Revolutions are taking place all over the globe on a daily basis, and for myriads of reasons, and through explosive methods, and passive ones. I like to begin by introducing a revolutionary thought that is consistent with our goals in this activity of communication, and direct participation in forwarding revolution. The idea came from a TomDispatch, --http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175846/tomgram:_rebecca_solnit,_the_new_feminist_road_map/--in an Article from Rebecca Solnit new book, and a specific quote from a brilliant anarchist thinker David Graeber who recently wrote:
“What is a revolution? We used to think we knew. Revolutions were seizures of power by popular forces aiming to transform the very nature of the political, social, and economic system in the country in which the revolution took place, usually according to some visionary dream of a just society. Nowadays, we live in an age when, if rebel armies do come sweeping into a city, or mass uprisings overthrow a dictator, it’s unlikely to have any such implications; when profound social transformation does occur -- as with, say, the rise of feminism -- it’s likely to take an entirely different form. It’s not that revolutionary dreams aren’t out there. But contemporary revolutionaries rarely think they can bring them into being by some modern-day equivalent of storming the Bastille. At moments like this, it generally pays to go back to the history one already knows and ask: Were revolutions ever really what we thought them to be?”
You can follow the entire line of thought, which I urge you to do, in the article a link for which above.
While the ideology of this site isn't specific to 'feminism' the method of viewing a revolution is very pertinent, and to that line of thinking I want to add a perspective.
Revolution is grounded in an internal change of reality, now recognized as a new 'truth', that forever changes a person's action/reaction to the context of his life. My revolution is to focus individuals to restructure their personal reality to be more consistent with their perspective in context with broader realities. This doesn't not speak at right or wrong, good or bad, but to the continued adjustment to the greater context of greater knowledge and understanding about an ever-growing body of knowledge, wisdom, and information on the universe (however large or small a given individual sees it).
Reality as viewed by general understanding can be described as a package of fundamentals that support action and thought along the path of those fundamentals. It has also been called, “Mindset,” that is, the composite of a persons ideas and how they guide his activities. To give a more functional understanding I will relate an event directly related to such fundamental change.
Daring to Defy
Changing social habits can be a frightening experience. As societies go, children are even before birth trained to unquestionably obey what they perceive as authority, beginning with parents and forces around his environment.
It may begin with the gentle coaxing by loving parents, and progress through authoritative declaration by adults who respond to a child’s “why” with a “because I say so.”
A healthy infant will resist inappropriate handling, and will show it in some way or another. To change his behavior and gain his cooperation, try consulting with him and getting his consent: “I’m going to pick you up and clean you to take the smell away, and make you feel clean and more comfortable.” Then proceed to change his diaper. Watch the different behavior and response. We don’t do it because we just do what was done to us, “infants have no intelligence, consciousness, and no understanding of language.” I’m not going to go through the logical explanations of why this works, you can prove it to yourself by changing your mind.
The fear to act against injustice or stand for what you think is right is totally distorted from infancy, through childhood, and so on. Even to this day, fairy tales invariably tell stories about kings, queens, princes, caliphs, emperor, and so on. This inspires and educates us all into the divinity of kings and people in power.
When adults, people can’t assert any rightness about anything because the conflicting educational base, and they lack the moral basis to evaluate their own actions; thus they hesitate to act, or simply will not act. “There’s nothing one can do about it.”
The 4 F's provides a self acquired sense of rightness upon which an individual can gain personal certainty about his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Some years ago, I worked for an educational employer. A new employee, nephew of one of the owners, was given a job that affected the zone of control of my own work. Within a few short weeks, the new broom swept my zone of work into a shambles, took and altered equipment, software, removed memory chips from computers, and nearly all mode of control I had over my classroom.
I confronted the 'boss' and asked him to get the man out of my area. The typical response is, “You do what he says, or I'll have to fire you.” “Respectfully, Sir, you have the wrong context and perspective. The job exists because I create it, the classroom, the materials, and the students welcoming environment. Your job is funding and your objective is profit; mine is students graduate and get a job.” The next day I came to work as usual, and the new man wasn't anywhere to be seen; parts and software he had taken, were back on my classroom desk.
The common reality is that you do your job as the boss says, or you're fired. Very difficult, nearly impossible to do away with that bit of insane reality. So revolution is in altering of conventional reality, with a higher, more workable one, and the the unquestionable need for acting on it.
