07 Oct 2011

Free Advice for Occupy Wall Street Crowd

Big Brother, Pacifism 20 Comments

If you want the average people watching at home to sympathize with you, you should stop dropping F-bombs and not taunt the cops. Doesn’t mean it’s right for them to throw a baton or use their pepper spray, but if the below scene (HT2 Robert Wenzel) had escalated into serious violence, the average American would side with the cops.

In contrast, the footage that Lawrence O’Donnell had–where a cop walks up to a girl who’s just standing there, behind a barricade, and maces her in the face–that will make people sympathize with your protest.

If and when serious violence and property destruction occurs, it will give the government a pretext to impose martial law in select areas. That doesn’t mean we win, it means they win. The video above is emblematic of the State at large–it has a few people with most of the weapons, versus far far more people who are relatively powerless in terms of physical might, but have the ability to turn public opinion against the armed minority. In the video above, the police had guns, batons, and tasers, but the crowd had numbers, cameras, and the ability to boo.

That might strike some as useless, but it’s not. I agree with Mises, Hume, and de la Boetie that all government ultimately rests on public opinion. The way to convince people in Nashville and Boise that you are being victimized is to look like doves being attacked by irrational thugs. Don’t surround the police and make them look like cornered, rabid dogs.

20 Responses to “Free Advice for Occupy Wall Street Crowd”

  1. Niles Aronson says:

    could not agree more.

  2. Cody S says:

    What are you talking about, Dr. Murphy?

    Protesters never threaten, insult, throw things at, try to hurt the police!

    Any time a group of people gathers in the street to chant and carry idiotic slogans around, everything ends well.

    Marxists never hurt anyone!

    And I’m glad that you’re so open-minded you can switch from seeing a policeman as an irrational thug to seeing him as a disease-crazed animal. Kudos.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Cody S wrote:

      And I’m glad that you’re so open-minded you can switch from seeing a policeman as an irrational thug to seeing him as a disease-crazed animal. Kudos.

      We all can grow. I surprised myself.

  3. AP Lerner says:

    “That doesn’t mean we win, it means they win”

    Are you implying you are on the side of the protesters by saying ‘we win’? Are you part of the we? Because I’m sure 99% of those protesting would disagree with Austerian Economists.

    • James E. Miller says:

      99% would agree that the Fed should continue bailing out its “Primary Dealer” friends through POMO? That’s news to me considering Anonymous is extremely anti-Fed and they were the ones who launched this protest. The media is finally catching up weeks later.

      • Silas Barta says:

        Anonymous launched it? I thought it was someone else. I just checked and Wikipedia confirms what I thought: it was started by Adbusters, although Anonymous did promote it.

        • James E. Miller says:

          Yeah, it looks like Adbusters really did start it, my bad. I saw all the “V for Vendetta” masks and a lot of the Anonymous promotion and figured they were responsible. In some of their videos they made it sound like they were calling for the protest to begin with.

  4. joshua says:

    Good point. The signaling values of the interactions with police will probably end up having far more influence over the outcome of these protests than any single sign or ironic rant.

  5. Jesse Robinson says:

    There’s a great John Berger essay that speaks of your first point with similar wisdom. It’s called “The Nature Of Mass Demonstrations”.

  6. TGGP says:

    Off topic (I tried to post this before when your blog had problems) but Karl Smith said maybe Ron Paul is right about central banks:

    • Bob Roddis says:

      I just love the phrase “technocratically solving the problem of macroeconomic management”.

      1. What “problem”?

      2. What “macroeconomy”?

      3. Who are these “technocrats”? How can the allegedly dumb-ass masses properly select these “technocrats” if they are too dumb to run their own lives?

      4. Where do these “technocrats” obtain their alleged omniscience? Why don’t they suffer from the “problem of knowledge in society” like normal people?

      • James E. Miller says:

        1. Not enough money printing/inflation

        2. Y= C + I + G + (X-M)

        3. Don’t ask dumb (smart) questions, you wouldn’t understand the answer anyway.

        4. They have PhDs

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Good catch I hadn’t seen that.

  7. Avram says:

    Good post.

    Throwing around bits of street furniture and disrupting traffic is one of the least productive things anyone can do with their time.

    • MamMoTh says:

      Throwing around bits of street furniture and disrupting traffic is one of the least productive things anyone can do with their time.

      Besides reading the comments in this blog.

      • Joseph Fetz says:

        Yours especially.

        I make mistakes, so does Bob, so do all of us; we own up to them. You never do this no matter how absurd your position is.

        But, then again, you are the self-described “little dictator”. Oh wait, I forgot, you are offended by the use of the word “little” in that title… Dictators never admit fault, so it all kind of makes sense now.

      • Avram says:

        Why do you think that?

  8. Cody S says:

    After even a cursory review of the data available, is anyone here under the impression that this protest is about decreased regulation, increased liberty, or even an Austrian-compatible view on the Fed?

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      Not for a minute. In fact, I would not at all be surprised if much of this is being steered by those in high places who wish the opposite.

  9. Robert Scott says:

    Can someone tell the people marching on Wall Street the only way to get the bankers to listen is for a large amount of American’s to REMOVE their money from the big banks. There are options such as credit unions or smaller banks. They will only notice and take action when the money is gone!!!

    We have to be smarter – after your move your money, have your family members do the same…