Occupy Wall Street is a term that was conjured to refer to a movement that begun on September 2011 in New York City. The movement addressed social and economic inequality issues. The main points of focus for the movement were corruption, greed and the corporations influence on the financial services sector of the government. They forged a slogan “We are the 99%.” This illustrates the economic inequality arising from income distribution between the rich 1% and the rest of the population within the United States. The movement emphasized on direct action from consensus based decision. The movement was founded on moral principles of honesty, truth and justice for all. They argued that it is wrong to wreck the world. The organization aimed at representing everyone thou they were viewed as no one. From their website, a catchy, yet discomforting message appears. The injustices that the 99% face are traumatizing. Being kicked out of their homes, denial of quality medical care, environmental pollution and long working hours with little pay are some of the injustices that OWS was founded to address. There is a sense of discomfort where the remaining 1% is viewed to own everything and the expense of the majority.
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The occupy movement created a list of demands from the claim that the system is broken down in so many ways which are dizzying to name. The members of the Occupy Wall Street play by the rules, study hard, yet they end up finding lowly jobs where they have to work for long hours with little income. There is no guarantee for a bright and secure future. The personal lives narrated by the followers of the movement of how their dreams have been shuttered by the wrecked system are a motivation for more to join the struggle for individual economic and financial freedom. The people are enlightened of their rights and power. The movement without discrimination addresses the plight of the people from all backgrounds. The diversity in which the movement caters for the needs of its followers is the reason for its increased growth. However, the jumbled demands of the movement are a source for critique with labor organizations and the government arguing that the movement is unable to present a defined list of demands. This is because lists of realistic demands are easy to manage, criticize and divide the movement. The lack of a leader in the movement is another stronghold that is essential to the success of the organization. No one is held accountable for questioning in light of the actions and protests of the movement. The coordination of the movement through social sites such as Facebook and Twitter is the reason why their messages spread like wildfire.
The moral obligation of the movement is to address the dysfunction and injustices culminated in the society. These injustices are brought by the minority few of the society. The problems faced by the majority connect to a central social economic pathology. It is the result of destructive and extractive corporations funding the elections and configuration the post to be filled with their puppets. This is done to ensure they benefit from their investments. The democracy of the people is reduced to mere dependence on those in power. However, this is futile as the government is controlled by short sighted individuals who would wreck the economy for short-term personal gain. The consequences of the destructive few are that they get to control the regulatory agencies. These agencies have the power of overlooking the problems faced by the majority such as closing the options for resolving economic and environmental emergencies. This further affects the life of the lowly citizen as the natural systems that sustain their well being are tampered with. Along the fault lines of civilization, the OWS strives to build a cultural thriving for sanity and justice. The cry within the nation is for the money to be transferred from politics and distributed to the common citizen. Protesters in the campaigns of the Wall Street emphasize on this message embedded in their slogan. They challenge the government to restore democracy in the hands of the people. This way the nation will be salvaged from global and personal catastrophe.
The politics in America have been dominated by the issues addressed by the Wall Street campaigners. The issue of extreme inequality is viewed as a moral degradation of the society. Another economic policy addressed by the movement is the tax cuts for the rich and financial deregulation. Being poor by the numbers is a situation that the few rich take advantage of towards exploiting the poor majority. According to the report of the Census Bureau 47 million Americans were living below the poverty line. Among this, 19 million are living in extreme poverty. It is through this statistics released in 2011 that paved way for the birth of the movement. The movement aimed at campaigning against the poor and upholding moral justice in the distribution of national wealth. The uprising of the movement brought the face of the president to shame in the view of the world. The fight for justice is not only way for the hungry but a war and struggle for class. The country is divided along political lines. Many believe that the uprising of the Wall Street may just be the beginning of social change wave that will not only be felt in the United States but also across the world. This theory is bound to hold since majority of the participators in the movement are lowly paid civil servant. The joining of the police force in the movement can be interpreted as a symbol of discontent that every worker in the government payroll is experiencing. A shift in balance must occur for the stability of the nation. Otherwise, this movement will grow into an uncontrollable majority that may even overthrow the ruling government.
