Barcelona, strike day


There is a general strike today. The hotel has dimmed the lobby lights, drawn blinds over the windows and locked the doors. There is a security guard at the door, letting (selected) people in and out. The waiter at breakfast explained that they don’t want people on the sidewalk to see employees at work inside. Thus do the strikers intimidate the large companies.

One of the local colleagues explained that the strike is about changes in the labor law that make it easier (but by no means easy) to lay off workers.

Our group ate lunch in the hotel; the food court in the shopping mall just down the street was closed due to intimidation.

I went out walking after work. All of the small companies are closed, too. Only a very few bars and restaurants are open; a smashed plate-glass window could bankrupt a self-insured small business. Thus do the strikers intimidate the small businesses.

Every security guard and cop in the city (in the country) was on duty today. Off out of the way, I saw a dozen commandos ready to intervene if things got really nasty.

I went past the smoking ruins of what looked like several bags of garbage and maybe a couch or mattress that had been lit afire. Later, I saw several other plumes of black, filthy smoke here and there. Streets blocked everywhere, emergency vehicles responding in all directions, a helicopter hovering overhead.

Thus do the strikers intimidate everyone!

Near the Arc de Triomphe was a parade, people marching one direction up the centre of the street, turning and marching back down the sides. One popular emblem is a scissors in a red circle with a red diagonal: No cuts!

The taxpayer is not at the negotiating table.

Thousands of people were out on the streets, and everything was closed. If civilization consists of producing and trading, today was the day of the barbarians: no one was going to produce anything today, and no one was going to trade (do business). Not if the strikers could prevent it.

I once went to a rally for capitalism, and it was a really strange experience. I understood then, and emphasized today, that capitalism is not something you rally about: you don’t need slogans, shouts, mobs. The slogans, shouts and mobs are for causes that could not survive on the basis of rational evaluation.

Whence my view that a mob is always wrong. No matter what they advocate, the mob is always wrong. Even in the rally for capitalism: the mob was wrong.

Well, I found two Indian restaurants, but they had been intimidated into remaining closed. Back to the hotel to eat there. As night came on, I began to see a few trams, busses, taxis, as the local world accepted the fact that whining about loot does not improve their lot.

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