Friday, March 28, 2008

Rethinking the Revolution (Post I)

The Premise
The impending revolution will not be the assumed boom some activists would love to see televised. Simply because if such an event were televised and the masses were glued to their flashing screens, enthralled, who would be revolting? A handful of isolated activist? No pun intended.

The days of the romantically inspiring French Revolution are over. A violent protest directed at bringing down the US government would be the equivalent of trying to catch a lizard by grabbing its tale. It would be a futile exercise with minimal results.

But what if The Revolution was re-conceptualized? A long history of war and violent conflict has altered the way humans engage in killing each other. Originally, the leader would charge in front of his or her forces with distinctive regalia. Then, as people realized that a force could be sent into disarray by removing its leader, the leader moved to the back and eventually of the battlefield and, when possible, preferably out of the country altogether. And now, the concept of a force has been changed. Major military powers are swiftly adopting guerrilla tactics and a cellular notion of the importance of the individual and small group over and within a platoon. Does “Army of one” mean anything now?

Just as battle tactics have changed over time, the concept of a revolution must also change to accommodate a dynamic society. This change will not be the ejaculatory explosion demanded by today’s activism-minded youth. If nothing else, the recent surge of car fires and riots in France showed a global bemusement regarding such unpolished action. Worse yet, the indignant government took minimal steps to make the changes requested by the repressed classes. In short: the old revolution proved to be inefficient and unproductive.

Over the course of several posts, I will conduct a study of how positive major changes in society could be actualized. I’ll begin with a mission statement for the project and then a structured analysis of various forms of protest, revolutions, and relevant philosophies and ideologies. In theory, by running all of these disparate approaches through some form of analytical sieve, we’ll be able to learn what has worked and not worked over history. I can only hope that at the end something meaningful will be found in the rubble.

As always, dialogue and constructive criticism is essential for this project to come to any real conclusion. Please feel invited to contribute.

Thank you.

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