Rioting: does it work? | INFJ Forum

Rioting: does it work?

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by Aaron Thyne, Jun 4, 2020.

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  1. Aaron Thyne

    Aaron Thyne Regular Poster

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    What do you think, do riots work? I have heard so many great arguments for why riots are effective: they raise awareness, they sends a clear message to establishment power, they sets the terms for negotiation.

    Here's the pattern I see when looking at the history of BLM protests.
    1. Racial profiling and police brutality persist until public anger reaches critical mass and boils over into protest and violence. In this case, the murder of George Floyd
    2. Media coverage is heavily sensationalized and marginalizes protesters who are non-violent, obscuring reasons for the protests by emphasizing rioting and looting.
    3. National guard and police forces are mobilized to suppress protesters, further inflaming tensions and exacerbating the violence using heavy-handed tactics like tear gasing.
    4. Millions of Americans start to recognize the travesty of racism and police brutality, while millions of others lament the destruction of property and downplay police violence;
    5. Despite bias media coverage, the basic point that people of color are rising against police brutality and societal racism manages to seep through. It starts to becoming increasingly difficult for most Americans to deny that race relations in the U.S. have reached crisis.
    6. Reforms follows, geared toward increased pressure on police forces to improve transparency, to rely more heavily on community policing initiatives, and to further raise public awareness of structural racism. And the cycle repeats.
    Wonderful, the protests are a monumental success. The BLM marchers get what they want, and life is better because of it. But are they a success? And is life really better? Is it really an achievement to push through policy that obliges police officers to wear body cams? Or is this just an example of "2 steps forward, 10 steps backwards."

    I happen to believe these reforms are nothing more than a small gesture of comradery. They look great, but are not. They don't represent a monumental success, but rather an unwitting blindness to how these crises are routinely exploited by wall street, by big pharma, by private corporate interests to push through radical policy reform and consolidate elite power. Although I see and commend the efforts of regular citizens for trying, every step forward really does means 10 steps backwards for the entire country.

    What are your thoughts though?
     
    #1 Aaron Thyne, Jun 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  2. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition THANKS RUG

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    There were riots and violence when women marched for their right to vote. There were riots and violence during Stonewall leading to the gay liberation movement. Now there are riots and violence to fight the system racism that's been occurring since the USA was founded.

    How is it 10 steps back for police to wear body cams? I'm on surveillance in my corporate job. I was on surveillance when I used to work in a coffee shop. There is software tracking most of what every person does working from home and if people think their companies aren't watching... lol. So when you have police officers with their batons, guns, tasers, who can easily abuse power and take someone's life, how is it inappropriate for them to have a body cam?

    How is it 10 steps back for the entire country? Because Trump's solution is to run to his bunker and wants the military to "dominate" the citizens of the USA into submission? Yeah, I guess THAT is 10 steps backwards but bringing acute awareness to the social issues of the country is important to move forward. Nothing else has got people's attention in any meaningful way, but now you have protests in all 50 states and 18 other countries... That's massive and a step in the right direction in my opinion.

    But moving into the corporate manipulation of these extremely important movements. Here is where I agree with you. You know companies keep silent until it's trendy to speak up or until there's enough pressure to say they're on board with equal rights. Most companies are not regularly speaking out about injustice until there's a hashtag trending on twitter they want to capitalize on. Companies speaking out who have sweat shops or who employ child labour are suddenly "woke" enough to make a statement to their social media audience. Companies who try to market to people during a time of crisis to manipulate them into thinking they're helping. Just look at what goes on with that pink ribbon for cancer awareness - suddenly all these companies have pink merchandise and promise to donate to the cause but really it's just a way to get people to buy more under the guise that they're helping. It's fucking sick. Not to mention that corporations lobby the gov't so hard that they influence policy based on their own needs because for some reason

    I just don't understand the argument that it's 10 steps back. You will always have people who will be opportunists and use these situations for their own personal gain through inciting unnecessary violence, through looting, through destruction, etc. Shitty people will always be part of the equation unfortunately. Not unlike police destroying medical stations or doing dry by shootings to break up crowds or officers kneeling on citizen's necks for nearly 9 minutes when they should have been fired for the other incidents they were involved in that caused loss of life....
     
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  3. mintoots

    mintoots hematopoietic

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    I don't know. We should ask Hong Kong.
     
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  4. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition THANKS RUG

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    They have the attention of the world. It's something.
     
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  5. mintoots

    mintoots hematopoietic

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    They were able to push back as well. They were able to hold up the extradition bill and lobby for arrested protesters, among others. They also hurt quite a few people... Democracy has its strengths especially in pivotal periods as this, but I just wish nobody had to get hurt. However these things are war zones. Casualties are a given. It's dystopic and an absolute last resort.
     
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  6. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition THANKS RUG

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    Yes - this is what happens when people have been silenced and oppressed. You can pursue every legal avenue, try every peaceful means of creating change, but when a system is in place that prevents that change from happening it has to be forced.

    People aren't asking for anything unreasonable - they want to be treated as human beings.
     
