December 10 2005
The unorganised opposition to the Vietnam War shouted in demonstrations "Johnson Murderer!" They understood that powerful persons started the Vietnam War.
The organised opposition restricted itself to slogans against the system: Americans Out! Vietnam Independent! Personalised slogans were removed from their demonstrations.
In the sixties the Western World revolted against the tightly organised society that was dominated and controlled by old-fashioned regents, governors that did not allow any influence from common people. Highlights were the American Movement from the beginning of the sixties, Paris 1968 and the Dutch Provo Movement.
More friendly leaders came forward but the leading class did not lose its grip on society. The revolt resulted only in a reorganisation within the elite, the fundamental differences between elite and masses remained.
Masspeople did not know how to get further change and since the end of the eighties Mass movements as Black power, Provo
and the Squatters, Peace and Anti-nuclear Movements withered away.
Without any uncontrolled resistance the regents regained their leading role and common people were again reduced to subjects about whom and not with whom decisions were taken.
Dissatisfaction was still present but common people seemed to have understood that the old way of putting pressure on leaders was useless. Massorganisations changed from fighting organisations in administrative clubs who only tried to get benefits for their members - and not for all people. Massive actions became scarce.
Masspeople remained powerless against the growing power of the leading class. Collective action should be replaced by something different. But nobody seemed to know what to do.
I published in 1975 a political thesis in which I advanced the idea of Small Violence. I tested some ideas in practice which I published in "The Power of the Autonomous Human".
The theoretical background I published in "About Violence and Democracy".
Chapter 19 called Creative Disturbance was dedicated to the concept of
By intruding in the private life of leading people elitepeople will be forced to acknowledge that it will become impossible to continue to live the privileged and secluded life they lived for ages. At the same time masspeople will realise that they have an autonomous power they can use time and again when new groups try
to absorb most of the power to boost their own interest.
The action method was also based on the idea that activists must decide when, where and how action should be undertaken. This idea is in flagrant contradiction to the massive actions that are directed from above and also with the idea that a vanguard of professional activists should act on behalf of common citizens.
My words and activities seemed to have hardly any impact. Mass actions seem to remain the only way,
besides the massive remittance of money to organisations that supported the poor.
However common people did not need my writings to acknowledge that the technological society offered many possibilities to be active on the place, the time and the way the activist decided.
Some recent articles in the Dutch press ("Threats are more the rule than the exception", NRC 17-11-2005) emphasized that actions against politicians had increased sharply in the last few years. The computer did play a role but physical attacks as sabotaging cars, breaking windows and sending letters containing bullets were also common. "Threats did increase exponentially in the last few years".
Masspeople know that high-placed persons use the system for their own benefit and that those persons must be the target of actions. When these people cannot anymore get privileges the system will crumble and be replaced by a New World in which all people have equal status.
Of course the new action method has just started and most attacks are still directed at politicians and civil servants who are only the executors of the policy of the elite. The elite itself is not yet put under pressure.
A leading research analyst was wrong when he wrote actions against high-placed
people were only perpetrated by cranks and extremists. New trends originate always in regions were leaders have a diminished influence. But also in the mainstream of society massive individual actions against powerful people are replacing the old kind of actions.
The individualisation in our highly developed Western World has its influence on the massworld. When we, masspeople, act on the same autonomous way as elitepeople always have done, the mass- and eliteworld will approach each other and a New World will come into being in which all persons will be judged by their own actions and ideas.
Yours truly, Joost van Steenis