The Milkshake Theory

Nowadays the politic dissent literally flies. Until it splashes in a cloud of flavored milk, for the amusement of the bystanders and for the generation of a wave of memes in the social media arena. Throw a milkshake against a politician, and you will get yourself in the news, not a little result for a minimal investment in a nearby cafeteria. Even if the splashed politician will sue you, it’s likely that you’ll get a free pass from the judge (or a little fine).

The trend started in the UK, just like so many viral trends in the past, so it will not be a surprise if some French guy will do the same to Mr. Macron or to Ms. Le Pen, with other people doing the same all over Europe. Milkshakes are available everywhere, and I have little or no doubt that we will see local variations of the trend (Beer? Wine?) in a splashing triumph of ruined suits and stained dresses. So far, so good, isn’t it? It’s funny. It shows that there is no distance between politicians and ordinary people.

Well, now you can call me a grumpy old man. Because I don’t see anything funny in this habit. It’s true that a milkshake doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s also true that a lot of modern-day politicians are little more than pompous windbags with a fancy suit. It is still an act of violence. It’s in the same league of destroying the electoral posters, or other kinds of vandalism perpetrated against political symbols. I don’t see any courage in such an attitude, nor I can see a political stance in these acts.

It’s OK to oppose a politician and/or its party, it’s also OK to take action against some law proposal or other kinds of dispositions from the government and so on. In a real democracy, everybody is entitled to protest. Direct action, not to mention physical action, against other parties to me, is not justifiable. Not even using the label “fascist” (or “Nazi”, or other labels of choice) to get some kind of moral blanket as a cover. In a real democracy, whoever receives a majority of votes win. End of the line. It’s up to the judiciary system to block non-democratic parties, we’re not stuck in a replica of 1922.

Once again, the only democratic way to contrast a politician (or its party) is to participate in the political system of your country. Vote. Support the election of other candidates. Get involved in another party. Raise funds to support a candidate or a party. Debate political matters with your friends, relatives, and coworkers. Be supportive/creative on social media.

Otherwise, you enter another territory. A well-known one, so to speak. It’s called being anti-democratic or authoritarian. By the way, if you want to pop up with the famous “Popper paradox” feel free to do so. Feel also free to read the works of Popper before, it could be a meaningful experience.

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