As a teenager, just at the time we actually got our first TV, some of my favorite programs were westerns. The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Roy Rogers were some of them along with Zorro; these were the shows that we looked forward to every week.
One of the plot lines for most of these shows was when a large group or “mob” would come in and through reckless behaviour, take over a town. That is until our hero of that particular show would appear and through some intense battle, save that town. Right over wrong; good over evil, it all came out good in the end.
With all of the different events that are happening around the world, and the many events that happened a long time ago, we can see that often changes came about through the efforts of large groups of people, both good and bad. In thinking about this, I am reminded that most of the changes were started by a mob.
Once a disorderly mob attracts enough attention the issues that may have started it can take some form, eventually leading to organized movements. Again, some good, some bad. Here are some of the results of mobs that most people can identify with.
Adolf Hitler, in the 1930s, because of the unrest in his world started a mob that through intimidation, destruction and manipulation, organized and eventually became the Third Reich resulting in the Second World War; nothing but chaos start to finish.
In more recent time, the homeless began as a mob taking over city parks, pitching tents, leaving an incredible mess. Although not overly well formed, this mob or group has awakened society to look into affordable housing for these people. Hopefully something good will come out of it all.
A youthful defiance led a mob to light up joints in city parks giving it the name 4-20. With some organization and a willing government, we now have one legal street drug to be followed by many more. All the promises of control and safety are out the window and we have allowed a mess that we will not be able to extricate ourselves from. The black market has never done so well. Chaos from start to – and it’s not finished yet.
What started as a disorganized mob protesting encroachment of liberties has become a millions strong, organized protest that is still going on in Hong Kong. Only problem there is that they are fighting against an equally firm establishment that has the power to seriously hinder that protest through violence and other forms of intimidation.
It took a blustering president who made stupid remarks about equally stupid behaviours to start a mob that almost immediately formed a movement called “#MeToo’. We won’t know all of the results of this movement for some time, but it has made almost the entire world aware of the negative attitudes and actions against a full half of this world; women! I for one would not want to do without them. One of the better results of a mob.
The street drug scene, although not really a mob at this point is a highly disorganized happening that is impacting almost the entire world. More crime and destruction follows in its wake than almost any other scene. The costs to deal with it are increasing to the point that I believe communities will soon rebel themselves. All it will take is a mob scene that becomes so well organized that many, I fear, will die as a result.
What we need the most is government that is actually interested enough to look into the root causes and then rectify them, otherwise we can expect a full rule by a mob.
Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.