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A utilitarian approach states that the proper course of action is the one that provides benefit to the majority, reduces suffering and increases happiness to the majority. The cry of the Wall Street movement is based on the injustices that the majorities face at the expense of the minority. Their slogan indicates that they are the 99% majority suffering unlike the 1% rich minorities. The economic wreckage touches their pockets due to the heavy taxes they are forced to pay from their meager wages. Analyzing the implications of the movement, it can be argued that the utilitarian theory best applies to the movement. As the mission of the movement states, it is clear that majority of the citizens are unfairly treated in their places of work. The war of wages is waged against the majority and the majority. People are calling for money to be shifted from the political domain to the public. This clearly depicts the discontent of the majority. As a result, it can be argued that the movement is finding effect ways to satisfy the majority. This is in line with what the utilitarian principle tries to achieve. Morality should also be maintained in the quest of equality. The movement condemns the injustices practiced by their leaders who only seek personal gain
Looking at income inequalities and wealth distribution in the United States, different views can be used to determine who is responsible. In the light of an individual who is a member of the movement, all the blame goes to the government and the people in power. These are the sworn enemies of the movement. The teachings of the movement makes the individuals realize their power as democrats and the role they can play to change the current situation. Opposition lies on the realization that the people they elected to be their representatives and address their problems are the ones who have turned their backs on them. They crave to satisfy their personal gains at the expense of the poor and lowly. Horizontal power adopted by the few minorities aims at developing foot soldiers that play a crucial role in the election of the candidates. These soldiers are then sent home and the decisions are made by the elected officials. However, for the Occupy Wall Street movement this idea has been turned and granted the power to ordinary people. They are mandated with formulating strategies and reviewing the work to make decisions. From this analysis it can be seen that the few wealth people in the nation control the flow of wealth and income. It is the discontent arising from the majorities that feel their will is misrepresented that has made many to join hands in the movement. It is evident that this is something that has been going on for a long time. It is after this oppression that people have rose from their timidity and decided to face the issue facing them head-on.
In a capitalistic nation like the United States, the issues addressed by the movement form the basis for of addressing current issues. If their concerns are not addressed and collectively reviewed to reach an amicable decision, the movement will form a base for sheltering the oppressed but yet have no power other than protest for catering for their needs. The cry of the majority should be heard. Individuals in Wall Street should realize that the people they are oppressing are the ones that gave them power to reach their current position. The policy for every man for himself and God for us all is not applicable where some individuals have an added advantage. The principles of capitalism should be adhered to with equitable wealth and income distribution. Failure to do this, a wave of insecurity will sweep through the nation and everyone will be opposed to the rule of law. The law will not be significant if it does not address the primary issues of survival that majority of the people are struggling with. Revision of labor laws in the constitution should be given preference to ensure equity for all.
The rate at which individuals from all sects are joining the movement is alarming. Arguing that the movement will fade away any time soon is not logical. However, if the barrier between the rich and the poor continues to be unaddressed, the movement may change and start using force instead of peaceful demonstrations. Unlike other traditional movements that faded with time, the unity depicted in this movement is bound to see the movement liberate its followers from oppression of the mighty. It can also be seen that the lack of defined leadership in the movement is a stronghold that the people are willing to adhere to. This will keep the roots of the movement strong as they are not answerable to any higher authority. The open membership that the movement provides is essential since the labor market is full of risks and surprises. Any member in the private and public domain who feel oppressed by their working conditions are free to join the movement. New, energetic and innovative members will keep on changing how the movement performs. If at any point the warranting situations being addressed by the movement are not solved, the movement will turn into a corporation that fights for the rights of the oppressed. If the government does not agree by the facts, demands and opinions tabled by the corporation, this will result to an uprising. If the uprising in turn results to the use of force in their quest for just, it will be termed as domestic terrorism.
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In conclusion, it is evident that the Wall Street movement was started with an aim of addressing the issues facing the common citizen. Its quest is to liberate the oppressed from the tyrannical rule of their leaders. It exposes the hurting truth of the enrichment of the few at the expense of the poor. It also aims at educating the public on their rights and the power they hold once they are united. Just like any other movement forged in the past, the movement provides the people with a platform to air their grievances.