The protests of the groups named 99% seem to continue igniting fury all over the world since they occupied Wall Street at Liberty Square in Manhattan’s financial district. By now, they claim at OccupywallSt.org that the protests are being held in more than 1500 cities around the world (virtual map). In all those cities the protests have taken different shapes and discourses. They seem to cry for different things. Their leaders emphasize their own agendas and it has been hard for me to identify a common single demand.
Curiously, most of these protesters most surely do not recall that on a day like today more than 200 years ago a public meeting similar to theirs was first organized. It was in October 16, 1773 that the First public meeting of protest against the Tea Act took place in Philadelphia. These protesters demanded from their rulers (The British Parliament) a respect of their rights to property and individual rights. They asked for the Parliament to respect their right to elect their own Representatives and to be taxed by those representatives only.
Three years later, after their demands were not listened by the British government the United States Declaration of Independence was signed by the representatives of thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain. It was the first Declaration ever written in history that considered as its core that all men had unalienable Rights and that among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Since then, these rights were slowly forgotten and captured by government. Slowly, the sons and daughters of these revolutionary protesters forgot the reasons that created such a wonderful Declaration. Now, the protests of the Occupy movements face a similar contradiction. As The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights argued in their article What the Tea Party Movement Must Stand For, it is necessary for them to organize against one single claim: They should demand for a Moral Revolution in which their government returns to them their rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
It is until now Ayn Rand the only philosopher who has provided a moral defense for these revolutionaries. As she wrote in Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal,
“The world crisis of today is a moral crisis–and nothing less than a moral revolution can resolve it: a moral revolution to sanction and complete the political achievement of the American Revolution. . . . [YOU] must fight for capitalism, not as a “practical’ issue, not as an economic issue, but, with the most righteous pride, as a moral issue. That is what capitalism deserves, and nothing less will save it.”