Are Activists Who Inconvenience The General Public Justified?

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Avatar for mypathtofire
1 year ago

In my opinion, activists in most cases who inconvenience the general public are not justified. There are a few reasons for this which I will outline below. But first of all, it's good to define what we are talking about. What is an activist?

According to Oxford Languages Dictionary, an activist is someone who campaigns to bring about political or social change.

I can understand why people may want to be an activist and this is ok for me, some do some great work to educate the public and their effort should be praised. However, if an activist wants to communicate and propose something to me, as a thinking adult, there are better ways to communicate with me than disruptive behaviour such as blocking roads, vandalism or other destructive behaviours.

The fact that most people don't know how to think still doesn't justify disruptive types of behaviour.

As we are all bestowed with God-given rights, I can fully support the rights of people who want to get active and inform others about any social or political change they want, I believe this is called the "outreach" type of activism.

But if the activism involves breaking any laws that would cause injury to other people through personal harm, damage to their property or general restrictions on them exercising their freedom to go or do something, I would be against it.

The reason for this is that we are all equal and do not have the right to interfere with how others are living. There is no reason why we should not respect the rights of others, the same as we should not expect others to try and remove our rights. This for me has a higher value than the rights of someone promoting activism.

The reason why we should not allow other people's rights and freedoms to be infringed is that if we allow it for activism, it would set a precedent of allowing rights to be removed for any subjective behaviour. This I think is morally wrong and could lead to a dark place where we give more rights to people with certain beliefs considered right at this moment in time, at the expense of those who may have differing beliefs.

Another reason is that it is most of the time, totally unnecessary. I have seen videos where some activists could have broken the law to do their activism but instead engaged in a dialogue with those they were protesting against and were actually given permission to do their activism. So there is always a possibility to avoid needing to inconvenience others through your activism and still be successful.

Examples of this I have seen were by Earthling Ed and Joey Carbstong. Both are ardent vegan activists who campaign to stop animal cruelty. In some of their activism videos, you will see that when they approached the farmers or slaughterhouse owners, in some cases they were allowed to film on the farmer's property and therefore avoided needing to break the law.

The next reason is that most of these protests which incite violence or criminal damage are led by government undercover agents. Their aim is to co-opt movements that go against their agendas and often this involves using activist groups as pawns to commit crimes to discredit their causes or as items of propaganda against the public to forward agendas.

Some of the world's most successful activists were carrying out activism without trying to cause problems for the general public such as Martin Luther King who advocated non-violent protests and marches directly against the political leaders.

Another very prominent and successful activist is Gandhi. He participated in many non-violent protests and activism that involved just himself such as hunger strikes.

Therefore, if two of the world's most successful activists with such massive achievements as ending slavery in the US and freeing millions of people in India from colonial rule and oppression were successful without the need to inconvenience the public and damage their freedoms, I think this is still the case for activists today.

Gandhi had a saying for his peaceful, non-violent protests. It was called satyagraha. Gandhi is so well known and associated with peaceful protesting and civil disobedience, that his legend precedes him like no other. When you think about it, it sounds unbelievable that his method could achieve so much.

In this perspective, it really shows that blocking motorways and smashing up restaurants are out of touch with successful methods of activism. This leads me to question if their activism is really genuine and if there is some ulterior motive at play here.

Those showing no respect for others will not win over other people to their cause and unite people to create the change they desire.

The correct way to evoke change in the general public (if they are the target of your activism) is to try and engage with them and inform and educate them. You should try to reason with them and evoke logic and use rhetoric to convince them that you are right. This is what adults do should do.

These skills you will find if you learn the trivium. This involves work and effort to try to understand the workings of your own mind and how to think. Yes, work on yourself first before trying to change other people.

Most often people instead allow themselves to be controlled through their emotions. The argument goes that it's okay to trample on the rights of others because they are feeling emotional and the rights of someone else are less than the social and political changes wanted.

Well, I'm here to say that no it isn't ok to do that. It's morally wrong. This is not acceptable behaviour in a free society to have no respect for others.

This leads me to my final point.

The real way to effect change is to be the change you want yourself and lead by example. Knowledge is knowing, wisdom is doing.

Political and social structures are just mental constructs and do not exist in reality. Therefore to make a change in the world, you only need to change your own way of thinking.

This would then avoid the need to inconvenience the general public in any activism.

Thanks for reading.

This post is part of the EcoTrain Question of the Week series. To participate or read more from others, please check here.

Title image created in Canva.
All text is my own writing and any references are sourced.

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+ 2
Avatar for mypathtofire
1 year ago


A lot of activists sadly inconvenience the general public; I guess when emotions comes to play, humans lose self-control.

$ 0.02
1 year ago

I think many don't consider other people. I know I have trouble controlling my emotions, it's very hard. Thanks for your comment my friend Khaleesii.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

True, because if you consider others, you wouldn't want to disrupt or destroy their properties.

$ 0.02
1 year ago

Very true.

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1 year ago