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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/6/13

So you want a revolution?

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No one knows where or when the eruption will take place. No one knows the form it will take. But it is certain now that a popular revolt is coming. The refusal by the corporate state to address even the minimal grievances of the citizenry, along with the abject failure to remedy the mounting state repression  . . . and the loss of hope and widespread despair, means that blowback is inevitable.

Proof for such exaggerated broadsides?  When have ruthless tycoons (think bitter late 19th C. labor battles) willingly addressed grievances? How can that which mocks prediction then justify the facile certainty a "popular revolt is coming"? And does today's corporate state disregard "minimal grievances"? What about half-assed Obamacare? Food Stamps are down but not out; ditto, Medicaid, housing subsidies, and job training. Falling short does not equal falling apart. What's "invisible" here isn't revolution but balance and respect for evidence. With such despair, why do rightwing pitchforks rise, as well-fed, older, whiter reactionaries execute "blowback" with no small success?  

Hedges' default to mysterious, even subterranean forces imply that context, timeliness, or leadership barely matter, making revolution more like a lottery. Will "state repression" incite "revolution" in jobless millions, or outrage a different class? Do the unemployed track state spying or welfare lines? Overall, what revolution, across American, French, Russian and Chinese events, did not culminate years of bold handwriting on the wall? 

Hedges does pinpoint one critical lever, "An uprising that is devoid of ideas and vision is never a threat to ruling elites. Social upheaval without clear definition and direction, without ideas behind it, descends into nihilism, random violence and chaos. It consumes itself." But that only prompts the most obvious objection: what positive, compelling ideas or vision emerge in his distinctly negative polemics? Where on the left is "revolutionary" definition and direction?

Strangely enough, the right is flush with ideas and vision. Rapture addicts are addled with weird ideas and nightmare visions: the twin-swords of Almighty retribution and grace will resolve all, in a flash: no muss, no fuss, and upheaval arrives like lightning. Less global, but nearly as implausible, is the revolutionary rhetoric from today's Confederate zealots driven by the nullification of secession. That crusade might threaten the "ruling elites" but, existing only in a alternative universe, lacks support or leverage. One more bout of secession madness will really do in that noble cause. 

Left & Right Mesh

However contrary the aims, curiously the left and right share similar aspirations, even assumptions:

1) Times are bad and getting worse, inviting big-time blowback. The right blames liberal failures, undeserving newcomers and the cancer called federalism. The left blames idiotic blunders, billionaire buffoons, and stalemates that invite the next Great Depression.  

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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)

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