“One places one’s trust, it is true — or at least one pretends to do so — in the spontaneity of the masses.” – Oppression and Liberty
Simone Weil on “revolution”:
The worker who, when in the factory, “finds the hours drag,” bound as he is to passive obedience and a dreary and monotonous task, or thinks himself not intended for manual work, or is harried by a superior; or who, outside the factory gates, resents his inability to stand himself such and such a treat available to customers well supplied with money — his thoughts run on the revolution. The unfortunate small shopkeeper, the ruined rentier, turn their eyes towards the revolution. The bourgeois adolescent in rebellion against home surroundings and school routine, the intellectual yearning for adventure and suffering from boredom, dream of the revolution. The engineer, whose reason and amour propre are alike offended by the priority given to financial over technological considerations, and who wants to see technology ruling the world, longs for the revolution. The majority of those who seriously take to heart liberty, equality and the general welfare, who suffer at the sight of miseries and injustices, await the arrival of a revolution. If one were to take one by one all those who have ever uttered hopefully the word “revolution,” to seek out the true motives that have turned each of them in this direction, the precise changes, of a general or personal kind, which they genuinely look forward to, one would discover what an extraordinary variety of ideas and feelings can be covered by the same word. One would see how one man’s revolution is not always that of his neighbor — far from it; how the two sorts of revolution are even very often incompatible. One would also find that there is often no connection between the aspirations of all kinds that this word represents in the minds of the men who utter it and the realities to which it is likely to correspond if the future should actually have a social upheaval in store.
At bottom, one thinks nowadays of the revolution, not as a solution to the problems raised at the present time, but as a miracle dispensing one from solving problems. The proof that it is so regarded is that it is expected to drop from the skies; one waits for it to happen, one does not ask oneself what is to bring it about. Few people are simple-minded enough to count in this respect on the big organizations, whether trade union or political, which with more or less conviction continue to claim to represent it.
Your Brain on “revolution”:
“How Many Americans Does It Take To Pull a Plug?”
No matter who you blame—Washington, Wall Street, the Big Banks, Globalization—they all have at least one thing in common: they all get all their power from us.
Even a young child knows: when a machine goes haywire and the controls don’t work, you don’t form a committee, you don’t stockpile ammunition, you pull the plug.
When a contractor doesn’t perform as agreed—and this applies to social contracts, as well—you withhold payment until he does the job you hired him to do.
Beginning right now, I will do my part as an American citizen—and the guy you could have voted for—to enforce the American agreement of democracy and prosperity, and to prevent a possible genocide.
I’m glad you don’t like that word. For decades now, this country has been in the business of transferring existing wealth instead of producing new wealth. When the wealth has all been transferred, finally—what happens then?
Beginning right now, you can do more than just complain and feel helpless. You can pull a plug. Join me—follow me—in providing incentive by simply withholding payment:
- Not another penny in income tax—personal or corporate.
- Not another penny in payment of student loans.
- Not another penny to any Big Bank—or to any corporation that has taken American money and betrayed American interests.
I am not saying we should all become irresponsible deadbeats. I’m advocating a higher form of financial responsibility, one that considers the difference between virtue and vanity, virtue and cowardice. When our democracy is acceptable, America’s real economy acceptable, when the game is no longer rigged against us, we should be delighted to once again extend our cooperation and financial support—under conditions acceptable to the common man.
Americans in a democracy are all common men.
Every day, somebody tells me our country is doomed, our children are doomed, there’s no future, not a thing we can do about it, and we shouldn’t even try.
They say America is in her final stages of disunity, that Americans couldn’t pull together now if their lives depended on it.
I say they’re wrong.