Monday, July 02, 2007

Other People's Content: On Protest

It seems to me that the underlying assumption of any public protest - any public disagreement with the government, "the system", or "the establishment", by any name - is that the men in charge of whatever it is you're protesting against are actually listening, whether they later admit it or not, and that if you run your protest Right, it will likely make a difference. [...]So in the end the very act of public protest, even violent protest, was essentially optimistic and actually a demonstration of faith (mainly subconscious, I think) in the father figures who had the power to change things - once they could be made to see the light of reason, or even political reality.
A Willingness to Argue, however violently, implies a faith of some basic kind in the antagonist, an assumption that he is still open to argument and reason and, if all else fails, then finely orchestrated persuasion in the form of political embarassment.

Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear

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