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 the "make a noise" protest

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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:31 pm

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Ibis, you are jumping about from the general to the particular.

The last point (3) is a straw man. No one is arguing with you on that.

Most people recognise that its a question of inequality of burden, not whether or not expenditure will have to be cut.

I really don't understand why you are asking me these questions. I'm off to bed now, so good night. Smile

Sigh. You're in favour of protesting, but don't seem to have any idea of what the protests are for, as opposed to what they're against.

The protests I've seen (and I see pretty much all of them) have all been protesting sectoral interests. It hasn't been about "inequality of burden" at all, it's been about it not being ME who is under the axe. They are protests for "no change to MY particular circumstances" at a time when change is being imposed on everybody by forces that are immune to protest.

When you keep jumping from the general to the particular, it isn't possible to have any kind of coherent communication. You've asked me a couple of questions that were already answered and discussed back in the thread. You haven't responded to anything I've said, but have persistently invented straw dogs and replied to them. I am leaving this handy substitute here for you to continue the discussion with. geek It won't make any difference to your posts whether I am here or not.


Sleep

It hasn't so far, anyway. Well, except for introducing an element of confusion - I know what point I'm making, but I have no idea what you're arguing with me about, and not a clue what you mean when you say I'm jumping from the general to the particular. Unless you mean that I'm simultaneously discussing the question of whether protests in general achieve much, and whether the Irish protests in particular will achieve much - which doesn't seem odd to me, because the Irish protests are simply a particular example of a general phenomenon.

If you like, I can make the point again - I think the Irish protests are both narrow and conservative in focus, and I doubt they either will, or perhaps even should, achieve their rather self-interested aims. Protests are neither an end in themselves, nor a good thing in themselves - they are only good when they achieve something worthwhile, and these protests are unlikely to do so, because the extent of their ambition appears to be either to persuade the current government not to upset their particular apple-cart, or possibly to elect a new government who won't. They are to useful public discourse what the tantrums of a child refused sweeties are to rational discussion of a balanced diet or dental hygiene.

Mind you, it's early days yet.

The confusion is not coming from me Ibis. You clearly do know what I mean about jumping from the general to the particular, and have been shifting your interpretation of what is said from "in principle" questions, to current Irish protests in general, to the specific "noise" protest talked about in the OP. The issues are obviously not the same in each case.

It's difficult to engage in debate with a moving target, but I will do my best. I have said enough times that I think that in general, protests are very limited in their effect, and that energies now should be spent on study and development of potential alternatives to the present mess, along with building solid organisations that oppose it and doing everything possible to protect jobs and services. I have also said that imo protests can serve a number of useful functions and that public protest is a basic right.

When it comes to the "noise" protest, it appears to me to be badly thought out in the extreme (what's with the time and date? - potential for causing unneeded annoyance etc.- as yet, poorly publicised) and it is not likely to have any effect if successful other than venting some of the anger some posters here seem so worried about, and consolidating a feeling for people that they are not on their own. However these are all small sins. Government has got away with blue murder over the last year, and this is the first general protest called for - all the others, as you point out have been sectoral.

Now on to your third category - the sectoral protests. I agree that there is a danger of public and private sector workers. and different sections of the population being set against each other and started a thread on this last year. The noise protest at least has the virtue of avoiding that and for that it gets my support.

I do not agree with all the wild talk of mobs and herds. So far (unless you accept Kate P's case that we know nothing about, and that in any event was an individual act), it has been nice old ladies and school teachers. It's going to be the Gardai next - I suppose we should expect trouble there...

Having said that, there is sometimes a risk in demonstrations of young individuals letting off a bit of testosterone on the one side, and of police provocation on the other. There are plenty of people who are ready to discredit demonstrations and the media relentlessly homes in on any such incident at the expense of peaceful and well organised demonstrations. Greece is a case in point. One young eejit throwing something is worth, in news editor's minds, 100,000 people marching peacefully along a street. This affects peoples' perceptions of demonstrations, but in no way reduces or impinges on peoples' rights to protest. Again, I started a thread here last year that specifically looked at the potential for peaceful and orderly demonstrations being disrupted in that way and how to deal with it.

