According to the media, at 1 a.m. on Nov. 15, more than 1,000 police, with helmets and shields, raided “Occupy Wall Street’s” base at Zuccotti Park and succeeded in expelling all the protesters. During the “cleanup,” at least 70 people were arrested. The whole process took only three hours. In the eyes of New York authorities, the cleanup was successful.
Occupy Wall Street, Anti-corruption
Beginning on Sept. 17, Occupy Wall Street spread throughout the capitalist world. The situation makes people once again understand an irrefutable truth: The economic base determines the superstructure. The crisis originating on Wall Street has decayed the global economy. Although the main influence of the crisis has been transferred to Europe, the recovery of the U.S. economy is hopeless, and the ebb of macroeconomics has influenced the lives of everyday Americans. Since the crisis, Americans have had to live a frugal life and worry about mortgages and jobs, abandon living on credit and begin to save money as the Chinese do. However, the dilemma is that the unemployment rate is 10 percent, which doesn’t give anyone hope. As the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Charles Evans, said on Nov. 14, even in the best situation, the improvement of the U.S. economy would still not decrease the unemployment rate. All of this reminds Americans of the Great Depression of the 1930s, which was caused by Wall Street’s greed. And even though Wall Street brought on the crisis, Wall Street tycoons continue to enjoy a luxurious life.
As a result, Americans think that the U.S. financial system favors the wealthy and their corporations and that it is unfair to typical Americans. Hence, these beliefs triggered the Occupy Wall Street protest. The protesters based themselves in Zuccotti Park and indeed occupied Wall Street, influencing the entire United States and even the whole Western world. However, the two-month occupation was terminated by the police’s three-hour clean-up. The result of this protest illustrates that Americanized democracy is just a game and merely a dream.
Many people certainly admire Americanized democracy. When citizens are unsatisfied, they can complain, hold parades and even blame the president and politicians. However, such democracy, other than letting people complain, doesn’t practically solve any problems. Actually, during the climax of Occupy Wall Street, the politicians and media were intolerant and tried to ignore this protest and, even afterwards, treated it as a minor street topic. Some political figures even regarded these citizens as rebellious. The police cleanup means that when Occupy Wall Street developed into a public protest threatening the U.S. government, the police, as a national apparatus, had to take action against it.
Americanized Democracy Has Duplicitous Standards
Americanized democracy is not much different from the governments in Syria, Egypt and Libya in dealing with public protests. The only difference is the level of violence. However, the public protests in these countries are regarded as absolutely politically correct democracy by U.S. politicians and the media, and are given infinite support and even military intervention.
Of course, in terms of attitudes and actions toward the public, the U.S. government is smarter than Gadhafi or Mubarak because the U.S. government knows power- and profit-sharing and knows how to use democracy to assuage public complaints. But in terms of protecting its own profits and power, the U.S. government has similar strategies. Those foolish leaders were forced to resign and even deserved to die in the street or be put in jail. Nevertheless, smart leaders, who are more hypocritical and sly, make themselves the incarnations of democracy and freedom.
In fact, similar to the democratic anti-dictatorship movements in the Arabic world, this American movement also opposes financial monopoly. The monopolists on Wall Street, before ruining the American financial system, received a large amount of financial support from the government. This persuasively proves that the government and Wall Street share profits together. Because of this fact, Occupy Wall Street not only threatens Wall Street tycoons, but also the basis of U.S. governmental power. Such a democratic game will obviously be terminated.
Americans won’t compromise and will possibly hold another “occupation” in the future. However, is it meaningful to just complain and grumble without solving the actual problems via those movements? Or is it just to explain Americanized democracy? Americans are funny enough.