One thing that is quite interesting though is that this demonstrates how weak the authorities’ grasp on power really is. Numerous commentators throughout history have noted that even the cruelest dictator rules by consent; if the people do form a mass against him, he cannot prevail. A lot of people are saying, “why are the police letting this happen?” and while we’re all I’m sure going to play armchair quarterback with this for many happy internet-arguing weeks to come, there does seem to be that lesson here that mass resistance- or rather, a kind of mass ignoring of the hypothetical “social contract”- leaves government/governance reeling, especially in a nominally liberal polity. It makes you realise just how compliant we are; ten million smokers or whatever the number is, all dutifully trooping outside to have a ciggie. The authorities rule by the presumption and acceptance of power, and when people just ignore them they lose control very quickly.This scares the snot out of those presumptively in power, and you know what to expect of frightened animals.
Billy Beck has been preaching civil disobedience as the tool to wrest back our liberty - not, as Counting Cats says, "run(ing) outside and set(ting) fire to World Of Carpets and steal(ing) mobile phones", but simple refusal to comply - stop paying taxes. Stop feeding the Beast. Unfortunately, for this to be effective it must also be widespread. Pillaging and burning has the advantage of being (mostly) anonymous and, if you're so inclined, fun. Refusing to pay your taxes? They have your number - literally.
So expect to see looting and arson, but principled civil disobedience? Not so much.