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Icebone1000

Violent vs Non Violent Protests

26 posts in this topic

Do you think non violent protest, specifically against a govern buried in corruption, works?

 

Right now, in Brazil, protests with much more than 100k+ ppl (100K+in Rio only,  the focus is on Sao Paulo, theres in Porto Alegre too, I cant find concrete numbers) are happening . It started due a rise in the price of public bus transport. Now  the motive is bigger, ppl are tired of all the shit Brazilians have to face.

 

As always, the midia in Brazil is against and always try to show ppl the wrong thing, saying who is protesting is wrong, unjustifyed and stuff..But now thanks god theres the internet.

 

Something that is poping up all arround the subject is that "acts of violence are not necessary and makes the protest look bad" vs "with no violence, the protest is useless, as just asking the govern to change is what ppl is doing forever".

 

By "Violence" I mean burning buses, invading /depredating public buildings, etc. (violence against the "guilts")

 

Im on the opinion that a pacific protest is the same as showing the govern a letter saying ppl are unsatisfied: Something that is OBVIOUS for EVERYONE in Brazil since I was born (cant say about before it). With means its useless. Violence shows that ppl arent able to take more shit down theyr troats. And that they will react to any shit against them. Its pure and simple payback...

 

Sorry my shit english, or my lack of clearness, my speech skill is on negative.

 

As a side note, I think Brazil is passing trough one of the most important moments in its history, and I think the manifestation may grow to the point they will put the military against ppl...and them lots of shit may happen.

 

 

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Rioters burning busses, buildings, and other property is wrong. It doesn't matter if that property belonged to one individual or belonged to the public. Destruction of property is an actual crime and should be punished.

Peaceful protests can work. They need to hit critical mass and the media can either boost or hinder the cause.

It may take one or two or five or ten or more years, but if the issue is kept in the public spotlight long enough by enough people, it can change.
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Rioters burning busses, buildings, and other property is wrong. It doesn't matter if that property belonged to one individual or belonged to the public. Destruction of property is an actual crime and should be punished

 

Not to mention the fact that you're likely to kill innocent people by setting large objects on fire. 

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Short answer, like most short answers in life, is "it depends".

 

Slightly longer answer: violent action against an oppressor can and has been both successful and justifiable. Examples include the American War of Independence, the Irish risings in the early 20th century, and the French resistance to the Nazi occupation.

 

Essentially, it boils down to whether the system is so inherently broken that violence is the only option. Most modern democracies have mechanisms in place to allow for change, even if it is slow, even if it is against the interests of the powerful.

 

I can't really comment on the situation in Brazil, as I don't really know enough about it, but the very fact that you can protest peacefully suggests that violence in your case will only be counter-productive.

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Just be mindful that the international media tends to ignore peaceful protests.

 It doesn't matter any way, since a lot of countries are getting very good at squashing protests ( France ) peaceful or not.

 

 On a side note: Brazil has quite a history of civil strife.

Edited by Shippou
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Short answer, like most short answers in life, is "it depends".

 

Slightly longer answer: violent action against an oppressor can and has been both successful and justifiable. Examples include the American War of Independence, the Irish risings in the early 20th century, and the French resistance to the Nazi occupation.

 

Essentially, it boils down to whether the system is so inherently broken that violence is the only option. Most modern democracies have mechanisms in place to allow for change, even if it is slow, even if it is against the interests of the powerful.

 

I can't really comment on the situation in Brazil, as I don't really know enough about it, but the very fact that you can protest peacefully suggests that violence in your case will only be counter-productive.

 

Give me an example of a situation where you cant protest peacefully. Thats way too subjective.

 

See, in my opinion you cant, cause it will not result in anything, its been like this forever. Brazil its a hell of a rich country, and it doesnt reflect in anything: worst education in the world (theres only a country in africa who beats it. teachers salary are a joke(house cleaners do more money in lots of situations)), crappy public services (transport, hospitals(ppls die due lack of infrastructure)). Everyone know our representatives are corrupt and steal lots of money, but you cant do anything, cause they also creates the laws. They decide theyr salary, theyr working hours, is like shiting on ppls face. From my point of view they should be arrested as genocidals, since all ppl who dies due poor conditions is they fault, since Brazil have more than enough resources to be a decent place to live.

