3 Qualities of Mob Rule

While browsing my Facebook newsfeed, I came to realize how our country - the Philippines is plagued with not just prevalent corruption, but also with direct and indirect mob rule. People who seems to have control and followership tends to use extra-judicial means to assert control or push for decisions and situations for either their personal advantage or the organization they represent.

In this blogpost, I will not single out any organization or issue to help people understand the characteristics of mob rule. This is to provide awareness that mob rule and democracy are concepts on the opposite sides of the continuum. I allow my readers to use the knowledge they get to evaluate situations either current or past, whether these situations fits to the criteria of mob rule.

A controlling authority attempting to utilize extra-judicial means

The authority maybe an individual, a group or a large institution with objectives they need to pursue and meet for their own growth, survival or advantage. In meeting these lofty goals, there are perhaps some hurdles that requires solutions. However, instead of using the common, legal or usual means, this authoritative figures opts to utilize extraordinary measures to hasten a process or solution for their benefit. These processes must be very important to the authority, such that they deal with it with urgency and force.

Mass of people with extreme belief and association with the controlling authority

Mob rule can not be considered such without the followers of the authority. This is the most important factor because the authoritative figure loses power when the followers does not have the passion and motivation to fight for the objectives the authority represents and intends. In these modern times, it is quite difficult to find a significant number of people following blindly what the authority says. However, there are some special cases, which involves religion and political beliefs that somehow ignites people to exert intense effort to fight for the cause of the authoritative figure.

The use of direct and indirect intimidation to extreme violence to push an agenda or objective

With only the first two mentioned qualities, one would consider the authority as merely poor type of democracy dependent on means that are unlawful and unconventional. However, with the presence of this last quality, which is intimidation or violence, mob rule becomes definite and clear. The use of intimidation defeats the essence of democracy such that only certain groups of people gain an advantage over the others and even violates the rights of the majority itself. Moreover, the use of  intimidation and violates becomes worse when the mob really does not represent the majority of the society clamoring for change.

Furthermore, mob rule should never have a place within democracy. Personally, I have been born after the 1986 Philippine EDSA revolution, a type of mob rule which resulted the Philippines to have a new constitution. I will not judge whether that so-called peaceful revolution was worthy of praise or blame, but I myself consider it mob rule. The means which is the revolution was entirely incorrect for me, but the ends maybe justified relative to varying and conflicting perspectives.

Filipinos they say got "real" freedom after showcase of mob rule. That itself is ironic but maybe acceptable to some because the mob we are talking is the majority of the Filipino population on that period of time. Many were tired of the dictatorship at that time. However, the best characteristic of that mob rule is that the mob moved BEFORE a controlling authority, represented the flock. I am referring to Cory Aquino, who became the president of the Philippines after the death and presumed assassination of his famous husband. Hence, mob rule gets worse and more unacceptable when the controlling authority comes first before the mob itself clamored for needed change. In this worse type, mob rule simply becomes an arm for few influential individuals with personal intentions, disguising themselves one with the mind-manipulated people.


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