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On Recent Protests

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posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 12:30 AM
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In case you have lived under a rock for the last few months, America seems presently to be inundated with protests, most of them peaceful (and therefore useless), some of them violent (and therefore counterproductive). Of course, America has always been inundated with such protests, and their intensity ebbs and flows more or less corresponding to political seasons or current events. We just finished one of the most contentious, ugly, and universally dissatisfying presidential election campaigns in modern history and we ended up electing the person who lost the popular vote. Some people are angry, others smugly self-righteous, many scared for the future of themselves or their children. This sort of thing happens. While the news media will happily yammer on and on endlessly about what chaos it is out there, and millions of Americans are eager to choose sides and sound off their ignorant opinions one way or the other on social media, we are not actually on the verge of political or social collapse. Or are we?

The American representative republic is the oldest surviving democratic government in the world. Our institutions are stable, our political traditions are the result of more than two centuries of trial and error. Our system is unlikely to collapse due to bad design or momentary political fervor. But with our political success comes what are perhaps a greater threats to that stability: complacency, popular ignorance, a tendency to take things for granted, and a dangerously shallow comprehension of the nature of democratic (or republican) self-rule.

Beyond these is our natural tendency to form in-groups and practice the politics of Us vs. Them, tendencies which have been reinforced and accelerated by the nature of modern technologies in telecommunications and "targeted" media. While it has always been natural for us to self-segregate where possible, it has never been so possible to self-segregate in so many areas as it is now. In today's world we, whether "left" or "right", surround ourselves mostly with like-minded people. Our basic assumptions and beliefs about the world are rarely challenged in the context of polite conversation or genuine curiosity. Engagement with those who disagree with us is limited to online trolling and "debate" which is really no more than intellectual masturbation. As a result of all of this we find that political moderates are evaporating entirely: the fringes of both conservative and liberal ideologies are inflating to grotesque proportions, and neither side is willing to seriously consider the views or experiences of the other. Between these political extremes, we have a mass of completely ignorant citizens who are either entirely disengaged with their own government or cast their votes based on family or community traditions or whatever most of their friends happen to think, but almost never based on reason or deliberation.

The real problem with this situation is that this impenetrable wall between the ideological extremes cannot be sustained. Not only because at each end, ideas become inbred monstrosities devoid of any connection to the real world, and not only because it is difficult to form a legitimate governing coalition between two sides that are actually incapable of compromise without betraying their own values. It is unsustainable because it undermines the very definition of democratic self-rule. If we do not manage to move past this impasse, our Republic will absolutely collapse. And here's why.

Democracy in all of its forms, including our representative republic, is actually a simple idea. We learn in school that our Founding Fathers designed our republic because democratic self-rule is somehow conducive to freedom. Sure, that's a nice side effect of democracy, but it isn't why the system works. Democracy works because it gives us a convenient, accessible, peaceful proxy for civil war. If we had no government at all, we would constantly be killing each other and forming little clans in order to protect our own interests. This is fine if all you want to with your life is to barely survive, but if you hope to build a stable society that can actually accomplish things, it isn't good enough. Democracy is nice because instead of shooting each other with bullets, we shoot each other with votes. It's a proxy for war. We still have campaigns (like war), we still have "battleground" states, it's all just a polite way to wage war against each other without killing anyone (usually).

The thing about this arrangement, though, is that it only works as long as everyone is willing to play by the rules. And that means more than just respecting election results. It means governing with respect to people who disagree with you. Compromising in good faith. Not locking or pushing people out of the process. When one side in a democracy ceases to accept any input from the other side, or actively undermines the other side's ability to participate in the self-government process (by barring legal voters from the polls, for example), or makes its goal an absolutist implementation of their own ideas without any room for the ideas of others, they aren't just governing badly. They are directly attacking the foundation of our republic. By doing these things, they are effectively broadcasting that they no longer wish to honor the spirit of democracy's proxy for war.

And what that does is release the other side from any obligation to play democracy as well. If you govern in an absolutist, autocratic way, you are literally saying that the rules no longer apply -- not only to you, but to your opponent. You are kicking them out of democracy. Silencing their political voice. And since freedom of speech is a natural right, when it is politically silenced, it doesn't just disappear. It starts showing up in places outside the politically accepted venues. If people cannot vote; if they cannot reach their representatives; if they cannot participate in the system; then, they will participate outside of the system. This is where civil unrest comes from. It is not "a bunch of crybabies who can't deal with the fact they lost." It is, rather, what happens when a group of people have been politically ignored for so long that they have given up trying to participate and decide to reclaim their natural rights to govern themselves outside the purview of the law. When a society rejects a group of people refuses to take their needs or opinions into consideration, that group is no longer morally bound to participate in that society. The social contract has been broken, and so they are free to reclaim all rights they had ceded to the State -- including the right to use violence in order to protect their interests.