 

Theres politician on Brazil who can only NOT be arrested on Brazil.

 

Have anyone idea of what is living with crappy salaries, and still paying more taxes than most other countries (taxes that goes to nowhere, they arent reflect in our quality of live).

 

Than imagine living on that, and protesting peacefully..seriously, why a corrupt govern would do anything if ppl do nothing either. Is like asking for their compassion. I dont want to sound as rebel, but I dont see a motive to it work... Ppl here are way too religious and too easy manipulated due lack of proper education and media manipulation, so the shit got accumulated for too long.

 

 

It may take one or two or five or ten or more years, but if the issue is kept in the public spotlight long enough by enough people, it can change.

 

 

 

Its happening now because ppl finally got full of it..I dont think ppl should aim long terms changes.

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In the Gandhi's example, even if the people of India were protesting peacefully, the British government were the ones that turn violent.  Certain things won't change unless there's blood spilled, or violence is involved.  That's just how human nature works.

 

It's not just your country Brazil, this is happening everywhere, including America.

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Give me an example of a situation where you cant protest peacefully. Thats way too subjective.

 

There are plenty of examples throughout history. The arab spring or tiananmen square are two recent examples that spring to mind immediately. In both cases, the protests were suppressed by the government.

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Give me an example of a situation where you cant protest peacefully. Thats way too subjective.

 

There are plenty of examples throughout history. The arab spring or tiananmen square are two recent examples that spring to mind immediately. In both cases, the protests were suppressed by the government.

 

Well, theres plenty of vids showing the police "shock squad" (dont know how to translate) beating protestants out of no reason

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SnKe6TND58

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One of the biggest problems with Brazil's protests is that it is unfocused.

It is a problem shared with most protesters, including the Occupy Wall Street or 99% protesters.

What SPECIFICALLY do the people want changed?

When I look at the news stories, I see bus prices (the issue that sparked the common people), I also see cries about the tax rate, public services, healthcare reform, educational reform, police reform, corruption in government, unemployment, and even protests on the availability of World Cup tickets.

What I do not see is a specific thing that needs to change. I do not see a clear and specific goal that can be met.

Usually this takes some articulate public speakers, not raging mobs.


Let's assume all the politicians got together and found a way to solve one, and only one, of the issues presented. Which one should that be? Should they raise taxes to drop the bus fare? Focus on one very specific aspect of government corruption? Should they get larger facilities for the World Cup? Should they implement a national healthcare mandate?

This is the problem with the protests today.

Abstract protests without a clear and precise goal does not get very far.

People are upset. We get that. There are a lot of problems in government. Everyone knows that. Now some smart people and charismatic leaders (not just angry people) need to sit down and figure out exactly what needs to change, exactly how to do it. They need to paint a picture that everyone can see. This is why protests don't work unless they have speakers like Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi who can communicate specifically what needs to change, communicate specifically how to enact the change, and rally the people from mindless mobs into a series needle-sharp protests on specific concrete issues.

Protesters must establish a clear articulation of the problem they want fixed.
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I would say that undirected violence is always wrong -- If there's no link between the target and whatever circumstance has led to violent protest, then the violence is unjustified and only serves to generate fear. Although fear alone can has been shown to be an effective way to gain and hold power, I think we can agree that it is not the preferred path to victory, particularly for a movement that claims to be for good. It also tends to raise despots who may bend the momentum of the movement for their own benefit or goals after the original goal is achieved.

 

In my opinion, there's an escalation of response that is necessary to follow. People who have a voice in the government of their country have a responsibility to fight for change through the courts, at the voting booth, and using every peaceful means at their disposal. There can come a time, after it is clear that peaceful means are not just unheard, but ignored, when violence can become a reasonable response to the oppression. Up until that time, and continuing throughout whatever violent protest occurs, the movement must maintain course trying to effect change through the system as well; otherwise, they stand to lose whatever moral authority they have gained, and the story soon become about the physical fighting, rather than the cause. 

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One of the biggest problems with Brazil's protests is that it is unfocused.

It is a problem shared with most protesters, including the Occupy Wall Street or 99% protesters.

