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Naive Expectations for Mass Social and Political Movements

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Sunstone, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    The New York Times is calling the BLM/George Floyd protests against racism and police brutality possibly the largest scale protest movement in American history.

    As of a few weeks ago, there had been protest gatherings and marches in over 2,000 cities and towns across America -- to say nothing of the international protests in other countries. Almost all of those gatherings and marches have been peaceful -- totally devoid of violence.

    By the way, one of those protest marches even went by cottage. The first time any protest march has passed through my quiet neighborhood. Five hundred or so marchers. Very loud chanting, but nothing threatening or intimidating -- the marchers were in good spirits. And absolutely no violence.​

    As it happens, there are actually people in this world naive enough to believe that a mass social and/or political movement can exist without it numbering among its ranks at least a few extremists!

    These naive people seem to think human nature is such that you can gather more than a few hundred people together without there being some who want to burn the world down, or who delight in making unreasonable demands, or who love to make outrageous statements. But isn't it an unreasonable demand that a mass social and/or political movement number among its members only rational people?

    What think you? Is the expectation that you can have a mass movement without any irrational behavior realistic?

    If so, point to the mass movement that achieved that lofty and noble goal. That is, that had no extremists among it.


     
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  2. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you can have a mass movement without violent police behavior.
     
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  3. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    All movements will draw in that fringe element of “crazies.” Fandoms, communities, groups of loosely affiliated people, clubs etc.
    Hell wasn't Lennon literally killed by an obsessed Beatles fan?
    Sometimes provocateurs join just to make movements look bad in the media. Get a large enough group of people together and see how long it takes to play the “spot the crazy element” game :shrug:
     
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  4. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    You'll get fringe elements in large scale protests. AND you'll get opportunists looking to take advantage, without particular alignment or care to the protest goals.

    These seem universal truths more is the pity.
     
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  5. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    The bell curve is ubiquitous.

    The fact remains that those who most loudly denounce 'extremism' are typically those who have been most silent about four centuries of white supremacy.
     
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  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Christine's Uncle Fergus
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    The 60s seemed much bigger than BLM.
    And it had more extremism.
    In my town they bombed the FBI office, & set fire to the
    ROTC building. People I know were beaten by cops.
    BLM protests have been quiet.
     
  7. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    I was pretty active in the 60' and it was in no way bigger.
     
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  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Christine's Uncle Fergus
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    I was around then too.
    Perhaps you've forgotten so much from so long ago, eh.

    Of course, BLM protests have been around for less than a year.
    Will they eventually amount to something bigger?
    The 60s was about gay rights, women's rights, minority rights,
    anti-war, anti-police brutality, sexual liberty, & so much more.
    And it drifted into the 70s, with more change.
     
  9. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    1963 March on Washington

    The March on Washington was a massive protest march that occurred in August 1963, when some 250,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Also known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the event aimed to draw attention to continuing challenges and inequalities faced by African Americans a century after emancipation. It was also the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s now-iconic “I Have A Dream” speech.​

    2017 Women's March

    The main protest was in Washington, D.C., and is known as the Women's March on Washington[23] with many other marches taking place worldwide. The Washington March was streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.[24] The Washington March drew over 470,000 people.[25] Between 3,267,134 and 5,246,670 people participated in the marches in the U.S.,[26] approximately 1.0 to 1.6 percent of the U.S. population. Worldwide participation has been estimated at over seven million.[11][12][27]
    2020 BLM Protests

    Black Lives Matter protests may be the largest in U.S. history as more than 26MILLION Americans have been at the more than 4,700 demonstrations around the country
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Christine's Uncle Fergus
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    One cannot measure a movement by census counting in a march.
    I look at effects in society & government.
    BLM pales in comparison to the 60s.
     
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  11. tytlyf

    tytlyf The Mind Eye

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    So stop beating around the bush and make your point? Are we to guess what your understanding of the 60's protests were? What are you judging change based on?
     
  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Christine's Uncle Fergus
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    See post #10.
     
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