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  7. Aneirin

    Aneirin AKA, David
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    we outnumber the man. . he knows that, and eventually he will begin to listen and talk because he has no choice. .you have to make noise to be heard. .being nice is being ignored. The NFL. . who black balled Kapernick is now supporting the movement, why? they fear the back lash. .we have the world's attention. sad that it takes so much noise to do that, but nothing will change if this doesn't continue. .
     
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  8. noisebloom

    noisebloom theory conspirer
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    OP - this is a tough one for me, as on the surface rioting seems like an act very much driven by emotion and rage, and I'm fundamentally opposed to approaching problems from an emotional perspective.

    However, policy change is what the U.S. needs. More specifically, we need our country's leadership to take accountability and stop perpetuating the institutionalized racism we've dealt with for so long. I'm not sure 100% rioting is the best way to do this, but it is a solution, and it's a solution that compels people (or more generally, protesting does).

    What I'd really like to see is our leaders to embrace a culture change, not just enforce one. This shift won't occur due to protests or riots, but rather with time. Acceptance is the ultimate goal; tolerance is just a stopgap solution.
     
  9. mintoots

    mintoots hematopoietic

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    It's an uncomfortable place to be at. People hurting people is never easy to digest, be that in a capitalist work place or a riot.

    The thing about changing systems is that it has to be sustained. It is always a clash of powers. For the uprising to gain momentum, it has to have more in mind than just noise. Are there leaders emerging from the opposition at this point?
     
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  10. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition THANKS RUG

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    I don't know, I'm not in the USA so I can't speak to that part of it.
     
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  11. mintoots

    mintoots hematopoietic

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    The safest and most democratic way to do this is by a vote. I also want to understand what the rational aims of these protests are. I understand the emotion propelling it, but what now? Now that the world is listening, what about the system?
     
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  12. noisebloom

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    Votes still don't guarantee that leaders that will embrace the change, i.e. accepting that this change will do good, a collective understanding of that goodness which will perpetuate to future leaders and generations. That's what ultimately needs to happen, in my opinion, but I'm jaded AF so I just can't imagine it... The U.S. is still a nation that has far too many people that resentfully go along with anti-discriminatory policy change. If the individual mentality of a vast majority of people and leaders does not change, we're not at a satisfactory point (to me, at least).
     
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  13. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Violence doesn't work unless you go all of the way but when you do you lose something of yourself.

    You never come back.
     
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  14. Hostarius

    Hostarius Gimme that WOAD

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    This.

    Asking if rioting 'works' is like asking if war 'works' - it's a broad category used to describe all kinds of civil unrest and disobedience, and the answer to your question depends upon a bunch of variables, not to mention the aims of the riot itself.

    Rioting is simply an expression of force by a normally unarmed and unorganised population - its power is proportionate to its scale, its organisation, &c.

    In terms of effecting long-term change in a liberal democracy, then I think the historical record is clear: it works. It lingers in national memories, it demands political responses.

    I don't know how you can say '10 steps back'; there's no evidence for regression of political aims after rioting except in very repressive regimes.
     
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  15. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    Yes.
     
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  16. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition THANKS RUG

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    Do you know how many people didn't show up to the polls during previous elections? A LOT of people. An insane amount of people. Perhaps with the world listening people will actually realize that their vote MATTERS. It means something.
     
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  17. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition THANKS RUG

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    How many politicians have we seen change their tune because they didn't want to give up power? Guaranteed many people will never change their deeply held beliefs but they sure as hell aren't going to want to concede power if at all possible. So what do they do? They say/do what needs to be done to keep their foot in the door.

    It's never going to get to a satisfactory point but every inch forward contributes to the mile.
     
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  18. noisebloom

    noisebloom theory conspirer
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    yea, i'm just a negative nancy nowadays
     
  19. mintoots

    mintoots hematopoietic

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    To OP,

    My long answer to your question is that the real fight is not in the riot. The riot is just a pivot. It's a tactic, nothing else. It's a point in history, not a solution. These complaints about a flawed system would have a better chance at being corrected by the piecemeal. For example, good capitalists with a conscience for their labor force should be empowered and reinforced but that won't happen if the people on the helms of policy making are useless. If the value of the society itself is corrupted, it will be a very long fight. It has never ended nor will it ever end. So, do riots work? You made a good point about it being cyclic -- it is.

    I think what people are missing out is that the power to instill change has always been with us but we have to be actively against the morals that do not serve society. Always. Without fail.

    I do. This is why I attended protests that call for people to vote. It's easy for us to overlook the importance of these things. The part where people don't have a direct voice in choosing party representatives also suck. A small voting population can be coerced and coaxed. Seesh, a big voting population can be coerced and coaxed.
     
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  20. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition THANKS RUG

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    There is a lot of blatant gerrymandering in the USA as well. There are a lot of voter suppression tactics. They had voting in the USA yesterday but so many polling stations were closed forcing people to stand in line for hours upon hours to cast a ballot. Mail in ballots for many people were conveniently not sent out in time. It's disgusting.
     
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