Tuesday, 23 April 2013

What Does History Teach About Peaceful Protests?

Question: What Does History Teach About Peaceful Protests?
Answer: They don't work.

Why is this?  It's simple: Act as a mob and you'll be treated as a mob, no matter how peaceful you are.  Individual men can reason with individual men, and speak on equitable terms, but mobs cannot reason with individual men and will never be able to.  It's probably hard-grained into our psychology.

The Peterloo Massacre (1819)
The Peterloo Massacre was a peaceful protest by working class people who were pushing for parliamentary reform: they wanted the vote.  The result was 15 people killed and several hundred injured, and no political reform.  What does this show us?  It shows us that mobs of people get, at best, rounded up and put in pens (like kettling), or, at worst, rounded up and sent to the butchers.  It shows us that protesting, no matter how peaceful or well intentioned, never amounts to any positive action.  Sure it might 'raise awareness' (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean, it seems to me an excuse to get someone else to do the work that you're too cowardly to do).

Peasants Revolt 1381, Peterloo 1819, Anti-War Protests etc all amounted to nothing.

So what's the alternative to peaceful protests, and mob action?  Speaking to reasonable men on a one to one basis.  If you can reason with them then do so.  If you find out that they are unreasonable then stop wasting your time with them and move onto another person.


1 comment:

  1. An article on the ineffectiveness of peaceful protests, with reference to the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement, and Thai protests.

    'If political protests focused on the real culprits of economic instability within their countries, then they could be immensely successful in bringing about real change. However, as long as they focus on distractions and the players of the game rather than the real culprits, politicians will continue to sell all of us “hope” and “change we can believe in” and continue laughing behind our backs all the way to the bank.'

    (Source: https://smartknowledgeu.com/blog/2013/12/why-political-protests-ultimately-always-fail/)