I wrote this blog in October 2011, a month after the Occupy Wallstreet protest in New York City began.
- The Government Listens to the People and Responds Reasonably
I would bet money that this will not happen. The American government’s silence on the Wall Street protesters, the police’s use of excessive force and the open hostility some politicians have expressed towards the protesters builds a tight argument that the government has no intention of allowing the protesters’ voice to be represented in government. I expect president Obama to just smile at the protesters and agree that we need change and do nothing until he retires from politics comfortably as a member of the 1%.
But the people took to the streets in the first place because nothing else they were doing was working. So they’ve already set a precedent for not giving up when the government stonewalls them. I don’t expect the Obama administration to get away with ignoring the protesters indefinitely. Eventually the protesters are going to try something else. Conspiracy theorists are saying the government is hoping the people riot and are even actively trying to incite the protesters to riot to justify using more excessive force against them. That scenario sounds crazy, but it might be worth betting money on.
- The Cops V.S. Protesters Route
I urge everyone to read “A People’s History of The United States” by Howard Zinn. Even if you don’t agree with it, you should read it to understand the people in your country who do agree with it. Zinn argues that the United Stat’s government’s standard, traditional, official response to protesters has always been the use of excessive force.
If history repeats itself then the police will continually harrass the protesters and make their lives miserable using nonphysical methods. If that doesn’t disperse the protesters they cops will use tear gas, billy clubs, tazers, horses, water hoses and dogs drive the protesters off. If that doesn’t work the government will declare a national emergency and call in the national guard to evict the protesters at gun point and will almost certainly open fire on the civilians (who will at that point be labeled a danger to national security) in the eyes of the (usually) well intentioned troops pulling the trigger.
After enough enough photos of pretty white girls getting beaten or shot surface on the internet then public opinion will sway almost unanimously in favor of the protesters. When that happens the government will throw the civil rights movement a token bone that’s only part of what the protesters originally wanted, but it’ll be a victory for the civil rights movement nonetheless. So the people will accept it, and the government will write itself into the history books as a champion of civil rights for passing what few laws it did.
I would bet money that it doesn’t come to Americans getting shot by law enforcement officials. Technology and a more connected culture has changed the political landscape so that more people get outraged by less. And the internet has given every person in the world a megaphone that can be heard around the world. It doesn’t take too many people with megaphones to rally the world. Americans will put their collective foot down after a few more beatings well before it comes to shooting. Plus, a lot of law enforcement personnel are pretty fed up with the system themselves. If the protesters made a more concentrated effort to win the hearts and minds of the police and the military they could speed up the process of forcing the government to throw them their token victory sooner rather than later. I wouldn’t be suprised if all this protesting ended up in getting one of the following token changes enacted:
- Eliminating the electoral college but leaving campaign finance untouched
- Outlaw lobbying and then creating a new official department with a new name that companies use to lobby through
- Legalize gay marriage
- Raise the tax on the rich a small amount for a few years
- The Crashing Wave Route
- The Grass Roots Political Party Route
- The Constitutional Convention Route
- The Intentional Community Route
- The Wall Street Route
- The Literary Renaissance Route
However you felt about this post, you’ll probably feel the same way about these:
- Why you should not have faith in your government
- Don’t ask what your country can do for you
- Problems we accept are part of life but don’t have to
- Voting never has and will never save America
- Americans, you’re not represented in the 2012 presidential election
- Things Obama won’t change in his next four years as president
- Why Obamacare made me face palm
- Corruption reform
- A theory on improving the political election process
- Stop talking about guns and start talking about poverty
- Conservative Americans, you don’t need to overthrow your government to make the world a better place.
- Cost/Benefit Analysis of Terrorism
- A Discussion about Osama Bin Laden’s life, death and what it means for the future
- 10 solutions to most of America’s problems
- 6 steps to change America
- 9 reasons foreigners look down on America
- America is a pc. Europe is a Mac
- My American Beauty-esque rant about life in America
- Why are Americans so violent and unhappy?
- The Big Conspiracy Theory
- Have a sane perception of conspiracy theories
- Don’t give conspiracy theorists your money
Police and the Law
- An intervention with the police
- Thoughts on police who beat up protesters
- My experience with the TSA
- Should police enforce unjust laws?
- The 28th amendment
- My theory on accountability laws
- Why prostitution should be legal
- Why gambling should be legal
- 8 reasons to legalize marijuana you’ve already heard
- Why stop with just making drugs illegal?
- The American burqa
- Borders are inhumane
Occupy Wall Street
- An American Expat Visits the “Occupy Auckland” protest: Part 1, Part 2
- The Issue of Race in the Occupy movement
- Why I’m not sure if we need another big Occupy Wall Street style protest