Anti-capitalism mobilisation


There are a number of ironies in the discontent exhibited in the Occupy Wall Street movement and similar protests around the developed world. Sure, it is a glaring public rebuke of the free market neoliberal model that has governed mainstream international finance, growing in popularity and application ever since the fateful collapse of the communist alternative. But at a deeper level, the mobilisation betrays growing public frustration with the basic ethos of democracy.
Increasingly with time, traditional distinctions between different parties and ideologies, that used to be final deciding factors in general elections, have become blurred. Be it America or established democracies in Europe, whichever party comes to power is seen toeing the same neoliberal line, despite tall promises of change during campaigns. This phenomenon has increased since the ’08 financial crash that began with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Politicians on either side of the Atlantic are seemingly more concerned about hemorrhaging financial institutions than the effect their fire-fighting is having on middle and lower income groups. Seemingly, whoever people vote to power turn their attention to banks and financial institutions. It is also this frustration, and the fact that Wall Street embodies the financial system breeding an ever widening rich-poor gap, that has led people to revolt.
Apparently, one of the biggest flaws in modern western democracy is the need for contestants to bankroll expensive campaigns, with economic cover invariably coming from financial powerhouses. Once in power, returning the favour is inevitable. Only, in times of recession, this exercise becomes self-defeating, since incumbents are visibly seen ditching the people that voted them to power in favour of their own financial patrons. Now, with this charade having gone on for three years, people have realised the insincerity of those in charge of their fate. Even as popular western media ignores the thousands protesting Wall Street excesses in America, and unfair austerity across Europe’s periphery, public mobilisation is set to change the world. For this shift to be soft and controlled, those at the helm of affairs must realise their folly, and ensure safeguarding interests of the working class.