Ways to Make the Occupation Movement More Successful

There are ways that, in my opinion, the occupation movement can be made to be more successful. The occupation movement aims to highlight and eventually correct the social and economic injustices in the world. The occupation movement therefore aims to eventually bring about greater social justice and greater economic justice. At the moment, the occupation movement is pushing these agendas through non-violent protests, chief among them being the sit-ins in various public spaces (during which the members of the occupation movement are said to be ‘occupying’ such spaces). The occupation movement has recorded some limited successes so far, and I am venturing to look at ways in which it can be made to be even more successful in the future.

One way in which the occupation movement can be made to be more successful is by enlisting more members. It won’t do to have a somewhat elitist organization, whose membership is mainly drawn from university students, their professors and other intellectuals. If the occupation movement is to have global impact, it should aim to enlist more members. The masses.

Another way in which the occupation movement can be made to be more successful is by simplifying its objectives, into a language that the common man can understand and relate to. It won’t do for the occupation movement to claim that it is clamoring for the interests of the common man, yet the common man can’t relate to the sophisticated language of the social sciences that it speaks in. The movement also needs to be more specific: like where it speaks of aiming to bring about greater social and economic justice, it needs to explain in what (specific) ways.

Yet another way in which the occupation movement can be made to be more successful is by expanding its operations whether physically or on online. The occupation movement has the ultimate objective of changing the current world order on a global scale. Consequently, it should aspire to take its activities globally, so that, in the future, its impact is felt globally. Of course, it may have to adopt different methods of protest for different nations: given that, for instance, the sit-ins it stages in various western nations would be disastrous in other places. Indeed, one reckons that if it is being clamped down on in the west, where there is supposedly greater freedom of expression, one shudders to imagine what would happen to occupiers in other nations where the governments are not so tolerant. But when all is said and done, the occupy movement should aspire to have activities all over the world, if at all it is to have global impact.

Celebrating the (Limited) Successes of the Occupation Movement

In my last blog post, I tried to outline the reasons as to why, in my opinion, the occupation movement has not been successful. As soon as the blog post was published, I started seeing comments from members of the occupation movement, with most of them telling me that I had been unfair to them: and that in spite of everything, the occupation movement has had some undeniable successes. Upon reading those comments, I came to the realization that I was indeed being too harsh on the occupation movement – and that the occupation movement has had some successes, which I should have highlighted in my last blog post. Against that background, then, in today’s blog post, I will try to celebrate the successes of the occupation movement: which however, can nonetheless only be termed as limited successes.

The occupation movement has, in my opinion, been successful to the extent that it has drawn the attention of some decision-makers to issues of social and economic justice. There is a huge possibility that without the occupation movement, the decision-makers would have remained blind to the social and economic injustice that pervades the world today.

The occupation movement has also, in my opinion, been successful to the extent that it has shown the ruling elite that there are segments of the population that are deeply dissatisfied with the current world order: segments of the population that have real grievances. Chances are that without the occupation movement, the ruling elite would have continued thinking that everyone was happy with the way things are, and that nobody had any grievances against the system.

The occupation movement has further, in my opinion, been successful to the extent that it has sown the seeds for greater agitation (for social and economic justice) in the future. Previously, people were born into the current system, which is riddled with social and economic injustices, and they accepted that ‘reality’ and never saw it as something they could change. But thanks to the occupation movement, people are slowly coming to the realization that things don’t have to be the way they are. People are slowing coming to the realization that greater social justice and economic justice is achievable – and that those are things that ordinary people can agitate for in non-violent ways.

Why the Occupation Movement Has Not Been Very Successful

In my opinion, the occupation movement has not been very successful. When you look at the lofty goals that the occupation movement set out to achieve, and what it has actually managed to achieve a few years down the line, you just have to conclude that the movement hasn’t been so successful. It is noteworthy, for instance, that the occupy movement hasn’t really achieved much in terms of  actually improving social justice in the world. Neither has the occupy movement really achieved much in terms of actually improving economic justice in the world. These things pain me, as an avowed supporter of the occupy movement. And it is this pain that has pushed me into deep contemplation, as I try to figure out why the occupation movement has not been very successful.

It is occurring to me that the first reason as to why the occupation movement has not been very successful is because it has failed to explain (and sell) itself well to the masses. Thus, you find that the masses, whose interests the occupy movement is fighting for, don’t even know what it is all about. You have to understand that most of the people you see around are folks who are living in blissful ignorance. Most of them don’t even know what is wrong with the world they operate it. They found things the way they are, and they don’t know that a better reality is possible. The occupation movement should therefore have made a point of explaining itself and its goals to the masses well, before even starting its actual campaigns.

It is also occurring to me that the second reason as to why the occupation movement has not been very successful is because the goals it set out to achieve are way too lofty. In my opinion, rather than setting out to correct the social and economic injustices in the world, the occupation movement should (at least initially) have set out to simply create awareness about the social and economic injustices. Once the awareness was there universally, it could then embark on the more onerous task of correcting the injustices.

Further, it is occurring to me that the third reason as to why the occupation movement has not been very successful is because the methods it opted to use are not very effective. Indeed, some of the methods it uses set it up for ridicule, even from the masses whose interests it is fighting for. The way the psychology of the common man works is such that as long as he has some work to do, and he is able to cash checks at, say, www.bankofamerica.com/checks on payday, he has no further concerns. He is content with his ‘simple life’. He doesn’t know that he is a victim of social and economic injustices. And when he comes across of people conducting a ‘sit in’ to protest against social and economic injustices, he is actually inclined to ridicule them. That is because, given his level of understanding, he has no inkling as to what the whole thing is all about! You can’t blame him.