Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/6/13

So you want a revolution?

Author 50212
Become a Fan
  (35 fans)

(Image by   Details   DMCA

Well, you know/ We all want to change the world -- The Beatles

Incantations of "revolution" rise from right and left choirs, reminiscent of the visionary '60's. That turned out well -- as "the system" swallowed the great divergence, spitting out what it couldn't digest. How easy to declare war against today's power-hungry elites, firming up one's credentials as insightful contrarian, even revered prophet. And yet, sweeping declarations, especially if premature or overstated, won't likely achieve the core objective: to win over a critical mass. Pie-in-the-sky proclamations alienate, even demoralize newcomers when predictions peter out.

So pardon my skepticism, but permanent revolutions are rare birds, scaling more than misery, even despair. Hard times do not automatically presage something better.  Peak events celebrate heroism, yet most history records feats of remarkable endurance to suffering. What, aside from high hopes, makes today so special? Revolutions succeed no more often than breathtaking ideas shake generational foundations. 

Less inspirational are voices that reluctantly acknowledge the status quo, not because it's favorable but because of resistance against big change, certainly revolution. Desperate jeremiads in America, when even our brightest feared apocalypse now, are commonplace. How the world escaped the global nuclear war calamity that bedeviled my childhood is still a mystery.  Ditto, the equal horror that sprawling communism would bury us. Reality outsmarts nearly all predictions, dire or otherwise.

Though terrorism re-ignites current fear-thresholds, no mushroom clouds outdid genocides since 9/11. Hey, the year 2000 sparked a mania. Excluding the Confederate rebellion, our legacy is evolutionary reforms, not massive upheavals. Why, we haven't had a good revolution in centuries. Though the right batters the extraordinary New Deal reforms, this is our grinding, frustrating model of change. 

The Elusive Revolution

Are today's arrogant corporatists worse than autocratic Robber Barons, armed with bad laws, zero regulations, and armies of mercenaries? Did we not resolve equally onerous income inequality of 1928? Does our slowly improving recession outstrip the Great Depression? In fact, '30's thinkers outdid today, with clearer visions, even agendas, prominent leadership and a more dedicated critical mass. 

Yet, history has failed to address regressive structural failings: the outdated Electoral College, prehistoric Senate rules, or state-gerrymandered House districts. Plus new problems, like billionaire payola, knee-jerk media, and post-terrorist hysteria obsessed with symptoms, not causes. Notably, two conspicuous uprisings since 2008 -- Occupy and the Tea Party --  have peaked. In this context, I question Chris Hedges' mystical notions in "Our Invisible Revolution" that insurrection rises like an unheeded volcano:

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4


Well Said 5   Must Read 3   Interesting 3  
Rate It | View Ratings

Robert S. Becker Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

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...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Summer in the GOP Asylum: "Who are these guys?"

Deadline Looms To Fund Critical Ocean Plastic-Trash Film

Trickle-down Gulf Wreck-onomics

"Apocalypse Now' Vogue Engulfs Chicken Littles

Moses Kaput -- Rightwing Ten Commandments To Serve Looming Theocracy

"God Particle' Refudiates the Religious Right

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: