Why protest?

When is protest effective and does the wave of anger at the election of Donald Trump serve a purpose, if so, whose? Dante imagines how power, ie. the Structural Elite, views protest.

Methink we protest... by WS Dante
If I were inclined to despotism, and in a position to indulge it, I would observe, with no slight amusement, the marches and protests for this, or that, self-identified fraction of the population demanding ‘equality’ and/or fairness of treatment by those who created the very systemic inequalities which they endure.
Each ‘pop’ of tear gas, each baton charge, every broken shop window and every appalled tweet and minute of shaky, grainy phone footage would draw from me a wry, patronising grin.
Because none of it makes the slightest difference to what I had done, nor what I plan to do next.

Undoubtedly, protest can be effective, at least temporarily, in halting the brutal march of the totalitarian political economy but not for long. Can/will protest bring about lasting change? On the basis of experiences and observations to date, it's unlikely. The suggestions Dante makes for unified global demonstrations of people power are unlikely to stop the system either.

So what will?

The recognition that we are the feedstock of the system which oppresses us. In seeking to assert our own agendas and priorities, we cause the system to oppress the "other". This creates push back and we, in turn, suffer further oppression. As long as we remain divided yet continue to support the current political economy, we are authors of our own subjugation and humiliation.

Once we recognise that We are "they" - change can start. When we jettison our belief in authority (any authority) we're on the way to creating a new paradigm for humanity. All it takes is trust in ourselves and developing trust in each other, rather than corrupt, hierarchical institutions (banks, corporations, politics, media, academia, religion, etc.).

The battle has always been for our minds and blind protest* achieves nothing but collectively, our minds are the key to change and immensely powerful.


* Update: as Roger helpfully pointed out, protest does bring together those sharing concerns and interests. Protest provides the opportunity to network and share ideas to reclaim our birthright and freedom. Without protest (Occupy) Critical Thinking wouldn't exist and many of the people who are either involved in or interact with Critical Thinking would be oblivious to our existence.

There are few absolutes in life, we just need to keep things in balance.

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