Saturday, October 15, 2011
The phenomenon started a couple of weeks ago in the heart of Capitalism as a protest of the "99%" of Americans who feel they have been betrayed by the government and its supporters of lobby groups which allow 1% of the population represented in Wall Street and the corporate elite to "steal" and control the resources, wages, and survival of the vast majority of people. The phenomenon has now spread to many more cities in the U.S. and in Canada where more protests have been launched by similar protesters. In Europe, and particularly the periphery where people are suffering more government programs cuts, there is an astonishing wave of protests in Greece, Italy, and Spain. Some commentators have already expressed the similarity in many ways with the Arab uprising in the Middle East. America, Canada and Europe indeed have been in what is arguably "a double dip" economic recession that, if not checked, will bring the entire globe to its knees. Many questions can be raised: 1. What is the specified objective of these protests - Are they about lost jobs? Higher fees for tuition in universities? Pensions? Poor conditions? 2. Is there a proposed alternative to respond to the above needs that protesters are proposing? 3. If these protests descend into anarchy and violence, as happened in Italy today, the police will have to respond and this by itself will discredit the good cause of protesters. How can they be justified in a civilized society? 4. We may be able to compare these protests with those in the Middle East except that violence in the Middle East is increasingly taking place along sectarian and religious lines especially the latest violence by the governing armed forces against Christian protesters in Cairo, Egypt last Sunday. It is evident that dictatorship is not only that of the political dictators exploiting the resources of their people, but also the dictatorship of the majority of rich corporate elites enslaving the workers as well as that of denying people of certain religious groups the right to worship according to their own creed. We will have to come to this again as it touches on the concept of fair society which is an urgent moral issue today.