One historical point to recall is that social/political/religious/financial protest movements have always been looked on with disfavor by the majority of citizens, whether in the USA or in China or in the Middle East. Protest movements, be they nonviolent gatherings of peace-intended participants or unruly gatherers who let tempers and...
One historical point to recall is that social/political/religious/financial protest movements have always been looked on with disfavor by the majority of citizens, whether in the USA or in China or in the Middle East. Protest movements, be they nonviolent gatherings of peace-intended participants or unruly gatherers who let tempers and harmful behavior fly, are by very definition (at least implicitly) violent (Gandhi notwithstanding): they adamantly challenge the accepted order--which is a violent response to that order; they reject the status quo--which is a violent denunciation of the status quo; they disrupt the normal operation of routine--which is a violent intrusion upon that order. Yet, such protests may (and have) ultimately produce good because, if such protests arise, there exists a serious disruption of ethics and liberty to compel them into existence. In this case, it would be the Enrons, the bank failures and buy-outs, the foreclosed homes, the manipulative mortgage banking and investment practices, the crashed economy, the joblessness, the astounding bonuses given to executives just before the closing of doors and dislocation of employees, etc, etc, etc.
As to success from a Social Psychology perspective, the drive for connectedness within society must be taken into account from the perspective of those who are adamant enough to risk breaking that connectedness; of those who are watching the breaking of the connectedness from outside the fringe of discontent; and of those who are responsible for evaluating the break and reestablishing social connectedness. Historically, these responsible people are the governing agents, think of Vietnam, Southern schools and civil rights, King's march on Washington, woman's liberation and NOW, and other protest movements. In each case, the government evaluated, debated, intervened where needed (think of James Meredith and the University of Mississippi), and legislated as an end result (think of Nixon and the Vietnam War; think of Johnson and the Civil Rights Act). From this, it seems that what is needed for success is a determined public insistence by some on a right principal that is plainly felt by and evidenced in the sight of those who are powerful enough to--eventually--uphold the principal at the governmental level and, once again, act morally and ethically and legislate decency and morality, this to reestablish and deepen society's valued and needed social/psychological connectedness.