I will dig into that shortly, after I introduce Tom, the unlikely protester that I am. Or was.
During WWII, Churchill promised Cyprus, hitherto a British colony, unification with Greece. After the War, Anthony Eden negated on it. In my student years, we staged huge protests in Athens seeking to make the British honour Churchill’s commitment. We were not listened to despite being “right”. The result is the mess Cyprus now suffers.
Would I do it again? Of course I would! Do I sympathize with the protesters who staged the Ferry blockade? Yes I do. Do I sympathize with those who suffered the blockade?
Of course I do. I understand them all, irrespective of who was “right” or “wrong”. This because the fault lies in the “democratic deficit” of the system. Without this deficit raw power protests would not likely happen. There are better ways to resolve disputes and humans not unlike other organisms, and even inanimate things, take the path of least resistance.
Taking to the streets is a play of Power. Of this the “status quo” has more than the protesters, hence they give people the “right to protest”, for it protects them against moving the game to the field of Reason. A play of power is messy, painful and worst of all, the outcome reflects Power instead of Reason. Winning by Power makes no one “right”.
Democracy is the eradication of Power for Reason to prevail. Democracy is the “regime of change”. However when public vigilance becomes lax, as often does, Czarists create and maintain “Democratic deficits” for their benefit. These grow, accumulate and spread, a cancer to the social body. Eventually they necessitate “revolution” and Democracy provides for that too, but does it the civilized way. Democracy launders the revulsion from the revolution by supplanting Words for Swords. Simple, humane, effective, very healthy for the mind. Democracy abandons the arena to the beasts and moves humans onto the level field of reason.
Hyde Park with its Speakers’ Corner personifies the human quest for Reason. It served in the past to trap and dissipate energy that would fuel the evolution of democracy. It was a relief valve protecting and preserving the embedded Democratic deficit, that which Churchill tacitly accepted as the “faults” of Democracy (nobody is infallible).
In our microchip era the status quo remain unscathed by words hurled from atop a soapbox into the wind, never to cross the public ear to lodge in the public mind, forever lost to the public eye ...
In the Oppress-Protest milieu, perceptions trample Truth. Either or both sides may be driven by misconceptions, and such could happen knowingly or inadvertently. Either side may be acting in good faith or driven by selfish considerations. “True Believers”, irrespective of which side they may happen are the worse offenders and the hardest for society to cope with.
Misconceptions survive, grow and spread when sheltered from scrutiny. Those who thrive on fallacies strive to hide the sources of “privilege”. Galileo did not try to set the Earth in motion, he was revealing the fact that the Earth does not stands still. Conversely, the Inquisition was not out to anchor the Earth lest Galileo sends it aloft. The Inquisition was out to silence Galileo, so as to preserve the status quo.
Bullets and propaganda are incapable of killing ideas. But when Czarists get the upper hand they play havoc with civilization – look at the Dark Ages.
Misconceptions cannot survive exposure. It is through exposure and debate that fallacies are scrubbed away for the Truth to shine.
All converge on the need for a potent public forum through which ideas, concepts and issues can be delivered to the ultimate jury, the Demo (of Democracy). This is the only known facility for scrubbing clean the road to civilization. Bravado will not do, the Ideas Bank will.