Protesters Today

The old days were simpler. If you were black, you protested civil rights. If you were a woman, you protested for women’s equality. If you were a laborer, you protested for shorter hours and higher wages. If you were a student, you protested military conscription. Sometimes two groups would work together in a joint protest. But it was all essentially about self-interest.
Now what do we have today? It started with know-nothing university students and slackers protesting on behalf of women, queers, blacks, Moslems, illegal immigrants, soldiers and the working class. It struck me as unnatural to see young people marching against something that personally benefitted them in no way at all. But we all just shrugged. Then it evolved. Now protesters are marching against words that hurt their feelings. They’re marching against conservative ideas; or, in many cases, the wrong progressive ideas. They’re protesting free speech. And instead of leaving it out on the street, they’re taking it into people’s personal lives. They try to get people fired. They harass people’s innocent families. They make death threats. All of this because they disagreed with a statement. Or more likely, they misunderstood the statement and didn’t ask for some clarification.
The trouble with liberals who are not motivated by self-interest is that they are apt to turn when the opportunity presents itself, say, after graduation from university. For every life-long sign-carrying nut in his early 20s, there are four sign-carrying nuts in their early 20s who will enter or start a corporation one day. And I pity those under them when their pendulum swings back to the right and they push conservativism with the same voracity that they pushed whatever else they did when they were young. This is the problem when people do not follow their own interests. They are susceptible to dogmas that might even be contradictory to their otherwise reasonable core principles: Stop free speech to preserve free speech. Start a war to prevent a war. Support a patriarchal, homophobic and misogynistic religion in order to preserve equality. Sanctify science while denying the biological fact that there are two sexes, male and female. Ban tobacco and legalize marijuana. Vilify the police and abolish gun ownership.
The ending justifying the means approach to solving big problems has done more to harm human civilization than things simply not changing at all.