So the next time you see someone turning over and burning a trash can or smashing a Starbucks window, instead of scoffing and dismissing them, think about what would cause a person to go to such extremes just to be heard. And then think about what other extremes they may yet be pushed to, if we still don't hear them. It isn't about empathy for them, it isn't even about extortion. It's about natural law, natural rights, and the fact that no society can survive very long once people begin reclaiming those natural rights. Democracy is preferable to feudalism; but if we have forgotten why that is true, perhaps we have to be reminded, the hard way.




posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 12:49 AM
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I might agree with this, but since the protesting started immediately after the election, before Trump was even president, it kind of negates the argument. You complain you aren't heard? Jeez, I wish I could stop hearing it already. You never gave Trump a chance, and don't plan to. The crying started immediately and this is why you are called crybabies. And it's not as if the protests and riots are organic. They are planned and paid for by Soros, and you are all doing his dirty work for him. Sorry, I don't buy it. Not for one minute.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 12:56 AM
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Bull# nothing justifies people acting like savages .



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 01:13 AM
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Great OP. Anyone with a little vision can see this is the case, but most people who oppose the protesters can rarely see past what Trump and his propaganda machine tells them is in front of them.

S&F



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 01:17 AM
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originally posted by: vexati0n
The social contract has been broken, and so they are free to reclaim all rights they had ceded to the State -- including the right to use violence in order to protect their interests.



So you feel justified by infringing and denying rights of others in order to implement what you want.




posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 01:18 AM
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So when all these SJWs are reclaiming their "right" to use violence to protect their interests, they should prepare themselves for numerous hospital and jail trips.
Because at some point, which they are getting very close to, the hammer is going to drop on their heads. The normal, law abiding people are getting tired of this group of people that are causing all the mayhem,
We don't need or want to "hear" them anymore, we have heard enough.
And as far as the other extremes they might go to, if their crying still isn't heard.....I am not the least bit worried about them, because they will scatter like cockroaches when faced with the uprising of the other side against them.
I will scoff at them and dismiss them, because they represent the deranged Leftist ideology that does nothing for this country except blather on with anti-American sentiment like we owe the people of other countries more than we owe the American people.
I say to them....stick it in your ass and if you keep rioting and destroying things, it will be stuck in your asses.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 01:41 AM
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Protests happen in cities, plain and simple.

Humans were not built (physically our emotionally) to live in those toxic places, and what we are seeing today is a direct result of having this many humans living in that close of a proximity.

All through history every major collective has failed in the same way- we are looking a lot like done right about now.

We set up a system to avoid it, but the system has been compromised at every level over the course of centuries via weak, greedy minds.

Maybe if we survive the next cycle as a species, we will find a way to cram more people per square foot into our already over strained environment, and live long enough to spread to another rock.

We are nothing more than complex barnacles, in that sense.... Yet we bicker over this.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 01:43 AM
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The protestors are people who do not understand how the American government functions and care only about feelings. Try talking to them...I have. Little success even when they claim to be open minded. They should shut up, think about things objectively and try again.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 01:47 AM
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originally posted by: ksiezyc
The protestors are people who do not understand how the American government functions and care only about feelings. Try talking to them...I have. Little success even when they claim to be open minded. They should shut up, think about things objectively and try again.


I disagree.

The rioters know very well how our government runs.

They just don't like how our government runs.

They want a coup.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 01:49 AM
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a reply to: DBCowboy

Some that I've spoken to don't understand the purpose of the electoral college and thought we live in a democracy, not a constitutional republic. They understand we vote, little else it would seem. I speak of the younger folk.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 02:05 AM
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a reply to: ksiezyc

That speaks to the subversive element that doesn't acknowledge how our government works and doesn't care about the Constitution.

It's a disregard for the Constitution.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 02:14 AM
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Here's a list of 13 protests. Some were effective and some were not.

mentalfloss.com...

I don't see what the successful ones had in common. Maybe just luck and timing?



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 02:47 AM
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a reply to: vexati0n

Protests are fine until they infringe on MY rights. Once they go beyond a peaceful demonstration all bets are off. Their rights do NOT supersede my rights or the rights of my family despite how important they think they or their causes are.

