How Are Mass Movements and Citizen’s Grassroots Groups Undermined by Government and Elite Democrats?

Topics: J. Edgar Hoover, Social movement, COINTELPRO Pages: 3 (821 words) Published: June 2, 2008
How are mass movements and citizen’s grassroots groups undermined by government and elite democrats?

Democracy and the idea adequate representation is failing in America. Mass movements are the only practical options the populace has left to pry any socially beneficial action out of the U.S. ruling elite. Mass movements have been the power tools used by the well organized American underdog to achieve essential humanitarian reform such as the abolition of slavery, labor reforms, suffrage for women and blacks, equal rights for blacks, women, and gays (for many of whom the struggle continues), and the list goes on. However, the American populous, even with their advantage of numbers, still remains the David in comparison to the Goliath of the wealthy and powerful few. Those mighty few have strong defenses against mass movements ranging from lawsuits filings to lethal force. A knowledge of these defenses is of great value to the people of a movement because it allows them to better plan their attack. What follows is a brief overview of theses defenses.

One of the best defenses that mass movement opponents have is time. Bruce Miroff, professor and chair of political science and the State University of New York—Albany, et al states that “mass movements cannot maintain a fever pitch of activism for long,” Mass movement opponents buy time by appointing investigation committees to look into the issue under protest. These investigations are usually lengthy and result in few reforms. One such investigation is the 1968 Kinsey report, appointed by president Lyndon B. Johnson, in response to the urban riots in Chicago. (279) The investigation lasted at least seven months which is plenty of time for the passion of a movement to subside, thereby eliminating the need for reform.

Another approach of pacifying political passion employed by mass movement opponents is to separate leaders—the fanners of the flame—from the movements by appointing them to research...
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