Tuesday, April 26, 2011
So, How Fares Teh Revolution?
I would despair, except that this his kind of how these Revolution thingies go in this country. Historically and such.
The Founding Revolution, for example, was hardly a case of overthrow of the existing regime, eighteen days and we're done. No, it went on and on and on, with sporadic fighting and sputtering "progress," for years. 1776 (well, it started well before that) to 1783, with periodic renewals by the British until at least 1814. Its predecessor in Britain, the various English Dynastic and Civil Wars, lasted well more than a century.
The Civil Rights Movement in this country took forever and a day to accomplish its main objectives, and the other liberationist movements before and since (Suffrage Movement, anyone?) seemed to get nowhere -- forever. But the key was persistence, dogged determination, and not a little gall.
So the slow-down and near stoppage of the revolt against the Midwest Misrulers is to be expected. Yes, Misrule is Triumphant for now, and some of what has been done will not soon be undone. In the meantime, however, righteous anger combined with determination to succeed has made the Rebels a force to be reckoned with, sadly but necessarily somewhat like the TeaBaggers were back in the day.
The TeaBag Rebels demonstrated that a loud and vocal minority, an obnoxious bunch of malcontents, can be assembled at almost a moment's notice (the TeaBag Rebellion began on essentially the day after Obama won the Presidency) and can be motivated to press policy changes favorable to an even tinier minority. The Ruling Class in a word.
The TeaBag Rebels also demonstrated that almost all the rebellious spirit in this country is concentrated on the right. I know I've been making that point for many years, through the entire Bush Regime, and prior to that, during the Gingrich Revolution. This has been a Radical Rightist dominated period the like of which we haven't seen since the close of the Civil War.
The corporatist triumph then was as absolute as anything today, moreso perhaps, because there were so few remedies, none at all in many cases, to the abuses of the Rightists and Corporatists who ruled the roost.
What there was then, and there isn't now, is an escape valve: the West. The Westward Push after the Civil War was the basic survival plan for many of those who either were pushed out of or couldn't stand the miserable exploitation of life Back East.
So. Be a Pioneer. Go Out West. Make your way and make your fortune, and many millions did.
Yeah, the Indians and the buffalo lost, but someone gained. And that was the main thing. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if there had been no West to relieve the pressure on the Ruling Class in the East.
Something tells me there would have been more and ever more revolutionary movements to redress the very real grievances of the working classes under the corporatists and capitalists of the day. The escape valve of the West prevented that from happening, even though there were many, many Workers' Movements prior to (and even some after) the Progressive Revolution that succeeded in the early 1900's and consolidated under FDR -- and that is now being unraveled.
As it is, we feel pangs of sorrow for the suffering of previous generations, though it is hard for us to imagine just what their lives were like, and what and how they fought their condition. Or did they submit?
I'm old enough -- and my parents were old enough -- to have heard stories of what went on from the 1870's into the 1940's, and what my parents and their parents did (if anything) to redress their political/economic grievances. As I think I've said, both my parents were dyed in the wool Democrats, neither of them necessarily revolutionaries, but both of them instinctive rebels against the Ruling Class (although my father could, I think, be considered part of the Ruling Class. Just not an important part!) My mother was from the Working Class. Very much so.
Right now, it seems that historians will look back at this period and wonder at the surprising acquiescence of the masses to the increasingly harsh rule of the Plutocrats and Oligarchs. Yet this sort of thing is common enough in United States history, let alone the history of the World.
Fighting back is the anomaly, not the rule at all.
But there was a rebellion in the Middle Western States earlier this year, one that is not by any means concluded. Right now the matters at issue are submitted to the courts and in the by and bye will be submitted to the voters in recall and other elections throughout the region. The polls are showing very little popular support for the depredations under way in the states and in Congress, so little support in fact that the only way the Ruling Class can realistically have its way is by main force -- the way they did back in the post-Civil War period.
But we have seen little of that so far. The Cossacks remain stabled for the time being.
So, we can only await developments, publish our samizdat, and engage in what minor acts of resistance and sabotage we can.
While Teh Revolution is On Hold.