October 12, 2011
This Week on Foreign Affairs.com
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Like an odorless gas, economic inequality pervades every corner of the United States and saps the strength of its democracy. Over the past three decades, Washington has consistently favored the rich -- and the more wealth accumulates in a few hands at the top, the more influence and favor the rich acquire, making it easier for them and their political allies to cast off restraint without paying a social price. Read
Unlike other movements, the rallies across the United States have no distinct constituency, put forward few policy proposals, and have a shifting configuration of supporters. They are something new. These are "we are here" protests. Read
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The power of protest comes from its capacity to disrupt business as usual. As long as protesters believe they are making progress through other means, they will not resort to violence. Read
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri
Occupy Wall Street's anger is mostly directed at the ruling economic class. But the movement is gaining traction because it is exposing a larger failure of democratic representation. Read