Put the "people" back in the government of the people by the people!
Debate going on in History class
We have an interesting debate going on in our history class right now about the OWS movement occurring right now and whether it is history repeating itself. I’m going to post some of the comments and my replies. Maybe someone reading this has the same questions or viewpoints that are being expressed in our class right now.
Subject: Do you know what you are talking about? Topic: Popular political movements Author: Susan Lewis Date: November 19, 2011 11:28 AM
I find this particular movement less interesting than most. I guess because I am an older student and have witnessed several different movements over my years, I am always curious to find that many of the movements lack direction. Almost all of the participants that have been interviewed so far, have had little understanding or are able to articulate what the purpose of the movement is. It’s almost like the game “follow the leader”, I find it captivating that most of those participating seem to feel like they should be a more entitled generation somehow. While I understand the overall theme, I think there is certainly some under-sightedness on the part of the younger generation of the United States. I don’t really see a parallel of the nineteenth century reform movements. While we definitely have some issues in health care, economic issues and foreign policy, it pales in comparison to the inhuman working conditions in the nineteenth century. Also, take at a look at the movements across the globe, fighting for freedom and independence is a little difference than trying to take down wall street. Please, go get a job, stop camping out and smoking pot and stop whining. Just an example, I had a career for 20 years, I took early retirement, then my spouse became ill. I am back in college a second time and starting over in a career, I am not out camping saying whoa is me, I have picked myself up by the bootstraps and started over. I doubt wallstreet could have controlled my family’s fate. Oh, also, did I tell you that I provide for two disabled children. I doubt that most of the campers, have any idea what hard is, especially if they have time to sit day after day camping out in the park…..Who’s paying for that…………sorry no sympathy for the want to be “hippy” movement.
Let me know if you are actually able to land a job after you’ve completed schooling. My bet would be, that if change isn’t made soon in this country to get the economy stabilized and growing (fairly) again, you will end up jobless and maybe even homeless just like many of the people who used to have jobs and now cannot find one. Some of them also, have gone back to school for the same reasons you indicate you are in school.
Stereotyping a group of people is already one strike against a prospective employee in landing a job in today’s marketplace. It is not at all professional and it certainly isn’t the truth, ever! It just exposes a form of closed-minded bigotry, that is not wanted in today’s global workforce.
Did you know that there are disabled people living on the streets because the government automatically denies applications on the first go-around unless done by an attorney (unless it involves children–children are well provided for in all government programs–adults without children are not valued) and it takes years to follow through on the appeal process; therefore, unable to work, no income, they lose their homes, move to the streets and try to survive the best they can, but at that point hope tends to disappear, and without hope there is no motivation to keep trying. They get lost in the system and become invisible to society. If they’re down there occupying and helping the protest movement, then good for them.
But, the disabled, homeless adult is only one type of person fighting for our country, for the rest of us. Unless you are one of the wealthy 1% in this country, then you are part of the 99%. You are part of the population the movement is trying to protect and help.
So for anyone to sum up the lives of the individuals occupying public places, exercising their constitutional right, as “all hippies” with nothing better to do with their time then to sit around and “smoke pot” is nothing more than a stereotype. Remember, not everyone is the same, nor are their circumstances. Stereotyping is ignorance in action, and will only hold you back from the truth.
Subject: OWS Topic: Popular political movements Author: Michael Smith Date: November 25, 2011 1:14 PM
It sure is interesting to think about history repeating itself and even see it happening before us. Sometimes you wonder why we can’t just realize it and make corrective action. However, in the heat of the moment and influence of people all around us and pride within us, sometimes that mental “stepping back” to look at things from the big picture is not as easy as it may seem from an onlookers point of view.
In late history there was much talk of laissez-faire and that balance between financial institution interference versus aid. Currently crowds and strikes, boycotts and contention illustrate the effects of such an imbalance. Yes, history will repeat itself.
I fully support the initiatives of the OWS movement and yes, as I’m reading our textbook, I see so much familiarity and similarity that history is definitely repeating itself. And the group in power are using any means to protect their position and wealth, including violence, and that also is history repeating itself. I am disappointed in students who speak about the movement, who obviously have not researched the topic with an open mind and looked at both sides. It seems as though they are simply spouting off on things they’ve heard from others who also do not know the facts and history of the movement. This movement in fact is a revolution on the verge of happening. History is writing itself today, and so many people don’t even realize it. They listen only to the false rhetoric being promoted in the media, rather than actually researching it themselves. It is also a repeat of the 60s riots and protests, in that violence by the police is being used against nonviolent protesters whose actions are constitutionally protected. We do have the right to assemble peaceably to protest and seek redress of wrongs committed by the government. This constitutional right usurps any and all state or local laws that may prevent protests, violate curfew, or allow congregation in public places. Like I said, this is history in the making and it’s not just our country, but this is happening world-wide. I encourage everyone to thoroughly research the movement and then decide if they are one of the 99% seeking change in the balance of power in our government and seeking accountability of the financial sector for the economic failure, and seeking to remove the moneyed powers that influence government legislation–to put the people back in the government of the people by the people.
Subject: Re:OWS Topic: Popular political movements Author: Robin Wills Date: November 27, 2011 4:16 PM
What exactly is the purpose of this movement in your opinion? As one who has talked to some involved in this movement I have gotten many answers. There seams to be no consensus on what exactly they want to happen. Close Wall street? Get the 1% that holds most of the money to give it away? There seams no real purpose but to bring attention to the movement with no word on what they are really trying to accomplish.
There are many complaints, with everyone seeming to say something different,you are right. There are also many other groups linking up and combining their own causes with those of the Occupy Movement, precisely because OWS is not targeting simply one problem, but a whole mess of problems that have been created by our government in its current state. But, in my reading of the information about the movement coming directly from the NYC General Assembly and the Occupy Wall Street Organization, (I’ve added links here that will get you started in your research of the movement, if you are interested.) I feel the greatest consensus (in our own country) involves giving the government of the people BACK to the people (the 99%) to control. We need to eliminate control of legislation and law-making that is currently being done by the top 1% (or the wealthy citizens, corporations, and banks) who not only have all the money, but, because of that, they also have all the power in this country. Most of the 1%, are only interested in maintaining and growing their own wealth, and not worried or concerned about the state of our current economy and this 1% are the ones controlling our legislatures through their lobbying and campaign contributions, as well as through outright corruption, bribery and influence. Get the 1% OUT of the governmental process and give our country back to its people– the 99%. We the people need to be the ones to make the decisions on laws and legislation. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (I don’t remember who said that, but it is very true.) Our government in its current state is CORRUPT and only by radical means such as the large group protests and occupations will the public and those currently in control be forced to take notice… the public needs to wake up and start looking around itself and noticing, “yeah, things could be better– we DO need to take back control of our government and we need to protect our own constitutional rights before they disappear completely.”
That’s my take on it, anyway.
Occupy Wall Street: http://occupywallst.org/about/
New York City General Assembly: http://www.nycga.net/resources/declaration/
END OF DEBATE
Take the time to research and find out for yourself what your opinion is–AFTER you know all the facts. Never assume that by listening to local and national media that you are getting the FULL story–both sides.