Today marks the one-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Quoting press reports, the Wikipedia said the protesters, who claim to be inspired by the Jasmine Revolution of Egypt and the Arab world earlier this year, "are protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government, among other concerns."
First instigated by the chronic economic problems and financial crises in the United States and Europe, the Occupy Wall Street movement has now received tremendous support beyond national boundaries, with replicas in varying scales flaring up across the globe.
In Hong Kong, where the income gap is notoriously wide by international standards, the Occupy Central movement is long overdue rather than surprising. I must confess that I am pleased to see that something is being done to make the calls for social justice and reasonable distribution of wealth louder and clearer than it used to be.
Having said that, I'm not sure if the movement is heading towards the right direction. To make it long-term and sustainable and thus consequently achieve a real difference to our lives and those of our children, we need to strategise. We need to give some concrete, logical and well-thought arguments that would appeal to the people. We need to articulate these clearly and sensibly so that everyone would understand. In order to achieve all these, first of all, we need to think carefully what exactly we are against and what we are looking for.
From what I can see in the local news, the protesters in Hong Kong don't seem to know what they are doing. They don't even seem to know how to express themselves properly. What do they mean by "Say no to capitalism"? Can you believe that they are actually asking for reform instead of complete dismissal and revolution by chanting this slogan?
More than 160 years ago Karl Marx already knew all the horrendous problems of capitalism and thus proposed his prescription. Only until 1990 were we convinced that it wouldn't work. China, Russia and many other communist regimes have already changed course, with or without admitting upright. However, we must not forget that capitalism "survives" because it is better than communism but not the best system. Far from it. Whether capitalism is the only viable option is also highly disputable. Therefore I believe if the protesters are serious about what they are doing, they have to think hard and come up with some sort of proposals. It can be a new type of ideology, only if they were intellectually capable; or pragmatic stuff such as a detailed programme of social and economic reform. Only in this way would the protesters be seen as constructive stakeholders for common good rather than troublemakers who promote nothing but destruction. Only until then would they be taken seriously by the rich and powerful and those who are watching on with their arms folded.
Before closing, just wanna share an editorial of Headline Daily today, which is certainly worth considering not only for the corporate monsters and government leaders, but everyone of us.