OCCUPY WALL STREET! Bhakre 1Ashwin BhakreMs. DeGreefOccupy Wall StreetDecember 7, 2011 OCCUPY WALL STREET One in every three Americans now is poor or on the verge of being poor.In Zuccotti park, September 17th 2011, a Canadian activist group Adbusters ini-tiated an ongoing series of demonstrations which had been given the name Oc-cupy Wall Street. As of October 15th, the Occupy Wall Street protest had spreadthroughout many countries in the world. These include South Africa (400 pro-testers), Canada (13,500 protesters), Germany (32,500 protesters), etc. Thereason for these demonstrations were many but mainly they included problemsin the ﬁnancial world like economic inequality, unemployment and corruption.The slogan of the protest “We are the 99%” refers to the increasing differencebetween the wealth of the ﬁlthily rich 1% compared to the remaining 99% of thepopulation. This essay will study and examine the importance of the protest(Occupy Wall Street), will discuss the presence of any Machiavellian characteris-tics on either side of the protest and decide if this is a modern world Renais-sance? Three deaths, each in a different city and each under very different cir-cumstances. Is this still an everyday protest about the demanding middle and
OCCUPY WALL STREET! Bhakre 2lower class of a country ﬁghting for their right to more money, more jobs andless corruption that will one day end and everyone will forget about? At ﬁrst,when the demonstrations started at New York, people might have thought sobut when hundreds of thousands of people in 951 cities in 82 countries areprotesting about the intensity of unemployment, the desperate need of equalityin the economy and the termination of corruption, its a different story. As ofNovember 2011, there are 13.1 million people unemployed in the United statesalone. This means 13.1 million people in the United States have no job, minimalfood, minimal clothing and possibility of no shelter. This could result in dis-eases or even deaths because of the decreasing sanitary care and no countrywants to have people dying. Even if we neglected future consequences some ofthe statistics related to the protest could surprise you. According to police re-ports the number of shooting victims raised 154% from the same time last year(October 2010) while the number of people shot rose by 28%. This is just theviolent side statistics but when 3000 officers (10% of the whole squad in NY) aredrafted in to keep peace amongst the protestors, it has to be something impor-tant doesn’t it? Anne Sullivan Macy once quoted “Every Renaissance comes to the worldwith a cry, the cry of the human spirit to be free” This quote relates to this pro-test because it was the cry of the Canadian activist group that started this ﬁ-nancial revolution and it was the cry for ﬁnancial freedom. Renaissance (re-birth) was a cultural movement that spanned from the fourteenth to the six-
OCCUPY WALL STREET! Bhakre 3teenth century in central Europe. The reason of the revolution included factorslike the church loosing power because of corruption and wrong teachings andbecause of the invention of the printing press which abled more people to read.The consequences included the ﬂowering of arts, literature, sciences, politics.In the arts the paintings became more realistic, the literature was focused uponthe Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences, mathematics and philosophyinstead of cultural texts the science was based upon scientiﬁc facts and thepolitics did not include the church being the ruler. Occupy Wall Street is a mod-ern world Renaissance but does not include rebirth of things like literature, artsor sciences but its more of a ﬁnancial Renaissance. The impacts that this pro-test has had on the ﬁnancial world is nothing short of amazing, it has changedthe way our leaders are thinking. Instead of focusing on debts or deﬁcits, theyare talking about income inequality. They are focused on growing the economy,making taxes more fair, more progressive, providing relief from foreclosures,protecting employee’s rights and shifting the focus of public policy discussionsto full employment instead of social spending cuts and the nations debt reduc-tions. This proves the reform in the priorities of our world leaders and soon itwill be a different ﬁnancial world. If everything goes as planned, the unem-ployed rate will crumble down to a minimal 2-3% while the rate of corruptionwill go down and the taxes will become more fair. History will be rewritten as atwenty-ﬁrst century ﬁnancial Renaissance will take place.
