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"The word revolution, borrowed from astronomy, took on its political meaning in 17th-century England, where, paradoxically, it meant a return or restoration of a former situation."
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/entry?id=40077)
In a more contemporary England this phenomenon was described in the words "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
In the early 19th-century the French politician and writer Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out that it was the relative privations of the poor - and not the overall poverty of a nation -- that lay at the root of revolution. The uprisings in France in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the more recent ones in Czarist Russia, Hitler's Germany, Argentina, China, Cuba, and most recently Iran would seem to bear him out. In every case, the corruption of the old regime had become intolerable. Why, then, you might ask, has today's America not fallen to the angry masses? Are Americans simply too lazy for the pursuit of revolution? Are we too complacent, too apathetic? Have our senses been so dulled by latest war-to-end-all-wars being beamed into our living room that we're immune to the very concept of horror?
During the reign of Bush the Elder an economics professor told me that 80% of the wealth in America is owned by 20% of the people. In the years since, I've seen nothing to suggest that the curve has gotten anything but steeper. So theoretically, "we" - the other 80% -- outnumber "them" by a 4 to 1 ratio. In a democracy, isn't that supposed to mean that we're in charge? What has become of the idea that "Government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish"? If it hasn't perished, it's certainly on life support. And unless we somehow shake off this shroud of ennui that allows us to accept the status quo, Bush the Younger - or one who follows him - will surely pull the plug.
In the interest of not moving up Big Brother's Top 100, let me make this disclaimer here and now. I am not advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. In the first place, any such attempt would surely be doomed to failure, the Second Amendment notwithstanding. But perhaps more important such an attempt is unnecessary. The Constitution provides us with the perfect mechanism for bringing about a revolution every four years. And the time has never been more right than it is right now.
We have witnessed the rape of a nation. Our nation. What the current administration has done to us, it has done by means of coercion, duplicity and fear - if not outright fraud. We certainly never consented to it. And we must not consent to more of it. By saying nothing, by doing nothing, we give our tacit approval to a government that has corrupted and perverted the very principles upon which America was founded. In that long-ago America envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, George W. Bush would stand trial for his crimes. We will never see him brought to justice, but we can and must ensure that he is never again allowed to abuse the authority of the office of President of the United States.
If, as our Commander in Chief tells us, "freedom is on the march", then let that march begin here, now. Let it begin with us.
"Yeah the revolution starts nowClose this window Return to Articles index
In your own backyard
In your own hometown
So what you doin' standin' around?
Just follow your heart
The revolution starts now"
Steve Earle The Revolution Starts... Now, Artemis Records, 2004