I am getting increasingly reluctant to say anything though, as the reaction I predict is that you will run off with it and elaborate a scheme of imagined meaning based on lord knows what or produce another list of questions that I haven't answered (the possibilities are of course endless).

Quote :
Protests are neither an end in themselves, nor a good thing in themselves

Did anyone say that they were?

As well as the three categories of protest, you also put forward your view on the possible aims of the protest. I see again you're making a blanket assumption about the thinking and motives of demonstrators without providing any evidence to back it up. I am quite sure it is a whole lot more complex than you suggest. Enough with the looking down on people - according to your posts they are all infantile, dumb animals or hoodlums. This is clearly not the case.

It seems to me that it is precisely the failure of Government to produce a "balanced diet" that has got us into the current gigantic budgetary mess. Do you intend to shift the blame onto the demonstrators and then comprehensively trash them? It could come over that way. What alternatives would you suggest for dealing with an incompetent, partisan and quite possibly corrupt government whose term is set to run for several years more ?
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:22 pm

Stop, stop! I don't intend to imply that people are "all infantile, dumb animals or hoodlums", I don't intend to "shift the blame onto the demonstrators and then comprehensively trash them".

Finally, I don't intend to argue with you, because I don't think you've taken up a single thing I've said the way I meant it. I'd assume I wasn't being clear, but it's very rare for you to take me up the right way on anything we don't agree on, so I reckon it's you. Suffice it to say that none of what you think I think is correct.


Last edited by ibis on Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Protest is surely a worthwhile thing. It's an alternative to violent revolution, a peaceful means of registering widely held views and feelings that are being ignored and is also a method of making government accountable in between ballot box ticking. In a properly democratic society anyone who tries to demean or restrict peaceful public protest is a danger to the common good. It's not a case of either or, it's just one aspect of public participation in democracy which together with grassroots organising and and other types of protest, such as striking, form a break on arrogant, undemocratic government. In recent years there have been attempts to suppress this sort of thing and to demonise it, as on this thread, so that vested interests can secure an open playing field for themselves. 'Nice' people don't protest it seems. But 'nice' people get completely shafted too. This economic crisis is being managed so atrociously and so much in the interests of the wealthy few that protest, striking and other forms of non violent direct action will very likely not just be appropriate but essential if we are to check the neo-fascist tendencies that are creeping into government pronouncements and some media coverage.

It is a trick of a certain poster here and on other sites to join discussions like this, pretending to be somewhere in the middle of the debate but who goes on to prove that they are anything but. He demands answers and proofs from everyone else, like an arrogant toff clicking his fingers at errand boys, but does nothing to back up his own conflicting and muddled assertions. He has perfected this game to the point of seeming credibility but it has now got to the stage where almost every thread he joins is effectively derailed from its original purpose by this strategem. Whenever he is argued into a corner, he changes tack and topic immediately. It's just a form of trolling, really. The objective, in my opinion, is to wreck any possibility of sensible discussion of the the OP's post. If he is not to be banned completely for messing genuine posters around then the only way to deal with him is to make a collective decision to ignore him, not to post in response to him. I leave it to other posters to see if they recognise who I am talking about.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:58 pm

I will not be supporting the "make noise" protest or any other protest with undefined goals. I think mass protests with undefined goals are inherently dangerous. Who decides who gets to speak to or represent such protestors. Would I be lending my democratic currency to the SWP? to the unions? to SF? to anarchists? to communists? to post-pubescent students?

I agree with Leonard Cohen's analysis that there will be those who will soon try to enforce a huge degree of order and conformity on all. I think that this has been coming whether the latest depression occured or not but now that the depression is here the dangers are more immediate.

I now understand why americans were so afraid of the communists post WWII. When you have been in a depression, when you have sensed domestic anger, when you have seen how such anger was tapped by the nazis, and when you know the communists are waiting to tap it again, it is time to be afraid.

I think that many changes are needed at macro and micro levels. I think there is political support for such changes and those who can enunciate the changes will be king. I note that the support for FF was dwarfed by the support for the measures they were taking.

