Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy
Today’s world is a tumult of change: Political, social, religious, economic, business, climate, education – literally everything, everywhere. Indeed, there is nothing that does not or cannot change. When change does not occur in a system, it breaks down and revolution occurs.
Resistance to Change
Politics and self-interest dictate how people feel about change. Individuals or groups may take active steps to protect their positions. Resistance can take many forms; it is dynamic and it adjusts depending on the specific situation. (1)
Three types of resistance emerge and operate simultaneously: emotional, political, and rational. Most people are relatively optimistic when learning about impending change. They may, at an emotional level, actually become intrigued or even excited about it. Political resistance arises from self-interest. Rational resistance arises as people look for facts, relevant comparisons, and logical justification. These types of resistance occur with all types of change.
Change can occur quickly or slowly – evolutionary or revolutionary. Evolutionary changes occur very slowly as people understand the change and the approach is built collaboratively. In business, management decides on whether the change will be brought about – with employee buy-in, or by forced change. (2)
In the political arena, change comes from politicians advocating positions that they promise to support. They may not be able to deliver what they promise. The USA has only 2 political parties, and the parties’ platforms set forth the changes that will be supported. Any politician who does not back the primary party platforms (albeit with variations) must decide whether the difference justifies running for office as an Independent, thereby losing (or rejecting) political-party control.
Whilst most people have a preference for evolutionary change, it is not always appropriate. Politics in a democracy woos support from the electorate. But a large segment of the population may not be satisfied with the choices. This motivates them to support politicians on the fringes, or even radical candidates. When the dissatisfied segment becomes large enough, it may force the party-platform to change, or form a splinter group. (3)
Today many people are utterly disenchanted by politics. They don’t vote because it seems like a tacit act of compliance and there is nothing to vote for. They regard politicians as frauds and liars. Today I watched an angry person on TV proclaim very forcefully that politicians are all liars. To many, the current political system is nothing more than a means for furthering the benefits of economic elites. These are the seeds of revolution.
Only 26% of Americans today believe that the two major parties adequately represent Americans. Calls for bipartisanship are utterly useless when both parties cannot, or will not, address serious and legitimate grievances that are common throughout America. As it exists today, the American system is entirely incompatible with the democratic ideals upon which it was ostensibly founded. A political revolution seems to be the only solution to the countless problems plaguing America today. The strong political resistance against “politics as usual” is proof that a revolution has already begun. (4)
There are lots of Republicans who support Donald Trump’s ideas, which makes him a force to be reckoned with. Other politicians require financial support for their campaigns; Trump is self-financed. Others follow party platforms; Trump does not. In spite of suggestions that Trump’s followers are blue collar (inferences of low-intelligence) the trend continues. As I write this, the poll numbers of the top-3 Republican contenders combined do not equal Trump’s support. How long will Trump last?
The Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton seems to have hard-core support within the Democrat electorate, much higher than for Bernie Sanders. But she is considered an establishment candidate and still looks weak going into a general election, barely tying against Donald Trump and others in head-to-head match-ups. Also, her lead is far lower than the edge Democrats usually enjoy among female voters. That’s the real challenge for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Bernie Sanders labels himself a Democratic Socialist Capitalist. He speaks of political revolution, asking Americans to believe that electoral politics might actually deliver actual change. He knows that really won’t happen unless people who are frustrated and disengaged and disenchanted see him as a candidate who is distinctly different from the rest. So he ramps up his rhetoric and offers more of a sense of who he is, pointing out that his disagreements are not merely with Republicans but also with too-cautious Democrats. He is positioning himself as a candidate with long-term commitment to progressive ideals, and willingness to act to “govern based on principle not poll numbers.” (5)
Since the early days, the country has suffered from perpetual polarization: Republican versus Democrat; the North versus the South; Left versus Right; Liberal versus Conservative. The hostility seems to go on and on.
The record of the current two-party Congress is abysmal – very little really gets done. The US seems to be approaching a turning point. It seems evident that no one is satisfied and citizens are very publicly speaking out about change. Everyone recognizes that the status quo cannot continue indefinitely.
Key question: Can change occur through today’s political system? Will it be stimulated by outside events? Or will it change from within? (6)
In social and political science, Revolution is a major, sudden, and typically violent alteration in government. The term is used by analogy in such expressions as the Industrial Revolution, where it refers to a radical and profound change in economic relationships and technological conditions. (7)
Today the United States political system has been corrupted by the Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United, giving unions and corporations the ability to spend unlimited amounts on political advertising, putting Congress under the thumb of its wealthiest citizens.