What SPECIFICALLY do the people want changed?

When I look at the news stories, I see bus prices (the issue that sparked the common people), I also see cries about the tax rate, public services, healthcare reform, educational reform, police reform, corruption in government, unemployment, and even protests on the availability of World Cup tickets.

What I do not see is a specific thing that needs to change. I do not see a clear and specific goal that can be met.

Usually this takes some articulate public speakers, not raging mobs.


Let's assume all the politicians got together and found a way to solve one, and only one, of the issues presented. Which one should that be? Should they raise taxes to drop the bus fare? Focus on one very specific aspect of government corruption? Should they get larger facilities for the World Cup? Should they implement a national healthcare mandate?

This is the problem with the protests today.

Abstract protests without a clear and precise goal does not get very far.

People are upset. We get that. There are a lot of problems in government. Everyone knows that. Now some smart people and charismatic leaders (not just angry people) need to sit down and figure out exactly what needs to change, exactly how to do it. They need to paint a picture that everyone can see. This is why protests don't work unless they have speakers like Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi who can communicate specifically what needs to change, communicate specifically how to enact the change, and rally the people from mindless mobs into a series needle-sharp protests on specific concrete issues.

Protesters must establish a clear articulation of the problem they want fixed.

That requires good education, witch IMO is why Brazil have been stuck forever.

 

Btw, I think you dont get the world cup thing..or I dont get what you understood. The rage is that Brazilians never wanted to host the cup. Too much money is expended (read stole, cause it is), while it should be expended on the country itself instead of "making the country look good to the internationals". Its the classic "all of suddem theres money to do billionaire investments", with all the problems we have in infrastructure: education, hospitals, floods.. Its a money making to the already rich ppl. I never saw a person in favor of Brazil hosting the cup, except on TV of course.

 

(I remember they where going to destroy one school to expand a car parking due it being near a cup stadium...dont remember how that ended..just to exemplify)

Edited by Icebone1000
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One of the biggest problems with Brazil's protests is that it is unfocused. ... Protesters must establish a clear articulation of the problem they want fixed.

That requires good education, witch IMO is why Brazil have been stuck forever.
According to some news reports there are nearly a quarter million people involved in the protests.

Are you suggesting that in the quarter million people, there are not even the few (perhaps five or ten) who are educated and also dynamic leaders?

I have higher hopes than that. My hunch is that just like the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US, and just like many other protests, the problem is not a lack of education. The problem more likely is difficulty getting key leaders in front of the mob and getting the mob's attention. Angry mobs don't like to listen to reason, even when it agrees with them.



All through history people have revolted. It is a thing humans do. The successful revolts -- including those that caused nations to overturn -- can all trace their success to a few key individuals. Generally they are charismatic, articulate, and intelligent. They can transform a mob into an organized mechanism for change.

As long as protesters remain lawless mobs that burn buildings and vehicles and otherwise cause problems to society, then of course the situation will degenerate.

If the protesters can find those key individuals and bring them to the front then non-violent change is not only possible, it is probable.
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One of the biggest problems with Brazil's protests is that it is unfocused. ... Protesters must establish a clear articulation of the problem they want fixed.

That requires good education, witch IMO is why Brazil have been stuck forever.
According to some news reports there are nearly a quarter million people involved in the protests.

Are you suggesting that in the quarter million people, there are not even the few (perhaps five or ten) who are educated and also dynamic leaders?

I have higher hopes than that. My hunch is that just like the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US, and just like many other protests, the problem is not a lack of education. The problem more likely is difficulty getting key leaders in front of the mob and getting the mob's attention. Angry mobs don't like to listen to reason, even when it agrees with them.



All through history people have revolted. It is a thing humans do. The successful revolts -- including those that caused nations to overturn -- can all trace their success to a few key individuals. Generally they are charismatic, articulate, and intelligent. They can transform a mob into an organized mechanism for change.

As long as protesters remain lawless mobs that burn buildings and vehicles and otherwise cause problems to society, then of course the situation will degenerate.

If the protesters can find those key individuals and bring them to the front then non-violent change is not only possible, it is probable.

 

 

(As another side note, most protests happening are all non violent, most violence is coming from the police.)