I am very angry about the level of stupidity that has been exposed within the organs of the state and the organs of business. I am very angry about the culture of advertising, propaganda and technological surveillance. I am very angry about the lip service paid to the important issue of sustainability. I am very angry about the arrogance, envy, greed, sense of entitlement and laziness that I see in people on all sides. I am very angry that values are always second to efficiency but I am also very angry that people expect everything for free while 2 billion people live in the forgotten failed fourth world.

I will not take part in protests with no stated purpose which may be hijacked and manipulated by those with a defined purpose. If this Government keeps upping it's game then I want them to stay in and to take the pain. I have confidence in them to do that.

I want to see our Government make real strong reforms that will protect us. I want to see regulation headed by a foreign expert and for that position to be rotated. I want our Government to part fund and to have access to advice from independent EU think tanks. I want to see the Green PArty produce the Local Government reform it has promised. I want to see no public servant paid more than €250K be they independent contractors or otherwise, i.e., I want Pat Kenny, Gerry Ryan and all the other guys to be cut. I want to see clear statements of the current laws on corporate misbehaviour and I want to see enforcement of the relevant laws. We cannot go on without holding people to account. The nation demands it, the international community demands it and justice demands it. Failure to deliver will be an abject failure indeed.

I want to see some self criticism from Charlie McCreevy from Bertie Ahern from the Department of Finance and from the Revenue Commissioners. I want to see leadership, honesty and patriotism from those people. I don't care if they did more good than harm. I don't care if it is not fair. I want to see them stand up and take a hit for team Ireland. History will thank them and praise their courage. I want them to undercut the dustbin boys and the screechers on politics.ie and elsewhere. I agree with tonys that a 50% pay cut for politicians (for the next 2 years anyway) is required.

I want to see all these things but you won't catch me banging a dustbin lid.


Last edited by Zhou_Enlai on Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:05 pm

BTW - this thread is pretty un-readable. The arguments are circular and needlessly personal.

There are two questions:

1. Why support the protest?
2. Why not support the protest?

Perhaps people should explain their own opinion, and stop worrying about whether others are answering their questions or addressing the relevant point or are setting up straw this-that-or-the-other.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:11 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
...
I want
to see our Government make real strong reforms that will protect us. I want to see regulation headed by a foreign expert and for that position to be rotated. I want our Government to part fund and to have access to advice from independent EU think tanks. I want to see the Green PArty produce the Local Government reform it has promised. I want to see no public servant paid more than €250K be they independent contractors or otherwise, i.e., I want Pat Kenny, Gerry Ryan and all the other guys to be cut. I want to see clear statements of the current laws on corporate misbehaviour and I want to see enforcement of the relevant laws. We cannot go on without holding people to account. The nation demands it, the international community demands it and justice demands it. Failure to deliver will be an abject failure indeed.

I want to see some self criticism from Charlie McCreevy from Bertie Ahern from the Department of Finance and from the Revenue Commissioners. I want to see leadership, honesty and patriotism from those people. I don't care if they did more good than harm. I don't care if it is not fair. I want to see them stand up and take a hit for team Ireland. History will thank them and praise their courage. I want them to undercut the dustbin boys and the screechers on politics.ie and elsewhere. I agree with tonys that a 50% pay cut for politicians (for the next 2 years anyway) is required.

I want to see all these things but you won't catch me banging a dustbin lid.
Great post. I count 12 'I wants'. What if the Government can't or won't deliver on any or most of the 12?
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:20 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
BTW - this thread is pretty un-readable. The arguments are circular and needlessly personal.

There are two questions:

1. Why support the protest?
2. Why not support the protest?

Perhaps people should explain their own opinion, and stop worrying about whether others are answering their questions or addressing the relevant point or are setting up straw this-that-or-the-other.