Most urgent among these critical issues are:
- Money in elections (legalized corruption)
- $17 + trillion dollar and fast growing national debt
- Vast inequality of wealth, increasing poverty
- Endless war by the American Empire
- Structural classism in the justice system
- Climate change: In the next century, will this planet remain habitable.
These serious problems cannot be handled without a mass resistance movement. It seems to many political analysts, observers and futurists, that another American Revolution is possible, and even likely. (8)
America is already a deliverer of much internal and external violence – from invasions internationally to income inequality and growing discontent at home. In recent years, civil unrest has becoming increasingly noticeable. From the Occupy Movement to the Ferguson and Chicago unrest, Americans across the country are stepping up and speaking out about dissatisfaction with government. (9)
The primary causes of a possible second American Revolution are not external but internal. They arise from the recognition that under the present corrupt system any independent person is inherently unelectable. The only choices seem to be apathy, or revolutionary change. The choice is between acquiescing to the demands of a corrupt political establishment, or surrendering to the forces of rebellion and upheaval. (10)
So, if there is indeed a next American revolution, when and how will it develop? Will it be similar to the founding Revolution with a long drawn out psychological war before action occurs? What impact will it have on the country and the world? When, where and how will lines be drawn? (11)
The Pitchforks are coming
Bernie Sanders’ platform, "For 40 years, the American middle class has been disappearing. Millions of people are working longer hours for lower wages. During that period, there has been is a massive transfer of trillions of dollars from the middle class to the top 0.1% of America. Today, you have 99% of all new income today going to the top 1%."
In a 2014 TED speech, Nick Hanauer, a Seattle-based entrepreneur and a self-proclaimed plutocrat said, " The problem isn't that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society."
Nick Hanauer warns his fellow “filthy-rich”: “You’re living in a dream world. If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality.” (12)
In 1971, the US unilaterally canceled the direct convertibility of the US dollar to gold. Since then, a system of national fiat monies has been used globally, with freely floating exchange rates between the major currencies. This allows the US and other major countries simply to issue as much currency as needed, which increases the national debt.
The history of fiat money has been one of failure. Over the centuries, every fiat currency has ended in devaluation and eventual collapse, of not only the currency, but of the economy that housed the fiat currency as well. (13)
The view of many futurists and economists is that the eventual collapse of the US $ is inevitable, taking with it most of the bloated fiat currencies in the developed world. This will be the key event that triggers political and economic collapse to bring about the next American Revolution.
Today, Democracy is not functioning in America – just the illusion of it. The American public has gotten indulgent in many ways, but more and more people are starting to recognize that it's time to act. Some of the greatest guides to the new American Revolution are the people who articulated the first one. They understood the concept that enough is enough.
When will the American people reach the breaking point and take action? Many economists and futurists predict that the system is like a runaway train, which is going to crash. Unless something is done, it seems just a matter of when. (14)
From my own standpoint, I’m voting for the Bernie Sanders revolution.
Please share our discussion by responding to these questions directly via the blog. If you prefer, send me an email and I’ll insert your comments.
- Are you a Democrat, Republican or Independent?
- Do you vote regularly? If you don’t vote, why not?
- Who will you vote for in the next Presidential election?
- What are your reasons to support the candidate of your choice?
- Obama promised “Change you can Believe In”. Did Change happen?
- Will you believe the next President’s promises?
- Will you continue to accept the current political situation?
- What do you think YOU can do about it?
- Please add your own comments.
- Overcoming Resistance to Organizational Change: http://goo.gl/Mkwb23
- Revolutionary vs. evolutionary organizational change: http://goo.gl/7aA67f
- Change: evolution or revolution? http://goo.gl/sBjYP6
- Jim Pinto – Political Corruption in America: http://goo.gl/ahtDaQ
- Bernie Sanders Is Serious About ‘Political Revolution’: http://goo.gl/JMkXk2
- Russell Brand on revolution: http://goo.gl/n9gS7Y
- Standing on the Edge of Next American Revolution: http://goo.gl/6nPBIc
- Is Another American Revolution Needed? http://goo.gl/xf7wa0
- Is Another American Revolution Inevitable? http://goo.gl/WOiCUH
- A New American Revolution! When Will It Start? http://goo.gl/5cBjTK
- American Revolution 2.0: http://goo.gl/Vh7nWs
- TED speech – The pitchforks are coming: https://goo.gl/uFuzUg
- Fiat Currency: Using the Past to See into the Future: http://goo.gl/Bs7LIr
- Jim Pinto – Corruption of Capitalism: http://goo.gl/tTSwKe
Carlsbad, CA. USA
13 December 2015