In the ever-changing social landscape in the world of both the past, brave men and women have dared challenge the imposed status quo of the masses. This has often meant sacrificing their own wellbeing at the expense of fighting for human rights. During the turn of the 1st century BCE, the Stoic school in Rome began to develop the idea of naturally implicit human equality, as exemplified in the works of the classical writers Cicero, Seneca, and Epictetus. Essentially, the classical authors were the first proponents of social activism. This inspired activism in the hearts of both political rulers and the common peasant, eventually codifying foundational civil liberties in the Byzantine Corpus Iuris Civilis by Emperor Justinian I (d. 565 AD). Since this profound leap forward in establishing equality of all of mankind, various social, cultural, political, and religious activists have contributed to the (mostly) free world that we live in today.
In the last several centuries, one would be hard-pressed to find an activist more recognizable or successful than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a contemporary champion for racial equality, leading a non-violent march consisting of 200,000+ people to the Lincoln Memorial to make his famous speech, titled, “I Have a Dream.” There is something special about Dr. King, however, and it often appears that his social influence will never be surpassed by activists that fill the world today. The non-violent, respectful form of social activism that King promoted is extremely foreign to the contemporary neoliberal and neoconservative movements which have since engaged in a type of activism that does not seek to change its environment, but completely turn it on its head.
Perhaps the chaotic approach to social activism can be explained by the fact that approximately two-thirds of Americans have engaged in some form of activism, rendering the term basically useless in the face of major cultural divides. A good portion of these “activists” are college students, a phenomenon that begins in the 1920s. At black educational institutions Frisk University, many students demanded that President Fayette Avery McKenzie, a progressive professor dedicated to the study of Native Americans and African Americans, resign from his post. To enforce this demand, students blatantly ignored the designated curfew and chose to protest, subsequently staging frequent walkouts.
It wasn’t until the era of counterculture (the 60s and 70s) that the world saw a new form of student activism. Themes typically departed from the initial call to resistance and transitioned into demands for liberation. In 1970, four million students would protest as a response to the Kent state shooting, marking the largest protest in history.
But today is a different story. Today, Black Lives Matter is at the forefront of political and social activism, and is probably one of the first names that come to mind when one mentions the word “riots.” Black Lives Matter is not a movement dedicated to the eradication of social injustice; rather, it is an inherently anti-police, globalist, and transgender affirming movement that has hijacked racial activism and converted it to neoliberal byproduct.
Black Lives Matter is a social movement that enjoys over $33 million in funding from the top Democratic Party donor, George Soros. Soros is notorious for stimulating civil unrest, having donated such a large sum of money to the racially motivated rioters in Ferguson. This money was specifically allocated to agitators intended to cause chaotic distress in the city.
These activists in no way resemble the charisma of Dr. King, a proponent of non-violent resistance and respectable man capable of intelligent discussion. “To dislocate the functioning of a city without destroying it,” said King, “can be more effective than a riot because it can be longer-lasting, costly to the society but not wantonly destructive, moreover, it is more difficult for Government to quell it by superior force.” Yet, today the riots continue and destruction runs rampant in the street in the name of a cause that King succeeded in advancing without the need for indefensible chaos.
There are far too many avenues of protest today, many carrying no weight when combined altogether. When someone is claiming that everything is wrong, how can another be sure that such a claim is right? To speak metaphorically, if everything is made out of gold, then nothing is valuable. Riots have taken the place of walkouts and protests. Shouting and flinging polemical rhetoric instead of civil discussion has replaced the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. There is no order after chaos, no calm after the storm; today, there is only the death of activism.