#FoundingFathers: What Would George Washington Think of OWS?

Founder and CEO of Psych Central John Grohol, Psy.D. is not Occupy Wall Street’s biggest fan.  In his article The Psychology of Occupy Wall Street, Grohol contrasts OWS with the American Revolution.  Hypothesizing a narrative of our Founding Fathers, Grohol describes the revolutionary group as saying:

“Here is what we stand for, here is what we want, and yes, we’re willing to wage war if necessary to attain our demands. Oh, and by the way — here are our names.”

In making this cross-century comparison, Grohol points out a very important obstacle in the way of OWS progress: the lack of a willingness for leader’s to put their name on the line.  Saying that OWS leaders lack true leadership and a vision for the movement, Grohol continues that without these two essential factors, the OWS movement will never have a revolutionary impact on the country like our Founding Fathers did. 

Grohol also points to OWS’s facade of inclusion, stating that any force of “occupation” is quite exclusive rather than inclusive, as OWS claims to be.  Because few Wall Street corporation’s offices actually reside in the places the protestors settle, the movement creates an offensive, foreign, excluding force to the majority of the residents of cities that are “occupied” without even reaching the coporate offices.  Historically, the word “occupy” has referred to forceful intrusions into an already established culture.  To exemplify this point, Grohol points to the Nazi Germany occupation of Poland and France.  So by its very nomenclature, Occupy Wall Street presents a hostile front while claiming to be an inclusive, nonviolent force for change.

Grohol’s comparison seems to be quite appropriate and easily understood in the context of his article.  If Occupy Wall Street wants to be successful they need to make a few key changes.  These include naming strong leaders, setting a focused and attainable goal, and presenting a more positive force in the communities the protestors occupy.



7 responses to “#FoundingFathers: What Would George Washington Think of OWS?

  1. This is a very well-done post (also shorter than mine, so good on that)! I also like how you contextualised your source by mentioning his viewpoint. Your discussion of language is particularly interesting — the history of the “occupy” terminology is certainly noteworthy. Have you checked to see if the word “occupy” has historically held any positive connotations? That would be especially interesting…

  2. I really liked this post! I couldn’t agree more with the author you cited, if the OWS protestors want to achieve anything substantial they need to become much more organized around both a central leader, almost a “face” of the movement, and a central goal. At the bottom of your post you mentioned that the OWS protestors need to work on having a more positive impact on the communities they occupy. Have you seen any kind of surveys or polls done on the non-protesting civilians living in these areas to see what their response to it is? Just a thought!

  3. coffeeshoprhino

    Do you have perspective from another author/expert that can give a different view point on the same topic?

  4. Thanks for your comments!! You all raise really good points that I will look into for my next posts!

  5. Pingback: Civil war brewing within OWS? « This Day – One Day

  6. Pingback: What is Occupy Wall Street? Global and Flexible! | Occupy Wall Street Analysis

  7. Pingback: Inside the Brain of Occupy Wall Street | Occupy Wall Street Analysis

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