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|In yesterday’s post, we defined revolution and its relationship to a social movement, both of which involve beginnings that emphasize what is wrong, rather than dwelling on the solution. As Robert Reich said: “Every social movement in the last half-century or more, it started with moral outrage…and the actual lessons, the specific demands for specific changes, came later.” It seems to me that we first have to spend time determining what is not right, finally placing what we have found in priorities, that then becomes the basis for demands.
John Hirschhorn says, “…the Occupy movement in the US offers the possibility of being seen, eventually, as the seed of a successful Second American Revolution…” Since he is convinced this is needed to fix a “…corrupt, dysfunctional and unfair government, political and economic system,” the question remains just what happens next. Although the bulk of the Occupy Movement may not know it, they have essentially followed the correct parameters to induce social change.
History reveals that violence against the uprising almost always becomes necessary for the overthrown of a “Hated” political system. Then comes the time period involved in cleaning up the mess and making the necessary changes. All of the factors discussed so far have been integral parts of the Occupy Movement, including the violence displayed by police against protesters in Oakland and elsewhere. Although there is no measure to determine the success of the movement, the fact that one-third of the country is destitute due to an avaricious Wall Street and an inept Congress, is enough to keep things going.
Pew research has asked the question of Americans, “although our people are not perfect, but is our culture superior to others?” Only 49 percent agreed recently compared to 60 percent in 2002, the first time this question was asked. This flies in the face of conservatives who regularly wave the flag over U.S. “exceptionalism.” And the young ages 18 to 29, were lower in their opinion of our country compared to young citizens in Germany, Spain and Great Britain.
Poll after poll finds that Americans are convinced their country has declined in its place in world powers and an NBC News/Wall Street Survey recently discovered the public no longer thinks the U.S. is a world leader with the pessimistic view that neither the President nor Congress can do anything about it. But many analysts see the Occupy Movement as a means to change. James B. Stewart’s article, “An Uprising With Plenty of Potential,” is a good example.
Stewart ends his article with a statement from Cornel West, a Princeton professor who has emerged as a prominent voice of the movement. It said that he didn’t know where the movement was going, but “you can’t evict an idea whose time has come.” In Hirschhorn’s article, he wonders if the Occupy Movement is truly the seed capable of producing a Second American Revolution. As the saying goes, only time will tell.
Read more here, here and here.