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.