Saturday, June 23, 2012

Is Revolution Really the Only Solution?

Young Americans are Calling for Revolution! 

Lately there has been an ever increasing cry for revolution, rebellion, disobedience and anarchy in America.

Many young people today are resentful towards the older generations such as my own. As baby boomers, many of us protested the Vietnam War, racial and social inequality and many other causes. We hated our parents' music, the way they dressed and efforts to avoid risk. Many of us had called for revolution too.

Today many young people are focused on social injustice and mistakes made by the same people we blamed for all the problems of the world when we were young. They are angry about the same greedy corporations and corrupt politicians that caused us to picket and protest so many years ago.

Though many Baby Boomers like me came to realize that revolution was not the answer, many of our children and grandchildren believe we sold out, gave in or gave up on trying to change the world. I can't say I blame them, as most Baby Boomers like me living safe, comfortable lives probably find the idea of revolution, rebellion, revolt and anarchy terrifying, as most of us have gotten used to the easy life of the status quo, a large portion of young Americans are dissatisfied, disillusioned, fed up and pissed off, ready for anything, even if it includes violence.

Many young Americans today are so bored with their cell phone, video game lives, they actually envision revolution as an adventure, both fun and exciting. If you doubt there are enough people who would actually welcome the chaos, violence, death and destruction revolution would bring, you don't need to find the Occupy protestors, you just need look online.

Not only are there hundreds, if not thousands of websites and blogs dedicated to revolution, rebellion, uprising and anarchy saturating the Internet, there are also countless Facebook Communities dedicated to revolution as well, each with their own following, many with tens even hundreds  of thousands of followers promoting even more followers.

For example, many of the 121,858 likes/fans and 166,511 "talking about this" on our very own Conspiracy Watch Facebook Page say they are for revolution. The People's Uprising, with 4,738 likes and 31,598 "talking about this", I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists, with 92,406 likes and 84,683 "talking about this", We Didn't Start The Fire, with 6,979 likes and 1,485 "talking about this" and Join The Resistance, with 2,033 likes and 682 "talking about this", just to name a few from the tip of the huge iceberg.

What many disgruntled young people don’t consider is there is more to the call for revolution than meets the eye. Though much of the cause for this discontent is government corruption, dishonesty, treachery and even incompetence, many young people today are just dissatisfied with their own lives and rightly afraid for their own futures.

Everybody wants change, but everybody sees this change differently, which could only end in chaos or anarchy.

I am sure that there are many others who feel as I do. Not just other Baby Boomers, but others who are either too old or have gotten too comfortable with their lives to desire any radical changes associated with a revolution. Again there are many websites, blogs and Facebook Communities dedicated to peace and peaceful reform.

We all however seem to agree on one thing; worldwide, capitalism has taken over totally, completely and absolutely. The government of my country, the United States of America, as well as the governments of most every nation globally are ruled by nothing other than money.  Money has become the deciding factor for everything.

No matter where you go, money rules the politics, policies and social responsibilities of practically every country on earth, no matter what form of government they claim. This is as much true of democracy as it is of communism, socialism even dictatorships.

Even counties strongly influenced by political ideology or religious beliefs are dominated by money, no matter if this be attributed to survival or selfishness and greed.

Revolution or Reform? 

Given all that I have mentioned so far about capitalism, it seems obvious that something must be done. But what? Must there be a revolution to replace capitalism with some other form of government? Even if we came up with a workable system, how would we usher it in? Undoubtedly, there many powerful forces that would oppose such a change.

Our government and elitists watched in horror as recently several African governments were overthrown. Our leaders are very aware of what is going on! So they monitor the Internet and Facebook, knowing all too well of the ant-government sentiment and calls for revolution (read my article, U.S. Homeland Security Monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other Sites for Signs of Discontent).

Our governments and the elite are well prepared for the eventuality of revolution! The US government, for example, has been passing laws for just this eventuality. The government has passed laws and ratified bills just for the purpose of making it easier for them to declare Martial Law, arrest the leaders, perpetrators and participants of any potential revolution, rebellion, revolt or even just a protest, now even having the power to imprison anybody they consider a threat, indefinitely! On top of that, they have the military, the National Guard, as well as federal, state and local police forces empowered to squash anything that could even remotely evolve into an uprising. 

Any American revolution these days relying on force would be bloody, disastrous and doomed for failure. 

