I thought of Alexis Goldstein as just another disgruntled employee from the world of finance, but she’s not. She had worked for Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and elsewhere, and is now a member of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Ms Goldstein shares her distaste for Wall Street and her devotion to the OWS movement in an article she recently wrote for n+1 Magazine:
I was privileged enough to make it in the door on Wall Street, and to get bonuses during my time there. But I never felt as fortunate, or joyful, as I did the night after the eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Liberty Square, when we had our first post-raid General Assembly. When the thousands of supporters who filled the park necessitated three waves of the people’s mic. When our voices together echoed not just down the park, but up into the sky as the buildings caused the sound to ricochet off their glass walls.
It is hard to contrast the joy of community I feel at Occupy Wall Street with the isolation I felt on Wall Street. It’s hard because I cannot think of two more disparate cultures. Wall Street believes in, and practices, a culture of scarcity. This breeds hoarding, distrust, and competition. As near as I can tell, Occupy Wall Street believes in plenty. This breeds sharing, trust, and cooperation. On Wall Street, everyone was my competitor. They’d help me only if it helped them. At Occupy Wall Street, I am offered food, warmth, and support, because it’s the right thing to do, and because joy breeds joy.
One glaring question is not addressed in Ms. Goldstein’s article: What does the Occupy Wall Street movement believe in? What are its core principles?