Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Just Flippin' Sad

Seen at the website for "Occupy Cleveland" (which I admit sounds to me more like a plea to move back to a rustbelt Dem/labor disaster area than a movement per se): "[We] plan a continued presence in the Mayor Tom Johnson/Free Speech Quadrant of Public Square."

What kind of frikkin' world is it when the leftie fringe -- some elements of it, anyway -- is just okayfine with having a "free speech quadrant" of a public square? Heck, when any of us are?

Hey, hippie, it's all a "free speech zone;" it's just not a free camping zone. (To their credit, they do seem to be cool with that, havin' applied for a permit to stick tentage on the sidewalk, and not seeming too miffed that after seven months [!], the local police are not going to renew it.)

But something is deeply sick at the heart of the Republic when we have "free speech zones" on only part of public property. Yeah, even speech I dislike ought not be outlawed, corralled, hemmed in.

OTOH, the Feds do seem to have rousted some old-fashioned bomb-tossers who were hangin' out at OC events -- and then tiptoed all around who/what/why/where (a-hem! Feebs, grow a spine, I don't think this lot were darlings of your boss). Still, they got 'em, and Cleveland's self-appointed Occupiers are probably even more relieved than you are.

It is tempting to suggest political violence is the result of suppressing political speech but in truth, there's always a thug or two who wants an excuse to make things go smash. They may come up with some high-and-mighty talk to justify it but in their heart of hearts, they're still kids with a magnifying glass on a slow summer day -- and civil society is just their bunch of ants. Decent folk won't put up with it. Even decent folk with whom one might disagree on nearly everything else.

We got the Constitution we have because a bunch of people with crazy political notions sought common ground, and a way to allow the freedom to pursue one's own goofball ideas. It's been pushed against ever since.

Might be a good idea to start findin' some common ground to stand on and push back. With gummint overreach and buddy-buddy pattycake with Wall street on one side and the "fight in the streets now" crowds on the other, decency and the ability to let the other fellow be his own special kind of nitwit tends to get crowded out. Don't let it.


Anonymous said...

The OWSers you've been able to observe in your locale must be different than what I've been hearing about, if you think there is some sort of common ground with them. That would be good.

Mike James

wolfwalker said...

"It is tempting to suggest political violence is the result of suppressing political speech but in truth, there's always a thug or two who wants an excuse to make things go smash."

Yes and no. I've observed four kinds of political violence: the kind done as part of ordinary criminal activity (ie, organized-crime killings, or much of the IRA's bombings); the kind done as a component of a political revolution (ie, virtually all islamist terrorism); the kind carried out by true lunatics like the Unabomber; and the kind done by regular citizens who have been pushed to the limit and Just Can't Take It Anymore.

Only with the last kind is there any room for discussion and cooperation. Telling the difference between the third and fourth types is sometimes largely a matter of your own point of view.

Roberta X said...

IMO, the difference between 1, 2 and 3 is immaterial -- and in many cases, 4 can be lumped in with 'em as well. Such offenses against he peace are what they are -- possibly justified if "the peace" can be shown to be immoral, but only barely and often moot even then. --Take North Korea as prototype Immoral Regime: the usual sort of bomber has virtually zero chance of improving anyone's lot by his activities, and a very large chance of making things worse.


As for common ground with the non-bombing Occupiers and the disaffected Up and Right, it's pretty darned thin, maybe little more than a sense of something being broken and a dawning awareness that Big Gov't and Big Business are in one another's pockets, crumbling, cancerous dinosaurs frantically propping one another up. Maybe that's enough to have in common; maybe not -- but sorted out into mutually-suspicious "Free Speech Zones" is a sure promise of being rolled over: even slow and senile, Leviathan has power.

acairfearann said...

'Ask not for whom the bell tolls'
What do I have in common with OWS? Well, leaving aside being in the same demographic cohort, not much. Except...

One of the interesting things in examining the political theory/discussion (on both sides of the pond) leading up to the Constitution is the writers' constant reiteration both of the greatness of the individual and the greatness of man. The allegorical figure of 'EveryMan', is present. A sense of common humanity, and the greatness of man, is such a bedrock principle that it is hard to see.

We tend to go in for 'Us vs Them' these days, on all sections of the political/cultural spectrum. Tribalism is, of course, engrained in human nature; it was present then too (one need only consider the racist and xenophobic nature of society then); but the belief in the common nature of man was rising. It has since ceased to be actively propogated.

Now, no doubt believing in a common humanity is a hopeless concept clung to by naive butterflies. After all, the other side doesn't, right?

Anonymous said...

We've been fortunate, thanks I believe to 2A, to have suffered only "soft" oppression so far in our history. We have certainly fallen a fair piece from the Founders ideals and goals. Govt. schools don't really teach citizenship any more (don't know why, (caugh,choke). The question is two-fold. 1. At what point does armed rebellion become inevitable, or accepted as nessisary, and 2., what would be acceptable non-civilian targets to that rebellion? I understand this would get real ugly real fast, and pray it can somehow be avoided. But folks, SOMEBODY'S gotta contemplate this crap. It's a little late to decide to resist once you're on the wrong side of the razor wire and 50 lb. underweight f/mal-nutrition, watching the guards & Rotweillers smile at you. Real discourse is needed on this. Call me...Swamp Fox