Person of the Year…the Protestor

December 14, 2011

Political Theory


I recently just read an article from Times Magazine about the person of the year. The editors of the magazine seem to think that “the protestor” has been the most influential person in the past year, not only because of the movements that are going in in the United States, but in countries all over the world. Protestors everywhere are standing up for what they believe in and it is truly a great thing to see. There have been movements of just about any nature involving people that although come from diversely different backgrounds still feel as if the most important thing is trying to get their point out here to the world that even though they are the little guy that they still have a voice that needs to be heard.ImageThere is a fine line between a protest and just outright nonsense. Which I believe is one of the major problems that the world is facing today. I would mainly like to address the protest that has been continuing to prosper, the Occupy Wall Street movement. The protesters in downtown Manhattan have really sparked a sense of rebel in the american public, just from the actions that have been promoted on the media there have been numerous amounts of other occupy movements in the united states alone. Asking us the question of so many people are upset with the social hierchy that we as a country embody today is it time for a change?

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The problem that our country faces is that although we all think that the current system has its flaws because of the amount of people that are out there willing to stand up for the changes that need to be made. There is the same amount of, or more, people that wish that no changes occur. Take a look at the political cartoon that I put up above this paragraph, it represents exactly the point that i am trying to get across. Although some people may believe that redistrivution of wealth is a good thing for the american public, when it comes to it and it is going to effect them, they finally speak out and say, “wait a minute, i didnt think that in the end this was going to effect me in any way.” Unfortuantely we live in a world where there are many people out there that believe that they way things are being run is bad and that we need a change. However those people are not the ones that are coming up with the solutions to the problems they are speaking out against.

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 The problem then becomes one of social contracts and who has the right to the money and the redistribution of wealth in the first place. I believe that the best theorist to look at here is Rousseau because of his beliefs that everyone inside of the social contract has a say in what should be going on with all parties involved. The problem that arises when this is brought up however is that the different levels of education start to play a role in what we should be doing inside of this specific social contract. The protestors know what they want, they want “more money for the poor.” But how are we going to be able to give it to them? They all just think that the rich should hand it down to them because they deserve it more but that is not how the world is supposed to work. One should have to earn the money he is to receive, and without a said system in place of how to redistribute the wealth to more of the people in the United States nothing will change. 

So I sit here today and beg you to answer the question. Is “the protestor” really the most influential person of the entire year, or is this just a shot at getting some publicity for the people that have nothing better to do than argue their point? If you believe that the occupy wall street movement is actually a smart thing and support it then what is your idea on how we can change things in this country? What can realistically be done to make our world a safe and fair place to live in?

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2 Comments on “Person of the Year…the Protestor”

  1. Obada Ghabra Says:

    I disagree with much of this post. First of all, I think that the main reason for “the protester” being the person of the year is the Arab Spring. The article you posted even begins with a description of the Arab Spring. The idea of occupying a public area to protest came from Tahrir Square in Egypt. For this reason, I would certainly say that “the protester” is the most influential person of the year. The protesters in the Middle East have reshaped the entire region, and they have inspired people around the world to protest the circumstances in their countries.

    I also do not think that most people are satisfied with the status quo. I think Americans are legitimately concerned about where this country is headed. Sure, people may disagree with the occupy movement, and they may not agree with the methods of protest that occupy wallstreet is engaging in, but I think that most people in America are looking for some sort reform.

  2. lmaren Says:

    I personally find “the protestor” inspiring. Despite what your personal views may be about each protest movement, they are all at least fighting for what they believe in. Occupy wall street is not the most influential protest movement this year. Time magazine, of course recognizes the Occupy Wall Street protests, but that is certainly not the main example of the protestor. In comparison to the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street is minuscule. The arab nations have changed their entire government and ended oppressive regimes that were killing people. So, yes. I believe that the protestor is very appropriate as the person of the year. Collectively, they have changed many nations. To me, that is the most influential movement this year.

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