Occupy Wall Street movement: An acute study and suggestions -Part 01

For last two months, the Occupy Wall Street movement has gained national and international attention. However, in terms of its objectives, progress, and success we simply do not have any measurable comprehension or accomplishments on the table.
Currently, the city officials are annoyed and taking actions against the people who are camping and/or gathering on public or private properties. In my opinion, this movement is not moving forward because it is solely based on emotions rather than its measurable virtue to affect the society as a whole. Emotion is definitely needed in any social movement - I will not dispute that. However, that emotion must be substantiated with sound and detailed objectives that would draw the attention of all - general public and the authority. And if that is missing, the officials simply get annoyed instead of getting afraid of the movement by seeing it as a threat.
Ideology and emotion are both needed to build the platform of any revolution. Along with these two elements, a goal is needed to make the wanted change for a collective good. The goal is defined based up on a cause, which is the core issue of the movement. If that "collective good" is not well defined, mass people will not participate and the movement will not be successful. Ideology helps to define the collective goal. Without an ideology, a revolution is like a building without foundation.
If you look at the current movement, you won't find any written objectives that would draw the attention of the people. All you can see is a group of people who are gathered in the name of movement or simply to occupy Wall Street, whatever that means. Instead, what we need is a well defined agenda. 

The outline of a movement and its effects
Effects on the society
Movement begins with:
  • Emotion
  • Ideology
Goal (to obtain collective good)
Effect: Threat to the authority
Result (Change)
1. Movement Successful
(Goal reached - collective good obtained)
2. Movement unsuccessful
Is there a cause for a movement to occur in the United States? It depends. The common elements are not there for a revolution to take place here in the US. We don't have to get in a line to get bread. The basics are available so much that people won't even bother to think about a revolution. In a country where people on welfare have cable for entertainment and a refrigerator full of food, they are not necessarily in the mood for a revolution. We don't have dictatorship here. We voted the lawmakers in to look after us. Now if they don't or neglect their job, you can throw them (theoretically) out by vote in their next term, but not by a revolution. Remember, most people will not want that because they are there with 'most' votes to begin with. Are people dying on the street? Nope. Yes, we have more beggars than ever before, but that does not call for a revolution. Then why bother? The unemployment rate of about 10% does not really call for a revolution!

The cause for a revolution in the United States is different from the recent revolutions that have taken place in some countries. Here, the cause is intellectual more than anything. Despite a sharp increase in the disparity between the rich and poor in the United States, you don't see much support from the public for the current movement. We must realize that we are fighting against a government that we chose. And that makes it harder to convince the mass public to join and at the same time to cause a threat to the authority. Thus, we need to define the cause carefully.
Let us choose two causes for our revolution. One is the increasing gap between the rich and poor. The other one is fraudulent business practices. In both cases, we must explain the effects of those on the society. Otherwise, the argument would be that we are simply emotional or jealous just because there is a big gap between the rich and poor. Many countries live happily with such gaps! But we have to understand/explain the long term effects of the increasing gap in the US. And here lies the tough job!
Increasing GAP between the rich and poor and its effects
1. The purchasing power of the middle class will decline (Corporations will suffer in long run as a result)
2. The quality of life will decline
3. The quality of education will suffer
4. Less taxes/revenue
5. The country as a whole will be pushed for socialism/communism 

Let us stop at number five. Do we want socialism in the US? Will we be ready for such a transition here in the States in about ten or twenty years? And who can say that socialism will solve our problems? It certainly didn't in many countries. Thus, aren't we better off with what we have now? This is where we have to agree that capitalism is not the enemy here. The wrongdoing of some people which caused the massive problems needs to be identified and rectified.
Now let us talk about the other side - our target party, the government. Can the US government afford to have socialism? The US spends millions of dollars preventing communism and socialism in the world. Are they going to allow communism to take over their own country? Won't that be an irony? Also, low number of middle class equals low amount of taxes or revenue for the government. If this is the case, can they afford not to pay attention to the movement? They will be foolish if they don't! Here we have to interject the intelligence to bring the necessary changes in our country and that would be our 'revolution' to show the authority that with such interjection we would overcome the gap! A country with most intelligence in any given subject must not suffer like this. 

Fraudulent business practices and the effects
Capitalism cannot sustain its stability if there are fraudulent practices in the free market for a long period of time. There will be some fraudulent business practices at times, but if they are not corrected in time, the result will be devastating. What we are facing now is a perfect example. Thus, we need actions to correct that behavior immediately. Otherwise, that too will call for communism or socialism one day, which would be the result of poverty and dissatisfaction in the country. And the US government must understand that.
Now, the people involved in the current movement are looked at as though they are the trouble makers. It's a shame. That should not be the case. We must turn this around and prove the following that our government is:
a) The trouble maker, and/or
b) Supporting the trouble makers for whom the country is suffering, and/or
c) Not doing enough to stop the trouble makers, and/or
d) Trying, but is not able (lack of resources) to do anything about it, and/or
e) Not doing anything on purpose for their own interests, and/or
f) Willing to, but is helpless to do anything (opponent is too powerful)  
One or more can be true in our case. If the government does not recognize our findings, we must say that they are intellectually incapable of understanding the concept and pushing this country to have a bigger revolution in the near future, which will call for socialism or communism by the next generation.
Let us define the cause in such a way so a part of the government (hopefully, a big part) becomes a part of our movement as well in order to achieve the collective good. I truly believe that a part of the government will support the movement when the cause and goals are well defined. Otherwise, we can ridicule them for their ignorance.
(Part 2 to follow)
Summary: Revolution in the US is different from the revolutions in other countries - cause(s), actions, and goals must be well defined for a revolution to take place.
(Was Published in viewshound.com in Sept-Oct, 2011)

About the Author

Kumar Ghosh

Kumar Ghosh