Posted by: lalunablanca | June 27, 2007

"Peaceful Assembly" and Civil Unrest

Relating to the previous post, the below is my response to a request by a local newspaper reporter to comment on an article he forwarded titled “U.S. economy leaving record numbers in severe poverty”. This was in February 2007.

—-begin response—
Sir,

I’m surely way past your deadline, but did want to mention completely off the record as I’m absolutely no authority in these matters:

I’d be completely surprised if someone doesn’t bring up civil unrest and potentially revolt. Capitalism is far from mature and how it’s dealt with on a societal level is now expanding beyond traditional borders to encompass the globe. I’m no sociologist, but I believe if you asked one that they’d say something about: when the power of the numbers of the “have-nots” outweigh the power of the “haves”, then they will attempt dominance. Again, not being a sociologist, I believe you’ll find that the have-nots will utilize the Internet to organize and ultimately destabilize the balance.

Business has been the entity to leverage the Internet to its advantage. The people being put out by this shift or “gulf” will ultimately use the medium to their benefit. I am fairly confident that this will happen and we’ll see it occur when there becomes a leader of these poor that they trust. This person will establish themselves on the social networks like MySpace, There’ll be initial legal attempts to hurt the “haves” like widespread organized boycotting. If that doesn’t catch the eye of the “haves”, then resorting to illegal outright terrorism with acceptance by the masses of “have-nots” will be likely. I’m not referring to terrorism of life/limb, but rather economic terrorism beyond the boycott. Enough widespread, yet focused on a corporation, grass roots “juvenile vandalism” can wreak billions a day in damages. Helping a cause are all those out of work poor with plenty of idle time to go be a nuisance or to campaign. The possibilities are incredible and completely probable. We could see benign, but damaging activities such as: at every WalMart across the country, 200 people go in, load –up their shopping carts and realize, ooops, they left their wallets at home, and then walk out of the store.

I hope that the evolution is such that the benign acts bully corporations into being more socially responsible than just to the shareholder/bottom-line. It would be wonderful if the gulfing trend can be affected on that level before desperate people chose desperate measures.

I’m no historian either, but aren’t civil unrest and ultimately revolt recurring phenomena in “civilized” history?

I look forward to seeing how this news story evolves. I don’t know if there’s anything to be found online about it, but I’ll give it a gander and email you anything I run into. I’m sure it’d be an interesting spin on this concept.

——- end response ——

Oddly enough, the reporter hasn’t asked me for a comment since. 🙂

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