Archive for June, 2020

Protocols Of Protest

June 1st, 2020 No comments


Rules and laws only work with two important conditions.  One, you need to have a population willing to follow the rules ( assuming that they’re enforced equally) and two, you need some means of enforcement if these rules are flouted.

In a nominally free country, people generally agree to abide by rules of social conduct because they wish to be part of a harmonious society.  It’s hard to know when the rules are too oppressive, but I would argue that people have been conditioned over the years to be more and more malleable by the governing overlords, so the threshold is now quite high.  A few hundred years ago, people got pretty incensed over an increase in the  taxes imposed on tea.  Next thing you know, they dumped it in the Boston harbor and that eventually led to a war which led to the formation of a new nation.

Today, people pay virtually half of their income to taxes, but they dutifully pay with only minor grumbling. People were obviously a lot less tolerant back in the day.

The recent rioting observed in many US urban cities is portrayed as anger over the death of a defenseless and subdued suspect, George Floyd, at the hands of a police officer. This abhorrent event re-opened the perpetual wound of racism accusations which never ever seems to heal in America.  Egged on by political opportunists, the howls of righteous indignation devolved into the predictable pattern of wanton looting, rioting and property destruction.

It’s a certainty that the vast majority of the rioters will never be held accountable for their criminal actions.  In fact media and civic leaders are all but excusing their behavior as justifiable.  The narrative is that people’s lives, black lives in particular, are at risk by institutionalized racism on the part of the police.  This narrative continues to be pushed even as cold hard statistics prove otherwise.

Contrast this to the behavior of the vast majority of the population when restrictions were imposed by governments upon their movements, their social interactions and their very ability to earn a living.  Shockingly, everyone complied and still do, even as more and more evidence comes forth about the exaggeration and mishandling of the ‘crisis’.  Again, cold hard statistics don’t support the narrative.

You’d think that people would be rightly incensed at having their lives and businesses destroyed, of having the government’s figurative knee on their necks until they succumbed.  And you’d be wrong.  As outrageous and unwise as much of the shutdown has been, people are still not burning and looting even though the devastation many have suffered was and is very real.  There were a few brave souls who pushed back, but their actions resulted in jail time and fines.

Turns out they would have been better off looting and rioting.  Apparently, all of the pent up anger and frustration could have been salved by throwing a few bricks, breaking storefront windows, setting some cop cars ablaze and getting some five finger discounts on flat screen TV’s and running shoes.  All without consequence. It’s hard to know when to follow the rules and when not to.