Friday, December 9, 2011

Progressive Idiocy: The Power Of Inconvenience

Image credit: Occupy Together

A few years ago, the transit workers in New York City went on strike over declining benefits. Needless to say, this inconvenienced a lot of people, most of whom had little or no power to affect things. But it worked because it also inconvenienced the people who really count. That was the only way things were going to change.

Anyone who says that they shouldn’t have gone on strike, and there were quite a few, were saying that the people in those unions should accept the lower benefits that were offered, so that they could go on about their own lives unaffected.

So it is with some "progressives" who complain about the tactics of the various Occupy movements. Actually, that's a rather broad claim. There's been senseless destruction and some criminal activity. That's not helpful. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the disruption, inconvenience, and other costs of having a bunch of people just suddenly show up somewhere that wasn't meant to handle them.

Most of us already have all the trouble in our lives we can handle, so when things like this happen, it’s natural to resent it. There will always be people among them who are going to claim,without ever offering viable alternatives that haven’t already been tried and shown to fail, that there were other things they can do. Someone yesterday thought he was justifying such a claim by passing along an article about how K Street lobbyists said they weren’t inconvenienced by what’s going on in DC. Seriously? Why in the world would I expect a group of people who make their living as lying hypocrites would be telling the truth all of a sudden? Of course they’ll say that. They want people to think that this is having no effect on them. It’s like asking a professional sports team before the game if they think they can win – if you don’t know the answer already, you don’t know what you’re looking at. They want you to think that you’re the only ones being inconvenienced, because if it is then what is being done is useless.

This is affecting the people who run things. It’s probably not affecting them a lot, and it’s certainly not affecting them enough, but it is affecting them. The only thing they care about is profit and loss. Make the losses big enough, and they’ll change. Don’t, and things will continue as they are.

They’ve made a big, coordinated effort to make this problem go away. That isn’t because they give a crap about whether we’re inconvenienced or not. It’s about them. When people choose not to go to some place because it’s crowded with protesters, or when the docks are shut down, or the homes they fraudulently repossessed are occupied, they’re taking losses, and they don’t like that.

I’d think that all this would be obvious by now, but apparently it’s not. I guess there are a lot of people out there who don’t know what they’re looking at, and see that as someone else’s failure. So we’ll go on belaboring the obvious until enough people catch up.

Afterword: This was a comment I left at another site, slightly edited.

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