Bring It On!

Bring it On!
April 1st, 2008

Revolutionary Consciousness

We like to demonize revolutionary consciousness as some sort of Marxist nation building concept. The idea of conscious choice to revolution, framed by communist concepts, must be bad, since everybody learned at the knee that commies were unsavory.

Of course, the epitome of revolutionary consciousness was Jesus Christ. Now, there’s a guy who stirred a nation (actually nation after nation) to action. He woke up minds, got people asking questions, shook up the status quo. He did this not by force, but by personality. Very, very scary concept to those who despise inspection and crave hierarchy.

Probably why there was such a concerted effort to build a religious hierarchal structure of biblical proportions. These damned revolutionaries, messing up a good thing.

Same wool, different eyes.

This country is coming up on something huge, and I don’t think we’re talking about it in any meaningful fashion. I’m talking about food, being hungry, and desperation. We’re far enough removed from the Great Depression that we can somehow romanticize men leaving families they can’t support to ride on trains and watch their dignity roll away from them like so much track. There is some level of lewd satisfaction in women trading sex for food, for other women to be held up as worthy for feeding hobo’s from their farm kitchens. We create pictures to sum up an era we didn’t experience.

We have no personal benchmark for the pinch of an underfed belly.

Michigan has been in its own mini-recession for years as its collapsing industrial base, particularly in the car industry, has cast more and more out of work. Now, one in eight residents of the state is on food stamps, double the level in 2000. — The Independent

Please don’t trivialize this by thinking “it’s just Detroit”, or ”it’s lazy blacks on welfare”, or “who cares, don’t those idiots riot on Devil’s Night and burn up their city”? One in eight people in AN AMERICAN STATE is hungry.

But the trend is not restricted to the rust-belt regions. Forty states are reporting increases in applications for the stamps, actually electronic cards that are filled automatically once a month by the government and are swiped by shoppers at the till, in the 12 months from December 2006. At least six states, including Florida, Arizona and Maryland, have had a 10 per cent increase in the past year.  — The Independent

These trends take awhile to start their pendulum swinging; they don’t stop quickly either. We need to look clearly at what is starting to take shape as the new American economic picture. It’s easy to cast stones while your belly is full, but for more and more Americans, this is not the case. People are losing their homes, their jobs, and more and more are burdened with the knowledge they can’t feed themselves or their children.

The revolutionary consciousness we need to adopt is one of national unity. We’d better care for each other, and be willing to stand up for the ones who’ve fallen. If we don’t we will have failed as a nation again, for the second time in 80 years, to pass the most basic of benchmarks of civilization and human development. We can’t figure out how to feed ourselves and our human communities.

‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” — Jesus Christ

The revolution is in not succumbing to temptation to deride the poor, to mock the misfortunes of others and to somehow feel better about yourself because you aren’t among them. The revolution is in the reach of a hand, the raise of a voice, the rise of a community.

The revolution is in each of us.

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6 Responses to “Revolutionary Consciousness”

  1. Ken Grandlund Says:
    April 1st, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Well said Jet.

    Part of the problem lies in the transference of food production to ethanol production, meaning less crops get to market. But our dismal economics are also to blame.

    Short answer is that we must at least begin to mentally prepare (if nothing else) for some hard roads ahead. This world ain’t getting any easier soon.

  2. Chavez is not your friend Says:
    April 2nd, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Uh most of the folks that learned it at the knee of commies went hungry as some members of my family who fled communism can tell you. America already has a revolutionionary conciousness in the men who threw off a god appionted king and built this nation. Always remember that Che is not your friend he wanted to kill Americans with the Castros (Fidel and Raul) as much as any other shit bag, “Revolutionary” our constitution is based on the concept bloodless generational transitions not revolution.

  3. Liberal Jarhead Says:
    April 2nd, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Great post, Jet -

    On the one hand, a lot of people, and most corporations and public institutions, can be counted on to be consistently selfish and short-sighted.

    On the other, when things really go wrong, huge numbers of people, and some institutions, always seem to step forward in greater numbers than expected to help - witness the responses to 9/11 and Katrina.

    I believe the key to our success or failure of character as a nation and a people will be the perception of the situation. The dangers are, first, that it will be enough of a slow-motion train wreck that most people don’t see it as a crisis - the boiled-frog model - and second, that the powers and people who are more comfortable with an I-got-mine status quo will succeed in fostering enough of a dehumanizing and objectifying view of the suffering to avoid waking up people’s empathy. If that happens, they will also have splintered our society just when we need to come together more strongly.

    We shall see what we shall see.

  4. Revolutionary consciousness is a frame of mind, CINYF. I’m not advocating bloody coups here. If we are to be better as a nation at preventing a second potential Depression, we’d better get the right mindset, and that means not ignoring the suffering based on whatever demeaning justifications we can sell ourselves. It’s all in there, just read it.

  5. Anyone who has read the history of Cuba knows what American’s did to that country prior to the coup that put the Castro’s in the seat of power. We used and abused their resources just like any other imperialist bunch of whackjobs.

    Sorry to be off topic Jet, but I just wanted to response to CINYF who seems to think he knows everything there is to know about revolutions and commies.

  6. Liberal Jarhead Says:
    April 3rd, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    On that topic, but still on revolutions: CINYF, you might find an interesting read in an old book titled Inevitable Revolutions. It looks at Central America, country by country, and the history of American involvement in their economies and political affairs. Venezuela is farther south, but whether or not we agree with each of Hugo Chavez’ decisions, it’s easy to see where his perception of America - like that of so many people in Central and South America - comes from.
    And I’m with Jet on the view that revolutions need not be violent or about overthrowing governments - they can be all kinds of situations where peoples look at the way things are and decide they need to change them.

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