Rich People’s Movements

December 3, 2017

"Why, then, would advocates for the rich ever turn to grassroots tactics that rely on the direct participation of large numbers of people? The answer has two parts: the first part of the answer is that they turn to movement politics when their usual tactics breakdown. Most rich people usually find elected officials responsive to their preferences, but "most rich people" is not the same as "all rich people," and "usually" is not the same as "always." Policymakers in the 20th century sometimes acted in ways that threatened the resources of some rich people. This often happened as a result of a crisis (such as a war or a depression) that interrupted legislative business as usual and imposed new priorities on policymakers. Rich people turn to grassroots movement tactics in part because they were interpreted these policy threats as signals that the familiar channels a political representation had failed to protect their economic interest. The second part of the answer is that the advocates of tax cuts for the rich turn to grassroot tactics in times of crisis only when they knew how, and they knew how only when they had been taught. Such tactics as civil disobedience, demonstrations, and petitions all require skilled. Axis to the relevant skills is a non-trivial necessary condition for the emergence of a social movement. Historical sociologists remind us that the particular repertoire of tactics we think of as "a social movement" is a recent invention peculiar to a few democratic societies. Aggrieved and dispossessed people in other times and other societies have had their own peculiar modes of collective action that little resemble what we think of as a social movement; they might tar and feather unpopular officials rather than petitioning them for redress of grievances, surround the baker and seize his bread rather than demonstrating for lower prices, or head up to the hills to take up uncivil banditry rather than heading down to the courthouse to practice civil disobedience. Such modes of protest are learned." -from "Rich People's Movements: Grassroots Campaigns To Un-Tax The One Percent," by Isaac William Martin 😡🔥☄️💥 #wildcardbooksandarts

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