The protests around the ongoing G20 summit have turned violent.
The protesters appear to be from many disparate groups with many disparate (desperate?) aims. Some just seem intent on causing mayhem, destruction, and worse.
What are we to make of it all?
It's unfortunate, but characteristic, that such protests always produce a lot of heat but very little light.
Even more unfortunate is the fact that some of these protest groups, these anti-something groups, never let the facts get in the way of their good stories. No matter how off-base those stories might be.
Take the anti-capitalist strain.
Despite the fact that free market principles have been responsible for the creation of more wealth, and the concomitant alleviation of more poverty, than any other economic system, the anti-capitalists continue to insist that it must be "abolished" or "reformed". The fact that all the substitutes and modifications on offer have been tried before and failed every time appears to be of little concern to the anti-capitalists. The fact that China, communist China itself, has shifted towards free market principles and prospered as a result is little more than an inconvenient fact that is conveniently ignored.
And it's almost always a bad sign when a group is defined more by what it's against than by what it's for.
What are all these anti-something groups actually for?
The true answer is profoundly disturbing.