Personally I would never waste my time protesting as there are too many more intellectual options available to people to work towards their goals. I consider protesters to be mindless zombies.


edit on 2017/2/5 by Metallicus because: sp



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 02:49 AM
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a reply to: vexati0n




This is where civil unrest comes from. It is not "a bunch of crybabies who can't deal with the fact they lost." It is, rather, what happens when a group of people have been politically ignored for so long that they have given up trying to participate and decide to reclaim their natural rights to govern themselves outside the purview of the law. When a society rejects a group of people refuses to take their needs or opinions into consideration, that group is no longer morally bound to participate in that society. The social contract has been broken, and so they are free to reclaim all rights they had ceded to the State -- including the right to use violence in order to protect their interests. So the next time you see someone turning over and burning a trash can or smashing a Starbucks window, instead of scoffing and dismissing them, think about what would cause a person to go to such extremes just to be heard. And then think about what other extremes they may yet be pushed to, if we still don't hear them. It isn't about empathy for them, it isn't even about extortion. It's about natural law, natural rights, and the fact that no society can survive very long once people begin reclaiming those natural rights. Democracy is preferable to feudalism; but if we have forgotten why that is true, perhaps we have to be reminded, the hard way.





What needs and considerations do you expect others to grant you, to stop you from using violence and destroying other peoples property ?

What makes you think your needs and considerations (rights) give you the right to trample on other peoples rights ?

You do realize you are advocating violence and destruction of PRIVATE citizens property ?

You say this is not the actions of a butthurt crybaby, i disagree with you, little buttheads whom advocate violence and destruction of innocent peoples property and business owners livelihoods are the scourge of the earth and are the real problem we all face going forward.

You may think you entitled attitude gives you the right to trample others i am just pointing out it does not




posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 03:07 AM
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a reply to: vexati0n

Very valid points, except no one has silenced these protesters, nor have they been pushed into the underground by censorship and social exclusion. They have been denied nothing. They can vote; they can reach their representatives; they have every opportunity to participate in society; but they refuse to, and their flag-burning, their destruction of property, their violence against dissenters is a testament to that.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 05:42 AM
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a reply to: vexati0n




So the next time you see someone turning over and burning a trash can or smashing a Starbucks window, instead of scoffing and dismissing them, think about what would cause a person to go to such extremes just to be heard.


I think hmmmm, I guess Soros promised a $ bonus and a get out of jail free card to whoever can cause the most damage and get on TV.

I agree with much of your post, but there is quite a bit of evidence out there to show that not all of these protesters are genuine.

It's pretty telling to me anyways, the day after the election, you have people like the mayor of Portland REFUSING to send police to quell any unrest. Their reasoning for it is because they claim they did not want the police to be targeted by the rioters as well.

www.zerohedge.com...

Its almost as if they wanted riots to continue so they would have some awesome footage to air repeatedly on the five o'clock news.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 05:47 AM
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a reply to: vexati0n
You are wrong. Every small person rich or poor has had their moment where their voices are heard. I mean everybody who chooses to. It's called Democracy and your time to influence this Democracy was the time you put your mark on a piece of paper (or however you did it). Your voice was heard and took into consideration. Now just because your collective voices amounted to diddly squat you want to cry and scream about it.
You have had your voice heard, it failed, now get on with life and let the duly elected people get on with theirs for the benefit of the people who did vote for them.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 06:30 AM
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I would tend to agree with the aspect of our natural rights bestowed upon us by our creator, esp. our right to defend those rights, however, we have an imperfect system. It was always been far from perfect and it is prone to manipulation and corruption. Regardless of who feels, thinks or knows they got the short end of the stick, those in power will tend to prevail and power will corrupt them in the end.

IMO, when the system tries to make corrections through laws or other patch work fixes, it gets thrown off course by those who have the most influence, everything it seems has been twisted and fixed to keep certain groups down while elevating others. I think humans have exceeded their capacity to keep control of the situation, at most every level, and that it has just gotten way too big and unsustainable. I believe that because of cultural and moral relativity, anything goes more or less, and selfishness, greed, and other damaging characteristics of human behavior come to the surface and breed corruption. With the realization that their is no practical higher power to keep you in check, be it legal, political or spiritual, then it is common practice to take advantage of anyone and anything you can to further your personal agenda, what ever that may be.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 06:49 AM
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originally posted by: vexati0n

Democracy works because it gives us a convenient, accessible, peaceful proxy for civil war. If we had no government at all, we would constantly be killing each other and forming little clans in order to protect our own interests. This is fine if all you want to with your life is to barely survive, but if you hope to build a stable society that can actually accomplish things, it isn't good enough. Democracy is nice because instead of shooting each other with bullets, we shoot each other with votes. It's a proxy for war. We still have campaigns (like war), we still have "battleground" states, it's all just a polite way to wage war against each other without killing anyone (usually).

