Alan Oswald Moore is an English writer best known for penning a number of popular graphic novels, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell.
Moore has been described by his contemporaries as one of the most talented comic writers in history, as well as one of the most important British writers of the last fifty years.
Indeed, the Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta has been adopted by multiple protest movements, including OccupyWallStreet (OWS), Anonymous, Wikileaks and anti-globalization demonstrators.
In December 2011, Moore described Occupy as “ordinary people reclaiming rights which should always have been theirs,” telling the UK-based Guardian:
“I can’t think of any reason why as a population we should be expected to stand by and see a gross reduction in the living standards of ourselves and our kids, possibly for generations, when the people who have got us into this have been rewarded for it – they’ve certainly not been punished in any way because they’re too big to fail.
“I think that the Occupy movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail. As an anarchist, I believe that power should be given to the people whose lives this is actually affecting.”
Now Moore has written a follow-up article published on the BBC website, in which he discusses the history of V for Vendetta and its link to OWS.
“Our present financial ethos no longer even resembles conventional capitalism, which at least implies a brutal Darwinian free-for-all, however one-sided and unfair. Instead, we have a situation where the banks seem to be an untouchable monarchy beyond the reach of governmental restraint, much like the profligate court of Charles I,” he opined.
“Then, a depraved neglect of the poor and the ‘squeezed middle’ led inexorably to an unanticipated reaction in the horrific form of Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War which, as it happens, was bloodily concluded in Northamptonshire.”
As Moore points out, V masks are a common sight at demonstrations held by Occupy to criticize economic disparity and have also been spotted at recent anti-ACTA protests in Poland.
Today’s response in response to similar historic oppressions, says Moore, seems to be one that is intelligent, constantly evolving and considerably more humane.
“Yet our character’s borrowed Catholic revolutionary visage and his incongruously Puritan apparel are perhaps a reminder that unjust institutions may always be haunted by volatile 17th century specters, even if today’s uprisings are fuelled more by social networks than by gunpowder.
“Some ghosts never go away. As for the ideas tentatively proposed in that dystopian fantasy thirty years ago, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that whatever usefulness they afford modern radicalism is very satisfying. In terms of a wildly uninformed guess at our political future, it feels something like V for validation,” he added.