Posted by Solstice on December 6, 2011, at 11:06:38 [reposted on December 8, 2011, at 14:46:52 | original URL]
In reply to The Psychology of Occupy Wall Street, posted by ron1953 on December 6, 2011, at 8:57:54
> I never heard of "liberation psychology" before, either. An interesting article.
I have not done a comprehensive review of the "occupy wall street" movement. My impressions are influenced by a lot of bits and pieces that I've heard along the way. I say all that to clarify that I am *not* an expert on it, and that there may be a lot more to it than I am aware of given my cursory reviews.
What I thought was interesting about this article is it uses the term 'oppressed people" ..as if those who are victims of the economic crisis are "oppressed people"??
As someone who was laid off from an exciting and thriving career 2.5 years ago, I certainly have my fair share of anger regarding the crazy fraud that got us here (subprime lending, fraudulent mortgages, Madoff, to name just a few). Once I stopped reeling from the initial shock of being laid off (and I'm a single parent of three to boot), I went back to school while I tried to figure out what to do. So, I was enrolled in school within six weeks of being laid off. Anyway, I spent the next two years in a developing frenzy of looking for work, returning to college, finding a medical field program in need of people with degrees, and then all the hard work involved in getting through the program. It has been incredibly difficult, scary, and a financial nightmare. But, after two years, I just finished the program. I am graduating magna c*m laude with a 3.82 gpa, I passed the written part of the credentialing exam for my field, and there are three hospitals in the large medical center where I live that are pursuing me. It's been a very long road fraught with fright.. lots of setbacks in my recovery from depression.. just very, very hard. But now I'm in a place that is exciting. I've been working on-call for a local hospital, but soon I'll be employed full-time by one of three major hospitals, with benefits.
My point in saying all of this is that Yes - I am someone affected by the economic crisis. But those who are 'Occupying Wall Street" - why don't they occupy a retraining program? Occupy a college in a degree program in a field that is growing? If they do that.. then maybe they can join me and "occupy the workplace"!
I am fully aware of the seeming inequities of those who 'have' vs those who 'have-not.' There are a lot of things about life that are 'not fair' ..where some seem to get advantages that are denied others. But.. it's America! We are not a communist or socialist country where things are divided up and split evenly amongst the populace. Here - we are free to independently pursue our interests - to pursue new ideas.. to start our own business - to educate ourselves - to overcome adversity and become *who* we want to be - to experience a major setback (like being laid off) and to grief the loss of the work we loved and then pick ourselves up and find something else to love. We are free to succeed - and we are also free to fail. None of it is clear cut.. or 'simple' - there are many complex factors involved in the economy, politics, and social action like 'occupy wall street.' But in this country, I don't think there will be the kind of reform they seem to pursue. I don't think wealthy individuals or corporations will be un-rewarded for whatever it was that got them where they are. That's what being in America is all about. It's fundamental to this nation.. that if you figure out a way to be profitable and amass wealth, it won't be taken away unless you do it Bernie Madoff-style and get caught. And likewise, we are free to stay down when we fall down.. or when the rug gets pulled out from under us. And to be perfectly candid, if not for the motivational factor provided by being responsible for my children, there's a good chance that my depression may have won and I may be living under the grid, rather than looking at offers from three employers.. starting a career that is in an explosive area of medicine. What makes it complicated is that there are a lot of adversities we can face during our life that comes our way through no action on our part. Child abuse.. being born with physical or cognitive impairments that limit us, unknowingly getting ourselves into an adult relationship that turns out to be abusive.. being born into poverty.. the natural process of aging.. and on and on. Occupying Wall Street will not resolve the inherent inequities of life. We have to take the cards we have, and do the best we can with them. We can reach out for help from social service providers.
As for the psychology of the movement, I think the biggest problem is a belief that is persistent in the young adult generation that *everyone* is entitled to have whatever they want. They don't get it that they can pursue what they want - but there is no guarantee. It's up to each person to pursue it.. but *expecting* to get it just because they *want* it is problematic. We are so addicted to getting what we want, right now. On credit. Regardless of whether it's outside of our means. So in my view, the notion that we are 'entitled' is what drives 'Occupy Wall Street.'