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Friday, January 8, 2021

Crowds


Silverfiddle Rant!
The blame for the violence at the Capitol lays squarely with those who broke the law. No doubt they were MAGA people, but I also don't discount some of that damage and breaching was done by professionals of whatever ideology. A lot of the rioters last year, the ones showing up with professional gear and training, didn't give a crap about black lives or progressive causes, they just got off on causing mayhem. There was probably a component of that Wednesday.

It is absurd to call this an insurrection.  Our press is hysterical.

Indeed, if 30K enraged, violent people, many with guns, had attacked the Capitol, it would have been a bloodbath.

I have seen a few of these situations go down, here at home and in different foreign countries.  I have also analyzed footage and studied accounts of riots, disturbances, protests, and other crowd actions.  They usually have some common components:

1. A mass of people--the vast majority of the crowd--there to voice support/protest, whatever, not equipped or intending to commit violence.

2. Mouthy blowhards or normally timid people emboldened by the crowd, issuing empty threats, not prepared to carry out what they are saying, and not realizing they are on the brink of something they don't really want.

3. A small core of troublemakers with an action plan and the tools and training to carry it out.

4. Amid the mayhem you also have joyriders, who still think this is a peaceful protest and don't know what's going on beyond their horizons, or who just happily stampede along with the crowd, not thinking of themselves as rioters and not cognizant of serious violence taking place.

This is almost universal, and it doesn't excuse those who commit criminal acts.

What say you?

43 comments:

  1. "Violence at the capitol" you say? What violence? I did not see so much as an overturned chair. I saw a cop fatally shoot a citizen. You want to blame the crowd for that?

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    1. A Federal Officer has died from injuries discharging his sworn duties to protect the capital. Federal offices were defaced and looted. There was plenty of damage.

      Yes, I want to blame the crowd for that. As any conservative would in a left leaning civil disobedience while they call for charges and arrests.

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    2. Then you are leading the charge for the arrest and convection of the Wisconsin crowd that [stormed and defaced and vandalized the Wisconsin Capital]. Surrounded the place and refused the Republican Legislator entry.
      The Union was upset and encouraged their members to create an event that would not be forgotten. OOPS
      How quick our memory gooooooos.

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    3. Silverfiddle's 4 point observation is right on: politics
      and causes aside, any large protest group can go from group to mob. Any mob can turn into an inflamed riot. In that situation, people who by any standard are decent
      get carried away, damage property, attack 'the other' and become uncontrollable. It is what is is. Unfortunately, like all riots, BLM. Stop The Steal etc,
      it reflects poorly on the original intent and harms the cause.

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  2. There is video of people smashing windows.

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  3. In a letter to William S. Smith in 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

    “I do not know whether it is to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new constitution. I beg leave through you to place them where due. It will be yet three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There are very good articles in it: and very bad. I do not know which preponderate. What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in the chapter on the Stadholder, would have sufficed to set me against a Chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been disposed towards one: and what we have always read of the elections of Polish kings should have forever excluded the idea of one continuable for life. Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honorably conducted? I say nothing of its motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13 states independent 11 years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusetts: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order. I hope in god this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted.”

    One can substitute "British" for American and come away with a refreshed perspective.

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    Replies
    1. With all due respect, the civil war took care of that notion.

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    2. Perhaps ... but not in the minds of some, apparently.

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  4. This was an event that was broadcast for a couple of weeks and the capital police were caught unprepared. That shows the level of competency in the federal government and the administrative skills of the bureaucrats. The same media that has campaigned for de-funding the police are outraged this took place. It's know wonder we have vaccines expiring because they are to slow to administer them.

    Now we will have an administration who will pour trillions into a massive give-a-way program to benefit no one and in-debt our grandchildren and theirs.

    We gave away a by the people for the people form of government decades ago and, short of a revolution, we need term limits and mandatory retirement age for our elected elite.

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  5. I know that a lot of you are saying “enough already” and some of you people are gnashing of your teeth, angst ridden looks, proclamations of sadness/horror, sudden concern for democracy, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah... When a window is broken and a door is smashed on the Capital building you act as if "it's the end of civilization as we know it". But hey smash in windows at businesses, set fires to buildings, steal, loot, destroy livelihoods, shoot, kill and that's all "part of American history and the right to voice an opinion". Tear down historical statues and deface monuments and that's all part of free speech. Uh huh!!
    I don't seem to recall the same superior moral outrage from some of you when:
    * Auntie Maxine Waters told you Lib/Dems to "...you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere,”.
    * House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was critically injured after a Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire on Republicans practicing in Alexandria, Va., for a charity baseball game.
    * Sen. Rand Paul and his family were surrounded and attacked in D.C. last August by Dem/Liberal protesters.
    * Sen. McConnell and his wife were verbally assaulted and had their dinner thrown on them in a Louisville restaurant a while back.
    * Kathy Griffin held up a severed head of President Trump.
    * Johnny Depp laughingly asked, "When was the last time an actor assassinated a President"?
    * When Hillary's Chief of Staff said she "hoped President Trump died from the corona virus".
    * When Peter Fonda tweeted that President Donald Trump’s preteen son should be torn from his mother’s arms and caged.
    And when beloved Barry Obama said about Republicans, "‘If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun".
    So enough already with your melodramatic "look at me I'm a good person I've spoken out" over the top righteous indignation. Your past history of silence and gross indifference is deafening...and visible for all to see.
    Grow up and toughen up you bunch of wussy whiny crybabies! 🙂

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  6. Where's the commitment by the State legislatures to prevent fraud and investigate voter concerns?

