Actually, a fair number of illustrations from a variety of countries in recent memory could have served.
As I write this, the president of the Ukraine has been deposed and there are tens of thousands of people massed in great, giant, demonstrations.
Have you ever noticed that in a certain *kind* of country, this is the kind of thing necessary in order to get rid of the bad men in charge? Remember Libya? Remember Egypt? It probably would have worked in Iran, too, except for Obama’s refusal to challenge the fraudulent election there.
In saying this, I am not condoning or even applauding these mob actions. What I am doing is observing that there are certain places where it takes sustained mob action, usually accompanied by severe and significant violence among all the parties (Remember Syria?) to effect a change of governance. In a stark contrast, the United States changes its course every two years, with hardly any fanfare at all.
Before we consider that unappreciated fact, let us consider why in other countries it takes mob action.
1. Rampant corruption within the government of that country, including widespread doubt about the legitimacy of ‘elections’ (if they even feign to have one).
In theory the mechanics are there for a peaceful transition of power, but in practice the elections are rigged, and everyone knows it. Deprived of a functional process for peacefully exerting one’s political will, people look for an alternative.
2. A total collapse of the rule of law.
This runs parallel to #1, but even in a dictatorship it is possible to have a rule of law. Critical components of the ‘rule of law’ include constancy and equitable application. If the law can change on a whim, and does frequently, people live in a constant state of fear that they may be spirited away in the dead of night for doing what had been legal just a day or so earlier. If the law applies to this person and not that person, the same fear emerges, and bribery and corruption further disenfranchises the great mass who are unable to ‘grease’ the system in their favor.
3. Safety in numbers.
While the police and the army might be as bloodthirsty as all get out, they still want to live. If there are more people than bullets, or it is logistically impossible to successfully wipe out the threat without exposing oneself to danger, the government forces will play it cautiously. Smaller groups, of course, are ripe for the picking; the people in these countries know this, which is why they try to make the biggest demonstration possible. There is also the fact, of course, that it would look really bad if word got out that tens of thousands of people were massacred. See #4.
4. The people are disarmed.
Since the government has all the guns and all the bullets, if push comes to shove, pretty much the only thing that people have left is to throw their corpses up against the citadel and hope there are enough left alive to clamor over them to take down the government.
It is clear that in the Ukraine, points 1 and 2 were in play. Probably 3 and 4 as well, but I don’t know enough about the Ukraine to know the details. In many of the other countries where we have seen great upheavals recently, these 4 general observations seem to fit pretty well. It would also seem that one of the factors in a successful insurrection is access to technology and the Internet: turning out enough people to be dangerous on very short notice, before the authorities can put a stop to it, is a massive tactical advantage for the mob. In places where the authorities have their thumb more firmly on top of the nation’s communication system, it is much harder to organize these kinds of marches.
I notice that in the United States, things are progressively moving in this same direction. They have been steadily going this way for many, many years, but Obama has put his foot on the accelerator.
More and more elections are coming under suspicion, largely because of the work of leftist groups such as ACORN, but also because of the amazing way that Democrats manage to keep finding new, uncounted ballots. And lest this be seen as a strictly partisan jab, I am aware that the left is also concerned about election stealing. While I think they are the ones doing most of the stealing and the number one cause for why the elections are increasingly becoming suspect, that doesn’t change the fact that both the left and the right, as well as the middle, are feeling like their vote counts for less and less each passing election.
The rule of law has been under siege for decades in the United States. The signs of its decay are everywhere. In my estimation, and the estimation of many others, a total collapse could occur just about any time. Obama certainly has not helped this with his constant usurpation of the legislative branch and his heavy handed use of government agencies to get what he wants. The use of the IRS to undermine Tea Party groups obviously undermines the validity of the 2012 election. We are to believe, for example, that the reasons for the 2010 GOP revolution ceased to exist in just two short years. It is hard to prove, of course, but it would seem that the anti-Obama vote was suppressed, and the current administration does not have its power because a majority of the populace wanted it to. It does not have to be proved; what I’m saying is that the suspicion is enough by itself, and the fact that it can neither be proved or disproved adds to the many other suspicions that people already have.
