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Mobbed Up?

Pussy Riot
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Kiev Riots
An elderly protestor prepares to throw a stone, during clashes with police, in central Kiev, Ukraine, 2014. Protesters erected barricades from charred vehicles and other materials in central Kiev as the sound of stun grenades were heard in the freezing air as police tried to quell anti-government street protests. | Photo: Sergei Grits | Kiev, Ukraine, Riot, Violence, Elderly,

On Being a Mocker, Neither Mod or Rocker

One of those terms that is so linguistically useful that it's both noun and/or verb, 'mob' has come to connote both fear and loathing..and not just in Las Vegas or Sicily.

No, its an ancient concept, rooted deeply in human history as the very source of fear in the breast of any person, regardless of their educational status. An example of great weight (among other reasons, because its so very old yet somehow fresh is this:

"The philosopher Seneca tells of a proposal that was once made in the Roman senate requiring slaves to wear distinctive clothing so that they could be easily recognised. But once the senators realised that the slaves might then become conscious of their strength, and make common cause against their masters, they abandoned the idea."

Even in much more recent times Mussolini sought to eradicate another sort of mob--associated much more with Vegas and Sicily; and while his objective was also far from noble (he saw them as competition) he failed.

Well, if wise old Seneca were alive and commenting today he'd realize that the then unknown electron has so clothed the modern 'slave', and the simple push of an easily possessed cheap device's button serves those so enslaved awareness of each others numbers and opinions.

And today, this very moment, the world is seeing the result of this instantaneous awareness, from those who support presidential candidates who defy the so-called Establishment (a.k.a., the Status Quo) to displaced Syrians to varieties of 'know-nothing' groups such as those once naively thought dead or at least moribund such as the KKK.

With such longevity, then, how is it that the Louis the Prefect types who express shock at the doings of these various mobs are, themselves, either members thereof or, at least, their creators and/or mentors.

The answer is both clear and depressing--after all, why does the 'status quo' have a Latin name?

Yep, we're the new Romans, whether effective master (over 'x' many via civilized modalities) or slave, and the 'arena', the term used often by many politicians, has been expanded electronically beyond brick and marble gladiatorial venues unto boundless virtuality.

Modern (postmodern, if you like) example:

Corruption exists at increasing 'quality' and quantity in nations which are considered first world in development. Let's look at the U.S., where the old cartoon by Al Capp, 'Pogo', captures the zeitgeist since at least the advent of Eisenhower's military/industrial complex.

The catchphrase he made his own is as current as the electrons feeding the plasma screen you're reading: 'We have met the enemy, and it is us.' Classes have always existed--they're just a form of the eternal mob; so, let's use this term to comment, like Seneca, on their function in our mobbed-up society. Here's the drill:

1) America is founded via violent revolution;

2) Its Founders create a foundation via a constitution--its preamble is rather noble, providing for the 'general welfare';

3) Certain people, mostly imported slaves, are not really counted;

4) Amendments to this constitution are adopted--somehow, the Founders hadn't thought of their provisions when the thing was first written--was this on purpose?

5) Many of these amendments are pretty basic, providing for 'rights' which weren't in the original constitution;

6) Ancient Rome is looked to institutionally, especially something called the Senate;

7) Certain types of humans--even those born in America--don't get some of these rights, not until pretty recently;

8) Leaders in three parts of government are mostly elected, some not;

9) The amended constitution is put in a glass case for tourists to look at;

10) Some of the words in the constitution are old-fashioned but still seen as THE law, period, causing some pretty smart people to see their effect as suicidal.

You get the picture; in 2016 a regularly changed rule book created by a few Caucasian men (only) is expected to keep a large continent-sized country civilized.

But, that country is sometimes pretty uncivilized, including about putting people in positions in parts of its constituted government so its rule book can be enforced and/or interpreted today.

Ironically, one of those parts of government, this big court deal has already ruled that one of those afterthought rights about speech makes something now called 'the donor class' able to use its great wealth to tell other classes what and who's best for the whole society.

The Beatles
The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential act of the rock era. | The Beatles, Music, Legend, Icon, John Lennon, Paul Mccartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Rock, 1960,

A Revolution

This brings us to some modern day Senecas, saying another revolution's needed, a non-violent one.

Back to this business of mobs.

Whichever one you belong to, by choice of default, be humble and know that the only hope for a large free society is for mobs to find the things they agree on, and go from there.

Postscript: The best way to do this may be suggested by another story, one that's far less depressing than Seneca's; it's from a movie called 'A Hard Day's Night', starring The Beatles.

Ringo, the outcast of the group--let's call it the 'fab four'--is the center of the story; he's feeling rather left out. He finds himself in the middle of the chaos of fame and fortune, at a party celebrating that fortune's favors; he's approached by a journalist who asks him if he's a 'mod' or a 'rocker', two mob names from that era. Ringo replies: "I'm a mocker."

Be like Ringo, and take it all less seriously, especially your self, and the mob you find yourself in. Later, Ringo's fully a part of the Beatle 'society', and joins in agreement with their motto:

'The love you take is equal to the love you make.'

Join the mockers, THE mob of choice.

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Updated May 6, 2017 5:51 AM EDT | More details

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