On December 28th 2011, the CASS Academic Division of International Studies (a group of institutes in the fields of international affairs and regional studies under CASS) held the “International Hot Issues Seminar” in Beijing. Scholars from 8 institutes of international studies of CASS discussed topics such as the world economic situation, the development trends of power politics and regional hot issues. During the seminar, Liu Yue, reporter of CSSN, interviewed Huang Ping, Director of Institute of American Studies, on how to see the issue of “Occupying Wall Street.”
Reporter: How do you think of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement?
Huang Ping: I think this is some kind of social movement, which we haven’t seen for quite a long time in the US, if we don’t include Seattle and also the campaign against the Iraq war, then we didn’t see such things since the Sixties. In those years we had the movement against the Vietnam War, student movements and the social movements led by Martin Luther King. So for the US it’s a quite extraordinary thing. Of course there are many causes and roots, social, economic and financial, especially the current high unemployment rate, the quite unusual polarization of political parties, the ongoing financial crisis, and therefore people have feel badly about the current status quo. But also there are some special features, for instance we didn’t see any kind of organization behind the movement, we also didn’t see a sort of political agenda for the campaign, and of course it is still going on, we don’t know how long this will last, and some say that because of Christmas, because of winter or because of the coming elections, it may quite soon disappear. But others argue it’s not just occupy Wall Streets, it is going on in many cities in the US, especially in the weekends, and even in some cities in other parts of the world, especially in Europe. And you can also easily trace it back to North Africa, the middle east, from Tunisia to the Egyptian phenomena, so it’s a kind of social and political challenge to the current not only national but also the international order, monetary, economic and financial political order, so as social scientists, we should definitely pay our attention because this is quite an interesting phenomenon.
Reporter: Could you evaluate the Obama administration’s conducts during the U.S. financial crisis? Have its related policies eased the crisis?
Huang Ping: The crisis was there before Obama got into the white house, so to this extent Obama didn’t have good luck, because when he became the president he had the first problem, which actually almost put a stop to many of his other agendas, such as handling the climate change, and also making use of new sources of energy, more sustainable recycling and such, and in particular also how to deal with reforming public health, medical care etc.. It’s not his fault that we had the crisis, and secondly it’s not easy to handle the crisis, whoever is the president, and thirdly Obama and all his team were not really prepared for the crisis, so in the early stage before they got into the White House, they didn’t’ really see the deep structural reasons, so in the first years when he was in administration, he might have thought this was more to do with policies than with the structure within the US and internationally. Fourthly people had less experience with this kind of issue, and I am talking about the whole generation. The last time we had such a crisis was the early seventies, when Obama and his colleagues were quite young or even children, and you can even go back to the Great Depression, when people were not born yet, so people have very little or even no experience. Now you see some kind of recovery in terms of growth but you don’t see any real change in terms of both unemployment and also in how to structure improvements or change in the system which is the real cause for the crisis,(点击此处阅读下一页)