Most of you in favor of reform will be more mature, perhaps middle age or older, seeing the logic in a peaceful resolution to the world’s turmoil. It will be primarily younger people who want action, perhaps even violence to bring about the change they call for. Indeed, there will be many of my younger readers wanting something more radical than reform to happen.

It will be up to us older folks, who are thinking more logically, to persuade our youth not to act to hastily and reconsider the alternatives to revolution.

Today’s youth must come to realize that revolution would not solve anything, in fact it would only make things worse. And even if a revolution would succeed in toppling the current government, another evil, greedy and corrupt government or leader would just take its place in the end.

Though today’s youth has legitimate grievances, they have been spoiled, having it much easier in many ways than many if not most or ALL previous generations.

Today, they may be confronted with news about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they hadn’t to worry about the horrors associated with being drafted to fight in World War 2, Korea or Vietnam. Today, there is still racism and bigotry, but nothing like the hatred and discrimination African Americans, Hispanics and homosexuals had to deal with years ago.

Though today’s freedoms, rights, privileges and opportunities are being threatened, never before in history could anybody from any background, race or religion become anything they chose to be! Not long ago, an African American president would have been unthinkable.

And yet, many young people will still be thinking of the excitement, adventure and action associated with revolution. They may even see something noble or romantic in the anarchy that would surely result. But are they willing to die for fun or be imprisoned in concentration camps to prove a point?

They may think they are millions strong, many even being armed, but the government has military and police at its disposal. Today, in America a revolutionary army couldn’t win  like our Colonial Army during the Revolutionary War. Our government has weapons, surveillance electronics and intel gathering equipment at their disposal the colonists hadn’t even dreamed of yet!

There is no way a revolution could succeed without significant support from within the government and/or military itself. It would most certainly bring only violence, death and destruction.

The problem is that people have different ideals and expectations. Different people have political views, from being progressively liberal to ultra conservative and everything in-between, they aren’t always going to agree or even be willing to compromise.

The problem is that today when political associations aka special interest groups promote and achieve change, their changes often only result at the expense other political associations.

It almost seems as if those with similar beliefs, ideals and worldviews should live segregated from those of different persuasion. Indeed, if you don’t like the way others are or act, move to live with those who are like you! But if you want to be part of our diverse society, you are going to have to be tolerant and forgiving and make concessions and compromises. We are going to have to work together to make some changes.

But what are these changes going to look like? What alternatives are there?

Many want an alternative to capitalism. We know communism doesn’t work. So what else is there?

Alternatives to Capitalism

There are so many alternatives to "traditional" capitalism, I hardly know where to start. Of course, there are capitalism and democracy's "traditional" enemies, like communism and socialism, but there are also many different versions of capitalism we may want to explore.

The Global Humanist Movement

There is a Humanist Movement working for real democracy, human rights, and an economic model for social justice and the environment. Basing their principles on non-violence and anti-discrimination, they remind me of Jehova's Wittness, trying hard to recruit new members. The philosophy of this Movement is known by the name New or Universalist Humanism and can be distilled down to the primary principles of Solidarity - Treat others the way you would like to be treated and Coherence - Think, feel and act in the same way.

The Humanist attitude places the human being, rather than money or power, as the central value, affirming the equality of all human beings, recognizing personal and cultural diversity and rejecting any form of discrimination, promotes the continuous development of human knowledge beyond absolute truths and dogmas, sustains freedom of ideas and beliefs and ejects violence in all its forms.

Everybody with any common sense will realize the flaws of this system. Anybody with a brain knows that human nature would not allow these principles. 

The Worldwide Socialist Movement

For quite some time, there has been a Socialist Movement occurring in the Unites States and worldwide. There are those that would claim many of the European nations as being socialist, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Though many European countries do have a large scope of social programs, their forms of government are clearly capitalistic as the US. 

Socialism as it is defined by the Socialist Movement refers to common ownership, and this is by no means the case in any of the countries of Europe

In other words, they actually believe the resources of the world being owned in common by the entire global population would work! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that this concept is doomed for failure, if nothing else due to of human nature.

But does it really make sense for everybody to own everything in common? Of course not. Everybody with any common sense knows that human nature would not allow this. Generally, people are to self-centered, selfish and greedy to be willing to share everything equally. Particularly, when we realize that some people are capable of working harder and longer than others. Do you really think these people would be willing to share the fruits of their labors equally with those who cannot work as hard or as long, some maybe not at all?

