Thought Piece

When reviewing the subject of the course I am reminded of when I started to research something a while back. I started writing and entry for my blog on whether the “Digital Revolution” was really or not a revolution that lead to a bigger philosophical question of other revolutions throughout history. Then, I started to ponder the question about revolutions in general. What does it take to make enough people to take the big jump to start the revolution?

The larger question that also I keep asking myself if it was considered before a revolution begins: “Will the king end up dead, and do we really care?” I then proceeded to start an introduction that was never finished. It is suited to be used here since these are some of the questions that I am hoping to be able to answer by taking this course.

Over the course of recorded history, revolutions have changed the course of the future to countless Peoples. To these ends certain questions would be asked, and answers pondered. The first question is why would people change the comfort of the things as they are to instate change. How bad do things have to get for revolution to happen? What is required to meet that turning point? Does success or failure matter at the turning point of the situation? Is an end game plan necessary to avoid a splintering of the effort? How far can it be taken before it becomes a “bad” regime? What justifies a revolution?

Out of curiosity some of the situations that fascinate me include the French Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution, the military coupe in places like Uganda. I am also extremely curious about events like the “5 October 1910 revolution” in Portugal and others the ended eras monarchies, more to ask of what caused to people to flip and change to the conventions of centuries of orders.

I think that a revolutionary is a person that wants or needs change. Perhaps it could be a forward seer or one that sees the winding path up the steep rocky mountain to the peak of hope. Whereas, a radical would be someone who wants change and does not need the slimmer of success. I think of a radical as one that antagonizes others or one that will do anything for their cause without thinking the situation through.

From my experiences during a Student Debt rally during budget day in 2002 outside the Legislative Assembly in Fredericton I think the “Big angry shouting mob” as the revolutionaries where especially the 150 or so that sat in the Member of Parliaments office for an hour, where the radicals were the 20-30 that started to shake Minister Margaret-Ann Blainey’s truck as she was drive to the Legislature as we were parading. Or the guy that climbed the flagpole and cut part of the flag off to symbolize getting our fair share.

Radical seems to defiantly be negative term, mostly since it gets intertwined often with a fanatical or terrorist, or freedom fighter. Whereas, revolutionary does not seem to be as bad. Revolutionary is a good person in my perception as they are looking for the change. The revolutionary does not even have to really believe in the cause they just have to believe that doing something is better than doing nothing. Some examples of revolutionaries that I feel made a large difference would be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States of America, Mahatma Gandhi in India, and Nelson Mandela’s movement in South Africa. A radical, is more of having nothing to lose, or not really caring about what they would lose by a fanatical belief that their God told them it was a good idea.

From my past being in University during the aftermath of September 11th and over analyzing what a terrorist is, I would say that a Radial could be a terrorist, but does not have to be a terrorist. The persons living in fear may be limited to those in the highest power. Do you think the common people during the French Revolution lived in fear, no! They were part of the angry mob.

Then again, it seems that the revolutionaries could not be terrorists if the “Angry Mob” is the majority of the population. Using the terms as extremists would seem to fit more of the radicals, but the King or those in power could also be the extremist resulting in the cause of the average person of the population becoming a revolutionary, or depending on haw bad the conditions were a radical.

I think revolutions are very good and necessary. It interests me when governments do whatever it takes to keep power and how far they will go. Some prominent recent examples would be Adolph Hitler in Germany, Ide Amin in Uganda, or Vladimir Lenin in the Soviet Union. The necessity or desirability depends on what the majority of the population feels on the status of the current government, regime, or system. Including those that don’t care or don’t take sides. If the government is doing well, the population is doing well, and the economy is doing well then there is no reason to change. Change for the sake of change cannot be guaranteed to be good or bad in the end.

I think it is when peoples’ lives become so intolerable are usually because external forces be it an oppressive or uncaring overlord or natural condition and offered no help there is nothing else to lose. It is like backing a wild animal into a corner, it has nowhere to run but to attack. Sure they may lose everything, even their lives they feel it is more productive for the whole then to find a corner and kill themselves to make the emotional pain go away.

As, I was writing this it seems that losing everything may go beyond religion. Religion is what people turn to during the bad times, to make them feel better. Losing everything must also mean losing sight of the beliefs that keep you warm at night turning one into a radical, where a revolutionary changes their belief to better their situation. Perhaps a revolutionary has not lost their beliefs and morals then, they just decide that the hope of better is greater than the cost of what would be lost.