Out of Action: Do protests work? | The New Yorker

Out of Action: Do protests work?; Nathan Heller; In The New Yorker; 2017-08-14.
Teaser: Skeptics suggest that “folk politics”—marches, protests, and the like—are a distraction from the challenges of real change.

tl;dr → No.  Betteridge’s Law. folk politics as “leaderless” slactivism does not; “leader”-based, top-down circa 1955-1965 did work; see Zeynep Tufekci.

Summary
<quote>Tufekci’s conclusions about the civil-rights movement are unsettling because of what they imply. People such as Kauffman portray direct democracy as a scrappy, passionate enterprise: the underrepresented, the oppressed, and the dissatisfied get together and, strengthened by numbers, force change. Tufekci suggests that the movements that succeed are actually proto-institutional: highly organized; strategically flexible, due to sinewy management structures; and chummy with the sorts of people we now call élites.</quote>

Mentions

  • “folk politics”
  • “the multitude”
  • “leaderless”
  • “horizontal”

Referenced

Previously

In The New Yorker

Datelined
Essays

Separately noted.

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