Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Failure of Protests

Most protests are forms of failure.

There are occasional protests that actually succeed, like the moving protests in 1989 in Wenceslas Square in Czechoslovakia (Yes, my memory goes back that far) or the failed protests during the Green Revolution in 2009 in Iran.

But most, for the most part, are a failure.

Oh, they get attention.  Maybe generate some news.  In some cases the mighty come down from their ivory towers to participate with the rabble.  Clever signs are put up, fists are shaken, speeches are delivered, people feel "empowered".

My complaint? No practical good comes from most of them.

Take, if you will, this weekend's protests, both the violent of Friday and the peaceful of Saturday.  No-one hungry were fed.  No sick were cared for.  Animals went wanting for shelter and love.  Slavery continued in parts of the Middle East and Africa.  The laid off continued without jobs.

In other words, real needs went unmet.

I am done with the pointless gesture, the meaningless comment, the vapid display that is presented as being of import and significance but really demonstrates nothing more than the ego on display.

Imagine, if you will, protesting by doing good:  thousands of people choosing a day to do the good, the sort I have posted here.  Oh, it could be in the name of this or that, but the point would be that something was done. Good was accomplished.

It will not be done, of course.  The reason why?  Because then it becomes not about the individuals but about the actions.  And such good as I have listed above would be scarcely noticed or be paid attention to in a way that would gratify most of those who would be doing the work.

Because in the end, most protests are only coincidentally about the item being protested.  It is much more about gratifying the self, of being part of something bigger, of feeling as if one can spit in the Frost Giant's teeth and survive.

Any real needs that are met, any real good that is done, is purely coincidental.

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