Saturday, November 26, 2011
(photo credit to wikimedia)
It sure appears to me that the worldwide and US situation is escalating in the protest department. It may get dampened a bit during the winter, but I do think it will pick up again come spring, barring some catastrophic event. The PTB are ramping up their suppression and their counter attacks are becoming more severe. If the protests do not degrade into negotiated talks, which the protestors will seriously lose, I do expect protests to increase and probably escalate into some form of violence, which of course the PTB will forcibly answer. If that indeed comes to pass, the character of the American public will be laid bare by their response.
I have run across some younger folks that when I talk about the doom and gloom crowd on the internet talking about how bad things will develop, I am hit with the idea that these folks are selling fear through their advertising. I wanted to point out that there was a big difference between scaring people for economic gain and warning them that bad events were coming and to get ready, with or without economic gain. There are some kinds of mindsets that simply are not worth the time to argue with. Of course when I come across the Pollyanna folks I figure they may feel the same way. Being a doomer is hard work and very seldom much in rewards. J These kinds of conversations remind me of a Robert Heinlein statement that optimists have more fun in life but the pessimists are more often right.
There has been a lot of discussion all over the internet, including this blog, that goes back and forth over the idea about violence to affect change. I would like to examine a bit the assumptions on both sides of the argument.
Those that advocate or predict violent responses to perceived injustice, of course, assume that they can win confrontations, particularly if they have enough people involved. In today’s world, with the modern technology involved in suppression of a populations uprising, (like Libya) this is a tenuous assumption. If the western powers had not intervened, the uprising in the Eastern countries and Africa probably would not have been successful. And, in those cases, the goals of the uprisings are highly suspect as to agendas and alliances. Another problem with the violent uprisings is the agreement that if they are successful, what is to take the place of the current way things are done. I look at the outcomes of the French, the Russian, the Chinese revolutions, and what forces took over in the aftermath and it sure doesn’t appear to be any better than what was fought against. The assumption that something better will be the result is not born out historically except in very few isolated examples.
On the other side of the discussion that proposes non-violence, their assumptions have some very real problems too. The first assumption revolves around that if sufficient pressure is brought to bear by non-violent protest, the situation will change, that those in power will see the legitimacy of the demands and change their policies. This contains another assumption that those in power will voluntarily give up some or all of their power. Historically, I don’t see this as a reasonable expectation (see Tibet’s non violent attempts at freedom from Chinese rule). Or, our own attempt at separation from English rule by peaceful protest and demonstrations, the protests by the Indians against the atrocities by the US government and their brutal suppression, or the protests after WWI by the veterans, or the peaceful protests of bailing out of the bankers not so long ago that were just flat out ignored.
I do realize that any movement to change the status quo by whatever means will result in attempts at more suppression and a lot of blood in the streets, at least in a figurative sense. I do not see the PTB voluntarily giving up power, ever. It has to be taken from them and they always seem to escalate the suppression dramatically every time that is attempted.
I do realize that if enough folks (in the 70% or above) all got on the same bandwagon, change would happen. In this country, that would mean around 200 million insisting on an agreed upon agenda. What is the chance of that happening today? I do not see a general consensus agreement on what needs to be changed nor what is to take its place. Yes, lots of discussion on this, and small groups of people do agree on a few things, but by no means a consensus of the population. If and when that consensus does happen, then watch out! Something will change. The scary thing for me is what groups agenda would prevail. If the Christian right had its way, we all would be living under Old Testament law as they interpret it. Frankly, blaming Katrina on homosexuals as god’s punishment as an agenda for social organization is scary to me.
Now maybe I purposely seek out writers that support my own view of what is happening. I do periodically seek out the other side of stuff, but am always disappointed. Rhetoric, outright false information and political ideology seem to be the only mainstay they have. None of which impresses me in the least.
The comments from the last posting were intense and plentiful. I must have spent 4 hours on them and the links within the links and the added stuff that looked interesting on the sites.
My inbox email is being overrun with political ads and propaganda, from all sides. Maybe I’m just prejudiced on the subject but the ones from the conservatives leave me thinking what a bunch of asses. Not that the liberal side is any better. After all, both sides of the political spectrum are bought and paid for by the same groups. I am left with the question of how any thinking person can vote for any of them. Maybe all this ideology talk should be settled by a duel at 20 paces. Oh, I forgot for a minute there, the Repugs would win hands down. What liberal would think of violence and guns to settle anything? But at least it would provide more profits for the popcorn distributors.
Other than a vast majority of citizens agreeing on an agenda and willing to take part in it, I do not see a successful non-violent change in the status quo. Our own revolution against the British had less than 40% of the population support, at least in the beginning. Same with our civil war and WWI. It takes time and propaganda to fire up a population to go to war or have a popular uprising.
I truly wish I could come up with a solution so that violence was not the outcome to affect the changes we need if we want to preserve any sense of freedom at all in our society. Freedom to be consumers and wage slaves is not freedom in my book. But to achieve anything else, control has to be wrested away from the corporations and the sociopaths that are currently in power and there must be a consensus about what to replace it with. Otherwise, it will just be another cluster fuck laid on all of us.