Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Americans wake up from slumber to occupy


Occupation is in the blood of distant colonial cousins, Great Britain and the United States of America. Down the history it is not difficult to see how these two countries were engaged in invasion of other sovereign governments to plunder immense natural wealth and beauty. Now the people of the two countries themselves have taken up the idea of “occupying” what they are deprived of, naturally. And the anti-capitalist movement has spread out to other European nations too. But the fulcrum of the movement is within America; and it centres on Wall Street; and hence the Occupy Wall Street agenda.

Let us see what the anti-Wall Street activists have to say:

“Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colours, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of non-violence to maximise the safety of all participants.”

When the Arab region plunged into revolts, it was blamed on Western greed for vast reserves of oil and their dodgy attempts to destabilise the region. The Western powers smartly played it on the clich├ęd idea of bringing democracy to the region. But it is forgotten that each dollar or euro they had been spending worldwide just to ensure democracy in all conflict zones were compromised on the welfare of their own tax payers. For economists, recession is the petty, darling word to describe a steep decline in GDP growth. But isn’t it a denial of basic human rights?

The world has gone through recession many times. But it has never been linked to over spending of money for warfare across the globe. It is high time governments and economic policymakers spend time to analyse this factor while dealing with the current slowdown of economic activity that began in late 2000 and is still going on. Because, nations have never shown this much enthusiasm and greed to amass weapons fearing an unknown enemy, all are set to pound them.

Let us conclude this precarious situation in Arnoldian verses:

“And we are here as on a darkling plain/Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight/Where ignorant armies clash by midnight.”

When the majority of Americans cry for basic needs, their “socialist” president, Barack Obama, is on globetrotting endeavour, trying to create jobs for them. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has silenced such a criticism by defending the country’s foreign and economic policies. To quote her, “For US, economic policy is foreign policy and foreign policy is economic policy.”

Reports say that above 40 million Americans are poor and one in six Americans seeks food assistance. Never before have we heard about Americans lacking basic needs or Americans rising up against inequalities like this since American Civil War. A country and its people, which nurtured and heaped rich harvest from capitalism, is now reeling under economic crisis and looks for equal distribution of wealth. Hundreds are joining the anti-Wall Street protest each day to make their voice heard. And the so-called advocates of free speech and personal freedom are trying hard to crush the uprising. Police have arrested more than a thousand since the revolution began three months back. Not to forget, this is the same country, which has asked many authoritarian regimes in the Arab world to grant the right to protest.
Even now America and Britain are doing the same. While they are trying to correct other nations and its leaders, they fail to see the fire in their own backyard. People have risen up; they have ignited a spark around the ailing economies in the world and people everywhere are protesting against unequal sharing of wealth and power. No doubt, this is the revolution of the 21st century. And it is not over with the Arab Spring. So is it time to call it Global Spring?

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