06 DEC 2011
Major Paper # 3: A Study in Work and Human Rights: Power To The People
While looking at our world’s history, you will find that most historians believe that the earliest documented use of what we know very well today as “money” comes from the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC. While man created money, money created a new man and an entirely new world. No longer were status, class and power inherited or determined mainly by bloodlines but rather now also your financial standing. The possible accumulation of wealth allowed to a certain extent for individuals to rise up to the peak of their society’s hierarchical structure. Those who can’t escape the bottom rung are forced to “look up” to these individuals, therefore almost unconsciously attributing high value and influence to them, sometimes even making them leaders, partly due to their perceived success. When the most powerful people in the world further separate from those below them, the interests of the bottom rung struggle to reach those up at the top. Communication then travels only horizontally at the top of the theoretical pyramid rather than vertically between social classes. The ongoing Occupy movement reflects humans’ frustration with the unjust influence and division of money within the world. It is an “idea” that attempts to be the spark for a potential global revolution. The true roots and inspirations of the Occupy movement can be traced back to revolution-like protests and grassroots initiatives in the Arab world and Asia beginning in late 2010. On December 18, 2010, in response to multiple attempts of repression towards them, the people of Tunisia fired back with protests that soon led to their government being overthrown in less than a month from when the protests started. Soon after, Egypt successfully overthrew their President at the time, Hosni Mubarak, who is now being prosecuted for the premeditated murder of unarmed, Greavu 2
peaceful protestors. Less than a week after the people of Egypt succeeded, Libya began the bloodiest protests yet in which 25,000 to 30,000 people were killed in slightly over a half a year span that resulted in their government also being overthrown and their former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, being killed this past October. These are only a small fraction of all the recent revolutions in the Arab world that have sparked ideas in the heads of Westerners. The first protests with the Occupy label attached to them occurred in the city of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, this past July through “Occupy Dataran”. The grassroots initiative, similar in some ways to our Tea Party movement, called for their country’s democracy reform that would allow for political decisions to be made directly by the people through assembly. Their proposed form of democracy (also known as participatory democracy or direct democracy) is used as a model for the Occupy movement’s daily governing operations as well as for some of the Occupiers’ proposed change to the American governing systems. Protests halfway around the world, months before any domestic protests began and some still continuing today, gave hope to American citizens by clearly demonstrating who is truly the world’s most powerful army: the people united as one.
This past summer, the Vancouver-based anti-consumerist activist Adbusters Media Foundation (AMF) laid the floor plan for the first American installment of the Occupy movement—Occupy Wall Street. Specifically, they took into the account the recent global financial crisis, noting the issues of the increasingly growing gaps between the social classes, money’s influence on the U.S.’s politics, and the questionable bailout for the banks and bankers who some perceive as the cause of this mess. AMF chose the location of Zuccotti Park, a private park (thus leaving the occupation’s legality up to the property owner and not law enforcement) Greavu 3...
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