“All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution.” – Havelock Ellis
Ever since the horrific death of George Floyd, events seem to be spiraling out of control. The American public is being bombarded, almost on a daily basis with reports of large protests in major cities; accompanied by rioting, looting, burning, assaults, and even murders.
Observing these events unfold, the average U.S. citizen watching tv from the purported safety of their home, might seem bewildered by these transformative events, the purpose of which is nothing less than a “re-imagining” of America. In order to better understand exactly what is happening, it is necessary to take a cue from the Revolutionary Handbook. There are approximately ten rules; which if you know and understand them, will help the reader to comprehend what is happening.
#1: Inertia is fatal to a Revolutionary Movement.
“The way to be nothing is to do nothing.” – Ed Howe
What does a great white shark have in common with a Revolutionary Movement? Both must continue to move forward or die. Those of you old enough to remember, might recall what was happening in the late 1960’s. The overtures of that movement are eerily similar to what is happening today. The problem was that back then, the revolution was centered around the anti-Vietnam War Movement. Once peace came, the impetus of the revolution died out.
In more modern times we had the Occupy Wall St Movement after the 2008 financial debacle. Protesters occupied an area of downtown Manhattan in close proximity to Wall Street. The civil authorities initially left them alone as long as there was no rioting or wanton destruction. However, as reports of widespread drug abuse began to trickle in, coupled with accusations of rape; the authorities had to act and cleared them out. Many of the occupiers had already left, not out of a lack of revolutionary zeal, but for another cogent reason; it was getting cold outside. Apparently, the winter months are not conducive to this type of protest.
#2: Do not identify your ideology by name; nor state exactly what you will do after you are in power.
Speak only in vague generalities and use simple 2 or 3 word phrases the public can identify with.
“Generalizations are generally wrong.” – Mary Wortley Montagu
Most Americans are fair-minded by nature and want to do the right thing. Terms such as Socialist, Communist or Marxist generally have a negative connotation and would not be well received by the populace at large. Do not look to antagonize them any more than is necessary. The revolution will need its army of “useful idiots” for the future. Instead, use terms such as “progressive” or “social justice warrior” to describe one’s self. Other terms, such as “environmental justice,” “racial/income inequality,” “redistribution of wealth,” “globalism,” ‘undocumented worker,” and “reimagine the police” are also useful. These are far less threatening to the average American. When Fidel Castro ousted the unpopular dictator Batista, Castro initially identified himself as a “humanist.” Only after he felt safe and secure in his new position did he announce to the world: “I am a Marxist Leninist.”
#3: The revolution must get control over mass media and the education system.
“Our educational policy must enable everyone who receives an education to develop morally, intellectually, and physically and become a worker with both socialist consciousness and culture.” – Mao Tse Tung
It is a historic fact that once in power every single Communist or Fascist dictatorship closed down ALL oppositional voices. Truth is defined by whatever the revolution says it is, and anyone who dare speak out is immediately silenced. The only information that is heard and taught is that which advances the revolutionary cause. This was true in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It is just as true today in Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. This point cannot be stressed enough. Once the revolution gains control over mass media, it controls ALL the information that is disseminated, and once the revolution gains control over the education system, it controls the future. Currently, we are seeing big tech, mainstream media, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and academia censor and suppress free speech.
#4: All the apparatus of the state: the ministries, the civil service, the justice system, the military, and law enforcement must be brought under control.
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” – George Orwell, 1984
This rule is simple to understand. Whatever the revolution cannot control could eventually be used against it. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all dealt with the problem of supposed anti-revolutionary activists by instituting a series of purges aimed at crushing ALL potential opposition, which even extended to family members. Stalin himself is alleged to have remarked, that it was fine if innocents were punished along with the guilty, because “that sends an even stronger message.”
#5: All vestiges of the old must be destroyed in order to build anew. This includes all history, traditions, culture, and iconography that cannot be made to conform to the new ideals.
“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell, 1984
In the late 1950’s, Mao unleashed the cultural revolution on China. It was based on a repudiation of what Mao called the “four olds”: old ideas, old customs, old habits, and old culture. Estimates vary as to the number of people killed but it was most certainly in the millions. Coming as it did after the disastrous policies of the “Great Leap Forward,” it left China an economic and cultural wasteland.
#6: Conventional ideas about religion and family are an anathema to a Revolutionary Movement.
“The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.” – Karl Marx
“We have created a child who will be so exposed to the media that he will be lost to his parents by the time he is 12.” – David Bowie
Absolute loyalty to the revolution must come first. This extends even to members of one’s own family. Children are encouraged to inform on their own parents if they hear anything that can be interpreted as “counter-revolutionary; organized religion must also go. The revolution cannot have loyalty to God supersede loyalty to the state.
#7: The revolution can only succeed in times of extreme economic, political, and social unrest.
“Everything under heaven is in utter chaos. The situation is excellent.” – Mao Tse Tung
This is a very important point. A generally content, gainfully employed, and prosperous populace is not likely to support a revolutionary movement aimed at overthrowing the government, party or individual that has provided them with these benefits. In order for the revolution to be successful the population must be brought low and kept in a state of abject misery. Years ago, former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Recently, activist/actress Jane Fonda brought this concept up to modern times when she noted: “Covid is God’s gift to the left.”