The thing about this arrangement, though, is that it only works as long as everyone is willing to play by the rules. And that means more than just respecting election results. It means governing with respect to people who disagree with you. Compromising in good faith. Not locking or pushing people out of the process. When one side in a democracy ceases to accept any input from the other side, or actively undermines the other side's ability to participate in the self-government process (by barring legal voters from the polls, for example), or makes its goal an absolutist implementation of their own ideas without any room for the ideas of others, they aren't just governing badly. They are directly attacking the foundation of our republic. By doing these things, they are effectively broadcasting that they no longer wish to honor the spirit of democracy's proxy for war.

And what that does is release the other side from any obligation to play democracy as well.



I fully understand what you are saying right up until the last line quoted here. Here you divest from a fairly neutral stance to one which implies that the current establishment are the ones who are shutting people down, refusing to let people be heard and then use your argument to justify the actions of these so called "protests".

For the last 10-15 years, perhaps a little more, the PC culture, which started out with the best of intentions, has become increasingly aggressive, authoritarian and intrusive.
It is PC culture that has progressively locked or pushed increasing numbers of people out of the process, has stifled free speech and disenfranchised many.
They refuse to "compromise in good faith", respect those who disagree or have a different opinion and has seemingly made it's goal "an absolutist implementation of their own ideas without any room for the ideas of others", to the point of committing violent acts against those who have a differing opinion.
PC culture has tarred people with the worst labels that they can muster, de-legitimised their point of view, made it, in some cases, a criminal offence to say or do (and by extension even think) certain things, it has created an environment where simply having an opinion can cost people their jobs, their careers, their friends and their families.
THEY have broken all the rules of the game as you described them and, you suggest, this would release those people on the receiving end "from any obligation to play democracy as well"

BUT, instead of this resulting in "protests" (riots) and civil unrest from "the other side", it resulted in the democratic election of a man who ran his campaign counter to the radical PC culture.
That actually proves to me that your democratic republic is absolutely still operating as it was intended to.
The result of millions of people feeling pushed out was not total revolution or war in the typical sense but a social revolution, conducted utterly within the rules of the game.
So, whether you agree with the outcome or not, whether you agree with the opinions stated by Trump or not, ALL voices were heard (as per the rules) and votes cast, and the end result is fair and just and entirely within the pre-established rules of the game.

What we are seeing now is that the PC movement, which has been ruthlessly silencing any opposition for years, through various means, and has got used to having it all it's own way, has lost this round of the game and is now screaming that it's time to change the rules because it's suddenly "not fair".

From an outside point of view this absolutely DOES look like crybaby, tantrum behaviour.

I would consider myself fairly liberal (in the general meaning of the word, not the American political sense), i would not have voted trump, i did not vote to leave the EU either BUT i totally respect the outcome of both of those votes because that, as you rightly pointed out, is the fundamental premise of a democratic society.
There simply is no justification for the rioting, hate speech, violence, assaults, vandalism, threats and intimidation being displayed by these so called protestors.
They may well be feeling somewhat angry that the result didn't go their way, well, fair enough, feel angry if you must, i can empathise with that, but, unless they are prepared to change to a system of government that allows only one section of society to decide everything for everyone then they're going to have to suck it up this time around.



posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 07:07 AM
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originally posted by: vexati0n
Our system is unlikely to collapse due to bad design or momentary political fervor. But with our political success comes what are perhaps a greater threats to that stability: complacency, popular ignorance, a tendency to take things for granted, and a dangerously shallow comprehension of the nature of democratic (or republican) self-rule.


Indeed. Self-rule... what one can do for one's self, by one's self and/or with consenting adults.


In today's world we, whether "left" or "right", surround ourselves mostly with like-minded people. Our basic assumptions and beliefs about the world are rarely challenged in the context of polite conversation or genuine curiosity. Engagement with those who disagree with us is limited to online trolling and "debate" which is really no more than intellectual masturbation.


