OWS: Taking Back Democracy

What is OWS?  A movement to reclaim ‘Democracy.”  OWS largely came about because of the uprisings in the Arab Spring, and the sudden world interest in creating democracy led many in the US to think more about what democracy is and means, and the OWS movement is in many ways an attempt to take back democracy, to bring government back to the populous and reestablish (or establish for the first time) true democracy in the US as opposed to continuing to entertain the façade of democracy which persists in the status quo.  This is certainly how many Arab Spring leaders seem to see it.  In fact, in my previous post I discussed the active role many Arab Spring leaders and participants are taking in the OWS movement.  Their participation seems to indicate that they view the movement as an extension of their own, or at the very least valuable to it.  One Tunisian summed up the movement as just one more attempt to overthrow a “corrupt system.”  And that seems to go along with what most participants want.  Whether they are attempting to fully change how the US government functions, or merely to have representatives who listen and respond to the needs of constituents, most it seems would concede that democracy as-is in the US isn’t meeting their standards.  In the Post “Occupy Proposes a ‘Real Democracy’” the possibility of OWS as a movement for effective political representation is raised in the context of whether or not it is revolutionary.  In the post “Role of the Arab Spring” I evaluate this same question in the context of the Arab Spring.  That is, whether the Arab Spring’s pro-democracy protests are what triggered OWS, and the conclusion to which I came was an unequivocal yes.  The OWS movement is an attempt by US citizens to fight for the democracy they no longer feel they have due to the government’s constant catering to big business and lack of proper and effective representation for the “99%.”  Analysis of US democracy in recent years would seem to support the unhappy conclusions of protesters.  In the post, “More on Democracy” It is reported that the US ranks 17th out of 26 democracies, a ranking that has been rapidly declining for the past few years.  OWS is a movement that aims to give voice to the many who feel they are being ignored and abused by their government.  They want true democracy, where their opinions matter, not the façade of democracy, where big corporations are the only “citizens” that count. And the Arab Spring played a marked role in the realization by US citizens  that there was and is something they could and should do to challenge the dissatisfying status quo.

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