Lieven's Blog

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One Percent Against One Percent…Why this Apathy?

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clipboard-with-pencil_16x16 I met Michael in Washington and Aaron in London. Both are active members of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. They sleep in tents outside and it is cold these days. They have the courage to persevere in their cause to protest against the things that are wrong in our society.

It took only a small amount of people to cause the financial and economic crisis. Symbolically they are called the one percent and they are driven by greed. Ninety-nine percent of the people are affected by the corrupt behavior of a few. Some of us have lost their jobs, some have lost their savings. The rating bureaus that gave false information about the reliability of the financial products before the crisis started, are the same ones that are now dictating our governments. Every time they threat to lower the rating of a country, our politicians have no choice but to react with short term measures in a desperate attempt to calm down the situation. Rating bureaus that are defining the political agenda, it doesn’t look anything like a democracy anymore.

The least we could say is that the current situation is still undemocratic and unethical and that it concerns us all. However it seems that only a very small group of the ninety-nine percent are taking action. Tent camps against the ones who spoiled our financial and political institutes. One percent against one percent, but it is an uneven fight.

What is the rest of the ninety-nine percent doing? It seems that many of us are in some state of apathy? We don’t like what is happening, but yet we don’t do anything neither and we all may have our own reasons not to act.

If I hear people saying in the media (and often in a cynical way) that the Occupy Wall Street Movement lacks focus, has no clear message or is lacking a clear strategy, then they are missing the point. If they really need information and a message, then they should watch the movie
Inside Job (2010) and they will get an easy to understand summary of what it is that motivates these people to protest and live on the streets. And yes the Occupy Wall Street Movement doesn’t have the means to pay a fancy P.R. company that does the talking for them. If you want to know their personal stories, go and talk with them or participate at one of their meetings. They are open to visitors and they are a peaceful movement. It might be true that “Occupy Wall Street” will not bring the solutions that will solve the current economic and political crises. However, the least they do by being on the street, is reminding us (the rest of the ninety-nine percent), that we could ask ourselves: “What can I do and when do I start with it?”


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