What was the Occupy Wall Street Protest a Protest of?

  • Howard S. Schwartz


The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement appeared to be a protest of capitalism, but their expressions of what they were doing offered little in the way of economic analysis. Their critique was not economic but moral. I analyze Communique #1, their purest self-definition, which reveals that they saw us as living in a world of artificial images created by, and serving the interests of, malevolent forces: capitalism is the expression of these forces. Their stance against this is their own authenticity, which is their paradigm of an alternative. I compare this to the movie The Matrix, which sees us as living in a similar world, except that the malevolent forces are not capitalism. I compare these with the Cave allegory in Plato’s Republic, which is similar, except the artificial images are not expressions of malevolence. Occupy was an expression of exclusively maternal psychology. The malevolent object of OWS’ critique is the father, who forces socialization upon us. The focus of their antagonism was society, and culture, as such. This is an inevitable consequence of the normalization of the pristine self.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard S. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Emeritus Professor of Organizational BehaviorOakland UniversityRochesterUSA

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