Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Yes, I read that article as well.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

I was so frustrated and exasperated when massive rallies had literally no effect at all on influencing public opinion, much less changing the U.S. government's decision to invade Iraq (mainly due to adverse and/or non-existent media coverage.)

On the other hand, would I have been in favor of more demonstrations, for a paralysis of the country through civil disobedience?

I have yet to think it through, but as with Florida fiasco in the 2000 U.S. presidential elections, as with the alleged vote-rigging in Ohio during the 2004 U.S. presidential election, I think the reason that I decided to "let it be", despite my intense outrage, was that I recognized that even if some wrongdoing had occurred -- deception of the people by the government with respect ot Iraq, vote-tampering with respect to the presidential elections -- the basic balance of opinion in the country was nevertheless too close, and not in favor of my own position by enough of a margin to disturb the entire country just to promote my own political stance.

Having said that, what percentage of the U.S. south was in favor of civil rights, and what percentage of India was in favor of independence from Britain, when King and Gandhi incited massive action through civil disobedience in those two countries?

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Mon Jul 31st, 2006 at 07:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Political protest is as much about standing up for your ideas and trying to convince others with your stand than showing your numbers.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 06:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Protest, I have no doubts about.  It's civil disobedience that I am less sure of.  (Violent civil disobedience is unjustified no matter the cause, in my mind.  But even non-violent civil disobedience must be used very judiciously, I think.)

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 06:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the basic balance of opinion in the country was nevertheless too close, and not in favor of my own position by enough of a margin to disturb the entire country just to promote my own political stance.

It is exactly when the balance of opinion is too close that protest is necessary. If the balance is clearly one way or another there is no need for the majority to demonstrate nor a chance for the minority to change the balance.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 06:32:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the balance is clearly one way or another there is no need for the majority to demonstrate nor a chance for the minority to change the balance.

Except in the all too common case where a minority has disproportionate power with which it can impose its will against a majority.  In that situation, civil disobedience is clearly in order.

As for the "too close to call" case, I need to think about it more.  What percentage of the French population was against the CPE law when it first was passed?  I guess in that case, it was not so much how many people were for or against it, but how many people were even aware of it, or cared about it.  I guess that is another constructive function of protests, and perhaps, yes, civil disobedience: raising awareness and educating the third parties about the issue.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 06:43:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Among the white population of the South? about ten to fifteen percent.

In India, independence was much more popular.

One thing to remember is that the British Government was pro-independence too, and the US federal government was very much pro-civil rights starting with the Truman administration.

In order for popular revolution to prevail in most countries, you have to have the partial support of the "enemy." If the federal government was against integration it wouldn't have happened.

by messy on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 11:35:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What massive rallies against invading Iraq? Are you saying that there were some? (Anti-American rallies in Europe don't count.) As far as I know, there was little opposition to the invasion of Iraq until things fell apart. The leadership of both American parties supported it--to the regret of many of them later on...
by asdf on Thu Aug 3rd, 2006 at 09:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to agree the US rallies in the winter of 2003 were pathetic. I was there in LA and can attest to that.

The massive rallies in Rome, Madrid and London do count.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2006 at 09:35:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they were Anti-American rallies, then surely the French rallies would have been gigantic too, seeing how more anti-American they are than, say, the Brits. But they weren't. Could it be because in Madrid and London people demonstrated against their government's involvement in the war? Or are the French just bad at demonstrating?
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Aug 3rd, 2006 at 09:48:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series