Advertisement

What was the Occupy Wall Street Protest a Protest of?

  • Howard S. Schwartz
Chapter

Abstract

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement appeared to be a protest of capitalism, but their expressions of what they were doing offered little in the way of economic analysis. Their critique was not economic but moral. I analyze Communique #1, their purest self-definition, which reveals that they saw us as living in a world of artificial images created by, and serving the interests of, malevolent forces: capitalism is the expression of these forces. Their stance against this is their own authenticity, which is their paradigm of an alternative. I compare this to the movie The Matrix, which sees us as living in a similar world, except that the malevolent forces are not capitalism. I compare these with the Cave allegory in Plato’s Republic, which is similar, except the artificial images are not expressions of malevolence. Occupy was an expression of exclusively maternal psychology. The malevolent object of OWS’ critique is the father, who forces socialization upon us. The focus of their antagonism was society, and culture, as such. This is an inevitable consequence of the normalization of the pristine self.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anonymous. 2011. Communiqué #1. Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy. December, Issue 1. http://tidalmag.org/pdf/tidal1_the-beginning-is-near.pdf
  2. ———. 2012. The Debt Resistors Operations Manual (DROM). http://strikedebt.org.Google Scholar
  3. Applebaum, Anne. 2012. Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe: 1944–1956. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, Ernest. 1974. The Denial of Death. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  5. Butler, Judith. 2011. For and Against Precarity. Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy, December, Issue 1. http://tidalmag.org/pdf/tidal1_the-beginning-is-near.pdf.
  6. Folks from Strike Debt. 2012. Strike Debt. Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy, September.Google Scholar
  7. Freud, Sigmund. 1962. Civilization and its Discontents. First American edition. Trans. and ed. James Strachey. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  8. Gouldner, Alvin W. 1960. The Norm of Reciprocity: A Preliminary Statement. American Sociological Review 25: 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. 2012. Declaration. Allen, Texas: Argo Navis.Google Scholar
  10. Keniston, Kenneth. 1960. The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society. New York: Harcourt.Google Scholar
  11. Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1989. On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemical Tract. On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Reissue Edition) translated by Walter Kaufman. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  12. Norton, Quinn. 2012. A Eulogy for #Occupied. Wired Magazine, December 12. http://www.wired.com/2012/12/a-eulogy-for-occupy/all/.
  13. Plato. c. 380 BC. The Republic. Google Scholar
  14. St. Augustine. 419. Tractates on the Gospel of John. Tractate 29.Google Scholar
  15. Wachowski, Larry, and Andy Wachowski. 1999. The Matrix. Los Angeles: Warner Brothers. http://www.screenplay.com/downloads/scripts/The%20Matrix.pdf.
  16. Žižek, Slavoj. 2011. Occupy First. Demands Come Later. The Guardian, October 26.Google Scholar
  17. Žižek, Slavoj. 2012. The Year of Dreaming Dangerously. London: Verso.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2016

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard S. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Emeritus Professor of Organizational BehaviorOakland UniversityRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations