On July 13th, 2011, Canadian-based anti-consumerist magazine, Adbusters Media Foundation, proposed the first occupation of Wall Street to demonstrate against income inequality, high unemployment, greed, as well as corruption and the influence of corporations on government. Since then, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been gaining momentum and continues to pick up steam. Attempts to quiet the protesters only expanded their influence and support. Many sympathize with the protestor’s ideas and understand their desire to challenge the system. However, the protestor’s opposition to Capitalism, support for radical wealth redistribution, and intense regulation of the private sector are threats to our economy and freedom. Occupy Wall Street does not understand their demands will not lead to improved economic conditions for the poor and middle class; it will further expand their hardships. Pre-OCCUPY-Ed investigates and exposes Occupy Wall Street and recognizes the results of their demands.
The American spirit started to fade during the Vietnam War. Many of the American youth became flower children and demonstrations, much like Occupy Wall Street (OWS) of today, dominated the news. Images promoted by Hollywood and supported by educators of flag- burning and spitting on military were broadcasted on TV. The fact of history repeating itself is evident when college-level educators are teaching government spin to our youth and offering encouragement to demonstrators with a disregard for the rights of others. If history repeats itself, will self-reliant families have somewhere to migrate? On July 13th, 2011, Canadian-based anti-consumerist magazine, Adbusters Media Foundation, proposed the first occupation of Wall Street to demonstrate against income inequality, high unemployment, greed, as well as corruption and the influence of corporations on government. Adbusters hoped to invoke change in today’s crony-capitalism by raising world-wide awareness, calling themselves the “99%.” They claimed to use “Arab Spring” tactics to “peacefully” protest the unjust. An internet group by the name of Anonymous admired OWS, and on August 23rd, 2011, released a video calling on protesters to “flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.” From there, other groups began to join OWS, including its current governing body, the NYC General Assembly. The word of a protest quickly got out, as OWS took full advantage of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. On September 17th, 2011, 1,000 protesters demonstrated in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Financial District; as many as 200 slept overnight in cardboard boxes. Since then, the OWS movement has been gaining momentum and continues to pick up steam. Americans are angry, but they are not exactly sure what they are angry about and they do not know for sure who they should be angry with. It is easy for them to point fingers at Wall Street, but Wall Street is in no way responsible for the financial crisis our country is in today. Thousands of protestors have been arrested for violating traffic laws, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. More arrests followed as demonstrations grew larger, and the mainstream media exploited these incidents to their full extent. What was once a small protest full of disobedient underdogs is now a world-wide epidemic; this is the true strength of OWS. Attempts to quiet the protesters only expanded their influence and support. Local citizens began viewing the protesters as their bullied little brother, and provided aid to their cause. Local authorities became symbols of ridicule as protesters refused to obey lawful orders. Any attempt by law enforcement to quell the protests instantly activates the masses in their defense. For every one person they arrest, two more join the movement. Allowing the movement to grow at such an aggressive rate will undoubtedly bring about a drastic change in America. Whether we agree with them or not, most of us sympathize with their sentiments and understand their desire to challenge a system we know is corrupt. However, the protestor’s opposition to capitalism, support for radical wealth redistribution, and intense regulation of the private sector are threats to our freedom. OWS does not understand their demands will not lead to improved economic conditions for the poor and middle class; it will further expand their hardships. Capitalism is the key to improving the economy. Capitalism is the system in which people are free to use their private property without outside interference. That is why it is known as the free market. It allows people freedom to choose their own jobs, freedom to sell their products at whatever prices they like, and freedom to choose among products for the best value. Many Americans have taken capitalism for granted, and do not understand how fragile their freedom really is. Under a socialist government, jobs are assigned by the authorities. Prices are set and import and export quotas are enforced. In many socialist countries private property does not exist; everything is owned or could be confiscated by the government for the “benefit” of the people. OWS is undoubtedly protesting the wrong things; it should be protesting the expansion of government instead of calling for more government intervention. OWS is underestimated, unorganized, dismissed, and outright laughed at, yet it continues to gain ground every day and is spreading at an unbelievable rate. They are growing in numbers and in strength. All that is needed is a catalyst of some kind. Once the OWS protesters reach their breaking point, this simple show of frustration may become a revolution. This may lead to incredible opportunity and risk. The growing gap between the rich and poor is often followed by charismatic dictators who stand up to unite the people looking to change the previous system, as history has indicated. The most recent: Adolf Hitler in Germany, Mao Zedong in China, Joseph Stalin in Russia, and Fidel Castro in Cuba. As Americans, we must not dismiss history and assume we are the exception to the rest of the world. The people of these countries never expected their government to behave is such manors. The apparent OWS slogan “We are the 99%” is persuading the masses to bring down the “1%”. The poor want to blame the rich, and are looking for their Robin Hood. Supported by President Obama, OWS is able to achieve its primary objective: wage class warfare against the 1% and divide the country between the “have” and “have not’s.” OWS’ inflammatory rhetoric is designed to prey on fear and resentment to pit class against class by making the poor feel they are stuck in their current position, and also points at the Government to take care of them. I predict we are at the infant stage of a coming revolution. I have made it my responsibility to awaken America so that we can restore it back to its core values that made it great. A nation built upon freedom, personal sovereignty, and justice. A nation where the government once again fears the people it serves; a nation where individuals take responsibility for their actions, and expect our leadership to take responsibility for theirs. A nation that rewards creation and value, and disdains the victim mentality offered by a welfare state. A nation where self-reliance and personal leadership is a badge of honor, and conscious capitalism is the foundation of prosperity. My fear is that masses of Americans will side with their emotions rather than logic. This book was written to investigate and expose the OWS movement, and recognize the results of their demands. Protesting in support of idealisms is a very dangerous goal when used as a blanket for Socialism because it does not account for the critical distinction of how wealth is gained, and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding as to how individual prosperity is created. The vast majority of wealthy individuals have become rich by providing overwhelming value to the world through the creation of products and services in a free market. This is capitalism, and this is the primary reason why the US has enjoyed more prosperity than any other nation in history.
Richard Roybal Jr. is a former Intelligence Analyst for the United States Army. His area of expertise is government and economics. He has served multiple combat tours in Iraq analyzing Iraqi politics, economics, terrorist threats, and Arab Spring/Revolutionary tactics. At 18 years old, he created a real estate development company which is still in business. He is an active community volunteer and mentor for ghetto youth in southern California.