Atlanta Protest 11.11.16

What happened last night in Atlanta with the protest that organized in the Historic Fourth Ward Park, next to the Masquerade club, and across from the recently developed Ponce City Market (cough, “gentrification”), and then proceeded to march through Atlanta, taking an indirect route past mlkjr-drive-protest-picGeorgia State University and the State Capital building? More importantly, why were people gathering and protesting? Why were they disrupting the traffic, tying up intersections? From a variety of sources, it’s quite clear that there is either confusion or outright misunderstanding and mischaracterization of what happened and why. Having been there from 6 pm to 9:30, this is my take. I know that I leave many issues out that the protest concerned (may I be forgiven for that).

Even though I went to bed later than usual last night (around 1:00 am), I was not able to sleep past 5:00 am. This is in part because I’m still struggling with the time change, and in part because the energy, the import, and the chants from last night’s protest and march echo in my mind. So, getting up I fed the animals and sat down listening to the National News broadcast on NPR. They reported on protests around the country. In Oregon, things were more chaotic than in Atlanta, as one person was shot and police used teargas and flash-bang grenades to try to break things up. Thankfully, that did not happen in Atlanta last night.

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The Democratic Fallacy?— A Dialogue

Jim and Sara have just left the philosophy class they take together and are walking on campus.

Jim: I heard some people talking on the bus, saying they want to see Bernie Sanders contest Hilary Clinton’s nomination at the Democratic convention. They think he’s been screwed over by the way the delegates are partitioned, among other things.

Sara: I heard something like that, too. I’m sympathetic, but I already heard complaints about how undemocratic that would be.

Jim: Undemocratic? Hell, this isn’t a democracy anyway; and I don’t mean it’s a republic—people often try to seem smart by pointing out that the US is not a democracy but a republic. But, c’mon, it’s not either—more like an oligarchy.

Sara: Right?! And I know that for many around here what I’m about to say will be akin to recommending we strangle the nearest baby with an America flag, but I’m not so sure about democracy anyway.

Jim: Hah! Really?! Aren’t you in good company with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Didn’t they all hate democracy? Plato, in particular, saw Socrates’ death as the result of democracy and so for him democracy is nothing but mob rule, right?

Sara: Thank you! I guess I can say what I really mean then?!

Jim: Well, of course! Like I said, you’re in good company, though Aristotle was a son-of-a-bitch about women and slaves, and I don’t think Plato and Socrates were much better. What was that line of the poets, again? You know, the one you told me about that Aristotle quoted, “The virtue of a woman is silence.” Fucker! Anyway, you certainly can say what you mean! Don’t be silent with me!

Sara: Yeah….don’t get me started on philosophers and women! —What I wanted to say was that I’ve long wondered why democracy isn’t simply the committing of the appeal to the majority fallacy?
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