Viva la revolucion

This is surprising.  Seems we are revolting.  Who knew?

In his poorly titled book, f**k you and goodbye, Author Matt Potter states (and makes a good argument for) quitting, resigning, withdrawing (or whatever form your personal exit takes), is a form of revolt.  In fact, he implies it is the only form of revolt that any one person (who is civil and sane) has available in such a modern and interdependent world.

Those who quit are saying more than just, “I quit this job!”.  They are often also saying they are quitting the larger system.  They are quitting the normal way of things.  They are rejecting the status quo.  They are opting for change BIG TIME but at a personal level.  By the time the average person gets around to resigning from their job, they are ‘mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.’

And, in that context, NOT voting is just another way of revolting but it is a form of revolting nevertheless.  “I am not playing that game of smoke, lies and mirrors.”  In other words: all those Canadians NOT voting are saying something.

It’s all a personal choice, of course, but to vote or not is not the subject of today’s blog. Revolution is.  I can think of a million reasons for revolting against what passes for modern life these days; in fact, I am demonstrating a few of them to a small extent simply by living OTG.  That’s a revolutionary step for this little man and woman, one small part, perhaps, of a larger movement. Maybe.

I didn’t like the system.  We didn’t like what we were doing.  So, we left.  We quit.  We revolted in some tiny and ineffective but good-for-us kind of way.

But – another more relevant example – all the refugees are also revolutionaries. They are revolting with their feet and hearts. They are saying, “We want out and we are prepared to risk our lives to get out!”

It is interesting to note that 99.99% of those refugees did not opt to risk any lives but their own (and family) in conducting their exit-revolution.  The thousands of Syrians, for instance, are peacefully and desperately protesting their nation’s civil hell with their feet but not AK47’s.  There is, it seems, a much larger component to revolution than just shooting the uniforms of the establishment or wearing berets.

Maybe we all revolt in some small way.  Maybe we just play ‘whack-a-mole’ revolution, picking and choosing what we play at and what we reject all the while keeping our comfort and survival paramount.  Maybe even ‘working for the man’ can be undertaken that way.  I don’t know.  I see consumerism and passive entertainment as a palliative-salve for the underlying discontent of modern rat-race living.  It is used to mollify and induce coma. Keeps us working.   And it works for most of the people most of the time.  But not all of the people or all of the time .

Refugees don’t even have that.

I seem to be seeing more and more revolutionary action being taken all the time – if I look. I admit that I didn’t look that closely before but with new definitions like Paul Hawken’s and Matt Potter’s, I see mini-revolts all over.

The biggest one?  Social media.  The governing-by-petition era is upon us.  It is phenomenal.  It is awe inspiring even if it is largely un-influential at this point.  But it will only get bigger.  People will ‘vote’ and ‘exert power’ with their smartphones rather than guns. The world is undergoing a revolution of sorts and we tend to just see it as just more technology and products.  I am not so sure.  It may be more than that.  Arab Spring suggested that it might be more than that and now I think that it was.

You have doubts?  “Dave, they are only phones!” Open your eyes.  Watch the massive tsunami of migration moving north. If your definition of revolution does NOT require the presence of guns, those people are revolting not only against African/Arab/Mexican society, totalitarian government but also status quo western standards.  They are about to be the change that we keep talking about.

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Viva la revolucion

  1. Very complex motivations at work on the part of the persons involved world wide. What is perplexing is the politics of this situation. What is to be gained by de-populating areas of the globe? Is it ten million persons who have left Syria and Iraq? Perhaps it is more. Imagine if half of BC deserted the province over a conflict of competing world views. What place is there for absolutism in a world of evident diversity? Does it matter how God is made manifest? The name given to God? How God is worshipped if at all? The economic piece is easy as long as most people accept the status quo.

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  2. Well….in the beginning, man was mystified by everything and so worshiped the rocks, animals, volcanoes and sun just to name a few. But then, probably because everything magic started to ‘blend’ into one, they went to monotheism . One or two or a pantheon of gods but still a lot less than every bat and dingo. Finally, good business dictated that there be one god and one access (the special church). Better efficiencies, better returns, better controls. The pope/prophet/Buddha was happy. But then we got science. Damn. Another god. And so then there was the slow shift away from church and onto state-as-church. This was even better for the new prophets, popes, CEOs and presidents. They could actually ‘deliver’ with money. Money and the economy became the new false idols. Now everyone wants to worship at the altar of the dollar- mammon. The economy is the new ‘belief’ system. In money we trust. Goldman Sachs is like an archduke. Of course, I exaggerate a smidge but, when you think about it, the economy is an unknowable blob of human activity and needs ‘the clergy’ to interpret it for us…..sound familiar? I am afraid the mass exodus of migrants is just the converts following the new religion. Sadly, the congregation is immense and in the 1st World Church of the West. And the membership will grow.
    How nutty is that?

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    • Hard to argue with what you say but how about the competition from unions? Unions have been under attack as evil and the corporations have been exporting jobs to third world countries to hollow out the middle class in Canada. If the big trade deal with Asia goes through it’s hard to see what if any thing will be made in Canada. Harper said the auto sector will not like the Asia trade deal if signed. As stated money is the new God. Reminds me of ‘Ba Ba Black Sheep’ …three bags full…one for the master, two for the Dame and none for the little boy who cries in the lane.’

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      • Unions were necessary to combat greed and elitism but, of course, that is the money-game and so they eventually became greedy and elitist. So they were then defeated by those who also wanted to be the greediest and the celebrated 1%. And so it goes. Wealth – when used to separate the people – becomes evil and nasty. But when used to advance the people and the greater good, it becomes a useful tool. Tragically, we are inclined to separation when we should be inclined otherwise. I honestly do not know why. No one needs a billion dollars. They DO need friends, love, nature and personal growth but immense wealth is not a necessary ingredient. Seems kind of silly, really….don’t you think?

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      • Unions are necessary! Particularly in BC where the LRB is tilted towards the employer. After forty-two years in an unionized environment it is clear the value of the Union. Unions provide a check and balance in the work place. Unions solve problems. Unions reduce work place conflict.

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      • Not always. Check?..maybe….balance?…hardly ever. It is usually JUST a power struggle between union and management and when one wins, they get more powerful. Power corrupts and it does so in a union, too. Don’t sanctify institutions because of what they say – judge by what they do. And unions didn’t always ‘do the right thing’. Not even frequently enough to be labelled the good guys. Better..? Maybe. Today, I admit, that some principled, strong unions working on EVERYONE’s behalf (like the Fed) might help but, as I said, power corrupts and unions are not exempt from that statement.

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