Critics of the Occupy Wall St movement complain that protesters don’t have a policy agenda and, therefore, don’t stand for anything. What are your thoughts?Keep in mind Social Psychology terms...

Critics of the Occupy Wall St movement complain that protesters don’t have a policy agenda and, therefore, don’t stand for anything. What are your thoughts?

Keep in mind Social Psychology terms and social movement theme.

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herappleness's profile pic

Posted on

The main problem I see is that they have not achieved a thing.

Period.

Have they changed any fragment of society not including newspaper headlines? Have they done anything that will change the world for the better? No. They are a bunch of whiners who got together for instant gratification one day when, perhaps, the electricity went off in their homes and they could not play Legend of Zelda any longer.

If they ever come my way (which they won't) and prevent me from parking in my own parking space, or get coffee in my usual place, or let me live my life the way I have worked hard to live it...they will be "occupied" by yours truly. :)

maadhav19's profile pic

Posted on

It's not just that they protest that there are "haves." They protest that those who have benefit from the current political system, laws, and tax structure, and have the means to influence politicians to preserve the wealth and influence they possess, without any gain for the rest of America.

vangoghfan's profile pic

Posted on

I have yet to see a list of demands for particular kinds of legislation, or for particular changes in any government policies, or for support or opposition to any particular political ideology. I do see a lot of people standing around drumming, sleeping in parks, and engaging in some activities that don't make for pleasant photographs.  I think they may have squandered their time in the limelight.  I read today that more people now disapprove of OWS than approve. If behavior of the sort that has taken place recently in Oakland increases, I suspect that the proportion of disapprovers will grow.

litteacher8's profile pic

Posted on

I think the goal is to get people to pay attention.  They seem to have generally accomplished that. It is not a specific goal, like leave the Vietnam war, but it is still a goal.  To me, they are basically saying: The economy stinks, do something about it!

rrteacher's profile pic

Posted on

I'm not sure that many of the people in OWS are claiming that there is a simple solution to our problems. What the ones I've heard seem to be trying to articulate is a general sense that Western society is moving in a troubling direction, and that people in positions of power are facilitating, rather than resisting this trend. The fact that they don't have a clear-cut message that can be reproduced every 35 minutes in a facile way on our cable news stations doesn't mean they don't stand for anything.

lmetcalf's profile pic

Posted on

Personally I find myself not caring a whole lot about the Occupy Wall Street movement for the very fact that I don't really know what they want to accomplish. The majority of people in the country right now are affected by the current economic situation, but we also know that there is no simple solution to the multidimensional problem. The OWS isn't going to change anything as far as I can see, but it will be interesting to see how all OWS sentiments play out in the upcoming election season, and how each party will use it to their advantage.

boblawrence's profile pic

Posted on

I think the OWS participants do, indeed have an agenda, namely pointing out and protesting the age-old inequity between the "haves" (Government, Politicians, Corporations, Banks, and Wall Street) and the "have-nots" (the rest of us).  It seems clear that this is what they are saying.  They want the "haves" to recognize the unfairness of the situation, and change their ways so as to prevent further injury of the masses.  These entities need to shape up.  And the regulators need to do a better job of protecting the individual.

Maybe the reason there is no list of demands is that the protests have been spontaneously generated through the use of social media.  They are not under the auspicies of any one group that might have a well-defined agenda.

pohnpei397's profile pic

Posted on

If you can't articulate a set of policy demands, you dont really stand for anything serious.  "I'm mad about the way things are" is not an agenda.