    Where's the commitment by the federal government to ensure that the State legislatures represent "the people"?

    No commitment? No peace!

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    Replies
    1. Does Biden represent all Americans, or just those the hackers who put him in charge?

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    2. Slavoj Zizek, "excerpt from Le Monde"

      It is here that Marx's key insight remains valid, perhaps today more than ever. For Marx, the question of freedom should not be located primarily in the political sphere proper, as with the criteria the global financial institutions apply when they want to pronounce a judgement on a country. Does it have free elections? Are the judges independent? Is the press free from hidden pressures? Are human rights respected? The key to actual freedom resides rather in the "apolitical" network of social relations, from the market to the family, where the change needed for effective improvement is not political reform, but a transformation in the social relations of production. We do not vote about who owns what, or about worker-management relations in a factory; all this is left to processes outside the sphere of the political. It is illusory to expect that one can effectively change things by "extending" democracy into this sphere, say, by organising "democratic" banks under the people's control.

      The ABC of Marxist notions of class struggle is the thesis that "peaceful" social life is itself an expression of the (temporary) victory of one class - the ruling one. From the standpoint of the subordinated and oppressed, the very existence of the state, as an apparatus of class domination, is a fact of violence. The standard liberal motto - that it is sometimes necessary to resort to violence, but it is never legitimate - is not sufficient. From the radical-emancipatory perspective, one should turn it around: for the oppressed, violence is always legitimate - since their very status is the result of violence - but never necessary: it is always a matter of strategic consideration whether to use force against the enemy or not.

      In the current economic emergency, too, we are clearly not dealing with blind market processes but with highly organised, strategic interventions by states and financial institutions, intent on resolving the crisis on their own terms - and in such conditions, are not defensive counter-measures in order?

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    3. ...cont.
      These considerations cannot but shatter the comfortable subjective position of radical intellectuals. What if intellectuals lead basically safe and comfortable lives and, in order to justify their livelihoods, construct scenarios of radical catastrophe? For many, no doubt, if a revolution is taking place, it should occur at a safe distance - Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela - so that, while their hearts are warmed by thinking about faraway events, they can go on promoting their careers. But with the current collapse of properly functioning welfare states in the advanced industrial economies, radical intellectuals may be now approaching a moment of truth when they must make such clarifications: they wanted real change - now they can have it.

      What has happened in the latest stage of post-68 capitalism is that the economy itself - the logic of market and competition - has progressively imposed itself as the hegemonic ideology. In education, the school system is less and less the compulsory network, elevated above the market and organised directly by the state, bearer of enlightened values - liberty, equality, fraternity. On behalf of the sacred formula of "lower costs, higher efficiency", it is progressively penetrated by different forms of public-private partnership (PPP). In the organisation and legitimisation of power, too, the electoral system is increasingly conceived on the model of market competition: elections are like a commercial exchange where voters "buy" the option that offers to do the job of maintaining social order, prosecuting crime, and so on, most efficiently.

      On behalf of the same formula of "lower costs, higher efficiency", functions once exclusive to the domain of state power, like running prisons, can be privatised; the military is no longer based on universal conscription, but composed of hired mercenaries. Even the state bureaucracy is no longer perceived as the Hegelian universal class, as is becoming evident in the case of Berlusconi. In today's Italy, state power is directly exerted by the base bourgeois who ruthlessly and openly exploits it as a means to protect his personal interests. Even the process of engaging in emotional relations is increasingly organised along the lines of a market relationship. Such a procedure relies on self-commodification: for internet dating or marriage agencies, prospective partners present themselves as commodities, listing their qualities and posting their photos.

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    4. Key point: The standard liberal motto - that it is sometimes necessary to resort to violence, but it is never legitimate - is not sufficient. From the radical-emancipatory perspective, one should turn it around: for the oppressed, violence is always legitimate - since their very status is the result of violence - but never necessary: it is always a matter of strategic consideration whether to use force against the enemy or not.

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    5. There's a 4 sided triangle inside one of their heads... keep smashing!

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    6. You've hit on the key point when mentioning state legislatures. Republicans in those swing states hold the majority, but they did not have the will to get to the bottom of the allegations. Or did they get stonewalled? Or was the fix in by election day?

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    7. There's that 4 sided triangle! Does it not occur to Republicans that they probably should have ran a better candidate for President than they did?

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    8. ..or commit to a ballot stuffing campaign like the Democrats did.

