Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Capitalism Reforming Itself?

Now entering its third week of protests – and counting – will the Occupy Wall Street protests provide the first step in reforming 21st Century capitalism?

By: Ringo Bones

Now being supported by union groups and spreading to every major financial center across the United States, the Occupy Wall Street protest used to be facing an uphill battle when it started due to the alleged “media blackout” sponsored by major Wall Street financial firms. Not to mention the arrests of hundreds of peaceful protesters who just want an equitable portion of the “American Dream. But will these protests succeed in reforming 21st Century capitalism into something that’s more equitable to the working class?

The sentiments fueling the protests are not just those who’ve lost their jobs during the aftermath of the 2008 global credit crunch, but also those who’ve been recently laid off. Not only that, it seems that the “Calvinism” and the “Protestant Work Ethic” that used to serve as a “moral” cornerstone of the American Dream had been practicing a kind of double standard during the Bush administration of excluding everyone whose ethnicity is outside those of the white-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant sphere from the bountiful financial fruits of the American Dream.

Can 21st Century capitalism really reform itself this time around? Well, if the powers-that-be – i.e. the US Federal Reserve and those elected power-brokers on Capitol Hill – keep on using the working-class American taxpayer (the financially disadvantaged 99% of America) as the bailout of last resort, then there might be something to what Karl Marx said about capitalism’s systemic failure in the real world.