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.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Rurik said...

There is a lesson here. I clicked immediately on the link to read the article berore reading your entire post, and began to think you had "gone off your nut". Checking their "about us" page, I found one of their editors was Robert Borosage, one of the worse pro-Commie scholars at the IPS in the 1980s. Then I read your final two sentences, and I was reassured. But I still worry about how you could muddle through all that crap. I cannot make up my mind whether Sara Robinson is a really bad thinker and a worse writer or the other way around.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Zero Ponsdorf said...

The issue for me was one of genuine curiosity.

I waded through Marx, etc, for the same reason.

And I did mention irony on the phone. [grin]

2:50 PM  

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