Revolution By Internet?

Is that possible?

Historically revolutions have been the last resort of The People. When things get bad enough, The People take to the streets. Organizers organize, rabble rousers rouse, polemicists polemicize, but until The People put the boot to the street it is not a real revolution. There are always years of outrages jointly suffered through to call upon to motivate The People. There have almost always been years of people railing and writing against the current regime and trying to get The People to take to the streets, and finally, some last straw appears on the horizon and bingo, revolution happens.

Can that happen, can it be conveyed to those in power that it is happening, without the boots in the street?

Because The People saw in St Paul what the ‘law enforcement’ minions of the Ruling Class do to folks bold enough to put their boots in the street these days and it wasn’t pretty. Jackboots tasers and streams of peepr spray in the face are pretty damn good deterrents. .


The People aren’t stupid, either.

It has always been the fearful image of the mob, the popular uprising, the revolution knocking down the doors of government that has been the nightmare of the Ruling Class. Year after year they feather their own nest and make decisions that benefit them and their cronies while using various degrees of obfuscation as necessary to disguise the fact that the Ruling Class rules for themselves and only pays the fear inspired image of the torch and the pitchfork the minimal lip service required to keep The People complacent. Eventually though they get too arrogant, or their is some unavoidable conflict between the interests of The People and the interests of the Ruling Class (such as a financial crisis) and they forget to pay lip service. Or gamble that they can keep it quiet or spin it so that The People don’t notice. Or they are forced to choose to publicly and blatantly screw The People or screw themselves. Like, now.

And suddenly The People say Enough! And take to the streets in numbers too big to ignore. In numbers large enough to be scary. Large enough to actually remind the Ruling Class that The People are still here. That The People have been watching and know what has been going on. And that if they had just kept their stealing to a historically reasonable level things would have been okay. Suddenly the Ruling Class remembers that they rule at the pleasure of The People, because there are ALWAYS more People than there are ‘aristocrats.’

It is that fear, the fear of the angry mob at the gates that keeps the Ruling Class as honest as they can be kept. It is that fear that makes them look over their shoulders and ask themselves if they have gone to far.

Can that fear be conveyed over the internet to a potent enough degree? Is it The Peoples voice that they fear, or just violence?

The People have never really had a way to voice their displeasure as individuals before. We have never had a real way to convey the number of People who are unhappy. The Ruling Class are used to dissent, It is part of their job to field dissent, There will always be some of the People who are unhappy, it is only when enough of The People are unhappy that they get worried, that they start to feel the fear. Can they feel it over the internet, or does it take bodies in the street to convince them that have gone too far….this time.

We don’t know. Because this is a new medium of communication with our ‘leaders,’ with the Ruling Class. How do they judge it? And more importantly, how can we influence their judgment? What will it take for the blogosphere and the e-mailers to convince them that they have once again, stepped over the line?

We won’t know for a while. We won’t know until we find out whether or not Obama getting elected was enough of a revolution. We won’t know until the Ruling Class reacts to what Obama says he will do. We won’t know until Obama ‘sells out,’ or caves in one too many times. The People are waiting and hoping that that will be enough, that with Obama in charge they can safely return to their complacent sleep.

We are at the edge right now, of revolution, with this latest outrage from Bushco and the Ruling Class, but The People will wait and see if things do indeed get better. But after eight years, the stage is set. The People are sounding some serious rumbles….are they listening? Just as we have a new tool to make our voice heard, they have a new tool to hear us….the question is, are they listening?

And if they are listening, are they smart enough scared enough to act on what they are hearing? Or will it be just too damn tempting for them to keep thinking that The People have been fooled again, that they are complacent again, that they will ‘behave?’

If things keep going as they have, if the Ruling Class keeps making decisions based on their well being instead of The Peoples well being. If they defeat or buy off Obama’s good intentions, we might find out.


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  1. Photobucket

    ps, have to head out, be back in a bit to talk to y’all in the comments.

    • Robyn on October 4, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    …provides “justification” for responding in kind, with those jackbooted troops you mentioned.  Hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of people sitting in silent protest, or humming softly something like “We Shall Overcome” does not provide that.

    A burning monk or two also focuses attention, but I’m rather opposed to seeing that.

    • robodd on October 4, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    I see the bailout bill as a declaration of class war by the ruling elite.  In essence, we all become debt slaves thereby.

    • Edger on October 4, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Stop filing returns. Stop paying where you can.

    • OPOL on October 4, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    the other day.  I told him I was having trouble finding work in my field.  He said he was doing ok…then added, “for now.”

    I said that we were in a fluid environment.  He laughed the sort of small humorless laugh that acknowledges a sickening reality.  “You got that right,” he said.

    He is a well-placed professional who has never had to worry about his employment and has been solidly among the fat and happy.  Not so much anymore.  Like so many people, he is worried.

    When the fat and happy are scared and hurting (and God help us if they’re also hungry), we could reach a tipping point in a blinding flash.  I think we may not be so far way from such a scenario.

    If the economy collapses katy-bar the door.

    Scary times but perhaps also our first chance in forever to really change things for the better.  We can always hope for a good outcome.  Gonna be a wild ride tho.

  2. of a rightist populism as evidenced by Palin that could easily emerge that has the appearance of providing the “voice of the people” that is carefully manipulated by the ruling elites.

    But I might be jaded, I just got back from Vegas and people looked pretty fucking clueless and diverted.

    • plf515 on October 4, 2008 at 8:37 pm


    French revolution? Brought us Napoleon

    Russian revolution? Stalin

    Chinese revolution? Mao.

    thanks, but no.

    The thing we should be doing is studying the movements that have brought greater equality without revolution, and without bringing in dictatorships.

    The American revolution, of course, wasn’t really a revolution but a war of secession.  It wasn’t about doing anything in England, after all.

    Let’s study, instead, e.g. how FDR came to power and got the power for the New Deal.  Or the whole history of civil rights in this country.  Certainly there were marches and demonstrations, but there was no revolution, and the people who were most effective in that struggle didn’t even call for a revolution.

    Or look at India…. but take warning from the whole India-Pakistan-Bangladesh tsuris.

    Or look at South Africa.  How did that happen?  

  3. …I defy the RC to act like this …

    will it be just too damn tempting for them to keep thinking that The People have been fooled again, that they are complacent again, that they will ‘behave?’

    …because: We have had it.  Basta!  Enough! No more!

    Maybe we can’t take to the streets without being Tieneman-Tanked, but if we all just sit it out at home, refuse to cooperate, stop working, stop paying taxes…

    Do they have enough Tieneman Tanks to flush us all out of our nationwide hiding places???

    • banger on October 5, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Revolution by internet or anywhere else can’t happen any time soon. Stop dreaming! People are way to debilitated by decades of watching garbage on TV and wasting time scratching every itch and cruising the internet often to avoid real relationships. It is real relationships that exist in poor countries that keep people alive and thriving as  human beings even when they have next to nothing in material goods. We’ve traded relationship for being “individuals”, rootless and wandering. Political power comes from strong neighborhoods, clans, families, shared sacrifice and physical rather than virtual interaction.

    When push comes to shove who has your back? If you get sick and need to be supported what then? If you lose everything in the market and are kicked out of your home what then? If a left is to actually be created (and there is virtually no left at this time in spite of all the noize) it must meet people’s needs in some minimal way. No health care? Build clinics to help the poor. No housing? Seize them.

    The internet exists as a medium; it has no virtue beyond what we make of it. We could organize actions that have real physical effect like boycotts and so on.

    There are many little leftist kingdom/queendom-ettes on the internet and great information and great debating platforms are out here but very little creative action has risen out of this medium; in fact, the while we’ve been cruising a vicious and lawless band of criminals has seized most of the levers of power and shredded international law, finance and the Constitution–what does that tell you?  

    • on October 5, 2008 at 7:39 am

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