When the hippies tried using similar ideology, living in social communities known as communes during the 60’s and 70’s, they rarely lasted longer than a few months, when human nature like selfishness and jealousy took over.

Still, the Socialist Worker states: We actively support the struggle of workers and all oppressed people for economic, political and social reforms, both as a means to improve their conditions and to advance their confidence and fighting strength. But reforms within the capitalist system cannot put an end to oppression and exploitation. Capitalism must be replaced.” - From the ISO "Where We Stand"

As far back as 1896, the American socialist Daniel DeLeon gave a speech in Boston titled "Reform or Revolution," in which he compared social and economic reforms in society to grooming a poodle. No matter how you change the look of a poodle, he argued, "essentially, a poodle he was, a poodle he is, and a poodle he will remain." Yet, though they promote revolution even violence, neither Karl Marx, the Socialist Worker nor Daniel DeLeon name a viable, workable solutions for today’s issues or tomorrow's problems.

It is human nature that makes both socialism and communism a failure from the start. It is exactly this same selfish greed of human nature that provides the productivity and progress associated with capitalism.

It is also human nature that makes democracy a deception used to pacify society into believing that everybody is equal.

They will use deception to make you believe the Occupy Movement is a socialist movement. There will be socialist believers and infiltrators amongst those attending Occupy functions, but those in no way makes the movement as a whole socialist, much less communist.

Making Capitalism Work

Capitalism rewards innovation, productivity and hard work. Ti some degree, these rewards include being able to participate in government. Indeed, the more money you have, the more you can in theoretically influence politics.

Though this is often also characteristic of selfish greed in human nature, it can be more closely attributed to those with the dominating, power-hungry personality sometimes associated with the alpha-male.

So as you can see, human nature makes capitalism the logical, natural political and social system. It follows the principle of natural selection. The strong and smart are naturally easier able to acquire the money it takes to survive in life, society and politics.

The good thing about capitalism is it is a very broad ideology that could be modified to accommodate today’s society.

Instead of looking for an alternative for capitalism, we should be looking to ratify it to be as responsible, social and appeasing as possible.

There must be a way to reform, modify or change capitalism so that all are happy!

Previous attempts to change or 'reform' capitalism have already helped to improve society’s general living and working conditions tremendously.

We need to change our government to accommodate more transparency. We need to put in place a real government police force, to investigate and get rid of corruption in all branches of government. Although this would not be perfect, it would definitely put a big dent in the corruption happening in our political system today.

Anarcho-capitalism, libertarian anarchy, market anarchism, free market anarchism, private-property anarchism, or whatever else you might want to call it, by the right-libertarian and individualist anarchist that advocates the elimination of the state in favour of individual sovereignty in a free market could prove be the most compromising yet most efficient system yet. In an anarcho-capitalist society, law enforcement, courts, and all other security services would be provided by privately funded competitors rather than through taxation, and money would be privately and competitively provided in an open market. According to anarcho-capitalists, economic and personal activities would be administered by privately run law rather than politics. 

The Road towards Change

To start with, we may want to consider using some of the concepts from the very successful Velvet Revolution, which for the most part toppled communism in Eastern Europe. Though there are many that like to say the Velvet Revolution was a failure, in truth it was only what they did with the outcome of the Revolution that was a failure.

Along with some of these concepts, we would need to launch a massive online reformation movement, similar to the resistance and peaceful public demonstrations we used to combat SOPA, PIPA and some of the other measures we defeated recently.

We must get as many people to participate, including celebrities and honest politicians voicing their opinions and demanding change. 

We must vote some honest people into office to represent us. Honest politicians with integrity, like Ron Paul or Bernie Sanders, the Independent US Senator from Vermont. Maybe even consider barring career politicians from running for office! If we cannot accomplish this I’m afraid all is lost.

And we must hurry! As I write this our government is doing everything it can to gain control over the Internet. The Internet is our last line of defense. Once they find a way to effectively censor it, probably even with a sp called “kill-switch” we will be without the means to find out the truth about what is happening around the world, much less communicate and assemble a resistance movement.

The alternative would be living under the total control of our government or revolution. Either way, it would be nothing pretty. 

For all of you who think times are tough now... you have no idea.

Things could get a whole lot worse!

By Thomas Retterbush