#8: Ultimate victory in the revolution will go to that segment of the revolutionary body that is the best organized, best financed, and most ideologically dedicated.
“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
A revolutionary movement can be composed of a number of seemingly divergent groups; each of which has a peeve with the central government. In our own country we have among others, minorities, LGBTQ, and feminists all rubbing shoulders with idealists, liberals, socialists, anarchists, libertarians, Islamists, and hardcore Marxist revolutionaries. The last group is unquestionably the best organized and funded. They are completely devoted to the “righteousness” of their ideology and even have their own para-military group – Antifa. Their ultimate goal is the complete destruction of the American political and economic system. They will settle for nothing less than total and complete power, which they will use to impose their will on ALL aspects of life. The second best organized and funded revolutionary group are the Islamists. Marxism and Islamism are in an “alliance of convenience,” and for now, intersectionality is in both of their best interests; until the revolution succeeds in overthrowing the system. In the end, they have nothing in common; least of which is religion.
#9: A majority of popular support is not needed in order to force your will on an entire population.
“A minority may be right; a majority is always wrong.” – Henrik Ibsen
This is often the most difficult point for the lay person to grasp. Most people automatically assume that any revolution must have popular support in order to succeed. This may have been true in some cases, but not all. People might be unaware that in 1917 there were two Russian revolutions. The first in Feb/March, did away with the Czar; establishing a provisional government. The second in Oct/Nov, did away with the provisional government and established a Communist regime that lasted for the next 73 years. The provisional government made the mistake of keeping Russia in the first world war; a source of widespread dissatisfaction among the people (See Rule #7). The Bolsheviks then swept into power with a simple slogan: “Peace, Land, Bread.” Although one cannot be certain of the number of hardcore committed Communists among the masses of disaffected citizenry in the Oct/Nov revolution, their numbers would have been comparatively small. It is interesting to speculate that had the provisional government headed by Alexander Kerensky managed to extricate Russia from WWI, whether or not the November 1917 Communist Revolution would have succeeded.
#10: After victory, the revolution will turn in directions not initially anticipated. Once the revolutionary genie is let out of the bottle, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to control events as they transpire.
“All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” – George Orwell, Animal Farm
In addition to exacting revenge on their opponents, revolutions usually turn on many of the very people who were its most ardent supporters. One only has to look at Hitler’s “Night of the Long Knives,” Stalin’s “Gulag Archipelago, and Mao’s “Cultural Revolution, for examples. French revolutionary, Pierre Vergniaud, best expressed this idea when he noted, “There was reason to fear that the revolution, like Saturn, might devour in turn, each one of her children.” Revolutionaries also speak in lofty terms about “justice and equality,” promising a true “classless” society, but in reality, wind up creating an entirely new class of elites based on party loyalty and affiliation.
Here then are the Rules for Revolutionaries. Hopefully, they will enable the reader to have a better understanding of what is happening in the America of today. One important point is that regardless of who is in the White House, what is happening on the streets will not stop (See Rule #1). The radical left is already looking to extract major concessions from the incoming Biden administration. They want something for their support and if they don’t get it, are prepared to take to the streets. That will leave the new administration with two choices. Either put down the insurrection by the use of force; or by appeasement: offering bribes and concessions in the hope they will be placated. The problem with the latter approach is that appeasement as policy generally does not work and only prolongs the inevitable confrontation.
Winston Churchill summed it up best when he said,
“An appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile in the hope it will eat him last.”
Where then does this leave us as a nation? There is no doubt that as a society we have made enormous strides in the last half century, yet we are still struggling to come to grips with our past. Sixty years ago, the election of an African-American with the unlikely name of Barack Hussein Obama to the highest office of the land would have been impossible. So too, the election of a number of minorities and women to seats in the House, Senate, and even the new VP Elect. We now have a large and expanding Black and Hispanic middle class and women have made their mark on the boards of some of the largest corporations.
Do we now throw all that away and adopt the failed economic and political system of our former Cold War adversaries? There is NO perfect economic or political system, but there are systems that generally work better for more people than others. As imperfect as it is, Capitalism works better than Communism. Capitalist systems encourage innovation, individualism, personal responsibility, and independence. Marxist systems mandate conformity of ideas, conformity of thought, conformity of belief, and conformity of speech. Whatever our many problems, a revolution aimed at the overthrow of the entire system is not the answer.
Neo-Marxist ideologues in the U.S. would disagree with this conclusion. They will continue to extol the virtues of the Cuban, Venezuelan, and Chinese systems, but they themselves recoil at the suggestion that they relocate there. When confronted with the fact that at its height, more than 60% of the world embraced that system; that it failed everywhere, they invariably say something to the effect that “We’ll get it right this time.” As always, they admit nothing, deny everything, make counter charges, and in the final analysis: double down on their ideology.
As for the revolution itself, George Bernard Shaw probably stated it best when he wrote:
“Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny; they have only shifted it to another shoulder.”
©Caren Besner. All rights reserved.