Fired for a 'slip' on Internet
2015 AD. Worker in Uruguay; Got fired for posting a complaint against the boss on his facebook! And the judge tried to walk a temperate line of defending both.
Fear of the boss still reigns. Probably the longest lived sacred cow...
What has been the Historical Outcome?
A view of all the revolutions from recorded history, we can clearly see the sum total of the results quite bleak, from the perspective the popular understanding of revolution. The irony begins in the definition of the word itself, which is a 360 degree turn! At the end of the cycle we have a new mascarade but equivalent actors bringing back the old ideology with a fresh face.
Before making sweeping assertions and generalizations it would be prudent to make an actual assessment of what went before. Dutifully I searched all about 'revolutions' and wasn't surprised to see ten or so major or important events throughout, which were prolifically annotated by historians and scholars. The fundamental and repeating theme is the rising of the oppressed massed and populations against ruling oligarchies. The general public version of them, is embodied in the romanticized myriad of poems and delectable prose praising the lofty ideals, and the holiness of the sacrifice of the people who gave their lives in the process of the fight, as powerfully sang in Abba's rendition of the popular piece, “Fernando.”
When we dig beneath the surface, and examine the results, we seen a significantly different picture. Yes, most well known revolutions are fueled by public resentment of the ruling oligarchy elite, or status quo. But more detail into the findings bears out that the intent and thrust of the process is guided, and designed in benefit of those who purport to support an ideology, but which in fact co-opted the popular power in the service of the very oligarchies believed to be the targets of the very revolutions. There is no doubt various paradigm shifts, or 'mind changing' notions that rise to the surface, and with emotionally touching slogans seem on their own energy of a group of words that instantly enchant the mind of the masses, that have created the illusion of people power victory.
But on the street, the same elite, their royal successions, their private allies, which comprise 1% of the population, and their supporters, that make up another 19%, own and control 80% of wealth, resources, armaments; while the remaining 80% scrape by with, marginally, a 20% of world resources. This statement isn't a total explanation or exposition of all available facts. It's just an obvious fact to anyone who cares to open his eyes, and see what is in front of them.
Since this site, and the articles appearing here are not constrained by commercial considerations, or rules of journalism, or ivory tower scholasticism, we can defer for further in depth studies and reasoning that will more clearly present compelling arguments for the views presented. To the effect, we will defer any deep analysis of the social condition and the economy, and how these things are all part of a relatively well designed system with the ultimate intent of perpetuating the will of the elite and oligarchy. That a change of format in governance, is a mere inconvenience to overcome with new restrictions that fit into the new paradigm.
The “real” accomplishments of revolutions also need more detailed review.
The third area that we have to defer for more detail examination is the notion that there is no real viable “revolutionary” ideology to win any global revolution. This is in the realm of “Change your mind, Change your life.”
May my likely unheard voice clamoring in this Internet desert trickle down the sand clock of time, and permeate to swell the ever-present revolution.
In all revolutions the 'elite' or oligarchical element has invariably altered the popular intended outcome. It matters not what the new name of the system is, the same oppressive rules from past governments gradually get inserted into the law, and after a time, the elite, who have directly or indirectly contributed to the creation of the new era, retain all the necessary power to re-write or reinterpret the spirit of the revolution.
The America Revolution
The American revolution is often viewed as the trigger for a number of subsequent revolutions throughout the world, of popular uprising against the monarchy or the then social governance. The “Declaration of Independence” is has been looked upon as the foundation principles of the intent of the revolution. It was the intent of the document that the law would be based on those principles. Yet, most legal scholars of today, and even then, you are clearly told that the document is NOT law, and cases can not be decided on the strength of it. It is too complex to decide a case on principles. They must be spelled out in law.
Plausible as the notion may be to many, one finds this interpretation incomprehensible... and baffled by it, 'tentatively' accepts it. “Saying what you mean, and meaning what you say,” is just a popular slogan that doesn't apply to the elite running the country.
When we study the protagonists of that revolution we see the English Monarchy, and its cadre of supporting elite, versus the American Elite, formerly British Elite, battling for economic power over territory they believed was theirs to rule.
Another set of entities at play are third interested parties. France and/or some elite Frenchmen had a stake in the outcome, and dutiful acted to protect its perceive domain and superiority. One will also find other countries, and entities with an interest in the outcome who openly or secretly took action in the events.
