Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 7 - The Politics of Protest - Part Three: The Spark that Ignites the Protest

Day 7 - The Politics of Protest - Part Three: The Spark that Ignites the Protest

Tonight's blog is a continuation of the Series "The Politics of Protest". For context, check out -


In the blogs to follow I will introduce the "Anatomy of Protest" from the perspectives of both the protestor as well as the governmental or financial institutions, to give a multidimensional view of protest so that we can see how/why protest is NOT an effective means for permanent change - and while there have indeed been relevant changes to social, economic, and political policy - it has only achieved isolated instances of change that have been short lived, or have only yielded relief from a symptom and have not addressed the core issues.

Tonight we will look at the second stage of protest, which is "The Spark". This is the "final straw" or the "catalyzing event" that turns ordinary frustration and discontent that may otherwise become suppressed and perhaps eventually dissipate, into a full blown outburst or protest. Here is a recap of "The Spark" -
"The Spark – This can be seen as the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. This is the event or situation that finally “sets off” that room full of gasoline and gunpowder, where all “reasonable” methods of dealing with the problem have seemed to fail and the friction generates this “spark” that suddenly turns a dormant room of gasoline and gunpowder into an explosion. " - Day 5 - The Politics of Protest – Part One: Introducing The Anatomy of Protest


 The Dimension of the Protestor and the People - 

When there is a point of conflict within our lives that we constantly and consistently suppress, this point accumulates within us - constantly compounding more and more unless we find a way to release these pressures. If these points are not addressed, and instead constantly and continuously remains suppressed within the individual, eventually this internalized energy will become highly REACTIVE - wherein certain conditions can TRIGGER these "dormant energies" in such  a way that cannot be contained or predicted.

When we struggle with something and see no solution, we begin to internalize this conflict and this struggle so that we can at the very least function in society in a way that is "acceptable" in the eyes of the world system - but "behind closed doors" a stockpile is being prepared in the form of accumulated and compounded anger, frustration, and blame - and as long as nothing directly provokes or challenges us, we manage to keep all of this stockpiling in check - perhaps only allowing it to spill over into our very close relationships.

Eventually this takes a toll on our daily life - We may find that we become angry at the smallest, seemingly trivial things. We may find that we are short and curt with people whom we are usually friendly and amiable toward. We may find that we cannot focus or relax and will busy ourselves in order to not have to be "reminded" of our frustration - so that we can convince ourselves that eventually our problems will just go away or at least become much more manageable - but day in and day out the same problem remains, and we find ways to again cope with this reality while still holding on to hope for things to be different.

We harden ourselves, become stiff and compressed. We compound and try to hold on to everything and keep things stable for ourselves - and in this "hardening" we must constantly contend with a world system that does NOT consider us, our sacrifices, our grievances - so our hardened selves clash with the immobility of the world system. This generates a kind of friction and conflict - and it is in this very friction and conflict - of constantly contending with the reality of our lives against the unfairness of our governments, our economy, our social institutions, and our relationships.

We understand that when two hardened bodies collide - at times some particles break off in the impact and conflict - and the sheer energy of the conflict can translate into heat, and thus ignite a particle that has broken off upon impact - setting the particle ablaze - which we see as a "spark"

Normally this spark is harmless - but if this spark is introduced to an area where there is already an accumulation of REACTIVE compounds (or in this case the suppressed energies of frustrated and fed up people), the "spark" is able ACTIVATE those compounds through their REACTION, and once this reaction happens, nothing can stop it.

Thus "The Spark" in the context of this blog series - can be seen as any situation in which there is the potential for some conflict or friction to occur and at least one of the bodies (groups) involved is in a REACTIVE state - where they have suppressed and built up much frustration and anger and want some kind of vengeance, and all it can take is a single, small, misplaced spark.

In the posts to follow I will break this down further as well as introduce the government/institution's perspective on the "Spark that Ignites Protest" and the various consequences and dimensions involved, so that we can see the FULL CONTEXT of what protest is and how it can be worked with as REAL Politicians.

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