I think that the OWS movement needs to abandon its efforts to be this utopian, all-inclusive consensual mass movement if it ever wants to be relevant.  It's fine to be idealistic, but if you really want to cause any sort of change, you have to do something concrete.  OWS has not managed to do anything that will allow it to actually bring change about.  Instead, its lack of focus has helped to turn off many people who would otherwise be sympathetic to its ideas.

stolperia's profile pic

Posted on

I agree with the above posts. I think the challenge facing the OWS movement is that there are a great many policy agendas and a great many frustrations all finding expression as individuals join in the movement. For too many citizens, OWS appears as their first opportunity to actually become personally involved in making their thoughts and concerns known on a larger stage. The movement as a whole stands as an indication of the alienation and/or frustration being felt by many. The challenge is taking that very indefinite attitude and giving it focus on specific issues that can be addressed in some concrete manner.

brettd's profile pic

Posted on

I believe they do stand for for something, it's just that their agenda as to what should be done about it is not well defined, and like the Tea Party, even if their agenda was well-defined, it would not be universal across the movement.

This is not merely blind rage, nor is it completely spontaneous.  The fact that it is this widespread suggests the economic conditions and disparities most often protested during this movement are both real and worldwide. 

They are disorganized, which is unfortunate, given that they have media attention now, in fact the microphones have been on them for a while, but they seem to have no cohesive message.  Still, I don't think they can be dismissed out of hand.  The social and economic issues they are upset about will not go away without policy changes.

kapokkid's profile pic

Posted on

I recently read an interesting article that suggested the lack of an easily "tweeted" theme suggests not that occupy wall street doesn't have goals or an agenda but that it cannot be simplified enough for the media to package into easy sound bytes, therefore the media complains non-stop that they don't actually have an agenda.

But the idea that they do not stand for anything is strange given that they are standing together for a reason, otherwise they wouldn't be occupying anything, so that even if they have differeng agendas or haven't made it entirely clear what the entire movement's demands are, they still have them.

Perhaps they are standing up against the idea of a simplified demand, they don't want to be distilled to a thirty second news spot so they refuse to simplify everything just so reporters will have an easy time explaining their movement.

irha-nadeem's profile pic

Posted on

I believe that they have a plan, they have an agenda. The problem is that they are not being listened.

azxdfwer's profile pic

Posted on

I think they are trying to get the government's attention:

"Hey, we exist! You can't abuse our money forever!

You can't take our hard earned cash to spend it on expensive pools (Canada), frequent misuse of search and rescue copters for yourselves (also happened in Canada), and extra money so that previous governor generals can hire other people to read their mails! (also in Canada).

We are NOT stupid (for the most part) and we will fight your injustice!We don't need inspirational speakers (USA) or police chuckling at our expense as they take away our rights (USA).

You can't blame each other, and do nothing until the end of your presidency/ prime ministry!"

Something like that. We have a TON of trouble happening in our countries: bombing countries for NO REASON OTHER THAN OIL to nothingness, while killing our own and their citizens in the process, demoralizing other people, ruining our own food (walmart anyone?)....

These people I admire and salute for their efforts to getting democracy to work: how many people trust politicians to keep their word? How many politicians actually kept their word within the beginning of their employment, instead of waiting for the election?

And yet... although I admire their efforts, I agree that their disorganization is what is truly undermining the messages they keep trying to send.

 

agensbobet's profile pic

Posted on

I recently read an interesting article that suggested the lack of an easily "tweeted" theme suggests not that occupy wall street doesn't have goals or an agenda but that it cannot be simplified enough for the media to package into easy sound bytes, therefore the media complains non-stop that they don't actually have an agenda.

But the idea that they do not stand for anything is strange given that they are standing together for a reason, otherwise they wouldn't be occupying anything, so that even if they have differeng agendas or haven't made it entirely clear what the entire movement's demands are, they still have them.

Perhaps they are standing up against the idea of a simplified demand, they don't want to be distilled to a thirty second news spot so they refuse to simplify everything just so reporters will have an easy time explaining their movement.

Appreciate it for helping out, excellent information. "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." by J. K. Rowling.

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alderoniron's profile pic

Posted on

Like any large group of people gathering in protest the OWS has two factions, the ones who are there peacefully with reason and intelligence, and then there are the ones who are there for the joy of protesting with no reason and sometimes not so peacefully.

I think that the basic reasoning for the OWS is just and sound but they are not going to be able to accomplish much through their chosen methods. They may have found more progress by challenging the government in DC.

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