I am absolutely certain that bribery is going on. However, the various exemptions and extensions of Obamacare, in defiance of the actual legal language of Obamacare, the sweet deals given to places like Solyndra, the use of government agencies to sue the pants off of organizations and individuals that do not have the same capacity to print more money to pay for the lawyers, the use and manipulation of courts to achieve that which the ballot box did not allow (ie, gay marriage), and so on and so forth, like an avalanche, all illustrate how the ‘rule of law’ is on its way out in the United States–some wonder if it is already completely gone. One thing is for sure, the only people following the law are the great mass of people–because they know they are the only ones subject to it; the rich, the privileged, the elite, and so on do not have to follow the law, and aren’t.
In short, we are rapidly approaching a point in the U.S. where there is not even the hope that we can change things by changing the law; the very people and organizations and institutions we want our law to restrain will gleefully violate it anyway, and know that they’ll be able to get away with it.
As far as #4 goes, I don’t think anyone failed to notice that the Obama administration wanted to heavily restrict gun ownership. Nor does anyone doubt, not if they are being honest, that if liberals could get their way, the only people who would have guns in this country are government officials… who, ideally, the liberals would control.
In saying this, I am not necessarily doubting the sincerity of the many liberals who believe they are acting in the public interest with such measures. But that’s the nice thing about well-meaning, sincere people: they can lay the foundation for tyranny (or bad outcomes, more generally) and then be surprised when things didn’t turn out the way they expected. That’s why one of the liberal’s favorite sayings is, “Well, yes, there are always going to be ‘bumps in the road.'” They figure as long as they had good intentions, everything can eventually be worked out–the assumption being, of course, that the people they put in power have the same good intentions. But see #1 and #2.
There is a #5, but I think it is in a different category, though still important for us to consider. Namely, in the Ukraine and elsewhere where we have seen these mob actions, there are very often sectarian and ethnic divisions that serve to further create problems. When Group A controls the government, and numbers #1 and #2 and #4 are seen as realities by Group B, then Group B has no choice but to resort to #3. And if Group B succeeds in their insurrection, of course now it is Group A’s turn to resort to #3.
There is no question that liberals and progressives and Democrats in the United States are constantly engaged in ‘identity politics.’ They are doing everything in their power to foment class envy and will engage in race baiting whenever they can; who else do we see constantly warning about a ‘war on women’? You hear a lot of tripe out of them about ‘unity’ but in their policies and their actions, the truth emerges that it is they that are creating this country’s divisions. They feel that they need these abused sub-populations in order to win elections (as if the elections were fair!), and in this they are probably correct. But in the long run, in creating all of these groups, it is inevitable that there will be one or more groups that have been disenfranchised per points #1 and #2, and knowing that their government does not fear them and has all of the means of destruction (see #4), this will force the people in these groups to believe that their only recourse is to take to the streets and burn things down. Naturally, rival groups that the liberals helped create and delineate will meet them with clubs and knives and whatever other lethal instrument the liberals haven’t yet outlawed.
I have noticed an increase in massive marches and demonstrations in the United States over the last ten years. Some see this as a healthy by-product of democracy. I think it is the opposite. I think it is an indicator that democracy is in some stage of collapse. Certainly, any legitimate democracy should grant a free right to assemble, but that the people feel they have to assemble in the first place in order for anything to get done means that there is the stench of something very rotten in Denmark. It isn’t easy to put one’s finger on what it is–but that’s precisely part of the problem. If you want to get a feel for how the Republic is really doing these days, don’t look to that meaningless ‘State of the Union’ speech given by the president each year. Look to the streets and see how many, and how often, the people are coursing through them.
And if you don’t like it, you best take a hard look at #1 and #2. Just because it is “your guys” in the government doing things you like by fiat, doesn’t mean in a long run that its good for the country.