With good reason, lots of people are really upset about what has happened to our country over the past decade: torture, war-mongering, corruption, willful mismanagement, election fraud, socialism for the rich, outsourcing of jobs and profits, increasing concentration of wealth, lack of accountability, suppression of scientific findings, prosecution of innocent people … you name it.
Many people are calling for civil disobedience, because the political system seems not to be working as it should. In The Best Among Us; Join the Revolt On Wall Street or Stand On The Wrong Side of History Christ Hedges writes:
There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.
He forgot to mention the torture and illegal wars and many other crimes and misdeeds.
But most people — including me — are too scared, or passive, or invested, or smart (?), to protest in the streets and risk arrest. Things are bad and getting worse, but it’s not clear where such protests would lead. In the short and medium term, they could very well lead to social unrest, economic collapse, oppression, or worse. Disruptive civil disobedience seems like a an act of desperation.
Perhaps the situation is indeed grim but protest is unlikely to help. Perhaps we need to wait for a viable third political party or for a resurgence of a progressive Democratic Party.
Or maybe I’m just a wimp and I’m complicit in great injustice.
Has injustice reached levels warranting disruptive civil disobedience? Do you think such protest is effective?