Well, you've pretty much stated my position in your longer post.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:27 pm

coc wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
...
I want
to see our Government make real strong reforms that will protect us. I want to see regulation headed by a foreign expert and for that position to be rotated. I want our Government to part fund and to have access to advice from independent EU think tanks. I want to see the Green PArty produce the Local Government reform it has promised. I want to see no public servant paid more than €250K be they independent contractors or otherwise, i.e., I want Pat Kenny, Gerry Ryan and all the other guys to be cut. I want to see clear statements of the current laws on corporate misbehaviour and I want to see enforcement of the relevant laws. We cannot go on without holding people to account. The nation demands it, the international community demands it and justice demands it. Failure to deliver will be an abject failure indeed.

I want to see some self criticism from Charlie McCreevy from Bertie Ahern from the Department of Finance and from the Revenue Commissioners. I want to see leadership, honesty and patriotism from those people. I don't care if they did more good than harm. I don't care if it is not fair. I want to see them stand up and take a hit for team Ireland. History will thank them and praise their courage. I want them to undercut the dustbin boys and the screechers on politics.ie and elsewhere. I agree with tonys that a 50% pay cut for politicians (for the next 2 years anyway) is required.

I want to see all these things but you won't catch me banging a dustbin lid.
Great post. I count 12 'I wants'. What if the Government can't or won't deliver on any or most of the 12?

Well, at least I know what I want!

I also know that you can't always get what you want (ref. Mick Jagger).

If I fail to get what I want then I know that there is a legally protected democratic mechanism for giving weight to my views on what I want (ref. Bunreacht Na hEireann). Furthermore, I know that if I join any of the democratic parties (everybody bar Libertas and ?SWP?) there are internal democratic mechanisms to allow me to promote my views of what I want.

Will you be banging your bin Coc?
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:44 pm

Me? No. I may be enraged, but I think banging binlids is a stupid idea.

If I thought most or all of your 12 'I wants' were going to be delivered I'd be happy to give the Two Brians a few more months to turn things around, but it's pretty clear to me that they are now finished as credible leaders out of this mess. I await concerted action from the unions and opposition parties - cf The National Strike thread.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:47 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
coc wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
...
I want
to see our Government make real strong reforms that will protect us. I want to see regulation headed by a foreign expert and for that position to be rotated. I want our Government to part fund and to have access to advice from independent EU think tanks. I want to see the Green PArty produce the Local Government reform it has promised. I want to see no public servant paid more than €250K be they independent contractors or otherwise, i.e., I want Pat Kenny, Gerry Ryan and all the other guys to be cut. I want to see clear statements of the current laws on corporate misbehaviour and I want to see enforcement of the relevant laws. We cannot go on without holding people to account. The nation demands it, the international community demands it and justice demands it. Failure to deliver will be an abject failure indeed.

I want to see some self criticism from Charlie McCreevy from Bertie Ahern from the Department of Finance and from the Revenue Commissioners. I want to see leadership, honesty and patriotism from those people. I don't care if they did more good than harm. I don't care if it is not fair. I want to see them stand up and take a hit for team Ireland. History will thank them and praise their courage. I want them to undercut the dustbin boys and the screechers on politics.ie and elsewhere. I agree with tonys that a 50% pay cut for politicians (for the next 2 years anyway) is required.

I want to see all these things but you won't catch me banging a dustbin lid.
Great post. I count 12 'I wants'. What if the Government can't or won't deliver on any or most of the 12?

Well, at least I know what I want!

I also know that you can't always get what you want (ref. Mick Jagger).

If I fail to get what I want then I know that there is a legally protected democratic mechanism for giving weight to my views on what I want (ref. Bunreacht Na hEireann). Furthermore, I know that if I join any of the democratic parties (everybody bar Libertas and ?SWP?) there are internal democratic mechanisms to allow me to promote my views of what I want.

Will you be banging your bin Coc?


Some good points, Zhou, and a good song choice, but I think your transposing your own decency on others that don't share it. Also I think the problems don't only stem from abuses.

Quote :
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singin', 'We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't, we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse'
Sing it to me, now

(You can't always get what you want)
(You can't always get what you want)
(You can't always get what you want)
But if you try sometimes, well you just might find
You get what you need

Ooh baby, yeah, ooh

A Fianna Fail member may possibly have some influence on Government between elections that way, but what about the rest of us?

A treat for you in exchange for the Stones. Replace "Margaret" with "Brians" for those so disposed.


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