 

The lawless ones are on the govern, making laws, making everyone miserable. Murders and robbers with law protection. They should be arrested (no exaggeration), do you think its possible to convince them to surrender out of moral speechs ? Its as silly as it sound. I dont think its possible to make then pull out if not by offering a worse option (taking them out by force/fear).

 

And even so, I dont think historical characters like Luther King, Ghandi, who else, with both charisma, leadershipness and whatever skills shows up easily.

 

Note that I dont think its ideal either, but I think non violent in that case is being too idealist/utopic. 

Edited by Icebone1000
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ts as silly as it sound. I dont think its possible to make then pull out if not by offering a worse option (taking them out by force/fear).
 
And even so, I dont think historical characters like Luther King, Ghandi, who else, with both charisma, leadershipness and whatever skills shows up easily.
 
Note that I dont think its ideal either, but I think non violent in that case is being too idealist/utopic.

As long as a nonviolent option is available, use it.

I think non violent in that case is being too idealist/utopic.

What exactly does this mean? Are you suggesting that the mob should murder those in power? Or perhaps suggesting they burn down the capitol building? What does the cause gain by the burning of busses?

On one hand you say you want an end to corruption in government, you want the laws to be fair and you want them to be followed.
On the other hand you seem to be suggesting those same rules should not be followed by the mob, that they should induce fear through violence and force.

Unless you are planning a complete overthrow of the government (which seems foolish in the extreme) the only option is nonviolent protest. Even if that means the police forces murder hundreds of people in the streets to stop the nonviolent protests, you live in a country where people can protest, people can record it, report it around the globe, and the nonviolent protests will be heard much better than violent civil unrest.

Using violence in a protest is a statement that invalidates any other message you say. The same is true for the government. Every time someone uses violence they lose that protest and declare that they are willing to ignore basic human rights and reach for brute force. Do not be the one who turns to violence. If you want the world to see the corruption in Brazil's government, let them see the people demand peace and the government using violence, not the other way around.
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Violence not only invalidates any other message you may have (and not only invalidate, but turn around), but it also gives a good justification to your rotten government to reply with even more excessive violence.

 

Which, if you look at the Turks last week, doesn't mean that staying peaceful is any better for your health.

 

Now of course, the problem is that there are not many options. All governments are rotten, so moving abroad does not work. Democracy also does not work. You can choose one incompetent cheating criminal over the other, it does not change a thing. Well, you can make it still worse, but not better...

 

Also, generally 80-90% of the population are stupid and (in case they go to elections at all) will elect what's worst for everybody anyway (a feedback loop that the socialists support by sabotaging the school system and keeping the next generation stupid).

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It is a very sad thing to say but, protest of any knid does not work unless it gets violent.

CDN didn't work,  Protests against Viatnam or Iraq didn't work.  The Occupy movement didn't work.

Protests that got violent and did work / are working:
Womens Sufferage / Feminism,  LA riots related to the beating of Rodney King, The UKs Poll Tax Riots,  American Independance, Arab Spring, French Revolution.

 

I have no political motivation to get involved with any kind of politcal movement but it does seem to me that the only way that politcal protest works is when it boils over into something nasty and people take direct action.

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Protests that got violent and did work / are working:
Womens Sufferage / Feminism,  LA riots related to the beating of Rodney King, The UKs Poll Tax Riots,  American Independance, Arab Spring, French Revolution.

The French revolution did "work", but it produced France's darkest age in history. Never before and never after have people suffered so much as during the century after the revolution. World War I was a trifle compared to this.

Maximilien de Robbespierre and Napoleon Buonaparte are two of the exaltant improvements that the French Revolution brought. Hundreds of thousands slaughtered on the guillotine (or millions, you can't be sure, but the piles of skulls in the Paris catacombs tell a story...), millions starved, and millions dead in senseless wars over decades.

 

It doesn't look much different if you consider the American independence war or the Arab Spring. Or, the anti-Apartheid move. People in South Africa still live in much worse conditions today than they did back then. Sure enough, they're "free"... but what is this freedom worth if you're murdered in the street by an urchin who has nothing to lose because he is starving.

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 When the people in power refuse to give up power, the ones who want change have to use violence.

