S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Revolutionary times?

Today's post is my speculation that we are in "revolutionary" times. It was stimulated by the great article cited in the next paragraph, asking whether America is ready for revolution. I never would have found it and all the others,* except for "betmo."* Thanks to her for stimulating me to consolidate my thoughts on this question of the magnitude of this social and political change. "But, of course, that is nothing new," I said to my friend in my comment at betmo's place 2/24/08. To quote:

The Sixties were a revolution. The Seventies and Eighties were right-wing reactions to the sea change of the Sixties. The Nineties were a bit of a swing to the Left again. The year 2000 brought another Right-Wing swing, the last gasp for a long time, I think. The Evangelical movement is no longer in charge and Obama will be swept along by young people who see this as their unique moment in the sun. Shades of the Sixties!

"Is America ready for revolution?*is the link shared by "betmo." It was submitted by Tony Wikrent on Sat, 02/23/2008 at Pluribus Media. To quote Wikrent's opening:

Sara Robinson posted an excellent article on [Campaign for America’s Future] a few days ago, outlining the seven preconditions for violent revolution discussed by Caltech sociologist James C. Davies in a 1962 article in the American Sociological Review. Davies’s work was largely based on the seven "tentative uniformities" identified by another scholar, Crane Brinton, who had studied and correlated the origins of the Puritan, American, French, and Russian revolutions.

“…it struck me,” Robinson writes, “that the same seven stars Brinton named are now precisely lined up at midheaven over America in 2008.”

. . . I believe Robinson is so desperately aching for radical change in America, that she sees more hope than really exists. But this can only be a subjective judgment, and the past four decades of seeing my own hopes and aspirations crushed have left me seriously doubting that much is possible in the U.S. But the argument Robinson presents is by no means weak. And, she is a great wordsmith, who delights in taking conservatives behind the proverbial woodshed for a good metaphorical thrashing. So, I pass along these excerpts, the seven preconditions for a Second American Revolution:

Following are Robinson's "seven preconditions" headings. Just as a way to encourage comments and discussion, I have included a few items from "betmo" and my own from elsewhere from the blogosphere that might possibly indicate that Robinson is on to something. What do you think?

  1. Soaring, Then Crashing -- The TPM Cafe post on our Democratic dilemma, titled "Gender Panic!!!," could be related to this statement by Robinson,"Davies notes that revolutions don't happen in traditional societies that are stable and static — where people have their place, things are as they've always been, and nobody expects any of that to change."

  2. They Call It A Class War -- ____________________

  3. Deserted Intellectuals -- Glenn Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer who writes the best and most intellectual material on FISA that I've found. One day he was posting about Senate action on amending FISA and the PAA as he was battling the flu: I wrote a comment to Greenwald, titled" FISA feels like the flu:"
    In a way, this FISA fight feels like having the flu.

    Sorry you were sick on the days during which an epidemic of hyperbole broke out in Washington. I hope you have someone to make chicken soup for you.

    I am one of those "little bloggers" who writes about national security, the unitary presidency, tortured truth, etc. We appreciate your dedication to keeping the truth before us. We depend on you to keep us fired up, informed and ready for the next rounds as they come along.

    Thanks again for your precision and patriotism.
    -- Carol Gee
    Glenn's reply:

    Re "In a way, this FISA fight feels like having the flu."

    Completely. I first got sick when I was in Las Vegas last week, but it seemed like basically just a cold. Then it went away. Then the FISA vote happened on Tuesday and by Tuesday night it turned into a full-fledged flu. I am sure there is a causal connection.

    But just think about how much worse it will be -- how much vulnerable we'll all be -- if the Protect America Act expires.
    -- Glenn Greenwald

  4. Incompetent Government -- "Why am I not surprised?"* The headline reads, "Senators Diverting Campaign Funds to Kin." Robinson states, "As this blog has long argued, conservatives invariably govern badly because they don't really believe that government should exist at all — except, perhaps, as a way to funnel the peoples' tax money into the pockets of party insiders."

  5. Gutless Wonders in the Ruling Class -- Letter from a young American* (from Common Dreams-- 2/25/08). Robinson concludes, ". . . it's embarrassingly obvious that they don't have the vision, the intelligence, or the courage to face the future that everyone can clearly see bearing down on us, whether we're ready or not. Their persistent cluelessness infuriates us — and terrifies us. It's all too clear that these people are a waste of our tax money: they will never take us where we need to go."

  6. Fiscal Irresponsibility -- ______________________

  7. Inept and Inconsistent Use of Force -- "More good News:"*the headline, "CIA Likely Let Contractors Perform Waterboarding." Robinson begins this section, "The final criterion for revolution is this: The government no longer exercises force in a way that people find fair or consistent. And this can happen in all kinds of ways."

Are we in the midst of a revolution? Given that there are plausible examples of five of the seven preconditions for revolution, I can understand why Robinson posts with such fervor. It is easy for me to fill in examples of the other two. In #2 on class war, the current administration oversaw a significant widening of the economic gap between the very rich and the poor. For the first time in the history of our nation, my adult children struggle much harder to make the same amount of money as their father and I did. As for #6, fiscal irresponsibility, my "Costs of the War" meter in the right hand column of S/SW has probably passed $497,978,000,000 by the time you read this post.

At the very least I feel safe in saying that these are, indeed, revolutionary times. Do you agree?

*Today's post would not be possible without the generosity of my dear blog friend, "betmo," who writes life's journey. Each starred article originated with her linking it to me. Many hat-tips to her for letting me know about much of this material. There was, indeed, a blog post in there, as I said , Thanks!

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Cross posted at The Reaction

My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is a poem about neglect.


betmo said...

how about pre-revolutionary times? i think more folks are actually thinking about issues. they have no choice really- but there are so very many people having to make life choices based around the choices made by the government over the last decade or so. since they were bad choices- the good folks of this country are not in a good mood. i have a feeling they look at revolution as changing the face of the person in the white house- without truly realizing what real change means. but i think it's coming....

Carol Gee said...

betmo, you make a vital point in your insightful comment. People having to work two and three jobs, or are without a job, depending on the emergency room or the drugstore for routine health care, people losing their homes, etc., are hanging on by their fingernails. We have to help real change happen for them as well as for ourselves. Thanks, as always!