Thoughts on political violence, the 60s and today

I started by watching a Useful Idiots interview with Omar Wasow:
The oversimplified gist of his thesis is that violence affects coverage, then the public's acceptance, then the elite's acceptance, and that small amounts of violence is generally productive, but that major violence is counterproductive. Rather than try to analyze him, I'll just point out that he is not old enough to have lived then, so he was relying on media archives.
I was a child at that time, so my analysis should also be taken for what it's worth.
It started with "the civil rights movement". The real cause - racism, not just "civil rights" - was just, and a charismatic leader (MLK) came forward, as he was certain to eventually. In my "five tools" analysis he argued morality, and the truth was clearly on his side. The status quo responded with violence. The media was officially on the side of the status quo, but there were 2 undermining factors - the strategy of broadcasting violent images (reporting on violence) worked against the police, and the reporters were dedicated to the truth, st least they believed themselves limited by the truth. Then Viet Nam was included in, turning the movement into a mass (including middle class whites) movement. King and Kennedy were assassinated, Chicago had a police riot live on national tv, Nixon beat Humphrey (a good man who time had passed by) and we went on to the 70s. The status quo paid lip service to the issues and planned their counterrevolution. Enter Reagan, freeze frame and roll credits.
What does that mean for today?
First, today didn't start in any way the same. The 60s started with a minority oppressed by a generally popular system. Today nearly everyone is oppressed by a generally despised status quo. When our charismatic leader (Bernie) rose he was not assassinated, he gave up. (I cannot forget 55 years of history - he must have seen the limit of his utility and martyred himself for the cause to naturally move on - or not) BLM took over and the pot boiled. The police are exposing themselves, the media has no qualms about following the official narrative, (but everyone knows it) and the court jester in the White House is counterbalanced by a cabal of senile quislings. (there is no white knight, there is no hope to exploit, we're on our own) In short, the status quo will probably assume that they will be able to defuse the movement by lip service like they did in the 1970s, but the conditions that allowed that strategy to work then no longer apply. The evil has become too universal, too blatant. I see only 3 possible results: it will not end well for them, it will ot end well for us, or it will not end well for anybody.

13 users have voted.


Today marks five weeks since George Floyd was murdered by the Minneapolis police and five weeks of revolt that spread into a nationwide, ongoing American uprising against policing and anti-Black racism. As flames engulfed buildings and cruisers were destroyed alongside police precincts, some liberals wrung their hands and bemoaned the rebellion, arguing that riots were counterproductive or less effective than “peaceful protest” or activity through official channels. Similarly, some on the left have had a tendency to undervalue the centrality of crisis and the swiftness of change brought about by rebellion. They argue that change takes place through gradualist means, that people naturally gravitate towards the path of least resistance, working through existing institutions and long-term campaigns, especially electoral ones, to make change.

The world around us shows a different picture. In just a few heady weeks of struggle, long-spineless politicians have suddenly found a political will, overcome bureaucratic barriers, and scrambled to do the bare minimum for Black lives.

5 users have voted.

@Battle of Blair Mountain
to find a soft landing. They will try to find a combination of semi reforms that change nothing but satisfy the angry. I don't see it working this time. People are too angry. @Battle of Blair Mountain

6 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973

Or 70 million millionaires trying to be them.

4 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . .

enhydra lutris's picture

is the most likely, but I'm a veteran of the sixties, so that has colored my opinion ever since. Well done.

be well and have a good one.

2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris
There is a big difference between today and 1968. (I had a friend say that she thought today was looking a lot like 68 in a totally unrelated conversation yesterday) In the 60s blacks started it all. White America used the civil rights movement as an inspiration to join in when Viet Nam gave them something to fight for. Nixon "ended" the war and people like Nelson Rockefeller threw a few dollars at the poor, designed to promote the "welfare queen" myth and the movement petered out. Today white America started it all. It will take more than ending a war (withdraw from Afghanistan anyone?) it will take a working replacement for (rapacious, materialistic) capitalism.

2 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973