Sunday, October 16, 2011
It's hard not to appreciate the simplicity of the solution the London rioters employed. One minute they're a bystander fleeing the throng, the next, all identifying features are covered, and they are free to do as they please. We now see Occupy X protesters using here what was proven successful there. As resistance and violence increases, so will the need for anonymity.
We will need it too. It's not usually our style to hide who we are, but if things continue the way they are now, it will become a necessity.
Because what some call vigilantism, others call responsibility.
So buy oversized hoodies and handkerchiefs for each person willing, and keep one set in each vehicle. You could even get track pants, gloves, and shoe covers, but I don't think they're as necessary here as in London, where CCTV can track you from cradle to grave. All this can be shoved into a drawstring backpack (or small regular backpack), so you can enter an unmonitored area, and emerge anonymously with the backpack on UNDER your hoodie.
You may wonder why we should have to be anonymous? The good guys don't wear masks. We're in the right, we're preserving order, we're defending civilization from the barbarians. Right?
Maybe. It depends on which way the political winds are blowing. Right and wrong are now subject to popularity, politics (but I repeat myself), and circumstance, and selective enforcement of law is the new weapon of those in power with an axe to grind.
There may be a time when, as far as our leaders are concerned, we're tromping on the "right" of the people/the minority/the disaffected youth/the unemployed/the union to "petition for redress" their community by burning it down and stealing from it. When the peace-loving gang of Occupy X protesters express their righteous frustration with the economic system by kicking the local business owner in the head as he lay bloody and motionless on the pavement, we would be the ones who "escalated force disproportionately" by responding how any sane human being would.
They will be the poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
We will be the vigilantes, terrorists, escalators, and murderers.
WE will be the ones getting no-knocked four days later when fingered by the liberal down the street after you didn't let him steal what society owed him from the local big screen teevee shop, or after impeding the path of a riot with (gasp) a gun, or worse: after stopping a felony in progress.
With many of our leaders showing support for a movement that has openly called for a violent revolution, we can't expect laws of man or god to be enforced for long.
If good people push back when the mob turns, I don't think there will need to be much fighting. But if there is, who would you be fighting against?
I don't think you're ever going to get in a shootout with the granola-eating, tree-hugging, whale saving, Prius-driving, ponytail-sporting liberal down the street. Our current flavor of liberals aren't willing to die for their beliefs. They're more likely to gather at a book burning or throw bricks from within a crowd (though some might be brave enough to kick an unconscious and pre-beaten capitalist in the back). I don't think you're going to need to do more than send one whizzing over the head of a privileged child with a master's in Neo-Colonialism of Industrialized Capitalist Superpowers by Global Policies of Socio-Economic Oppression (who somehow can't get a job or figure out how a hammer works) who's caught up in the group-think of "The Human Megaphone," in order to send them crying back to their parents' McMansion. The Anarchists might issue a few sucker punches, but they're more about riling up the crowd. Some of the true believers might be convinced to pull a trigger, but if fire is returned, they care more about their foodstamp-fed bodies than their ideology. But unions? They scare me. They've got bodies that will do what they're told, organization, mob tactics, and aren't afraid of dealing out "righteous" violence to get what they say they deserve. And the worst part? Police have a history of letting union violence slide because of the political power behind them.
So when world turns upside-down, and the have-nots have tacit political approval to fight the haves of all shapes and sizes, what do you do after you catch your reflection in the mirror and don't recognize it?
That's entirely up to you and the degree to which you see yourself as belonging to something larger than yourself.
Do you remove your license plates, and drive until you think you're beyond the reach of the ideologies of jealousy and entitlement? (hint: don't stop till you hit Mars)
Do you stand in front of your business or house, say "this is MY line in the sand," and shoot whoever crosses it? (hint: this usually compromises your anonymity)
Do you organize your neighbors, Katrina-style, and barricade entrances to your neighborhood, form a fire brigade, repel rioters, arsonists, and offer no witnesses to police inquiries about the additional ventilation provided to the aforementioned? (hint: "Officer, we have 20 witnesses who say that guy fell on those bullets before he dropped his Molotov cocktail and became engulfed in flames...")
Do you form mobile citizen fire brigades and response teams to enforce the laws the police can't or won't?
Or do you let the practicality of your mind defeat the truth and honor in your heart, and do nothing?
I don't know. Like I said, that part is entirely up to you.
Pray for a future wherein we may enjoy a beer and laugh at our overreaction as we look back on this mental and material preparedness. I'll buy the first round.