Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy, In a speech at the White House, 1962
First of all writing about this makes me highly uncomfortable. I abhor violence and I was raised in the belief that after the horrors of WWII we would be living in a world of laws justly governed by us the people via our institutions and our elected representatives. Those of you who have read my blogs for the last 8 years or so know they have chronicled my awakening to the reality that is becoming clearer and clearer to more and more people: We have no democracy. We have Masters.
This is not just a feeling or a conspiracy theory but verifiable and well researched by established institutes (here, here and here) and more and more of us find it reflected in our rising sense of powerlessness and frustration. This is not a localized issue either. The sense that we are dominated by people and organizations more powerful than us is becoming stronger around the globe.
Here in New Zealand 50.000 people took to the streets to protest mining but just two weeks ago Simon Bridges signed away one of the biggest most pristine parks for mining and not a peep was heard. Millions upon millions of people took to the streets to protest the wars but they only expanded them. We pay more tax have less rights and we are beginning to feel the pinch of “austerity”on a global scale while the richest travel, build palaces and live it up at our expense and people are getting angry.
John F Kennedy in a white house speech once said: Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
The French nobility found that out the hard way and several English kings lost their heads for very much the same reason.
These last two weeks, two cases of popular rebellion (terrorism or illegal resistance take your pick) caught my eye and what scared me the most is that in both cases I could only think good on them for having the guts to stand up but at the same time I know that both cases will be met not with the will to look at why these cases happened but with violence justified by the fact that both cases where either threatening violence or actually acting violent against representatives of the state.
On of them is still playing out in the US in the state of Nevada. This is the case where a rancher allegedly refuses to pay taxes to the federal government and hundreds if not thousands of heavily armed militia members have traveled to his farm to assist him in his resistance against the federal government which represented by a newfangled agency killed of his cattle and threatened his livelihood in response.
The MSM propaganda machine is vilifying him while popular Radioshow host Alex Jones and with him a plethora of online bloggers and radio hosts are giving his side of the story airtime. Whether you believe one or the other is neither here nor there. The fact is that like Bundy there are hundreds of thousands of farmers and perhaps tens of millions of homeless and unemployed disenfranchised people who are desperate, have no hope for the future and with people prepared to take up arms to make a point it takes a small spark to light the tinderbox of anger amongst those.
The second case is in China where thousands of people took place in the mob lynching of a group of police officers (I use that word loosely) whose job it is to enforce permits for street vendors. Four of them brutalized a female street vendor and when a man took it upon himself to help her by filming the spat they killed him with a hammer.
The response of the crowd was to tear them out of their van and beat them to death (Rumor has it some of them might still be alive but if you see the photo’s it looks pretty brutal and final to me).
Again this was a relatively small event but it triggered a mass response from a group of people who clearly had a lot of pent up anger towards these particular civil servants.
The difference between the US case and the Chinese case was that while the Militia members showed restraint and have declared that they will not commit acts of violence unless the Federal Government starts the Chinese mob had no such compunction. What is more in China the pressure to reign in corruption is so high many high officials are leaving the country and the rich are pulling out their investments and are leaving for countries such as the US, Australia and England and even New Zealand to avoid prosecution and possible death sentences.
I conclude this post with the fact that I know that even my National John Key loving farmer neighbor actually shows signs of anger and indignation at the thought of the pending privatization of water here in New Zealand.
There is nothing more frightening than an unresponsive ruling elite in the face of growing anger amongst those they reject and humiliate. I am going to try to have a good day making something beautiful to try to get the vision of the mutilated bloody bodies out of my mind. Let’s hope wisdom prevails somewhere somehow.