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Welcome to project Worldview's Worldview Watch
periodic commentary and analysis on news items from a worldview perspective

 previous issue                                          issue #21,  posted 11 / 4 / 2011                       archive of all  issues

2011 Protests: Yes to Democracy, No to Greed 

in the news2011 has been the year people around the world protested. As the year began, "Arab Spring" uprisings dominated the news, while the "Occupy Wall Street" (OWS) movement has blossomed in the last few months. Both can be seen as pro democracy. In the USA, OWS was inspired back in July by an anti-consumerism, anti-multinational corporation magazine's call for "Democracy, not Corporatocracy". By late October, an The Economist magazine cover story was depicting this as nearly a worldwide movement with a "Capitalism and Its Critics: Rage Against the Machine" headline.

commentary and analysis (by Stephen P. Cook, founder and manager, project Worldview, www.projectworldview.org):  While Arab Spring protestors were challenging authoritarian, brutal regimes, OWS folks have been faulted for lacking focus. Some might summarize their protests as challenging the dominating authority that big corporations --especially big banks and financial institutions-- have over their lives, or challenging the unfairness of the whole capitalist system. Others have expressed what OWS is about in much simpler terms.  Writing in early October in a posting on the Common Dreams website, Donna Smith pointed the finger at greed and argued that OWS protests are saying "Enough is enough" in that regard.
     My own analysis of a consensus worldview behind the OWS movement is presented below.  Obviously in such a diverse movement not all of the worldview themes that I suggest are either embraced or rejected apply to individual protestors. Personally I feel that the OWS movement is fundamentally about targeting individuals who have successfully embraced the
Seeking Wealth & Power worldview theme While it's possible to identify who OWS sees as the enemy by simplistically putting rich people in the (now frequently mentioned) 1% category, and everyone else ("the rest of us") in the 99% category, this needs refinement. Use of the above mentioned worldview theme separates those who have stepped on and put down others on the way to the top, from those who have obtained wealth and power but managed to promote the common good while doing so.  

The Worldview of an Imaginary, Representative OWS Protestor

Worldview Themes Seemingly or Strongly Embraced Worldview Themes Seemingly or Strongly Rejected
#21A   Populism  #19   Economic Individualism
#21B  Service to Others #20A   Elitism 
#23B  Enoughness #20B   Authoritarianism
#31   Education for Democracy #22B  Imperialism
#35B  Working for Change #26A   The Consumerist  
#42   Ethical Orientation #43   Seeking Wealth & Power
#48   The Cooperative, Decentralized Society Advocate  
#49   Social Welfare Statism   


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