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Wall Street protests highlight global strife

By Global Times

Global Times (October 17, 2011): The "Occupy Wall Street Movement" has now spread to dozens of countries. In cities like Rome and New York, the movement has even triggered violence and led to conflicts between protestors and police. The whole Western world appears to have no solution for easing their public's dissatisfaction. Some Western politicians and elites can only hope the movement will end by itself, after the protestors become tired.

Western countries can withstand street demonstrations better, since their governments are elected. People think the street demonstrations will not lead to the overthrow of the Western political system. They are merely valves that can help ease pressure built up in democratic societies while the pressure and dissatisfaction on the streets could end up helping the opposition party seize office.

The conflicts may be minor or serious, but it will  not bring significant change.

This is a fair argument, but it also reveals one of the core reasons why the western world lacks determination for real change. Political parties have been taking advantage of dissatisfaction in their societies, manipulating them to serve their own short-term political interests, rather than eliminating the causes.

The "Occupy Wall Street Movement" is spreading to other parts of the world because the "problem packages" in politics, the economy, society and culture, which have long existed, exploded at the same time. These issues have been ignored when the economy is in an upswing, but when a downturn hits even a tiny issue will cause bursts of anger.

The structure of capitalism is no longer fit for globalization. This is the root of every ongoing problem.

The current system of the Western world, though encouraging innovation, fails to emphasize hard work. It has been enjoying the legacy of its top brands and the technology it has, but forgot to keep competing with the basic industries.

Western countries have become the upper-class of the world. But they are no longer humble in doing real work. They are the opposite of what their plans proposed during their developing years.

The mechanism that used to concentrate capital to develop industries and society has been severely twisted. Wall Street, the "CPU" of the US, has become a model known for creating money out of thin air, rather than accumulating wealth via hard work. Its fall indicates a decline of the US system, and people doubt whether Washington has the determination to reverse this trend.

When the elites in the Western world don't want to or are unable to make changes, the most convenient approach will be transferring dissatisfaction to other countries, such as China and other developing countries.

The world is now in turbulence. China needs to stay clam and observe how the street movements in the Western world develop and to make the right choices for its own good.

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