Our Fetishisation of Protest
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The week after this, of August 6th, Ireland slips further down the bottomless chasm of bondage and Fascism with the introduction of yet more ridiculous Covid-19 measures and an extension of equally nonsensical commercial restrictions. Last week, a homeless person died on our streets every day. A paedophile apologist is our Minister for Children. Ireland is expected, once again, the almost entirely financial shoulder the burden of the Europe’s incompetence. There’s a lot of anger out there and more people seeing clearer than ever, but few are taking up the war horn and organising a pushback. Thing is, their idea of a pushback is to have a bunch of protests.
I’m no scholar historian, but I do know that our ancestors never held protests – at least not in the form we hold protests today. The disgruntled peasants never took to the town square to protest their feudal lord and I’m pretty sure you could guess why – the authorities would simply have them slaughtered en mass for daring to leave their fields unattended and instead “disturbing the peace.” The rules of engagement were very clear in those and other eras. What the peasants would do is meet in the forests at night, fashion their farm tools into makeshift weapons, and co-ordinate an assault upon the Lord’s stronghold. It would never occur to these people to hold marches, chant slogans, and hold banners representing various parties, to petition their oppressor for to keep a little extra grain each year or for Universal Suffrage. It’s only in the 20th and 21st Centuries that we seem to have this misguided notion. Hand-in-hand with this delusional practice, we have the idea that “the masses must wake up” and join us in this campaign or demand before anything can be achieved. So we show up week after week, maybe convincing a handful of onlookers to join our cause, yet losing so many more protest members the following week to apathy or burnout. Usually when an issue isn’t directly making life a living hell for a Western person on a daily basis they tend to drop off after the 3rd or 5th protest for one or more reason. And don’t talk to me about the Yellow Vests – it’s no secret that protest and rioting is a French national passtime. The neighbouring European countries the movement did spread to died out rapidly while the French continued on and on, only to be impeded by the continent-wide lockdown. To use the French, or any other anomalous example, to decide what’s possible is just delusional.
The point is that in prior eras when the disgruntled plebs did something, it was a very decisive act – either conducting a direct assault against an institution of power or a strategic act to provoke that power into committing an atrocity. Those familiar with the lore of the 2nd Russian Revolution will know that a simple protest for food and fuel resulted in a massacre by Russian troops, ultimately making the Monarchy universally unpopular and leading to the Bolshivik takeover of the country. If ever a protest achieved anything of actual significance, it was that one, and no protest since has come anywhere near it. Since then, the art of protest has become a Marxist fixation which has seeped into the consciousness of the general population in the West. In 2020, the majority of us who take up the torch of activism seem to think it’s the only way of effecting change in the world. In actual fact, what protest has become is a play-pen for the disgruntled pleb to work out his frustrations and feel as though he’s achieved something. Not knocking the dedication some people put into attending such events, by the way, as for some reason 99% of protests are held in Dublin and Ireland has such a shite public transport system that attending such an event from Galway at 2pm often means you only get home by midnight. It’s admirable, but it’s taking your time, money, and energy. Depleting you. But what have you actually achieved? At most, you’re just making it harder for TDs and other staff to get to and from work – most of whom might actually agree with your grievances. Those who you protest against, however, may actually psychopathically enjoy the idea of hundreds of people outside screaming about THEM. It’s an utterly pointless enterprise. You just pat yourself on the back, go home, and you’re less angry.
Since Marxism laid this cancerous egg in our minds about 100 years ago, protest has only ever worked a handful of times in an Irish context. The most notable, in my opinion, is the freeing of The Rossport 5 in 2005. Not many people remember when the Irish government sold a valuable resource of oil and gas to the Shell corporation for a wank and a packet of crisps and insisted that landowners allow the foreign corporation to build infrastructure through their land to facilitate the threat. If you can imagine, the Irish still had a shred of self-respect back then and took exception to the idea of our national resources being swiped away, and effected landowners didn’t feel like permanently sacrificing their land for someone else’s profit. As a result, 5 men were arrested for interfering with construction on THEIR OWN LAND. Meanwhile, the campaign to keep our national resources was slowly building. What really added fuel to the fire – pun intended – was the court injunction and subsequent imprisonment of these men. A protest was organised for October 1st 2005 – which 10,000 would ultimately attend, outstripping any previous protest in the history of Ireland – and, as if by magic, Shell filed to remove the injunction on September 30th, immediately resulting in the release of the Rossport 5. The wikipedia article suggests that Shell filed because of “intense media and political scrutiny”, but the truth is that our backward media and corrupt politicians wouldn’t have said a word about the situation if there wasn’t the threat of unrest. In that one case, the threat of 10,000 people on the streets of Dublin scared the establishment into submission.
Unless you’re hopelessly delusional, you know that this can’t be replicated today. Through various factors, people just aren’t willing to show up on the streets for any issue or campaign you can think of. We’re also too fractionalised to stand with each other on anything – especially if a campaign is spearheaded by a particular party or group. We’re also in the position of The Boy Who Cried Wolf – after 100+ years and not one single revolution. Maybe even 10,000 people wouldn’t budge policy an inch today because the last time that happened, we retroactively got what we wanted, and 99% of us went home to never protest the issue again.
