“Attack [the enemy] where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”
Whether it’s IMF meetings, trade meetings, or political conventions, elites know demonstrators will be there, and elites are prepared. Cops, tear gas, chain-link fences, and concrete barricades are just a few of the defenses they employ to keep demonstrators at bay — defenses backed up by media outlets that are only too happy to keep to the corporate storyline, rendering protests invisible.
It’s natural for protesters to initially think demonstrating at such elite gatherings is thing to do. After all, that’s where the elites are; that’s where the action is. But the high level of defensive preparation the rich and powerful bring to bear at such events argues for a different strategy.
“[T]he victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.”
So, the next time a large demonstration is planned, I have a suggestion: Ignore (physically, that is) the event being protested. Instead, pick softer targets: Media outlets.
Such a plan would address two problems: It would bypass the cops and the barricades, and it would also make it incredibly difficult for the media to ignore protests. And even if the police know such protests are coming, they can’t protect all media outlets.
Is there anyone on the left who doesn’t agree the media is part of the problem? If virtually all of us believe this, then why do we keep giving them a free pass? Instead, we should directly target TV stations and newspapers. There is no issue – war, health care, the economy, the environment – that couldn’t accommodate such a strategy. In fact, I would say such a strategy is demanded regardless of the underlying issue.
“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”
Further, I believe such a strategy would yield a greater chance of success. When, say, a political convention is targeted, what is the goal? To change policies under discussion? If that’s the goal, how attainable is it? What would make it more attainable? I don’t know what a sufficient condition for its attainability is, but I know what a necessary condition is: increased public awareness of the issues elites are discussing inside.
Now, suppose it’s media outlets being targeted, as I am proposing. Now what’s the goal? I don’t know, but if it’s a left-wing goal, I’m pretty sure it has the same necessary condition. To put all this another way, no matter what the left hopes to accomplish, it’s going to need massive public awareness and support to do it. If the media won’t provide that awareness to the public, then we should make them. Everything else is, I would suggest, wheel spinning. Even if it’s not, it’s certainly rendered far less effective thanks to the anesthetizing power of the press. So let’s sap that power.
“You cannot stop innovation.”