OCCUPY WALL STREET! Bhakre 4 Niccolo Machiavelli was a political philosopher and writer during the Ren-aissance in Italy. He is most famous for his book “The Prince” which was com-posed of maxims concerning politics and instead of writing about the tradi-tional hereditary prince, he wrote about a new prince. These are some of theextracts from the book about the new prince “To retain power, the hereditaryprince must carefully maintain the socio-political institutions to which the peo-ple are accustomed; whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling,since he must ﬁrst stabilize his new found power in order to build an enduringpolitical structure.” Looking from a protestors perspective, there is one of theMachiavellian characteristics present in the way the protestors are ﬁghting. Ma-chiavelli encouraged people not to do what is right or wrong but to do what iseffective. These demonstrations cannot be decided if they are right or wrongbecause that just depends on which side you are, but the demonstrations deﬁ-nitely are having an effect not only on Wall Street and the government of theUnited States but governments worldwide. Machiavelli would have surely donesomething like this but the only difference is that the protest took quite a whilebecause it took a long time to get in to the governments eyes but Machiavelliwould have argued here because he thought injuries (in this case riots) shouldbe done all at once not a little by little. “If he must harm a colony, harm the poor and dispersed - Niccolo Ma-chiavelli ” This quote is extracted from the Machiavellian novel “The Prince” Itrelates to this protest very well but not with the protestors but with the 1%. If
OCCUPY WALL STREET! Bhakre 5you were to take the meaning of that quote’s meaning word by word it wouldnot associate well with the 1% but when you look at the hidden meaning itwould all make sense. The quote simple means if you want to succeed, stepover the poor and dispersed to get there and thats exactly what the 1% did.They used the poor for their own beneﬁts, to increase their own wealth. If Ma-chiavelli was alive today, he would be proud of the 1%. “Favors should be bestowed little by little - Niccolo Machiavelli” Thisquote tells us about the future story about the positive consequences of OccupyWall Street. As told in the previous paragraph the government’s have ﬁnallyended the protest by agreeing to try to meet the demands. Eliminating corrup-tion, full employment and fair taxes can happen over night but will not and thisis where the government becomes Niccolo Machiavelli. They will satisfy the 99%little by little because just like Machiavelli, they know that if they give it all atonce the happiness will die out soon and again there will be more and differentdemands. To counteract this they ﬁrst might bring in a policy about corruption,after a couple of years maybe taxes might be made a little more fair to thelower and middle class population and after another couple of years the unem-ployment rate might reduce.“It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver - Niccolo Machiavelli” The 99%once were robbed of their money by the already ﬁlthily rich 1%. But today, asthe protests have ended the 99% look back and smile thinking to themselves
OCCUPY WALL STREET! Bhakre 6that eventually what belongs to them will be returned. In conclusion, the Oc-cupy Wall Street protest was an important protest because it had the designatedimpact. Occupy Wall Street is a modern world ﬁnancial Renaissance and bothparties (Protestors and Wall Street) have Machiavellian characteristics. If every-thing goes as promised by our world leaders, soon the unemployment rate willreduce to a minimal level for each country, taxes will be made fair for the lowerand the middle class, their will be equality in income and corruption will beeliminated to its minimal level. I conclude this essay with the quote “One whodeceives will always ﬁnd those who allow themselves to be deceived.”
OCCUPY WALL STREET! Bhakre 7 Work Cited • adds, arguing that the notion of legitimate rights of rulership. "NiccolÃ² Ma- chiavelli (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)."Stanford Encyclopedia of Phi- losophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/machiavelli/>. • Captain, Sean. "The Demographics Of Occupy Wall Street | Fast Company."FastCompany.com - Where ideas and people meet | Fast Com- pany. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. <http://www.fastcompany.com/1789018/occupy-wall-street-demographics-st atistics>. • "If You Arent in the 1%, Kiss Your Dreams Goodbye: An Occupy Wall Street Anatomy of America | News & Politics | AlterNet." Home | AlterNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2011. <http://www.alternet.org/news/153260/if_you_aren%27t_in_the_1%2C_kis s_your_dreams_goodbye%3A_an_occupy_wall_street_anatomy_of_america_ >. • "Occupy Wall Street | NYC Protest for World Revolution." Occupy Wall Street | NYC Protest for World Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2011. <http://occupywallst.org/>. • Roy, Arundhati. Interview by Democracy now. Arundhati Roy: Occupy Wall Street is "So Important Because it is in the Heart of Empire". Youtube. Un- known, Unknown: 15 Nov. 2011. Television. “http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=W1iwoHUIKvo”
OCCUPY WALL STREET! Bhakre 8 • Schneider, Nathan. "Occupy Wall Street: FAQ | The Nation." The Nation. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. <http://www.thenation.com/article/163719/occupy-wall-street-faq>. • Stamato, Linda . "The Impact Occupy Wall Street Movement: Lasting Im- pact?." The Hall Institute of Public Policy. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2011. <http://hallnj.org/topics/40-the-world-beyond-new-jersey/1332-the-impact- occupy-wall-street-movement-lasting-impact>. •