Monday, August 23, 2010

G-20 Anatomy

Saturday's Toronto Star had an "Anatomy of the G20" that described the confluence of circumstances that led to the police overreacting to the Black Block rioters and curtailing the civil, political, and legal rights of hundreds of innocent people.

I found the whole thing a stupid waste of time. Look. They spent over one-fucking-billion-dollars to prevent some protesters from breaking some fucking windows, okay? Then, after they spent the fucking one-billion dollars, the Black Bloc was able to break the goddamned windows anyway. Then, the police, the enforcers of the state's monopoly on violence, went apeshit and trampled our precious Charter Rights, just like they did at the WTO meeting in Montreal and at Quebec City and at the APEC Conference in Vancouver, and as they wanted to do at Montebello in Quebec for the "Security Prosperity Partnership" bullshit. The way they trample human rights every fucking time imperialist, asshole leaders get together. And anyone too goddamned stupid to recognize this doesn't really have anything of value to say on the topic.

The "Black Bloc" supposedly provokes the police into a violent overreaction to its vandalism to expose the tenuous nature of our rights under liberal capitalism. The police were more than happy to take the bait and demonstrate their ability to abuse us with impunity. In the eyes of the public and most of the protesters, the police won. Your average couch-potato doofus cheers on the destruction of his or her own civil rights and your average protester thinks three or four times before going out to make a political statement. And the system continues its bloody way.


no_blah_blah_blah said...

You've nailed the heart of the problem. At the end of the day, the voting public is the boss. Harper and the Conservatives are prodding and testing how far they can go, but they only continue to do so at the public's overall apathy.

It's a simultaneously hopeful yet frightening reality.

Mark said...

I think thwap tends to forget that "stupidity" is fairly evenly distributed. I've heard some historical doozies from self-styled "progressives" and "liberals" over the years: the Roman Empire reached its zenith around 1000 BC, and Canada sent UN Peacekeepers to Europe before and during the outbreak of hostilities during WW II. The default settings are all set to "liberal" and "progressive" in Canada, so I think it would be illuminating to find out how many people who support say, the mission in Afghanistan, are under the impression that it is just "UN Peacekeeping" as usual.

I suspect a lot of the same thing was going on with the G20 mess: "the average couch-potato doofus" is too busy preening about how much better Canadians are than Americans on civil rights, and not really paying any attention to what is going on is his or her own backyard.

Sir Francis said...

I think it would be illuminating to find out how many people who support say, the mission in Afghanistan, are under the impression that it is just "UN Peacekeeping" as usual.

I suspect that the number upon which you ponder is roughly equal to the number of people who support the mission because they're under the impression that it's just U.S.-sponsored "nation-building" and "democratization" as usual. In fact, domestic support for that cataclysmic misadventure is probably evenly split between adherents of those two delusional perspectives.

Mark said...

Well, either way, whether the action is led by the US or UN, both groups of people fall into the "humanitarian military" bucket.

Sir Francis said...

...both groups of people fall into the "humanitarian military" bucket.

Absolutely. And we probably thereby identify just one of the many zones of intersection occurring between the puerile utopianism of the bleeding-heart, "centrist" and soft-left Pollyannas who bloat the Canadian 'burbs and the cynical utopianism of the globalist post-Straussian PNAC neo-cons who've been running the GWOT for 'yall down there.

Philosophically, both camps agree: the more Wal-marts there are, the safer we are.

Mark said...

@ Sir Francis I'd be willing to take my argument even further than I'd originally proposed, and argue that if polled, the majority of Canadians, regardless of political orientation, think Afghanistan is a UN peacekeeping mission, with the US led humanitarian contingent bringing up the rear.

Sir Francis said...


The mission was certainly sold as a peace-keeping mission, but that was seven years ago. Since then, combat deaths and controversy have soured people's views.

I would be very surprised if the percentage of those who see the mission in strictly peace-keeping terms were higher than 30%. It would be, in any case, an interesting poll to read. I may Google around a bit tonight to see if there are any relevant (and recent) data out there.

thwap said...

A belated reply to Mark:

1. I hope you know that I've never subscribed to the Canadian tendency to disparage US-American intelligence.

2. Whether somebody thinks the Roman Empire existed in 1000 BCE or that the UN existed in 1939 or that Afghanistan is a UN peace-keeping mission or a US nation-building mission are all good ways to investigate somebody's level of ignorance. But not recognizing the dangers of police violations of civil rights, displaying an attitude of apathy just because the right people (in your opinion) are being abused, is the height of irresponsible citizenship and personal incompetence.

Mark said...

@ thwap My comment, and animus, re: "the average couch potato doofus" and his anti-American preening was directed at the aforementioned doofus, and not the author of this blog:)

thwap said...

Okay. I always want to ensure that people understand I'm not "ant-American."

That and my internetting opportunities are few and far between for the moment.