Revolutions And The People

Discussion in 'History' started by midcan5, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    It is rare today that I read something that sparks a large question mark in my mind, but consider this, no revolution has ever helped the people in need of change. Our own founding included slavery, and while in principle it was egalitarian, our history has shown another side. Did women even exist then. The French revolution soon deteriorated into a mass killing of the very people it was supposed to help. Jesus died before he could create a heaven on earth, while he talked a good game, his heaven had to wait, his followers were quickly busy killing each other. The Russian revolution soon deteriorated into Stalinist paranoid communism. Mao's people's revolution killed millions and hardly changed the lives of the common people. Even material or technological revolutions only create problems of alienation, slave labor conditions, and societal disruptions. The Industrial revolution destroyed farming, created cities full of lives of misery, polluted the environment, and may today finally destroy the earth. Out of our contemporary world of such vast promise, autism figures grow, one in eight women encounter breast cancer, and poverty figures increase. Free market Capitalism creates large trails of misery and regularly collapses as the Great Depression and the recent recession testify. Think also of the Katrina failure. Communism failed, Socialism is an interesting concept but like Christianity never tried. And so it goes....

    Why is this, are not revolutions the means to create a society that supports the people. Wasn't the enlightenment about Reason and wasn't Reason the answer to injustice and violence? Wars of the 19th and 20th century show how far reason has gotten humanity. Look only at the wars of the moment. It is always the other side that is unreasonable. Look today at the fact most people on earth live on less than two dollars a day. A child dies every few seconds in the world from preventable causes. Revolutions in Africa become killing fields. One hundred and fifty million children in the world work in sweatshops. Even in America the poor grow poorer, this in a wealthy nation that cannot even provide healthcare for all its citizens. British youth rebel. Egyptians have had enough. Maybe revolutions of all sizes have goals of not a better world, maybe they are for some other purpose. Anyone know?

    Will humanity ever advance to a state of nature, a state of peace, that only small tribal groups have ever approached or possessed.
     
  2. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. The small tribal groups never attained a state of peace. Most, like the Native Americans, were in a constant state of warfare, they were just not very efficient at it.

    The Enlightenment was about reason, and was and is still, firmly rejected by most of the people on Earth. Mankind's history is a bloody testiment to his insanity, only occasionly punctated by very short, odd periods of sanity and reason.
     
  3. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    Where does this come from? Nature is dog eat dog, the mightiest survives. Nature is not peaceful but a violent enviroment. It entails individual survival each and every day, wary of the predator that awaits you, that is going to eat you. Peace is an illusion that one who views from afar perceives, but go into the jungle and observe and you will see the true side of nature.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  4. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    So we should copy nature, having mastered nuclear weopons?

    Seems to me that we should be working on making those brief periods of sanity and reason into the norm, rather than the exception.

    Man best analog in nature is a herd animal. They don't kill each other, even in competition for mates. The loser just leaves and tries again somewhere else.

    Social Darwinism is a doctrine that can only lead to our species extinction by our own hand.
     
  5. CoolBreeze
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    CoolBreeze Momma if you could see me

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    [quoteJJesus died before he could create a heaven on earth, while he talked a good game, his heaven had to wait][/quote]

    The mission of Jesus was not to create Heaven on Earth. Read the Bible, Jesus was sent to the world as a scraficial lamb, to die for the forgiveness of the sins of the people and thoses who accepted him as their savior would obtain everlasting life in heaven.
     
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  6. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Good to see a few replies. I agree that even primitive or small tribal groups have similar issues but not all are equally violent. Many examples exist in anthropological literature. See Peggy Reeves Sanday for instance. Peggy Reeves Sanday's Homepage

    When no one replied to my original post, I went out in search of supporting information and copied a few quotes from an interesting assortment of authors. PS I am not a pessimist by nature after all I am a liberal. ;)


    "We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it means danger, revolution, anarchy." Henry Miller

    "Revolution is a trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering." Tom Stoppard

    "Methods of thought which claim to give the lead to our world in the name of revolution have become, in reality, ideologies of consent and not of rebellion." Albert Camus

    "Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship." George Orwell

    "I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all." Alexis de Tocqueville

    "Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy." Franz Kafka

    "The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement - but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims." Joseph Conrad

    "The industrial revolution has tended to produce everywhere great urban masses that seem to be increasingly careless of ethical standards." Irving Babbitt

    "Eager souls, mystics and revolutionaries, may propose to refashion the world in accordance with their dreams; but evil remains, and so long as it lurks in the secret places of the heart, utopia is only the shadow of a dream" Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "Revolution is an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment." Ambrose Bierce

    "Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed." Barbara Tuchman

    "The progress of the American Revolution has been so rapid and such the alteration of manners, the blending of characters, and the new train of ideas that almost universally prevail, that the principles which animated to the noblest exertions have been nearly annihilated." Mercy Otis Warren

    "The Roosevelt enactment of Social Security was a moral revolution in our country: We were assured that we would never reach the very depths of poverty. And to be told, that we are now going to gamble it, on Wall Street, is nonsense!" Arthur Hertzberg
     
  7. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    That is because your mond long ago lost the ability to question anything.

    I don't even know where to begin.

    The American Revolution led to a country where everyone has the same opportunity, and served as the blueprint for other countries to build their governments upon. The problem here is that change in society does not happen as a result of revolution, it happens because people want it. Revolution is only a starting point, not the end point.

    By the way, the reason the Communist and Socialist revolutions failed is that they were premised on something that does not work. The only way for society to advance is through individual work and freedom, people are not ants, and are not part of a collective.

    What makes you think peace is the normal state of nature? Peace is entropy, and entropy is the antithesis of life.
     
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  8. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Which brief periods are you referring to? Unless I know what you are talking about I have no idea if you are making sense. Some of the most peaceful eras of our history coincide with some of the most oppressive.
     
  9. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    You're right about that, my mond has been flaky for some time.

    Slaves, Indians, women, did you forget them? Did you forget history too? Were you alive in the sixties - both centuries? If one can point to any change, it comes from liberal constitutional democracy, and the work and suffering of lots of hard working people. Lincoln, FDR, MLK, LBJ, the many Suffragettes, unions, and hard fought legislation such as Social Security and medicare. Nothing comes from doing nothing. Do nothing republicans today prove that daily.
     
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  10. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Did I forget history?

    Not at all. I know that New Zealand gave women the right to vote before any other country. I also know that women in Wyoming even earlier than that. \\Do those count as examples, or do you still want to insist that you know more than I do?
     

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