Occupy Democracy

“Our democracy is increasingly being taken over by big money and that’s wrong …We need to occupy democracy.” – Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Money in politics  results in a corrupt government who give the rich that fund them more power than the rest of the population. Do our Governments in the West represent us or just those who already have power and money?

Big money in politics makes it impossible for the voices of average human to break through because you need money to be heard. So if there is one message that the occupiers wish to deliver, it’s that money in politics is a serious threat to our democracies.

The Occupy protests have spread to every major city in the United States and have gone global with protests occurring from London to Madrid. They were inspired by the Arab Spring and protests in Spain over high unemployment which pushed protesters to camp out in Madrid’s central square.

Protestors can’t agree on “one aim” because there is no single magical solution that would fix everything but they want to push to the forefront of our minds the issues of inequality across society and  a lack of opportunity for those from certain backgrounds focusing on the influence that financial institutions/corporations/ rich individuals have particularly when it comes to politics – They do this in the hope of lighting the fires of change in our society but have they triggered any changes so far? Or is “people power” something that was left in the 60’s/70’s?


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4 Responses to Occupy Democracy

  1. Hi! First of all, thanks for the follow. ‘preciate ya!
    I like this piece about protest. I think one of the issues here is we always want to recreate the impactful social movements of the 60s and 70s. While there are lessons from those days to bring into protest movements like Occupy, maybe we romanticize them too much. Occupy has added some new arrows to the protest quiver, but what makes a movement truly powerful is a leadership that won’t rest until specific goals are met. That clarity is missing, or at least the message today is more easily muddied, and harder to hear.
    I also thought you might want to check out my Prose and Thorn post on Occupy and it’s relationship to past protest movements. http://wp.me/p11Ml3-dC

    • No problem! 🙂
      I think it is because we romanticise everything to do with the 60s and 70s – The whole hippy era of peace and love makes it seems as though everyone was more united and willing to fight for change but really for many protesting was just a craze for teenagers to feel as though they are “sticking it to the man”.
      The Occupy protests have no real direction. They are just people who are angry and want change but have no idea how to bring about that change. I can imagine that the majority of the occupiers will give up protesting even if no change occurs and simply go back to moaning a little. The problem is that a lot of them are just protesting for the sake of it. There is no real strategy or even many things that unify the protesters.
      Thanks, I will check it out.

  2. brains says:

    seems to me there’s no question that governments represent those who have power and money. it’s why big oil rakes in $40 billion a year tax free while wal-mart makes the same amount and pays $6 billion in taxes. why doesn’t wal-mart get a break like that? because they don’t support the re-election campaign funds of senators. because early politicians were also oil shareholders and owners, like the rockefellers who owned standard oil, which eventually became exxon. their family has also included vice presidents, senators, and governors. if you adjust for inflation, john d. rockefeller would have been the richest man in history.

    • Well I think the amount of money that American politicians throw at their election campaigns is ridiculous. Parties in the UK can’t spend more than 20 million. In 2008, Obama alone spent around $1bn on his election campaign.
      Canada spent roughly $300MM for their 2008 election but the US spent $5.3B in the same year. It just shows how much money means in politics. If you think about the other causes this money could go towards it would make a massive difference. There definitely needs to be more rules and regulations on funding and campaign spending.

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