 

 As of right now peaceful protests are ignored, and eventually "swept away" by police.

 In the United States, the Occupy Wall ST protests were ended by police sweeping away the camps and making mass arrests. Over in Europe, I'm reading of well trained riot police being used to clear out any kind of protestors any time they pop up.

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The French revolution did "work", but it produced France's darkest age in history. Never before and never after have people suffered so much as during the century after the revolution. World War I was a trifle compared to this.

Maximilien de Robbespierre and Napoleon Buonaparte are two of the exaltant improvements that the French Revolution brought. Hundreds of thousands slaughtered on the guillotine (or millions, you can't be sure, but the piles of skulls in the Paris catacombs tell a story...), millions starved, and millions dead in senseless wars over decades.



It doesn't look much different if you consider the American independence war or the Arab Spring. Or, the anti-Apartheid move. People in South Africa still live in much worse conditions today than they did back then. Sure enough, they're "free"... but what is this freedom worth if you're murdered in the street by an urchin who has nothing to lose because he is starving.

 

This is Irrelevant.   The violent protests worked and brought about change.  The fact that the outcome was bad does not change the fact.   Also I'm not totally sure why you include American independance in that list.

 

Don't get me wrong I do not advocate violence in any way but,  I can think of a lot more situations where violent protests were successful than non - violent ones.  I have never studied history or politics in great deal so maybe somebody else can throw up a few examples.  The biggest example of a violent protest is War and the people who win a war get what they want.

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What SPECIFICALLY do the people want changed?

 

 

Everything.

 

We are tired of paying taxes as a 1st world country and live in a 3rd world country. We are tired of having to pay a private hospital plan because there isn't a public one decent enough (and one you won't die for third party reasons not your illness is decent enough for me). We are tired of getting huge lines on bus stations, get into a over capacity bus and yet pay a ridiculous high fee. We are tired of not having a decent school/daycare to our little sons and have to pay half our paycheck for a private one. That and many many more reasons.

 

There is a problem here that is called populism (not sure this is the right word). The corrupt/malicious governors give the poor people lots of little aids that wont change anything on the long run but they keep voting on them and the people who can actually understand the whole figure cannot stand all the poor people voting wrongly and the same bastards/corrupts are elected again over and over.

 

Now I am not saying that poor people's problem shouldn't be addressed. The problem is that the governors are using these malicious methods of "farming" votes intentionally. They don't want people to change their lives on the long run and they certainly don't care about this people.

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What SPECIFICALLY do the people want changed?

 

 

We are tired of not having a decent school/daycare to our little sons and have to pay half our paycheck for a private one. That and many many more reasons.

 

Not sure I follow. Your daughters already get decent education? Or is it that you only want your sons to get one?

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We are tired of paying taxes as a 1st world country and live in a 3rd world country. We are tired of having to pay a private hospital plan because there isn't a public one decent enough (and one you won't die for third party reasons not your illness is decent enough for me). We are tired of getting huge lines on bus stations, get into a over capacity bus and yet pay a ridiculous high fee. We are tired of not having a decent school/daycare to our little sons and have to pay half our paycheck for a private one. That and many many more reasons.

OK, but frankly, that's alike in almost every place in the world. We sure pay 1st world taxes in Germany, and our scholar system is ridiculous. In hospital, you wait up to 10 hours if you're unlucky even if you pay cash. I've had this happen with my mother only 4 months ago, and I'm not precisely the average pauper. I dread to think what people who only have the statutory insurance get...

 

Of course that is not surprising in any way, either. Government has taken the piss out of physicians for decades, the job is unrewarding and outright inhuman. Every single one who had any way of doing something different (including me) has quit his job years ago. So, naturally, if you have to go to hospital, that's bad luck for you.

 

It is often claimed (and equally often denied by the government) that we have a two-class health system. Of course we do, because what the statutory insurance is paying is ridiculous. Unless you cheat, it's less than what the interventions cost. Which means two things: First, everyone is cheating, and second, private patients are the better humans.

Sadly, in the mean time, there's sometimes not even enough physicians left for those with deep pockets.

 

A bus/metro ticket from here to downtown (10 minute cruise) costs me 4,80 euros single fare (that's roughly 14 reals). Taxi costs about 30 euros.

