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Title: Occupying the Tea Party : the rise of contemporary libertarian culture in the United States
Author: Cardone, Alfred Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 2637
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Common opinion concerning Occupy and the Tea Party is that they represent extreme ends of the "left-right" political paradigm in the United States. With Republican "Tea Party" candidates and the "hippy" appearance of Occupy encampments, it is no surprise that such opinions exist today. However, does this imply that there is no alternative characterization that can be applied to either? I argue that there is another way to characterize them, if one abandons the homogenous description many place on both movements and realize that there are many actors in American politics today that assume the title of Occupy or Tea Party. Upon considering this, sections of both become noticeable that have escaped national attention and have largely been ignored by established media outlets (TV news, newspapers, etc.). These sections are largely comprised of libertarian and anarchist elements that are seeking to redefine how Americans view their political system in order to escape the perceived injustices that occurred in the aftermath of the housing bubble collapse and the subsequent recession. They are acting in stark contrast to the recognizable conservative section of the Tea Party and progressive section of Occupy, who are pursuing largely established partisan agendas. While conservatives and progressives are accentuating the polarization of American politics, libertarians seek to transcend it and offer alternatives to an American public that is frustrated with the status quo. Furthermore, many of these libertarian and anarchist elements in both the Tea Party and Occupy are working together, creating a larger ideological political spectrum in which these activists look to cooperate and further their message. It challenges the notion of both being polar opposites, which becomes even more apparent after discovering the libertarian origins of both. Libertarians and anarchists have demonstrated how the Tea Party and Occupy have incorrectly been confined within certain definitions and the possibilities they can bring to American politics.
Supervisor: Howard, John De Velling ; Balbier, Uta Andrea Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available