Saturday, March 22, 2008

When Change Is Not Enough: The Seven Steps To Revolution

There is a fascinating article here.
And even more interestingly: in every case, we got here as a direct result of either intended or unintended consequences of the conservatives' war against liberal government, and their attempt to take over our democracy and replace it with a one-party plutocracy. It turns out that, historically, liberal nations make very poor grounds for revolution — but deeply conservative ones very reliably create the conditions that eventually make violent overthrow necessary. And our own Republicans, it turns out, have done a hell of a job.
Interesting picture. Earlier the author notes: seven "tentative uniformities" that he argued were the common precursors that set the stage for the Puritan, American, French, and Russian revolutions. Even more interesting as examples.

The references cited in the article are from the '60s, but the author optimistically updates with:

And Barack Obama is walking away with the moment because he talks of "hope" — which, as Davies makes clear, is the very first thing any would-be revolutionary needs. And then he talks of "change," which many of his followers are clearly hearing as a soft word for "revolution." And then he describes — not in too much detail — a different future, and what it means to be a transformative president, and in doing so answers our deep frustration at 30 years of leaders who faced the looming future by turning their heads instead of facing it.

Will he deliver on this promise of change? That remains to be seen. But the success of his presidency, if there is to be one, will likely be measured on how well his policies confront and deal with these seven criteria for revolution. If those preconditions are all still in place in 2012, the fury will have had another four years to rise. And at that point, if history rhymes, mere talk of hope and change will no longer be enough.

There's enough balderdash here that a detailed rebuttal would be pages longer than the original article, so I'll simply present the thing as food for thought. The mindset evoked should be enough.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Sliver of Silver - Lining, That Is...

Most of my pals are in DC (sigh), but couple of things popped up that I might have missed had I joined them.

One is from a life-long, and self described brain-dead liberal: Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'.

I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind.

As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.

These cherished precepts had, over the years, become ingrained as increasingly impracticable prejudices. Why do I say impracticable? Because although I still held these beliefs, I no longer applied them in my life. How do I know? My wife informed me. We were riding along and listening to NPR. I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind: Shut the fuck up. "?" she prompted. And her terse, elegant summation, as always, awakened me to a deeper truth: I had been listening to NPR and reading various organs of national opinion for years, wonder and rage contending for pride of place. Further: I found I had been—rather charmingly, I thought—referring to myself for years as "a brain-dead liberal," and to NPR as "National Palestinian Radio."

It's a wonderful read. Not that I claim any responsibility; he discusses the arguments many of us have trying to make to our liberal counterparts for years.

Then there's this study via Hot Air.

The actual study is available as a PDF file and mostly Greek to me. Still it's worth the read if only because it represents an acknowledgment of a causal relationship we all know (knew) existed but was never before dealt with by academia.

I'd still rather be in DC, but, ever the optimist; I drive on.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Reporters’ Guide: Winter Soldier Investigation 2008

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