April 7, 2014

"What we’ve witnessed in recent years is the popularization of street marches without a plan for what happens next..."

"... and how to keep protesters engaged and integrated in the political process. It’s just the latest manifestation of the dangerous illusion that it is possible to have democracy without political parties—and that street protests based more on social media than sustained political organizing is the way to change society."

Writes Moisés Naím in an Atlantic article titled "Why Street Protests Don't Work/How can so many demonstrations accomplish so little?

21 comments:

Crunchy Frog said...

When the idiots protesting have no idea why they are there other than that's where the bus dropped them off, what do you expect?

rhhardin said...

They depend on the brain-dead media.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I guess the OWS (Occupy Wall Street) protests provided a news jazz background to the Obama attack on Romney. As far as a way forward, it looks like the McCutcheon decision is not only good on the merits but may help coalition building*.

*http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/04/opinion/brooks-party-all-the-time.html?ref=davidbrooks&_r=0

Fandor said...

The demonstrations are run by dip shits.
An inquiring mind asks,"What are you protesting?"
Dip shit replies, "What have you got?"

Joe said...

The South Koreans and French had a head start.

Fritz said...

In the US demonstrations are about making the protestors feel virtuous, not changing anything.

persiflage mahal said...

Gotta agree that most recent US demonstrations are useless. Look at the massive anti-Iraq invasion marches and Tea Party rallies. If you're not willing to provoke baton charges and tear gas you're probably wasting your time. Unless you hook up with some chicks.

Phil 3:14 said...

Folks in Kiev might disagree

Phil 3:14 said...
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David said...

Street demonstrations often begin with a plan for what is going to happen next. In my day for many of the demonstrators it often involved a few drinks, a bit of weed and trying to get laid.

Generally whatever plans for the future exist get overcome by events (or the lack thereof). I don't think the group that stormed the Bastille imagined the Terror or that some sawed off little Corsican would lead France into war against most of Europe.

Nor did the Whole World is Watching crowd in Chicago in 1968 think very closely about the fact that the result was likely to be Nixon.

The example closest to where I live now involved happy crowds in the streets of Charleston to celebrate the shelling (and eventual surrender) of Ft. Sumter.

Life is indeed like a bowl of chocolates.

David said...

"Dip shit replies, "What have you got?"

Dip shit has no originality. Brando got there way ahead of him.

John Lynch said...

Might want to make a distinction between protest in Western democracies and the rest of the world.

In much of the world street protests are dangerous. People die. In Europe and the US it's theater. It's not the same thing at all, and it trivializes the risk taken by people who protest against regimes who will shoot them down in the streets.

rcocean said...

Moisés supposes erroneously.

Biff said...

Does astro turf grow?

stlcdr said...

I would agree that there is a distinction between western protesters (where's my latte!?) and eastern protests in oppressed and often violent, warlord, countries.

With social media, protests are largely irrelevant more so today than yesterday. The objective is to provide visibility to a cause, not to necessarily change anything - a lot of protesters don't understand that.

Liberal protesters get frustrated that things aren't changing after N months of 'hardship' on their part, and tend to get obnoxious and violent. You aren't changing anyone's mind, you have drawn the line and get upset that people are on the other side.

Protests such as the tea party rallies aren't so much to make the change itself, but to draw the line, and find out which, in this case politicians, can make the changes that the people want. This is why the tea party protests are relatively benign and well ordered.

I have been to a couple of tea part rallies - not so much a protest - and more than just a few were armed (if you know what to look for). Sometimes I think it's good that the left wing 'protesters' don't believe in private firearm ownership, because they have no self control and are by their own actions, violent and oppressive.

Tibore said...

Good God, this article contains even more hagiography about the Occupy movement. Why in God's name does that get such worship? It was an incoherent mix of disaffections that briefly caught the fickle attention of pundits who read more into it than it merited.

When all of the movement's value is in what's ascribed to it as opposed to what's intrinsic, then there's a problem. In economics, you get tulip bulb bubbles, but in political history apparently you get worship and credit beyond your accomplishments.

Tibore said...
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Tibore said...
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Todd said...

Most current "activist" are of the "sound bite" variety. They have not (nor do they want) any detailed depth of knowledge about that which they are protesting. They just want to "do something" and "be involved" while giving their pet causes the same level if commitment and investigation that they give to the pizza they just ordered.

ALP said...

Funny story: there was a protest in Seattle years back. Don't remember the cause, doesn't matter. Some protestors were jailed. It was reported that the arrested protestors were then protesting that the jail holding them served them cold herbal tea, and did not offer vegan options for meals.

If they can't endure cold herbal tea and taking a chance that they will ingest a bread product that MIGHT have lard in it - is it any wonder the typical protestor isn't up to the real work required to enact change?

Drago said...

Occupy Wall Street was an axelrod-like lefty spin up of leftwing morons designed to create news against the "filthy rich", all right in time for the 2012 election campaign.

"grass roots".

LOL

Don't worry, OWS will be "repurposed" for the next campaign.

After all, those losers really aren't going anywhere, are they?