More on Actions and consequences

In our last post, we described efforts protest organizers have to go through to get people to show up at an Action “spontaneously.” Action is a leftist term for an organized, mass protest, which has one or  more political goals.

Here’s an example of a reverse Action. That happens when the Left knows there will be a big crowd assembled for a Rightist get-together. We were at one of those in downtown Portland when the Bush-Gore election vote battle was going on. In Oregon, the Right is every bit as organized as the Left – that is to say, not at all. They try – Lord how they try! – but Oregonians are just too laid-back, as Portlandia, the TV show, brilliantly portrays.

Anyway, at our first demonstration we were in late middle-age, as were most of the Republican demonstrators. A few brave Libertarians went amongst the crowd looking, vainly, for converts. But more ominously, a few silent, eerily still, observers hovered around the edges of the circling crowd of geezers.

The observers appeared to be giving directions to colleagues who were moving in closer and closer to the demonstrators, causing some to bump into others. Since some of the demonstrators were already excited and angry, they were ripe for a … riot! IFO put her arm around ond of the more upset demonstrators and said quietly to him, “Don’t get mad. That’s what they want you to do.” This calmed him right away.

IFO noticed her DDH beckoning for her to come out of the circling crowd. She went over to him. Pointing, he said, “There’s the guy who is running them.”  We’ll call him the Boss. IFO looked directly at the man DDH was indicating, then started over to the Police Presence up on the steps above the milling crowd.

As soon as she got near the cops, she turned back and noticed the Boss had disappeared, as had the people he was running. Crisis averted, thanks to the quick wit of her DDH, who had a real nose for troublemakers.

Anecdotally, a friend told us about his experience at UCBerkeley, during the height of the anti-VietNam war protests in the early 1970s. These protests, which one philosophy grad student (her doctoral thesis was on L. Wittengenstein, but she couldn’t tell us what LW’s ideas were)  told us were completely spontaneous, in spite of her admission that there were signs and announcements all over the campus.

He said he was in one of the demonstrations where the leaders of the crowd shouted, “Let’s attack the ROTC building!” There was a roar of approval from the crazed Cal students. But our friend noticed that the people calling for a run on the ROTC building were fading backward through the surging crowd and were nowhere to be seen when the cops and students clashed.

This claim of spontaneity is another hallmark of a Leftist action.  To return to the Occupy movement, we have no doubt that 90%, or it even could have been 99%, of the occupiers showed up spontaneously. But given how coordinated the Actions and primary messages were in cities across the U.S., we think those Actions were carefully planned by a few trained agitators.

Were the Tea Party appearances comparable? No. Not al all. All they ever did, and we went to some Tea Party meetings and protests in person, was shout. Most of the shouters were grown men, who, frankly, sound pretty scary when they shout in their deep Daddy voices. There was no pushing or shoving, lots of laughing, hand-shaking and back-slapping, no trash left behind, no lawns or parks destroyed. The average age of the TP crowd runs around 55 to 65. As we said, No.


About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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2 Responses to More on Actions and consequences

  1. Robert de Forest says:

    Personal and anecdotal evidence do not count as citations, but even if they did, the experiences and anecdotes you related in this and your previous post do not support your implication that the primary goal of Occupy was violence. You mentioned demonstrations in the relatively distant past which were not meaningfully related to Occupy, made some points about diverse goals of the majority and the puppeteering of a quiet few and you made some more poorly-supported implications about the tendencies of groups representing certain views to use various tactics.

    I’ll restate my questions more directly. Do you assert that the primary goal of Occupy as a whole was violence, and if so, what evidence do you have that that movement specifically had that primary goal?

    I have no doubt that some minority of ANY group larger than 20 people is violence. I wouldn’t be surprised if 10% of humanity have a sufficiently violent predisposition to support your response of, “Some did have such a goal, some didn’t.” The goals of the few are not the same as the goals of the many.

    If violence had been the primary goal of the Occupy movement as a whole, we would have seen a lot more violence. We also would have heard about it from disillusioned participants. Any violence that did originate from within the group was either from the immature, the mentally ill or from infiltrators meaning to disrupt and discredit the movement.

    I disliked Occupy because they did not organize, their rhetoric was ill-informed and they stood primarily on a platform of entitlement. They needed a coherent, realistic plan for how to get from the current reality to the better reality they envisioned. They needed to have a more accurate understanding of the current reality. Had they actually organized and done anything other than camp out in public and get high, I might have had more respect for them.

    Even so, I don’t like to see any aspect of the world characterized inaccurately. It creates, re-enforces and propagates models and ideas which lead people to work against the grain of the systems they interact with. If someone goes around thinking every group which holds more than one demonstration is trying to hurt people, that person is going to interact less constructively with the world than they would otherwise.

    • Hi – thanks for the comment. I had written a great reply, but when I attempted to post it WordPress refused to do it. Don’t know why. So the reply is lost or maybe floating out in the vast blogosphere looking for a spot to land. BTW, Stormagnet stentorius linked with my gmail circles thing, but I don’t use it and I don’t know how to communicate with her. I’m about done w/social media. Please give her my warmest regards.


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