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Occupying the Deserted Left Space

The "Occupy Wall Street" movement could provide an outlet for the unrepresented Left of the United States.

As thousands of Americans continue to pour onto the streets in a number of cities every day, answering calls to replicate the “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) movement in Zuccotti Park in New York City, the signs are unmistakable – representative democracy as we know it in the US is potentially in for an overhaul. With differences between the Democratic and the Republican Parties on economic issues now more of form than essence, it has taken party-less protest movements to articulate concrete policy positions from the perspectives of the Right and the Left.

If from the Right the Tea Party movement had a libertarian streak – blaming “government” for America’s financial ills – from the Left the Occupy movement has a simple message – end the dominance of finance capital in government decision-making. The Tea Party eventually became a faction within the Republican Party, pushing it further to the Right while making it more populist. Will the OWS movement manage to shift the terrain of American politics to the Left and finally bring the concerns of the middle class and working Americans to the mainstream?

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