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“占领华尔街”运动抓住了要害

Roger Martin/Jennifer Riel 2011年11月11日

问题并不是因为华尔街违反规则中饱私囊,而是因为这些规则本身就一无是处。

    “占领华尔街”运动让旁观者满是疑问:这些人是谁?他们究竟想要什么?下个城市将是哪一个?我们的政府官员将如何应对?示威活动已进入第二个月,何时才会完全结束?提出这些问题,是试图理解这场错综复杂、迅速蔓延并正在引发社会阶层对立的运动,试图解释正在发生的事情。但这些问题并不是我们真正需要考虑的问题。事实上,我们应当想想,这场运动为什么会发生。而且更为重要的是,我们应当思考一下,我们能从中学到些什么?

    这个转变对于商界领袖来说不那么容易。毕竟,我们是这场运动矛头所指的敌人。“占领华尔街”网站列出其存在的理由如下:

    “占领华尔街是为了还击大银行和跨国公司对民主进程的腐蚀性影响,抗击华尔街在引发几十年来最严重的经济衰退中扮演的角色。”网站还指出:“埃及和突尼斯的民众起义激励了此次运动。运动旨在揭露真相,最富有的1%人群正在制定不公平的全球经济规则将让我们失去未来。”

    事情就是这样。这是99%与1%的对抗,即其他所有人与最富的人的对抗。这样的区分将两个人群完全对立了起来。这一方面可能导致商界领袖被全盘妖魔化,而另一方面这些商界领袖则可能完全漠视占领运动的诉求。这是一切可能性中最糟糕的结果。双方都心怀愤怒与怨恨,意味着彼此只会互相训斥和嘲讽,而不是试图倾听对方。

    商界领袖们,即著名的1%,不要一看到示威标语牌上那些漫无边际、有时甚至欠妥的诉求和抗议,就马上否定整个运动。事实上,我们的任务是要对这场抗议运动进行分析,理解支撑这场运动的合理诉求本质是什么,努力拿出平息抗议的完美方案。

    换言之,我们得承认,有些示威者的诉求不无道理。华尔街(以及华盛顿)所作的一些决定确实造成了整个世界大规模的金融震荡。虽然高盛(Goldman Sachs)的银行家们和美国国际集团(AIG)的交易员们做出的一些决定把我们扔进了全球性经济衰退,但这并不一定意味着华尔街已经不可救药。问题不在于华尔街违反规则中饱私囊,而在于这些规则本身就一无是处。

    The Occupy Wall Street movement has generated a slew of questions from those outside the occupying ranks: Who are these people? What do they really want? Which city will be next? How will our public officials respond? And as the protests have stretched well into their second month, when will it all end? These questions represent an understandable attempt to make sense of a complex, diffuse and divisive movement. They attempt to explain what is happening. But they aren't the questions we really need to ask. Instead, we should be asking why it is happening. And more importantly, we should be asking what we can learn it.

    This isn't an easy leap for business leaders. After all, we're the enemy here. On its website, Occupy Wall Street sets its raison d'être as follows:

    "#OWS is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations." It goes on: "The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future."

    There it is. It is the 99% versus the 1%, the rest-of-us against the richest-of-us. This framing sets the two groups in complete opposition. It has the potential to lead to the wholesale demonization of our business leaders on the one hand and the utter dismissal of the arguments of the occupiers by those very leaders on the other. This is the worst possible outcome. Anger and resentment on both sides mean the two groups shout at and ridicule one another, rather than attempting to listen to the arguments on the other side.

    Business leaders, the famous 1%, need to resist the urge to dismiss the whole movement based on the scattershot and at times ill-conceived nature of the arguments on the placards. Our task is instead to parse the protest, understand the nature of the legitimate complaints that underpin the movement and to attempt to create smart remedies to those complaints.

    In other words, we need to acknowledge that some of these protesters have a point. Decisions made on Wall Street (and in the City) have indeed caused massive financial disruption around the world. But while the bankers at Goldman Sachs (GS) and the traders at AIG (AIG) made decisions that helped tip us into a global recession, it does not necessarily follow that Wall Street is irredeemable. The problem isn't that Wall Street broke the rules to their own benefit, it's that the rules themselves are unhelpful.

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