Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Danger of Mobs

 Thoughtful piece about the danger of mobs.

On ancient battlefields elephants could wreak major havoc. The tricky part of that idea is the question, “To which side?” See, war elephants could just a easily go berserk and start crushing your own side as the enemy. That’s why the Carthaginian ‘drivers’ were equipped to kill the elephant if it flipped out and started killing the wrong team. With one as-hard-as-possible downward strike in the right spot and Dumbo was done. However, if the driver was killed, fell off or dropped his prod all hell broke loose for everyone.

A very strong analogy can be made comparing mobs to war elephants. While there are many comparisons, where the analogy really works is a berserk elephant and the driver (Indian term, mahouts) having lost the prod. The mob, like an enraged elephant, doesn’t care who it crushes.

It is common for conspiracy types to talk about shadow forces manipulating and whipping up the mob. There is an equally strong tendency among the middle-class, self-certified intellectuals to poo-poo the idea that such dark organization exists. Into this mix we also have the media and politicians, who are doing everything in their power to downplay that it is, in fact, a mob. (Read, “Yes there was a disturbance downtown. But it wasn’t a berserk elephant rampaging the streets.”) Both the conspiracy types and the pseudo intellectuals use this media-downplay as proof of their position. Which initially doesn’t seem to make sense, but if you turn your head and squint, you can see how that works.

No comments:

Post a Comment