Why I disagree with Alice Smith about “the BLM movement”

Alice Smith tweets:

“The BLM movement is totally different from the BLM organisation.”

Yes, just the same way that the Marxist movement is different from Marxist organisations.

And your point is?

Setting aside that bit of snark at the end, which I only include for completeness (that is the whole tweet), I think Alice Smith is wrong about this. I often do agree with her, which is why I follow her on Twitter, but on this, not.

I think that the “Marxist movement” is a lot more similar to “Marxist organisations” than the “BLM movement” is to BLM.

For instance, before they embark upon a test match, England’s cricketers and their test match opponents this summer have together been “taking the knee”. That makes them, in their way, part of the “Black Lives Matter movement”. I know why they’ve been doing this. They’re saying that back lives matter. They are saying that, what with cricket being very multi-racial and multi-cultural, everyone should be treated with respect, there should be no racial insults, etc. etc. And the world in general ought be like that too. It may be a bit virtue-signally, but they really are signalling actual virtues by doing this. Which is why I do not object.

If, on the other hand, I thought that by kneeling thus, these cricketers had been signalling their approval for the demolition of Western Civilisation and its replacement by tyrannical barbarism, which is what BLM, the organisation, believes in and is doing everything it can to bring about, I’d be angry. But if these cricketers thought that that was what taking the knee actually meant, or what the rest of us watching this on our televisions also thought it meant, they’d not be doing it.

Insofar as the BLM organisation actually succeeds in convincing us all that taking the knee does indeed mean favouring the destruction of Western Civilisation, then the practise will become confined to those groups of people who actually believe in the destruction of Western Civilisation. My understanding is that this is happening, somewhat, in America, which is why taking the knee is now losing some of its appeal. But it is not happening, or has not yet happened very much, in Britain.

6 thoughts on “Why I disagree with Alice Smith about “the BLM movement””

  1. There are lots of racist American police. This is bad. American police are able to do all kinds of awful things (particularly to black people, but to other people as well) and get away with it. This is also bad, and possibly worse.

    Lots of American policemen need to be fired. Quite a few American police forces need to be abolished, and replaced with new police forces that are less institutionally racist. Police who have broken the law need to be convicted at least as often and punished at least as harshly as anyone else who as broken the law, and that “qualified immunity” abomination that they have over there needs to be removed.

    (A good amount of this applies in other places besides America).

    I did not just call for the end of Western Civilisation.

    1. Also many, possibly most black people in the west grow up in cultures which for historical reasons going back to 19th century racism and imperialism do not equip them to succeed in the dominant capitalist system of Western civilisation. Furthermore although the legally enforced and widespread socially acceptable racism of the 19th and early 20th centuries is no more it is true that black people do continue to face smaller acts of racism on an ongoing basis and that many white people have not tended to notice this. This is what the left call “micro aggressions” and “white privelege”. Therefore many individuals live less fulfilling lives than I would wish. As a result of the BLM movement many businesses and charities have been reflecting on what more they can do to help fix these deep set issues. Also many white individuals have chosen to publically show their support by joining BLM demos and taking the knee. Neither of these things will lead to the collapse of Western Civilisation. Indeed quite the opposite, since unless ordinary people and businesses play a part in helping everybody regardless of race and history to benefit from the fruits of our civilisation, thereby making it more civilised, then we cede the field to the BLM movement organisation and its Marxist/Frankfurt School fellows as the only channel to articulate understandable frustration. And they of course believe that the destruction of our civilisation is the only way to solve these problems.

      1. I also think this is an example of how ideas of social change usually evolve and has the same structure as the technolgy innovation adoption curve. An issue that many people have not noticed is alighted upon by starry eyed idealists/raving extremists/product inventors. They are very passionate and vocal about it and suggest radical and poorly thought out solutions. They are the innovators who have rightly identified a problem and come up with an initial clunky solution. Extremism is essentially over simplification of a complex reality. These innovators have a strong affinity for change and are noisily outspoken. This leads to a lot of coverage in the media drawing people’s attention to the existence of the issue and the early solution and some early adopters start buying version 2 of the product/going on marches. The product gets more sophisticated and better fit for purpose just as solutions to the social problem become more nuanced and more practical which gets the early majority on board. Eventually the late majority get on board and a changed world view/cultural norm comes to dominate. There remain a few people on the right side of the curve who hold out against the change – White supremacists /people who won’t use a smartphone. And on the left people who remain nostalgic for the original Marxist revolution/ZX Spectrum. Everyone else has just moved on. My 20 year old son thinks a world without smartphones and with the casual racism of the Two Ronnies is considerably less civilised than our current society.

  2. In my first post my second “BLM movement” should have read “BLM organisation”. I can’t see a way to edit a comment.

    [I have corrected the above in the manner indicated – BM]

  3. Michael

    In discussions of American policing, I have heard it said that far too many American policemen are recent servers in the US army abroad, where they have picked up some very bad “policing” habits. Such persons badly need, if they are to be signed up as policemen in America at all, at the very least, some sort of “conversion course”, but don’t ever get subjected to this. “Here, gentlemen, we do things differently, thus …” That kind of thing. I imagine it doesn’t take many such “bad apples” to poison the police/public atmosphere of an entire locality.

    Such talk also makes me wonder what these soldiers were doing in other countries, and makes me more suspicious of the notion that one nation, or even culture, can send an army to another would-be nation but maybe not even that, and actually different culture, and do good rather than harm.

    I used to be less pessimistic than I am now about the USA doing “nation building” in the Middle East. But, I am not now saying that the US army turning up in your country never does you any good. (See Alastair J on nuance.)

  4. Alastair

    Interesting you mention smartphones. It’s a running joke between me and Michael (who assists me in these matters) that I hate each successive smartphone I get more than all the previous ones. This is because each new smartphone is able to do more than all the previous ones, and telling it how to do only what I want it to do gets ever more complicated and intimidating.

    I am now, maybe, about to purchase a heater-cooler-purifier from Dyson which will apparently require an app on my smartphone for me to get any sense out of it. Bloody hell.

    The thing about progress is that it is progress, in the sense that your 20-year-old son’s life is definitely better than my life, in these sorts of ways. No question. Him having a smartphone is all good. But my life? That’s a more mixed picture. I think this contrast needs to be made and understood more in discussions of exactly what “progress” consists of.

    But then again, where would I be without my beloved blog?

    Blogs: The fax machines of the social media scene. Discuss.

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