The average gross salary according to governmental propaganda is 2,200 euros, but if you are not part of the "top 10%" (the top 10% that own 90%)  it's much closer to half that.

With all tax and compulsatory insurances (which the average man can't escape either), the average man has to make a living with considerably less than 800 per month (with rent being upwards of 500). I pay around 60 euros per week for food in the supermarket (for 2 people). No expensive stuff, no exotic stuff. Now don't ask me how those people raise 2 or 3 children with the salaries they get. They must be stealing or something, no idea.

 

In contrast, those benefit scroungers of which we sadly have more than enough are paid not only their rent and all insurances, but also most things you need for a living (like a laundry machine, or a tv), and get 500 per month of pocket money in addition (so they can buy drugs, and whatever).

And, as main point in their manifesto for the upcoming election, the communists want to raise that because it's still not enough (also, they want to lower the retirement age by 2 years, this is interesting, seeing how there is already not enough money to pay pensions as it is). Of course, taxes for people who work are way too low, too.

In other words, if you work, you're a stupid idiot, and you're fucked all over.

 

And sadly, because communists and socialists keep the people stupid by driving the scholar system against the wall, there are always enough people who are stupid enough to elect them, too. Thing is, if you do what they're planning (massive surplus tax on corporations and top earners), all that will happen is that they will leave the country.

The French gay-marriage-president has already demonstrated this, we all know the result. The rich go abroad, and the poor get poorer and unemployed. Meanwhile the Chinese are buying all the vine yards and the industry. But hey, no problem, at least there's gay marriage, congratulations to your success, Mr. Hollande. A a nation once known for his men and for its wine, where has it gone. You better start learning kantonese.

 

Now, had you said something like "It sucks in Brazil because drug cartels keep shooting at people in the streets", I might have agreed. But the things you mentioned are just the same everywhere. Or, possibly worse.

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    Buster2000, on 18 Jun 2013 - 2:53 PM, said:

    This is Irrelevant.   The violent protests worked and brought about change.  The fact that the outcome was bad does not change the fact.

It is greatly relevant. Following your logic, if you're my neighbour, and you do BBQ in your garden, while I'm on a diet... I should jump over the fence and crush your skull with a brick. Which is, arguably, effective and "works fine". Except now I get to eat your BBQ...

See how the logic doesn't hold? The French Revolution was triggered because the rulers behaved like pigs and while they were eating from golden plates, the people was starving. And stupid whores like Marie Antoinette making statements like "if the people doesn't have bread, let them eat cake" didn't help either.
So the people took harsh action, but harsh action rarely ends in something good. After the revolution, they were even more hungry (which was the reason for revolting) and they were even less free. One wrong word, and you lost your head. It was never that bad when they still had a king.

 

You saw the same thing much more recently, too. With Sarkozy, almost the same thing happened as 220 years before. People were somewhat unhappy, and the president behaved like a jerk at several catchpenny occasions.

So the people took harsh action and elected the exact opposite -- Hollande, only to finally get rid of Sarkozy. Turned out, within weeks, that Hollande was a total failure. Which, of course, everyone had known before. But now he's ruining the country for another 4 years, and there's no way to get rid of him.
And yes, it was the same in Germany with Kohl, then Schröder, then Merkel. Kohl pushed through the Reunion. We didn't want it, and the others didn't want it either. We're unhappy ever since, and the others are too. One country, are you kidding me? So, the people took harsh action and elected Schröder, who turned out being a total fuckhead. What a surprise, nobody saw that coming. So Schröder sold us to the Russians, and thus the people took harsh action again, and elected Merkel ... I can't say what I think about that or I'll land in jail.

 

People are just too stupid to govern themselves, democracy doesn't work. But then, what does?

 


The biggest example of a violent protest is War and the people who win a war get what they want.


No, Sir. War is an example of vicious people driving the innocent to death. War has never given anyone (in the people) what they wanted, nor has war ever served a good or just cause or made anything better. War is about what one or two power hungry villains want, nothing more. Well, sometimes it's about economy too.

It's never about people or about what the people wants, unless you consider death and suffering as a "goal" (also, it's never about Freedom with a capital F, and it's never about God).

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