The Occupy Wall Street Movement Analysis

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The Occupy Wall Street movement can be analyzed through the lens of Karl Marx and David Harvey. Harvey critiques the idea of self-regulating markets, or neoliberalism, because not everyone has an equal opportunity in the market and without any state intervention it becomes unfair to those stuck at the bottom. Marx writes about the class struggles between the proletariat and the bourgeois. The bourgeois have purchased the labor of the proletariat at a minimal price and therefore have alienated the proletariat from their own work, but they have also given the proletariat the knowledge of how to work the means of production, so Marx predicted a social revolution would happen where the proletariat will gain power. Well, that did not happen, but …show more content…
Neoliberalism is “a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade” (453). Harvey believes neoliberalism is a form of social destruction. It has allowed the market to have the ability of controlling all human actions. Power and rights are then determined by capital and state control, which instantly gives some people more control over their rights. “Defenders of the regime of rights plausibly argue that it encourages ‘bourgeois virtues’, without which everyone in the world would be worse off” (454). In a system, where capital determines your power, the proletariat will not have an equal opportunity in the free market. The social theorist, Polanyi, also agrees with Harvey. He believed markets lacking social control could be destructive and were unrealistic (Polanyi-Levitt 4). Polanyi believed humans are naturally “social and cooperative rather than individualistic and competitive” (14). Therefore, our real freedoms are found in having social support and self-respect. A person should not be valued on how much capital they have because “free-markets” unfairly distribute capital, today. Their value comes from their social relations and especially how they interact with one another through the market such as with redistribution, reciprocity, and

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