A few days ago, an activist page on Facebook posted a “funny meme” about how fucked these new government edicts are. I suggested in a comment that people stop talking shite and organise mass civil disobedience. The responses I got were abysmal. The first being “yeah like blm” and the second, being from the page itself, giving me a date for a protest. Have we forgotten the power of civil disobedience? Do we even know what that is anymore? These are ridiculous rhetorical questions – of course we’ve forgotten and of course we don’t know what it is – such is our fetishisation of protest. One dimwit thinks it’s what Black Lives Matter is doing – rioting and destroying monuments, being 21st Century Iconoclasts. This coming from the men of a country which is responsible for the word “boycott”. It’s a fucking disgrace.
The reality of Civil Disobedience has been around since humans formed hierachical structures. The first hunter-gatherer who refused to give the deer liver to the chief so his family wouldn’t go hungry was engaging in Civil Disobedience, so don’t get hung up on the name or the writer who coined it. Breaking it down, Civil = non-violent, non-confrontational. Disobedience = refusal to follow or execute a dictate from an authority. It’s an act which requires a spine to be present in the hind area of someone’s body and a certain desparation – meaning it’s not going to happen when the good times are going. Mainly because almost nobody thinks it’s worth their while and also because nobody will give a shit when they’re ultimately arrested and imprisoned. We’re now approaching a moment when people will give a shit when you’re arrested, especially if it’s co-ordinated and you’re not alone.
An example of Civil Disobedience would have worked was last Sunday at Croagh Park when the Muslim community were allowed to perform their Eid celebration on that hallowed ground – a dozen Catholics (and seemingly no one else) showed up and recited the Rosary for at least an hour OUTSIDE the stadium itself. This was stupid. I’m sorry, but it was. It achieved nothing except attract “AntiFa” and irritate passerbys, because the Irish are about as enthusiastic about Catholicism as they are Islam. If these fellows had their thinking caps on, they’d have WENT INTO THE DAMN STADIUM as supposed Muslims, sat together if possible, and recited the Rosary IN THE STADIUM at an opportune time, and possibly holding up a banner succinctly pointing out why the current proceedings are a blasphemy and an insult to the Irish people…. instead, that banner was an advertisement for Niall McConnell’s money printing website. There was no law saying you couldn’t attend that event and no law saying you couldn’t recite the Rosary or hold up a banner at an opportune time, but you very well may have been booted out of the stadium and/or arrested and charged. That’s called having balls.
The Rossport 5 conducted Civil Disobedience. They were protecting their land from the Fascist imposition of a foreign multinational corporation. They were arrested and immediately imprisoned – remember the ending of their story? They spent 3 months in prison and likely were treated like heroes by many of their fellow inmates. The people of Ireland sat outside their homes, blocking Irish Water workers from installing meters – none were arrested in this action, if memory serves. The people of Ireland also stay put within their homes while “Gardaí” and private security firms unlawfully forcibly evict them on the whims of banks. And say what you like about the weird ideas of David Icke, but he stood side-by-side with his fellow ordinary Englishmen in court for not paying his TV license and the court of public opinion superceeded the actual court, and they walked free of the offense. And speaking of the English and their TV license struggle – their government has decided that most over-75s will no longer get a free license and, as I write this, a campaign known as the Silver Voices has rallied thousands to employ “creative but legal ways to complicate and delay payment” to fudge up the bureaucratic works at the BBC. We’ll see how this works out over the coming months, but hopes is that the very real anti-license movement rides on its coat-tails and plainly refuses to pay outright. This is how you create change.
The fundamental problem with a protest is that it presupposes a revolution. It’s a show of force. It’s militant by nature. Before the Internet arrived and rendered such estimations moot, it was once said that every person attending a protest represents 1,000 people in the general population. Even before the advent of electronic communication, this wasn’t necessarily true. A minority has always been at the root of every revolution – be it the one that ultimately birthed our Republic or the one that birthed the United States – most people weren’t actually in agreement with the revolutionaries. They were the ones who simply showed up and took up arms against the government and the rest of the population followed suit because they either couldn’t give a shit or they were scared of the revolutionaries. Even if you wanted a revolution, what are you REVOLVING into? Etymologically, a revolution is to turn around… not by 30º, not by 90º, but 360º. For the slow amoung us, meaning we end up exactly where we started. 99 times out of 100, revolutions end in dictatorship and mass murder. So you’re going to need a system already worked out ahead of time and some meticulous planning so that the wrong people don’t seize power in the middle of the choas and violence. Case in point, the Bolshivik hijacking of the Russian Revolution.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Buckminster Fuller
With Civil Disobedience you don’t have to overthrow anything, becsause we already have a functioning system – just an abused system inhabited by abusers. Even though our Republic and that of many countries were founded on Socialist values, the true spirit of the West is that of the Englightenment. It’s a creed that we were all brought up with – that liberty is good, that the mind of man is good, that personal property and self-determination are good, because we are all created by the same thing. That no man is truly above another in terms of a predator-prey dichotomy. This is the baseline of our civilisation which is upheld by the rule of law and due process. Although this is baked into our cultural artefacts and is how most of us have been raised to live in our daily lives, we have seemingly forgotten that this is the sole foundation of our civilisation. For some reason people are now convinced that democracy is the highest achievement, but what happens when a people democratically decide to genocide an ethnic group or a class of people? It has a name – democide. Death by government. The stable foundation on which our society rests is much more constant and reliable than that. We call that thing liberty. It should not ever be democratically overridden, yet it often is. We as men and women in our short lifespans can choose to see our liberty, and that of our descendants, squandered by the crowd, or we can choose to take a stand. Today is a day when that choice is coming to your doorstep.
Today the most direct and obnoxious threat on your liberty is the edict of wearing masks and not opening your pubs and other businesses – but mostly this mask bullshit. What are you going to do about that? Protest, i.e. BEG?