We designed this site as a go-to for anyone who might care to sample
the many good reasons, valid issues, and eloquent explanations that
are being offered to support the growing OCCUPY movement.
The support comes from a myriad of mortals--economists, actors,
writers, musicians, veterans, scientists, gurus, pundits,
personalities--the list goes on. And will grow. Heck, even the US
Chairman of the Federal Reserve has chimed in with encouragement. Go
So if anyone tells you this movement is just a bunch of scruffy kids
passing the time--send them here.
Occupy Wall Street and occupations around the U.S. and Canada are a radically new response to an old problem. The old problem is capitalism, a system that entitles wealthy minorities to direct economies for their private profit. What is radically new is seeing the alternative as the right of all to participate as equals in the decisions that affect their lives.
Only a couple of centuries ago, owning another person -- slavery, that is -- was considered a normal thing to do.
But, starting in the late 18th century, slavery was abolished throughout Europe and the Americas (in 1834 in Upper Canada) after the rise of an abolition movement based on Enlightenment ideas about human rights and freedoms.
Once considered acceptable, slavery came to be seen as repugnant. As U.S. political scientist John Mueller puts it: "Slavery became controversial, then peculiar and then obsolete."
I think I know what the Occupy (Wall Street, Toronto, etc.) movements mean to say and over which they are reproached by ill-wishers and well-wishers alike (e.g., "vast potential... untethered to many real-world goals"). What they're saying is: Change the agenda/change the channel. Saying anything less is inadequate because you could find a small piece mistaken for the whole. But saying that much is tricky precisely because there already is an agenda in place that keeps blocking and obscuring the demand to change it!