Why I Support Occupy Wall Street

A recent friendly discussion has left me startled.

I think this is the reason: I not only like, but support and defend, the American form of government as it is established by the Constitution. That is, I believe in the spirit and principles that it contains, and I do not think that the Constitution is just a function of any capitalist/bourgeoisie dominating class. One of the virtues of the Constitution is that it has given the populace-citizens the opportunity to actively interfere in the affairs of government and lets their voices be heard.

Agreed, it is not always effective and economic elites, the American bourgeois, have been historically privileged in their access to representation in the government (especially at the federal level, whilst at the local level the populace seems to have more control). But it cannot be denied that since Jeffersonian republicanism, Jacksonian democracy, Lincoln's republicanism, and the 20th century civil rights movement, democracy (the rule of the populace) has always remained a part of the American form of government. The republic is formed by upper and lower classes and the ability of both segments to participate and check each other. This philosophy is alive in the Constitution thanks to different mechanisms.

The interesting thing is that, according to inherited rigid concepts from the Cold War, if you are not a left-wing revolutionary, you must be a right-wing reactionary that stands on the side of the bourgeoisie. I disagree with such generalization. Just because we defend the American form of government does not mean we are friends of big business and corporate interests.

Wall Street today has become almost like the ideological headquarters of the American oligarchy that has been trying to take over the republic for decades. Just because one opposes them does not make them a communist. I would go even further and say that a person that truly stands for traditions (a true conservative) is an obstacle to the development of capital in the form of big business; because it is that same big business, the one that is destroying traditional lifestyles and grassroots movements, that is so important for a healthy republican form of government. Democracy requires the populace-citizens to fight against economic elites trying to overrun their political rights, extort them through unemployment, lower their wages, and overwork them; the same maladies that destroy traditional lifestyles in America.

I support Occupy Wall Street because, even though there is no clear cut agenda, it is proving a point: America is going in the wrong direction. And what is this direction? An economic system that excessively favors the rich by giving them the chance to become richer, while leaving the populace-citizens on their own to deal with a market that is destroying their lifestyles and future prospects. This undermines the populace-citizens' capacity to participate in politics and check the power of their representatives, while giving the rich the upper-hand in having access to representation and forcing their interests in the legislatures and the different levels of civil bureaucracy. The maladies of America are both represented by Washington's labyrinthine bureaucracy and Wall Street's pervasive economic predominance. The so-called libertarians, in their naive approach, do not realize that when they sacrifice only government, they heed big business and help the development of an oligarchic form of government which can be more repressive than an all expanded civil bureaucracy, precisely because it hurts the populace-citizens private lives.

It is extremely important that Occupy Wall Street does not become a monopoly of left-wing radicals, something that would automatically kill its prospects of becoming an authentic and positive movement. It must be a front of average citizens that, struggling with such an unfair economic system, make the government understand a sensible point: Reform in both the political and the economic system is required in order to enhance democracy, i.e. empower institutions that would allow the populace-citizens to have more control over governmental decisions and legislation, as well as severely punishing the rich in their stubborn quest to impoverish the rest of the country.

The rich are no "job creators.” That concept is the paramount ideological sham of our generation. The rich are wealthy bank account accumulators. What they want is to be more rich, even if it will send honest and hard working citizens into unemployment. Wall Street is incredibly skilled at doing that. If Occupy Wall Street is a spontaneous movement of disenfranchised young against the unchecked avarice of the rich, then I strongly support it.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons