Back in 2005, on a trip to Washington DC, I bought a sweet little tank top from a smiling young man. Emblazoned on the front were the words: Stop Bitching and Start a Revolution. I’m not a revolutionary, but neither am I willing to be sucked dry by corporate interests.
In 2005, Bush was the president, having stolen the election from Al Gore. While espousing compassionate conservatism, Bush was busy setting us up for the financial crisis of 2008.
Since then, I’ve been wondering when the revolution was going to arrive, worrying that perhaps Americans had somehow been hypnotized en masse. That notion might float, particularly if not only the victimized masses, but also the perpetrators had been hypnotized.
Mass hypnosis might explain how the Republicans could keep insisting they can’t possibly raise taxes on millionaires, even if the rest of the population should starve, all the while conspiring with corporate interests to deprive us of such necessities as a social net, life-sustaining wages with benefits, environmental regulations, and public schools, to mention a few.
Perhaps they’ve been beguiled into believing, as Herman Cain apparently does, that people who aren’t rich have only themselves to blame.
More likely than hypnosis, however, is the idea they’re betting on the rest of us to sit obediently in front of the TV, which is tuned to Fox News, or even better, watch reality shows while ignoring actual reality.
I’ve been waiting for people to stand up and confront the big lies and the forces that perpetrate them; waiting to hear the real enemy blamed; and waiting for a hint, a breath, of revolution.
According to Aristotle, revolution arises from inequities. The United States has devolved into a place as inequitable as many third world countries. We’ve become ripe for revolution, and it might have already begun. Not the same kind of revolution staged in France or China, but a non-violent social revolution, a mass awareness, an arrival at truth and a determination to change.
Occupy Wall Street is no longer an infant— that baby has grown into a toddler with legs. The last time I was so hopeful for change was in the late sixties, when the scent of discontent wafted on the air, palpably intoxicating a generation.
I’m hoping this nascent movement catches fire.