Thursday, May 24, 2012

Occupy Wall Street versus American military might

The United States' standing as "mediator" of international protests is a major obstacle for OWS to have to overcome.

Cambridge, United Kingdom - Where a state stands on the international scale impacts the fate of that state's social movements. The United States' position as a global military power puts the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement at a particular disadvantage.

In The Green Movement's Regret and OWS' Red Ink Problem, I illustrated some of the domestic political dynamics influencing the OWS as it moves to reassemble anew. While domestic and international formations influence one another, it's worth focussing on the interplay between international configurations and locally grounded social movements. Social movements have a better chance of achieving their political objectives in states that depend on patrons for protection. In other words, the chances of success multiply for social movements operating in states that are unable to dominate their global security networks.

Security networks are some of the most enduring international networks. Saudi Arabia, for instance, started its integration within Washington's security apparatus in the early 1930s; a process facilitated by ARAMCO, the State Department and Al Saud clan. The Saudis are not alone. After the Soviets refused to rescue Egypt's Third Army during the Yom Kippur War, Cairo too switched protectors and joined Washington's security network in the late 1970s. Read More