This came up on Facebook so I’m reposting it here as well:
While I personally encourage people to participate in whatever is best for them, I want to again reinforce Joe Brewer’s essential point. Ranciere’s work on ‘carnivale’ as a kind of social-stress-relief is instructive. In a nutshell, burning the king in effigy is a pressure-release-valve that prevents more serious forms of revolution.
Broken systems ALLOW forms of resistance PRECISELY because it DOES make you feel good about resisting, and also because it DOES make you think that you are making a difference. Hard core realists maintain that afterwards you go home and you do nothing further.
However, I believe that systems that permit what they think of as harmless protests, may, in fact, discover that those activities are not harmless at all, insofar as they result in solidarity and in some cases result in OTHER forms of resistance that are more than mere protests.