RE: [OPE] RE: is this what the revolution will look like?

Date: Fri Oct 16 2009 - 09:27:45 EDT

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> Frankly I don't know=2C but it's probably not like a Monthy Python movie.
> Often=2C revolutionary overturns or revolutionary upheavals take most peo=
> by surprise=2C and people enter into revolutionary struggle not so much
> because they want to=2C but because they have to=2C because it turns out =
> moral appeals no longer work and only force can settle the issue.=20
Hi Jurriaan:
Well=2C obviously=2C I asked tongue-in-cheek that question since the plot i=
the Monty Python segment was intentionally surreal=2C ... but this element
of surprise was incorporated into the story line.
> but the biggest mass protest I personally participated in
> was=2C oddly enough=2C the anti-Springbok Tour protest in New Zealand in =
> which took the Left by surprise - nobody had expected that there would be
> such large masses of people on the move about an issue like that.=20
It's not surprising that the Left was surprised: there are often=20
mechanical-like projections of revolutionary change and the relative import=
and growth of social movements. What seems to be true is that the revolutio=
possibilities of any struggle that one is personally involved in tend to be=
inflated. I recall in my neighborhood the slogan "Tompkins Square Everywher=
this expressed=2C imo=2C the politically naive view both that the struggle =
(in defense of the homeless and squatters and against gentrification and=20
police brutality) would spread like wildfire around the globe and that this=
community struggle was globally one of - if not the - most significant
struggle of the period. Such grandiose claims and inferences were laughable
and I told others that at the time. (NB: this is not to say that the strugg=
themselves were not worthwhile - far from it. But=2C it's important for act=
to have rational accessments of the relative importance of the struggles th=
ey are
participants in.)
> it's only in the course of the fight that people begin to innovate new t=
Yes=2C I've seen that happen many times.

> What of the future? The main thing I guess is that popular revolts=2C if
> they happen=2C can spread very=2C very fast=2C but also=2C that it is mu=
ch more
> difficult to know what the effects will be - the potential for society to
> be plunged into a chaos is much greater=2C but even if order is just as
> rapidly restored=2C it is not clear that the order itself will last.=20
On the first point=2C agreed - revolutions can spread very quickly. Histori=
and internationally=2C they sometimes appear as "waves". This means that=20
revolutionary change in one society can tend to promote revolutionary
transformations in others. It's one of the reasons why revolutionists tend
also to be internationalists. On the second point=2C it depends on what=20
you mean by "chaos" and "order". E.g.. what authorities designate as=20
"chaos" might simply be alternative autonomous communities operating outsid=
of the control of the state.
In solidarity=2C Jerry =
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Received on Fri Oct 16 09:34:10 2009

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