On Sept 17th 2011, a relatively small group of american citizens began the occupation of an institution called “Wall Street”.
“Wall Street” is the financial centre of the USA, the home of the New York stock exchange, in which some of the most wealthy people in the world conduct their daily business.
The purpose of the occupation is to express an overall contempt for the ruthless and detrimental actions of a very small, very rich pocket of the population who have successfully degraded the standards of living of so the so called “99%”.
This process has occurred through persistent government lobbying in an attempt to bring about significant deregulation of the markets. Essentially, this deregulation has allowed those within the financial sector to bet and gamble on whatever they please with little to no personal retroaction.
Very few establishments have the ability to write the kind of cheques that the financial sector does. Money talks.
The evidence of this social damage as a result of financial market deregulation can be seen clearly in the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008. This resulted in accelerated rates of home foreclosure and hence the transferral of capital wealth to the banks.
Consequently, the knock on effect on mortgages and general living costs were felt across the country.
There has been over 980,000 foreclosed homes in the US just this year.*
Having no house generally makes life difficult.
Add high tuition, student debt, rising unemployment, corporate tax breaks and rising commodity prices into this social breakdown mixer and you have a guaranteed recipe for civil disobedience.
In the words of trend forecaster Gerald Celente:
“When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it”
The occupation has now grown well into the thousands and is gathering support from unions across the country as more demonstrators join each day. The overall notion of “occupy everything” is indeed spreading throughout the world with the helping hand of internet social media.
The slogan: “We are the 99%” spread as far as London as protesters occupied Westminster Bridge on Sunday Oct 9th in a last ditch effort to stop ratification of the NHS, resulting in severe disruption in the central city.
Despite very little attention from the mainstream media, the momentum continues to build.
So how did these people end up here?
Forced into a position of desperation and suffering?
The truth is that “the 99%” are just as responsible for the excessive wealth of the top 1% as they are.
As radical as that sounds, they, and we, have continued to participate in a system which consistently increases the wealth gap and perpetuates one class over another. It is the “natural” gravitation of wealth from the hands of the many to the hands of a few as the real life game of monopoly keeps rolling.
Those at the top of this pyramid are just as much victims of culture as all other human beings are.
We have all made this manifestation possible, how could anything less be expected?
We live in a system which incentivises greed, corruption and exploitation as the way to climb the capitalist ladder. Thus resulting in scarcity, inequality and classism.
Those that happen to play the game best, end up on the better side of the spectrum, leaving everyone else feeling rather displeased they haven’t encountered the same fortune.
There have been attempts to solve these problems within the confines of the monetary-market model. More legislation, stimulus packages, bailouts and quantitative easing have all failed in stabilising what is essentially an unstable, inefficient and ,most importantly, unsustainable system.
It is time the patchwork ended.
Solutions that address the root causes of these problems are in sincere requirement.
We must start with the recognition that the system is broken, that we live in paradigm in which War is more profitable than Peace, in which Scarcity is more profitable than Abundance, in which Pollution is more profitable than Preservation and in which Politics has become a business, subject to the persuasion and infinite greed of big Wall Street bullies.
So the question emerges, what do we put in it’s place?
By Bruce Galliver