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The Ringing Of Revolution


Another excerpt in the serialization of Parts One and Two of the memoir Remembering Tomorrow by Michael Albert, this time chapter 10 and 11, distributed in this 40th year since the New Left and May 68.

 

 

 

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PART 2
The Ringing Of Revolution 

 

In the 1960s, we believed we were revolutionaries on the verge of a new society. There was evidence all around, from Berkeley to Boston, New York to Prague, and Washington, DC to Mexico City. It didn’t happen that way. The chimes of freedom rang, but with steadily diminishing tone and timbre in subsequent years. Only the most attuned ears continued to hear revolution’s message. 

 

Great symphonies rise and fall in volume. When decibels are highest, symphonies are not always greatest. In fact, often, it is precisely when they are least audible that symphonies are laying their groundwork and gathering steam. Similarly, social projects sometimes hang on, reentrench, and get set to climax during calm passages. The low decibel times are often the hard part. They are often the critical part. Nonetheless, Part 2 of Remembering Tomorrow continues exploring high decibel times. Here is a poem, “Wheel of Law,” from Ho Chi Minh that meant a lot to me in 1969 and still does. 

 

The wheel of law turns without pause 

After the rain, good weather 

In the wink of an eye 

The universe throws off its muddy clothes 

For two thousand miles the landscape spreads out like a beautiful brocade 

Light breezes, smiling flowers 

High in the trees amongst the sparkling leaves all the men sing at once 

Men and animals rise up reborn, what could be more natural 

After sorrow comes happiness.

 

Chapter 10