Protest is good. Particularly if you are unhappy with a particular issue. Protest can achieve short term and single issue results. Sometimes protest can even bring down governments. But it can never change the underlying injustices of life. Protest is a very blunt instrument. It can be the catalyst for change and so it should never be dismissed or underestimated. The only problem with protest is that nature abhors a vacuum; if you topple something you need a replacement. If you start a revolution you need to be organised to see it through. If you are not organised and don’t have a coherent strategy you are doomed to fail. The oppressors always have one. That’s why they are successful. You can call being organised what you like but at the end of the day what it really is and what you always need is politics. You need a political will.
When people say that they are not interested in politics what they don’t understand is that uttering those words is in fact a political act. Doing nothing has consequences. Doing nothing is an act of either anarchy* or fascism. Doing nothing is saying fuck you all. If you are not interested in politics you are not interested in life. Breathing is a political act. Turning on the telly or surfing the interweb are also political acts. Making a choice is politics.
If you allow others to govern they will govern for themselves. It’s pointless bleating on about not being listened to. No one will hear you if you sit on your sofa scratching your arse and swearing at the television. If you don’t engage with the political process how is anyone going to listen?
If you think life is shit don’t moan, organise. It’s only through collective action that you can effect change. It’s not about leaders. It’s about coherent policies. A clear sense of direction. As John Lennon said, “It’s no good carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow”.
Those that oppress us are in a minority. There’s many more of us than there are them. We have the power to get rid of them. We just need to wake up.
*As a pacifist I have to say that I have a lot of sympathy for the true anarchist. Anarchy is freedom in its pure form