In summary, given the state of the nation, and with governmental powers out of control and shrouded in secrecy, laws are made and enforced, and NSA, and myriad of agencies control the lives of people, without their input or knowledge, to say the least.
So the American Revolution is not finished.
Pancho Villa and the Mexican Revolution
Reading the narrative of all these revolutions, we tend to be fascinated by the intricacy of actions taken by the wide range of sources. Pancho Villa was revolutionary leader who advocated for the poor and wanted agrarian reform.
Here again, we find U.S., British, French, Spanish intervention and interest in the outcome of the Mexican Revolution.
In the end, the Mexican Revolution generated land reform was taken over by the same elite and used for political leverage, this land grants remained heavily regulated, and really gave little if any autonomy or rights to the land. The eventual pressure of American NAFTA added even more pressure to land owners who farmed by flooding their markets with cheaper, subsidized US agrarian products. The rest, I believe, is well known. So the Mexican revolution is not yet finished.
The original draft of this article included at least brief reviews of a handful of generally considered important revolutions. I would make for interesting, even dramatic reading to follow the struggles of the populations against the elite. But taking an extensive view of all these revolutions, would have driven focus in the wrong direction.
What is important is the clear definitions of the participants and the outcomes all of which parallel in an important way:
Populations versus the ruling elite, monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, by whatever name, and ideology they called themselves, or was given to them by historians.
Competing elite, of the same ilk, co-opting and covertly funding popular action.
Intervention by third parties or countries acting for their own interest, also members of the same or subtlety conflicting elite aristocracy, and ultimately, the unwitting public placing it in power, who promptly subvert the ideologies of the public under new labels, into many of the same laws that the public wanted changed.
The patterns are clear, regardless of the name of the movement, the name of the ideology, political, religious, social of otherwise. The word “revolution” itself is one expression of the general state of conflict and more often than not “ever-present” and unresolved, as we move forward in the process of transformation, change, or resolution. We can safely generalize it as the way of life on planet earth, or the universe, if you like.
Words are powerful especially when they clearly define and name conditions not previously seen. Conversely, conditions and life situations can be so severally labeled as to dilute the fundamental notions into thousands of small particles, all dissimilar one from another. We have words like rebellion, revolt, insurrection, mutiny, uprising, riot, movement, war, resistance, and many more you may care to name; and all are a way of diluting the underlying condition of the oppressed trying to resist the gargantuan power and control held in place, and exercised by the few; here again, call it what you want, bosses, landlords, bankers, governments, and the like.
Coincidental with the time of my writing this section, I read an article which more than adequately serves my intention, by Chris Hedges, :http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/we_all_must_become_zapatistas_20140601,
which highlight the Zapatista rebellion, in Chiapas, Mexico, which silently have been moving forward using, the most direct route towards accomplishing the objectives of all revolutions.
The model of a winning revolution has succinctly expressed by Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Mahatma Gandhi expressed it thus: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Rosa Parks did just that. Her act of defiance against the prevailing system must have sent shivers up and down her spine, as she had made the decision not to get up from her sit, herself a black woman, and give it to a white man... back in those days when segregation was enforced on how people traveled on a bus. And on the execution of her decision she must have been filled with an unprecedented courage, and sense of liberation. Her action was spontaneous; not pre-meditated. She recounted later, "When I made that decision I knew that I had the strength of my ancestors with me.” In a few short years, the prevailing paradigm, seemingly irreversible, became obsolete, and was ended.
The Zapatistas did that too. They bypassed the existing system, which wasn't serving their needs, and began to build their communities from the bottom up, health, education, food, and many of the fundamental community services they were not getting before. They even fashioned their own economic system.
The Cuban Revolution gave its people food, shelter, medical, free education, so I'm told, and greater share of their production of food.
We could fill a lot of pages with information about each and every revolution, and when the blog is completed, and people can finally post information, they will be welcome to take up the topic in greater detail. For our purpose here, I believe we've demonstrated, or at least named the common denominators, and what is at stake, and that gives us a clear point of departure.
Now the lines are drawn, the factions are identified, and stakes are known. Choose sides, and start effective action right now if you haven't already. The article on “Reality, Truth, and Perception,” examines the personal internal drive, that gives impetus to action particularly in mind changing ways that allow you to see deeper truths.