenting or opposing opinions? Quite simply, there is none. So remove the rule of the 1% - but then anarchy and chaos ensues, and nobody wants that (for good reason).
How, then, are people supposed to voice their opinions and incite change? Thus far protesting has not led to their goals being realized; in fact, it has succeeded at the opposite. What about overthrowing the problematic rule? Ah, but that will not work either. Are there any options left?
Yes – the DEMOCRATIC approach. The same system that gives people the right to protest like this also gives them legitimate and respected venues to address the issues. Instead of camping in the middle of a city – completely unsustainable behaviour, for those environmentalists out there – how about acting like grown-ups and using those brains that are supposed to be there and, oh I don’t know, TRYING TO FIX THINGS LIKE A MATURE PERSON AND NOT A TWO YEAR OLD!
The comparisons between the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and a toddler in the throes of a temper tantrum are nearly endless. What the protests HAVE managed to do for us – the actual “99%” who are neither at the top of the financial sector nor a part of the childish stupidity – is ensure we can never address the issues properly ever again. Any real, legitimate concerns buried deep underneath the “movement” can no longer be brought up in a proper context and discussed, debated, and addressed without these protests coming up and lending a negative impact to any claim to legitimacy still left.
Am I angry? Yes. Am I fuming mad? Oh bloody hell yes. Do I like the current financial setup? No, not really. Is that why I am seeing red? No – the idiots “protesting” against it and effectively barring me (and others like me) from actually working WITH the system that GAVE THEM their right to protest to calmly and maturely fix the issues.
So for the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, I have one question to ask – HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GET ANYTHING CHANGED IF NO ONE WILL TAKE IT/ME/THE ISSUE SERIOUSLY ANYMORE?