From an exchange between protestors at the Seattle May Day riots as recorded by KING 5 TV:
“Don’t f*#k with art. This is a protest against capitalism. Don’t f*#k with art.”
(I guess that captures some of the spirit of the thing. One protester/vandal had just spray painted the anarchy symbol on a sculpture in a public square. The other obviously took offense.)
“Did an artist make it?”
“Were they paid to make it?”
So that’s the issue? If someone is paid to produce a piece of art, that invalidates it and makes it fair game for vandals? Aren’t you the same people who just got done protesting for a $15 minimum wage so you’d get paid “fairly” to flip burgers?
Let’s get to the root of this thing. Every day on May 1st, protesters take to the streets to celebrate the workers movement. The May Day movement originated in a worldwide effort to secure an 8 hour workday and better working conditions to correct abuses from the early days of the Industrial Revolution. From marxist.org:
“May First (1889) was set aside as a day upon which the workers of the world, organized in their political parties and trade unions, were to fight for the important political demand: the 8-hour day.”
By 1907, Lenin writes:
“The role of a truly advanced class, a class really able to rouse the masses to revolution, really capable of saving Russia from decay, is played by the industrial proletariat. This is the task it fulfils by means of its revolutionary strikes. These strikes, which the liberals hate and the liquidators cannot understand, are (as the February resolution of the R.S.D.L.P. puts it) ‘one of the most effective means of overcoming the apathy, despair, and disunion of the agricultural proletariat and the peasantry, … and drawing them into the most concerted, simultaneous, and extensive revolutionary actions.’”
Note Lenin’s discontent with “liberals.” Yes––he does mean those who prefer individual freedom and liberty, or more poignantly––those who refuse to submit to the greater cause of the state. For the record, he had little tolerance for protests against his point of view––and your scholarship under his regime would determine your course of study based on the current needs of that same state.
OK––even giving the benefit of the doubt that the origins of the Russian Revolution started with a sincere desire to redress the abuses of a ruling class against the peasantry––what the hell you protesting in Seattle?
Let’s start with the grade school chants against capitalism, which are seldom if ever supported by substantive facts in these protests. The capitalism you protest against is a far cry from the strict class system of Czarist Russia. Like most of the world at that time, monarchy was still the dominant political structure and where and when democracy was practiced, it was strictly limited in participation to those with money and connections.
Is that what you’re fighting against? Cronyism and nepotism certainly still exists––but you have recourse to check those abuses, where and when you find them. You can vote, you can run for office, you are free to create your own organizations and compete in what is still a relatively free market.
What is the alternative you seek?
“Fairness” is often the battle cry. I find it interesting that the vast majority of participants in these particular riots are college students––usually from middle and upper-middle class homes whose parents have the means to support their educations while they have the time to riot against their distorted image of oppression.
The Soviet ideals you embrace have failed in every attempt. In fact, everywhere Communism and even blended Socialism has been tried––it has failed––miserably.
The only examples where some form of political Marxism has had any sustainable run is when the ideology is imposed, often by brutal force and inhuman forms of violence, discrimination and coercion. The argument is that the “wrong” people gained control or that the ideology was imperfectly implemented.
Still––I’ll again give you the benefit of the doubt. Your chants say you want workers “rights.”
What rights are you deprived?
You have the right to live your life anyway you see fit. Contrary to the way life was under the Communist ideals you idolize, you can choose your career, you can vote for whomever you want, you can run for office without the approval of the state or party and you can even take to the streets to protest and voice your ideas or discontent.
During the Russian Civil War if you disagreed with whoever was in power this week, you’d likely be killed––9 million people were.
Once Stalin “stabilized” the situation, he killed another 20 million––many of whom were forced labor and those who dissented against the Communist brand of “equality” and “fairness.”
Hitler also preached a warped brand of “people’s power” and led what was largely a worker’s revolution. Of course, that infamously led to the execution of some 5 million Jews, who were considered to have an unfair advantage in economic matters. His toll, however, is closer to 66 million when you factor in the human cost of stopping him.
Mao, whose image often appears on May Day protest t-shirts was certainly a champion of fairness and equality––so much so that he murdered 40 million to assure his version of perfect society.
Pol Pot, nearly 2 million. Kim Il Song, 1.6 million. Castro, 30 thousand––and I’m just counting those who advertised that their carnage served the higher purpose of assuring equality and true freedom for “the people.”
And let’s not forget the top selling t-shirt idol of the American Anarchist set, Che Guevara. This mass murderer is the darling of our freedom and equality set. He killed thousands, enslaved tens of thousands and forced over a million people into exile––to assure equality.
You do not have the right to interfere with the peaceful lives of others, destroy their property––private or public or do violence against those with whom you disagree or those charged with protecting their rights––and yours.
You are children. You stamp your feet because you don’t get your way.
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Don’t like the way government is run? Run for office.
Don’t like the way business is conducted? Start your own. Want all your workers to receive equal pay, from the CEO to the janitor? DO IT!
(We’ll see how long you put up with that!)
You think everyone is entitled to free medical care and free food? Start an organization and provide it!
Perfect equality of outcome can be attained––by force. Equality of opportunity is a little messy––and it requires a lot more work from you.
You have the right to protest––I’ll even defend that, even as much I disagree with everything you preach and everything you think you stand for.
Your right to protest does not give you the right to destroy my property or attack me physically any more than my right to keep and bear arms gives me the right to shoot you without due provocation.
If you feel your right to protest does give you the right to attack me or destroy property, we’ll just have to see how I might choose to exercise my rights in response.