My Facebook friend Matt Rafat posted an exceptionally insightful update.  Think of it as Tullock’s paradox of revolutions meets Kuran and Sunstein’s availability cascades:



I’ll say it again in case you missed
it the first time: It’s fascinating to see the power of the media. In most
places, about 30 to 250 people are rioting, and causing damage, but so many
people are ready to attribute their actions to an entire country or religion.
Think of it this way: do the Occupy Wall St. protests and rioters in Oakland
represent all Americans? Of course not–they represent so
me Americans,
but not all of us, and their actions do not reflect anything about a majority
of Americans. Also, people who keep asking why Muslims, etc., don’t
counter-protest or condemn certain actions, 1) people have jobs and families to
take care of–let’s say you opposed any rioters who were part of the Occupy
Wall St protests. Did you go to Oakland, etc. and counter-protest? If not, why
would you expect anyone else to? 2) Also, let’s say you did condemn the Occupy
protests or damage in Oakland–so what? Do you think anyone who thinks America
is a police state cares what you think, or that your condemnation accomplishes
anything effective? At the end of the day, most people want the same things–to
take care of their families and to have a job. Countries with many unmarried,
unemployed, or uneducated men are going to have problems regardless of
religion, race, or background.

My main quibble is that I suspect that, holding unemployment constant, education increases discontent by unrealistically raising expectations.