Published online 5 November 2013.
…the bloggers continue to discuss revolution.
(crossposted to Firedoglake)
The Revolution of the Mind is Underway
Revolutionary changes that once seemed impossible can suddenly become possible.
The author’s short piece in Alternet cites several events in support of the abovestated idea: Occupy Sandy and a number of protests against the banksters and PRISM and police brutality and fossil fuel exploitation. They also cite renewed labor action against low wage corporate titans such as WalMart, the fossil fuel divestment movement, and the movement for single-payer health care.
The discussion of the ACA seems like a much harder sell in light of all this, not because Zeese and Flowers are wrong (I don’t feel I can say one way or another), but rather because 1) the ACA is now established law and 2) the whole social drama of the ACA is still unfolding. It might have been audience-conscious for the authors to hold off on it for now.
Nonetheless Zeese and Flowers have a point in arguing that revolt is growing in America. Their piece relies heavily upon the argument made in Chris Hedges’ column, titled “Our Invisible Revolution,” to the effect that:
An increasing number of Americans are getting it. They know that we have been stripped of political power. They recognize that we have been shorn of our most basic and cherished civil liberties, and live under the gaze of the most intrusive security and surveillance apparatus in human history. Half the country lives in poverty. Many of the rest of us, if the corporate state is not overthrown, will join them.
Now Hedges, who has been arguing this sort of thing since his book Death of the Liberal Class came out, is also right to argue that political thought among Americans is a scene of great diversity and disorganization:
It appears that political ferment is dormant in the United States. This is incorrect. The ideas that sustain the corporate state are swiftly losing their efficacy across the political spectrum. The ideas that are rising to take their place, however, are inchoate. The right has retreated into Christian fascism and a celebration of the gun culture. The left, knocked off balance by decades of fierce state repression in the name of anti-communism, is struggling to rebuild and define itself.
So that’s where we stand. Also interesting as a snapshot of the blogosphere is a post in Ian Welsh’s blog: “Modern Violence, Resistance, and the Calculus of Revolution.” Welsh, a Canadian blogger, says a few things about past incidences of violent defiance of the imperial state, and of measures the imperial state has taken to respond to such violence. He then switches gears toward the end of his essay, and talks about cultural resistance:
It may come to this, but we should hope it doesn’t, because civilization will be laid waste by it. The other route is the failure of ideology. The USSR did not fall in battle, it fell when the decision was made not to use the troops, by men who did no longer believed enough in the USSR to kill or die for it. A vast ennui had swept the USSR, they simply no longer believed in their form of communism. Done.
Welsh then concludes at the end:
The best way of overthrowing a state is to undermine belief in it and replace that belief with belief in something new and something better.
You may have missed my diary of August 31st in which I outlined a fair number of reasons for why people might “give up” on the social drama of the present day. So at some point we might see the emergence of some positive outcome of the revolution of the mind, something that a fair chunk of the public can agree upon.