Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

I'm just trying to develop an online body of work (even if the work is throwaway nonsense) to advance my writing career.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Get A Job, Man, You're Fifty!

This is my message to the protesters at the London G20 Summit, even the ones considerably under the age of fifty and the ones who already have jobs. Yes, of course, I am painting with a broad brush here; some of those involved in acts of civil disobedience have noble intentions and likely are marvelous people. However, most of the attention falls to hostile, bitter loudmouths who are more interested in shouting slogans and slinging stones than genuinely advancing the cause of the planet's poor and downtrodden.

Understand, the overall points that the global economic system is not altogether fair and that power, money, and resources are concentrated in too few hands are not without validity. Solutions to these problems remain nebulous and elusive but, if nothing else, no -ism or -tion advocated by simplistic catch phrases will resolve the world's problems. As delightfully subversive as overthrowing or undermining the system might seem, it works much better as an idea than as a reality.

It is the ultimate self-delusion to believe destroying property and hurling insults at police officers will somehow change the world for the better or ease the misery of families in Cambodia or Sierra Leone. But a lot of protesters probably realize this already and are more cynical than idealistic; they are, in fact, more driven by revelry and mayhem, by perceiving the victims as themselves, as martyrs fighting for their rights.

Some people interpret criticism of a particular group of protesters as an assault on the right to protest. That's as nonsensical as the idea that one malpractice suit against an incompetent doctor is an indictment against all of modern medicine. The right to air grievances against any and all governments should be sacrosanct--even though it isn't in many parts of the world--but some petitioners raise better arguments than others and we should all be free to criticize those who criticize.