Revolutionary Change Rant #8

Here’s now a revolution could happen. First, a general disillusionment with the power structure, like the distrust of capitalism and corporations that is widespread in America today. Then a mismanaged crisis, such as the global financial meltdown that fundamentally delegitimizes the system.

This disaffection is captured by a symbolic act that becomes the metaphor for change – Rosa Parks refusing to move to the back of the bus, the anonymous citizen standing in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square. More recently, NASA’s chief climate scientist Dr. James Hansen arrested blockading a West Virginia coal mine.

When widely circulated these images become like Toto pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz, breaking the media induced trance, catalyzing a collective mindshift and ultimately transforming culture. The first post-modern revolutionaries – the French situationists – called these turning around revelations key to deconstructing the consumer spectacle.

At this point there is an opening, a possibility of change, as the famous wildcat general strike that briefly shut down France’s capitalist/consumer economy in 1968.

But to overcome the gravitational pull of the old capitalist paradigm, there must be a critical threshold of steadfast citizens willing to risk the new, not reform the old, capable of changing directions in unison, as a school of fish or flock of birds. Any questions?

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