Occupy Wall Street: A Crack in the Dam

image from jbnuthatch on flickr

I already wrote once about Occupy Wall Street, and as the movement grows, it’s worth another thought.

It seems that Occupy Wall Street is acting more than anything like a crack in the dam. The dam was constructed of our own self-interest. It was designed to hold back the various criticisms of our economic system while that system was making us wealthy as a nation, and as individuals. While home prices soared and unemployment shrunk, the dam held.

There were always leaks of discontent, but now that the system seems utterly unconcerned with our needs and desires, the dam is beginning to shudder. Occupy Wall Street, with its hazy goals and open invitation, is opening into a major crack, letting a stream of criticisms flow. It is perhaps more than an accident that the best metaphor for this particular movement is disintegrating infrastructure.

“I have two master’s degrees an no job.”

“The government is controlled by corporations.”

“The rich get richer while everyone else gets poorer.”

“Our economic system is hurting people and the planet.”

These are just a few of the critiques that are flowing from the Occupy movement right now. In all the noise there is some true and strong criticism of an economic system that nearly everyone in the world relies upon. We should take care to listen, and to make that system as beneficial to mankind as possible.

If you’re not happy with the criticisms you hear, add your own.


  1. Nod…

    I’m interested to see the extent to which #ows legitimates this discourse of discontent more broadly or if this is just the typical assortment of intellectuals, activists and the historically marginalised saying their talking points more loudly and publicly. Are those who have been muttering about ‘us’ becoming wealthy at the expense of the ‘other’ being joined by ‘us’ or just being watched on the news by ‘us’? I recognised way too many people at Occupy MN to feel it had broken out of the protesting class into a more populist movement.

    1. Good question, Johan. And great to hear from you! How’s SA?

      One thing I’ve noticed is a that, even if the masses aren’t camping out in city parks, they are talking much more often and saliently about issues of disparity and corporatism. The discourse of discontent is certainly spreading due to this movement, even if the visual movement is the same old choir.

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