Newtonian Laws of Social Motion

Most people can recite at least some of Newton’s Three Laws of Motion:

  • An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by another force. An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by another force.
  • Force=Mass x Acceleration
  • For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Today these principles might be applicable to more than apples bombarding people in a gravity infused frenzy. For example if we look at the first law, we could apply it to people’s actions. Individually, a serial killer would continue to commit murders unless some sort of pressure were applied to slow them or cause them to cease altogether. These forces could be police, media, physical impairment. Similarly, an apathetic teenager might remain content to simply living off their parents unless they are acted upon by social, economic, and/or parental pressures.

The second law states force is the product of mass multiplied by acceleration. Simply stated, the “weight” of an object combined with how fast it increases in speed will result in what is called force. Think of a BB leaving a Red Ryder versus a 12 gauge slug exploding from the barrel of a shotgun. The slug produces exponentially more force when it hits the target because it has much greater mass and accelerates at a far greater speed. Applied socially, one person wildly celebrating an Eagles Super Bowl title is generally unremarkable and easily forgotten, but hundreds or thousands of fans wildly celebrating is far more impactful as they destroy stores and cars or compels one of their own to eat horse shit off the street. An individual is relatively small and carries little impact, however groups of like minded people moving in synchronization toward a common goal or target carries with it a force that must be “dealt” with.

The third law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Anyone who has shot a slug from a 12 gauge deer slayer knows all to well the force kicking back on their shoulder upon squeezing the trigger. Biblically speaking, an eye for an eye is a rough example. The death penalty could be another example. Murder takes a life, so in turn society takes the murder’s life. It could also be compared to larger issues like riots in response to some social injustice; think LA riots.

So what does any of this mean today? Why do we care? Given the tumultuous political and social climate prevailing in the world, especially in America, discontent will likely rapidly morph into all sorts of extremism. When trying to talk to a a non English speaking person, the vast majority of people will inexplicably speak louder, even bordering on yelling, trying to be “heard”. When the world’s discontented feel that they aren’t being heard, they will inevitably speak louder. Speaking louder is only metaphor for the extremist acts that have been, and will increasingly plague America and the world.

If the voices of the discontented and disenfranchised appear to fall on deaf ears, or worse, are blatantly dismissed, it will only work to fuel the fires. Then how can the muted masses achieve the change they desire in their world without resorting to violent extremism?

Apply Newton’s Laws:

The status quo will remain the status quo unless social pressures implore leadership to change it. If leadership refuses to change then the leadership must be replaced. Would anyone keep using their cell phone if the microphone didn’t work anymore and people on the other end could not hear what you are saying? No, you would get a new phone ASAP because not being heard is just not acceptable. If the masses’ wants and needs are not being heard yearning for change, they must become that force which acts upon the leadership resting upon self serving antiquated policies. Even more importantly, the masses must act against policy changes that funnel power and wealth to the few while leaving the masses feeling a hollow gratitude for an unlivable minimum wage, a substandard healthcare system that puts profits ahead of compassion, and an education system that only a handful of Presidentially labeled “shit hole” countries would look up to.

Dropping a cannon ball from a roof puts a much bigger dent in the parking lot than that of a BB. They are the same basic shape, both are pulled toward earth at the same rate, and both are made of some sort of metal. So the same shape, same basic material, dropped from the same height to the same parking lot yields very different outcomes. We must examine what made the difference in the impact. The cannon ball is bigger and heavier than the BB and it’s just common sense it would hit with more force. However, studying it more closely reveals resistance from the air works to impede the descent of both objects but the greater mass of the cannon ball combined with the acceleration of gravitational pull increases the force of the cannon ball when striking the parking lot. If the disenfranchised masses want to become a force that changes the sociopolitical policy of their country, they need to gain as much mass as possible. A social movement with a handful of members will never carry as much force as a social movement made of hundreds of thousands. That cannon ball movement will not be slowed by the resistance of “what is” and be accelerated by “what will”.

Leading into Newton’s third law, we find that the cannon ball crashing into the parking lot changes what the parking lot was. The action of the cannon ball accelerating toward the status quo of the parking lot changes that parking lot. The hard, seemingly unchangeable parking lot cannot resist the change forced upon it by the cannon ball. It must react to the force, it must change to accommodate the force applied to it. The BB will simply bounce off and fall away barely noticed and surely not changing the status quo of the parking lot. To make the change we want to see, we have to unite, become a cannon ball, accelerate toward the unmoving status quo, and crash upon it, changing “what is” and create what will be.

Be a part of the cannon ball. Be part of the force of change. Accelerate, united with purpose and let no resistance make your impact any less effective. Change what is and write what will be.

–The Twisted Cripple

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