Since you seem to believe this, I will accept that this is how you live your life... but that remark does not resemble me in any way. I speak frequently with folks in real life, asking what they think and why they think it, about the experiences that led them to that way of thinking, etc. I've had some amazing conversations right here on ATS with folks that I don't agree with and they don't agree with me. As long as each of us can walk away and live our lives without hurting the other, it's all good... you know, that "self-rule" thing and all.


As a result of all of this we find that political moderates are evaporating entirely: the fringes of both conservative and liberal ideologies are inflating to grotesque proportions, and neither side is willing to seriously consider the views or experiences of the other.


Um... no. See above. The problem is that the extremes refuse to listen to the moderates and are screaming so damn loud they're drowning the rest of us out. Because the extremes don't want to hear anything but their own echo chamber.


Between these political extremes, we have a mass of completely ignorant citizens who are either entirely disengaged with their own government or cast their votes based on family or community traditions or whatever most of their friends happen to think, but almost never based on reason or deliberation.


Thank you for proving my point. We're all just "a mass of completely ignorant citizens..." and you know the rest. You wrote it. Who exactly is it again that isn't listening???


The real problem with this situation is that this impenetrable wall between the ideological extremes cannot be sustained.


Of course not.

When one side in a democracy ceases to accept any input from the other side, or actively undermines the other side's ability to participate in the self-government process (by barring legal voters from the polls, for example), or makes its goal an absolutist implementation of their own ideas without any room for the ideas of others, they aren't just governing badly. They are directly attacking the foundation of our republic. By doing these things, they are effectively broadcasting that they no longer wish to honor the spirit of democracy's proxy for war.

Okay, there's some truth in all that... but it sure ain't the whole truth. First, although you seem to know there's a difference between a democracy -- mob rule -- and a republic -- inalienable rights for all, you sure don't seem to understand that any group forcing their will on anyone else is a gross violation of our Republic and our organic law. Anyone forcing an "absolutist implementation of their own ideas" is governing badly. Period. Doesn't matter if you hear from others or not. The purpose of our Republic is to protect everyone's right to free will and all the attendant rights that go with it. If someone doesn't want to play with you, then you can go find someone who does want to play with you. You don't get to throw a hissy fit, putting people's property, lives and limbs in danger. That's not about not being heard; that's all about not getting your own way.


And what that does is release the other side from any obligation to play democracy as well. If you govern in an absolutist, autocratic way, you are literally saying that the rules no longer apply -- not only to you, but to your opponent.


You mean like all those protesters who are demanding whatever it is they want in the MOST "absolutist, autocratic way" all over the country??? The ones in Wonderland who have already made it quite clear that all ways are their ways and they will force their will on the rest of us come hell or high water? I'd say the rest of us have been quite patient and are still playing by the rules.


You are kicking them out of democracy. Silencing their political voice.


No one's vote was silenced. They were heard, and the answer was "No, thank you"... or maybe just "Hell no!" Either way, they were not and have not been silenced. They were heard loud and clear. And were told "no."


This is where civil unrest comes from. It is not "a bunch of crybabies who can't deal with the fact they lost."


No, it's much much worse than that. Crybabies sit in the corner and cry... these are angry violent people determined to hurt anyone and everyone they can.


It is, rather, what happens when a group of people have been politically ignored for so long that they have given up trying to participate and decide to reclaim their natural rights to govern themselves outside the purview of the law.


Nope. If they just wanted to exercise their natural rights, they wouldn't be making any demands of anyone else. They would do what they can for themselves, by themselves, and walk away from the rest. If they just wanted to exercise their natural rights, then they wouldn't be trying so damn hard to stop others from exercising their natural rights, or forcing others to do things they don't want to do.


The social contract has been broken, and so they are free to reclaim all rights they had ceded to the State -- including the right to use violence in order to protect their interests.


No. No one has the right to use violence against others for any reason. Everyone has the natural right to be safe and secure in their person and property from others.


So the next time you see someone turning over and burning a trash can or smashing a Starbucks window, instead of scoffing and dismissing them, think about what would cause a person to go to such extremes just to be heard.


Ego? Steroids? Psychopathy?


And then think about what other extremes they may yet be pushed to...


Pushed to? No. Inclined to? Yes.


...if we still don't hear them.


They were heard. They were told "no."


It's about natural law, natural rights, and the fact that no society can survive very long once people begin reclaiming those natural rights.


Again, natural rights refer to what you can do for yourself and by yourself... not what you can force on others under color of law and the barrel of a gun... much less violent protests and assault and battery.

These protests simply confirm what I already knew: It isn't about rights or freedom, it's about forcing their will on everyone else in any way possible.



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