Which is Worse, Tyrants or Tycoons?

Yesterday, I read a couple of articles about the Occupy Wall Street movement (#occupywallstreet) that is underway in the Western world. One article, titled “This is what democracy looks like” was for the Globe and Mail, co-written by an assistant professor of my program (Media, Information, and Technoculture at the University of Western Ontario), Amanda Grzyb:

"This is What Democracy Looks Like..."

The other was for the New York Times, written by opinion columnist Mark Bittman:

"Finally Making Sense on Wall Street"
Both authors are sympathetic to the cause, and Bittman even says the movement is “being embraced by the Democratic leadership.” This movement is clearly different: it is resonating with hundreds of thousands of people world-wide.

Occupy Wall Street began 26 days ago with a call to action from a culture-jamming group known as Adbusters. People responded to their call for a horizontally-structured (as opposed to vertically-structured and therefore bureaucratic in nature) movement demanding change. Participants then began to camp on Wall Street (and the streets of other cities’ financial districts, including Toronto’s Bay Street starting this Saturday), and present themselves as the “99 percent” that struggles while the remaining 1 percent enjoys the majority of the wealth of the west.

Their inspiration? The Arab Spring, a massive ongoing series of uprisings that have caused civil wars and unrest in several Middle Eastern and North African countries, not to mention the deaths of thousands upon thousands of oppressed citizens who have had enough of autocracy and persecution.

Adbusters: Occupy Wall Street

Ironic, isn’t it, that thousands die to obtain democracy while our friends and neighbours suffer because of democratic deceitfulness and capitalist crookedness?

As Bittman says, the desire to protest the status quo isn’t new: perhaps one of the reasons this movement resonates so deeply for so many people is that almost every generation has faced some injustice that required standing up and standing out. Think the Vietnam War, or even the French Revolution.

Our generation has it the worst of any other yet, though, according to Bittman. If this movement does not result in substantial change, will our children get hit even worse? Is it even possible to bring about the change that we so desperately need?

~~~~~~~~~

I wonder which is worse, tyrants or tycoons?

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One thought on “Which is Worse, Tyrants or Tycoons?

  1. I’ve been following the Occupy Wall Street to some extent. The US economy is a completely new topic for me, and my god what a mess.

    And I just have to say, I’m completely appalled that Occupy Bay Street has been organized. Because we have just had an Ontario election that had the lowest voter turnout in the last 36 years. While I agree that it is within our right to have our voices heard, it seems that the one sure fire way to have your say was ignored. Some people didn’t vote citing it was their protest against the way our democratic system is set up. Most people though, just didn’t bother. And now that Occupy Wall Street is gaining so much momentum, attention and appears to be the cool hipster trend right now, we all have to jump on board without understanding what the protests are designed to accomplish. (eek sorry this comment is ridiculously long!)
    Check out this interesting article and let me know what you think! http://www.businessinsider.com/what-wall-street-protesters-are-so-angry-about-2011-10

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