”The top 1 per cent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 per cent live Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 per cent eventually do learn. Too Late.”-Joseph Stiglitz
The last time the world saw transnationalism in protest movements were during the breakup of USSR (in general the fall of institutionalized communism) and more recently in 2005 during the Orange Revolution in Kiev and in Georgia. The weather from the Arab Spring from Cairo and Tunis seems to have impacted Delhi and New York as well. It again is a confluence of elements all making its presence felt in political mobilization. It is the situational element at play.
It has been really interesting to observe the global scale of movements unprecedented across human history. People are more connected via the internet powered smart phones via social media apps. Photos, videos ans status messages can be updated with a flicker of a tab. The sociological dimensions of this are unprecedented as the notion of sovereignty is diluted although these movements are about reforming existing systems. The context is endemic graft in India to democracy in the Maghreb and people power in Zuccotti Park all reflect, the disillusionment with the status quo and a belief that it is the people who can initiate a dent in the strong armor of capitalism. The collusion of the governing elite with the deal street has taken it cognitively away from the inner-cities and main street. Marx, who died 150 years back presciently predicted that the boom and bust cycles of capitalism lay the seeds of the downfall of this very system.
Occupy Wall Street along with the Tea Party movement on the Right are demonstrative of the inability of Capitol Hill to revolve issues which have exaggerated the inequality gap to the extreme. Similar copy cat movements to Occupy Street are emerging in Montreal, Boston parts of Europe. The Anna Hazare Agitation in India was a textbook example of middle class disgruntlement with graft. The fruits of the event are still not visible, but have rung an alarm in the corridors of power in Delhi.
There is a common ethos to all these movements- they are not about power but about resistance to the injustices that common folk suffer each day against the big guys without any mechanism for economic redressal. Legal measure are expensive and take ages. Politicos are hand in glove with corporate interests almost acting as lobbyists. Its Empire of the Underdog striking back against the 1% which rule their destiny and in peaceful means. Gandhism at its finest. Let all the workers of the world unite as Marx said is very apt as the underclass are awakening to their plight once again.
Intefada which in Arabic means resistance-uprising usually associated with Gaza and the West Bank is now a global phenomena, and movements are well back into the public sphere, asking for a change, peacefully.