Pressure From Below

A new ingredient has been introduced into the political situation by the dramatic emergence of the Occupy movement. Socialist Alternative explained how massive anger at the 2008 and 2009 bank bailouts was the initial impetus for the emergence of the Tea Party in 2009-2010. But we also explained how this anger had a very distorted reflection in the Tea Party phenomenon. It is much better reflected by Occupy.

In a recent Pew Foundation poll, by a 44% to 35% margin, more Americans support than oppose the Occupy Wall Street movement overall, and by 48% to 30%, more say they agree than disagree with the concerns the protests have raised ( Occupy has heralded the beginning of a response from the working class to decades of pro-corporate, anti-worker policies. While the future direction of Occupy is unclear, this accumulated class anger will find new vehicles and expressions in the coming period, one way or the other.

This emergence of the anger of the dispossessed 99% is a rude awakening for the richest 1% to the consequences of their failed policies. With their system in crisis, a working class whose living standards have been devastated, and a whole generation of young people growing up on poverty wages with almost no benefits, they only have a discredited two-party system to protect them. They will look for the best methods to safeguard their interests.