My old boss used to always tell me,“I’m a results guy, at the end of the day I measure success in results”
Granted he was probably in 1%, nevertheless it brings up a good point when thinking about the OWS movement.
The deemed success or failure of social movements in history usually hinge on what was the outcome of the movement is. Usually these outcomes which deem success are in the form of legislative policy change.
Examples of Successful Social Movements Include:
– The Civil Rights Movement which led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a monumental piece of legislation which solidified racial and gender equality
– Labor Movements in the 1800-Mid 1900’s resulted in numerous passed legislative acts which regulated Child Labor, Minimum Wage, Safe Working Conditions, Maximum Workable Hours ect
Under this logic I would say that OWS has not been successful as a social movement. It has been successful in raising awareness to economic inequality however the Labor Movement of 1981 was also successful in this regard, however it did not result in any legislative change and when it ended it was considered at a failed attempt, and to many it is an unknown movement.
This is to not say that that OWS is a failed movement however it is a movement still seeking results.
I would compare this to the Gay Rights movement. The Gay Rights movements has been on-going since 1965 and has gained a considerable amount of rights and awareness to its cause, however like OWS I would deem it a movement still seeking the results it needs to deem itself a success. I’m sure if you asked someone involved in the Gay rights movement if it has gotten all the results it has strived for I could be willing to bet the answer would be no. There is still no act passed which has allowed gay marriage in all states and the inequality still exists. The legislative results these groups have been seeking have still not been reached. I would deem the Gay Rights Movement as more of a successful movement than Occupy Wall Street thus far, as although their hasn’t been national legislation passed, the Gay Rights Movement has seen results in different state legislative acts.
Occupy Wall Street is the same in this regard. Although motives are much less defined for OWS there has been no legislative change to effect any of the grievances they have. At the end of the day the results are: the 1% is still as rich as they were, and the 99% is still as poor as they were, and Big Banks and millionaire CEO’s still don’t give a shit.
(CEO Millionaires Bill Gross and Larry Fink don’t seem too upset about the OWS movement)
My question to the readers of this post is:
– Based on looking at Historical Movements, does OWS need results for it to be deemed a success? What do these results need to be?