Firstly, I would like to say that this article is obviously written from the Marxist perspective. To our non-Communist readers, the importance of this burgeoning movement is even more so important. We are at the crossroads of a social moment. A moment where the average, downtrodden citizen is starting to stand up for their right and their say. Communists everywhere know and share this struggle, and it is of little surprise to find this topic on a Communist blog. If you find yourself reading here, and are not a Communist, certainly we can all agree that the current movement is of broader importance than mere politic. With that being said, on to the article.
As many may know, there has for nearly a month, been a concentrated effort growing in New York City. An effort aimed at bringing major focus to the disparity in American bourgeois society. Thousands of working-class people have pooled together to hold an ongoing protest on Wall Street, the vaunted seat of American capital. These people are average, everyday Americans from many walks of life, united in one cause: Bringing the awareness of our situation to the forefront of the public mind.
They have few clear goals, few defined aims. But there is a general consensus amongst all of them: That the wealthy elite, the ruling class of our society has had it’s way too much and for too long at the expense of everyone else. The demonstration, which represents the 99% of Americans who’ve gotten the short-end of financial prosperity, is a direct assault against the Capitalist masters. While it got off to a slow start, with the bourgeois media only giving it token coverage, the Occupy Wall Street movement has now grown. Not just in NYC, but the entire nation. People everywhere are starting up occupations of their own, joining in the spirit of protest. New York City was but the start, as there are over 140 occupations being started. These, comrades, are exciting times we live in. Class consciousness, something the supporters of Capitalism claimed does not exist in the USA, is being made painfully aware. As we Communists know, that is merely the beginning of the battle. Once the masses realize their class consciousness, they become aware of their class antagonisms. Yet another thing that supposedly “does not apply” to America. In the months ahead, I solidly believe class related social issues will be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
With the spread of the Occupy movement, the earlier battles of this year are also being reconsidered. The labor movements which raged across Wisconsin and Ohio in the early part of 2011 have not been forgotten. The current protest is picking up where the labor protests left off. But this time, it is not merely the battle for fair and just representation of public workers, nor private. This time the battle is about fairness in society. Not just the right to be represented, but the very conditions of the working masses. As we all know, the American economy has been in a serious slump for some years. The experts have all said the Recession is over, but for the average working person, relief seems far out of sight. Where have our wealthiest been during it all? Why, they have done business as usual, furthering their aims with the help of conservative politicians. They have been filling their coffers just as always. But they have been taking more from the average person, who without, their business machine would not function. Unemployment is still rampant, with Washington D.C. still holding out for a miracle in the private sector to spur hiring. Some of our politicians and economists believe that if they sweeten the pot enough, then the Captains of Industry shall be enticed to “Get America Back to Work”. But as any Marxist knows, history is the greatest of teachers. And for years, the ruling elite of America have had a very, very good deal. If they have not had the notion to get this nation back to work by now, I ask how much more do we have to give them before they do?
This is where the rest of us come in. As we’ve seen, our friends on Wall Street and Motor City, in the halls of finance from coast to coast, have been chugging along just fine through the whole financial crisis. They have their pet politicians on Capitol Hill to fight and defend them. They have been, time and again, propped up by our government. And while they have not been met without criticism, they have generally gotten on just fine. But for the working class, there has been no great bail-out, no great relief. There has been precious little to reduce the lines of the jobless. The numbers of families evicted from homes by the banks has kept on rising. The working class has taken the burden of all efforts to “jump start” the economy. And after three years of it, the people are finally fed up. People of all views are beginning to wonder why the majority must continue to do all the work by themselves. Of course, in our society, there is no other way. The workers make up the largest share of the population, thus they must have all the weight put on them.
But then again, does it have to be so? More and more minds are starting to think our more well-to-do citizens should start seriously giving back to the people who they owe their wealth to. And that is where the occupation movement has it’s finest point. People are gathering to express the need for the rich, the wealthy, the bourgeoisie, whatever one wishes to call them, to shoulder a bit more social obligation. For their pockets to be opened a bit more, for their fingers to be in fewer political pies, and for our society itself to be a little more balanced for it. Of course, there are many opinions on how this is to be achieved, many of which are not too different from each other. And while the specifics of the Occupy Wall Street movement have yet to be formulated, while the clear and objective goals have yet to be conceived, the movement itself is the start. Through constant protest, for and by the people of the United States, the bourgeois masters are being told: Enough is Enough!
I urge everyone of us to do whatever we can to further this cause. It is a peoples’ cause. And Communists are one with the masses. We should be trying to play an integral role in the fight. But we will need the help of all persons, not just our comrades. Talk about it, blog about it, send out e-mails and flyers, bring it up in classes or in the workplace, try starting your own protest. Do whatever you must. This is a battle between the exploiters and the exploited. We cannot let them win.
Artwork by: Party9999999