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    9. ..
      oh, wait, come to think of it, the Uniparty did win...

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    10. Or maybe Clinton-Bush!

      Mitt looks tanned, rested and ready!

      Maybe its Sara Palin's turn...

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    11. ...but only on a Third Party ticket.... not enough ties to Lehman Bros.

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  7. SF,
    It is absurd to call this an insurrection. Our press is hysterical.

    It's something worse -- and more dangerous -- than hysteria. It's the promotion of the agenda of crushing any and all in opposition to the Left's agenda. One result? Snitching so as to destroy anyone spotted at the January 6. By "anyone" I am not referring to the lawbreakers inside any building on Capitol Hill. The snitching will be perceived as righteousness.

    God help us.

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  8. Silver, I wished you would have included this, which you also wrote yesterday, in this post...

    "Black people [have] protested injustice, and yes, some engaged in violence, but the major damage and violence was by handfuls of professional anarchist agitators who have no ideology other than to destroy."

    This, along with much of your current post, is seldom acknowledged when protestors are people of color. And with that, we see the difference between the violence in Washington this week and many of the protests involving people of color.

    In June of 2020, people were gassed, beat and moved out of public park by Federal agents. In many of the BLM protests, mostly peaceful, arrests were made early and often. We've seen protestors, acting much less violently, beat, handcuffed and arrested in ways we never saw this week.

    What that crowd did, in spite of any justification they felt, was wrong. Violence, as it was in the 1968 riots, as it was in the Rodney King riots, as it was in the Jacob Blake and George Floyd protests. Where are conservatives, who called for the "colored" heads of those protestors now?

    That crowd is nowhere to be seen. Like they were when the Bundy Clan took over the Federal building in Eastern Oregon.

    This was a Federal building, with police pledged to die protecting it and our elected officials. And 1 did die. There simply is no justification, in any way, shape or form for the violence we saw. There is also no justification for conservatives to not subject the mob that did this to the same justice and charges they have frequently called for when people of color have committed violence in past protests.

    Were there bad actors involved? Probably so. But apart from your comment yesterday, which I posted at the top of this, I seldom see that level of grace and understanding from conservatives.

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    Replies
    1. Grace for Trump? Where was that?

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    2. You gotta GIVE grace if you ever expect to RECEIVE any.

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    3. Dave,

      I dashed this off quickly before work this morning. I'm not absolving anyone of any blame, just trying to provide a different angle.

      According to timelines I have seen, this played out over more than three hours inside and outside of a very big building. No way participants knew everything that was happening everywhere. Also, this could explain the capitol police letting people in and taking selfies. I am confident they did not know at that point that malefactors were smashing in windows will ball bats outside another part of the building.

      If we had a professional press interested in the truth no matter where it takes them, we've have some good reporting on this by now.

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    4. Dave,
      It's unfortunate that the news now can't just report news, but must act as advocates and propaganda bureaus. A byproduct of this is "conservatives" can't concede an even minor factual point if it helps "liberals" and vice versa. We have all now trapped ourselves in this strange place where facts in front of our face do not matter.

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    5. It would be weird if cops carried guns and radios...

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    6. Even weirder if four hours across time and space were compressed down to where everyone saw the same thing happening. Only our Father in heaven has that view.

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  9. Trump only likes "heroes" that aren't captured.

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    1. McCain's heroism lay in his conduct while a captive not his skill as a warrior/pilot. Many, if not most, who get designated "heroes" are so designated "posthumously" and from a resolve to NOT be captured. I prefer the latter, too, but acknowledge that McCain was a 'minor' hero.

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    2. Trump has denounced every one of his rioters that got themselves arrested.

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    3. ...but not Ashli Babbit... lol!

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  10. Trump will be gone in 13 days. He's done. You can stick a fork in him... He ain't coming back again ever, not in 2014, not EVER. Last Wednesday was a disgusting, sickening day. But the end result is that you just had a bunch of MAGA inbred imbeciles not only blow up Trump's future, but gave the whole Republican party a kick in the azz. They were so Stupid to risk giving Trump to the Wolves to make a point when it has NO chance of removing him from office. Pence and what's left of the whole disgusting bunch of his cabinet will NOT invoke the 25th.Its to risky for their future..Let it go. Focus on your upcoming President, and his agenda. Let the Republicans eat each other and run from Trump screaming like the dirty dogs that they are.

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    Replies
    1. Trump has a future before Wednesday? Who knew?

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    2. Impeachment preventing Trump from holding office ever again matters only to the party of law and order 🤣

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  11. SF, this is the kind of thing I was trying to say except your remarks are grounded by reality & experience. Thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. Jez,
      Just to let you know that I understood your previous comment. I didn't have time to respond, however, because of work hours and caregiving responsibilities.

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  12. SF, The country is controlled by the opinion heads called the media and has been for a couple of decades. Now that CNN has declared that predator joe is off limits we have no one to monitor the actions of the administration and hunter is free to roam the world peddling influence for a fee.

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