You Say You Want a Revolution?

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peupleMy opinion of the situation in this country is obviously grim if one looks at the themes I tend to write on. As I see it we are either fast becoming a Corporate Feudal Police State, or already have achieved that dubious distinction. I am in favor of a movement towards reversing this situation. There are some issues that can resonate with most Americans and any movement seeking to reverse the anti-Constitutional trends afoot in the U.S. today must find the means to go beyond the falseness of the Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative ideological inanity. We have a corporate two party system, run by an oligarchic elite, whose base disagreement is how to treat those 99% of us, who in their view are the American Peasantry. The Republican Corporatists in effect believe that the majority of Americans should be left to their own devices, while the Democratic Corporatists mildly look for palliatives that won’t disturb their benefactors who are really in charge. Some may say my viewpoint is a radical one and this is possibly so, though the definitions of “radical” have blurred through the years. In my life I’ve spent a number of years as a political activist in one form or another and as I approach the age of 70, I think that my experiences have taught me much about political activism and the potential dangers it brings to the people at large. Right now I find two issues that frighten me for the sake of the future and how my progeny will experience it. The first is the notion of a coming police state and the second is the prospect of a violent, revolutionary upheaval in reaction to it. In other words I see we the People of the United States being between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”.

A study/survey done at Farleigh Dickinson University came out this week done by: Dan Cassino who is a professor of political science it was titled:”BELIEFS ABOUT SANDY HOOK COVER-UP, COMING REVOLUTION UNDERLIE DIVIDE ON GUN CONTROL”.  http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2013/guncontrol/   

“Partisan divisions on gun control go deeper than the legislation being fought over in Congress. Supporters and opponents of gun control have very different fundamental beliefs about the role of guns in American society. Overall, the poll finds that 29 percent of Americans think that an armed revolution in order to protect liberties might be necessary in the next few years, with another five percent unsure. However, these beliefs are conditional on party. Just 18 percent of Democrats think an armed revolution may be necessary, as opposed to 44 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of independents.

Only 38 percent of Americans who believe a revolution might be necessary support additional gun control legislation, compared with 62 percent of those who don’t think an armed revolt will be needed. “The differences in views of gun legislation are really a function of differences in what people believe guns are for,” said Cassino. “If you truly believe an armed revolution is possible in the near future, you need weapons and you’re going to be wary about government efforts to take them away.”

While Professor Cassino did this survey from the perspective of the gun control issue, that is not my focus in this piece. What concerns me is the amount of people who believe that an armed revolution in this country is necessary and what group in our population these people represent. You see I too believe that the changes needed to bring our country in line with the aspirations of our Founding Fathers would be revolutionary; however, I also believe that “armed” revolution never works towards positive changes.

The “American Revolution” and the subsequent Constitutional Republic derived was the first modern example of a revolution against tyranny that worked. Prior to that “revolutions” were in fact coups, where one “King” was replaced by another “King” and tyranny still reigned, whether or not in a more benign form. However, the “American Revolution” was not a classic revolution; it was an example of an uprising against a foreign imperialist power. History is replete with examples of this type of revolt against a foreign power, from the Egyptians throwing off 200 years of Hittite rule 1,300 years ago to the numerous examples of the Afghan rejecting foreign hegemonic rule of their country. To my mind the first major modern revolution was the French Revolution and in the end that revolution replaced a decadent monarchy with a power hungry Emperor. We have seen many modern armed revolutions all over this world since the French Revolution. How many have ended with tyranny replaced by a better form of government? Those since 1900 certainly haven’t produced salutary results.

The Russian Revolution replaced the despicable Romanov Dynasty, with two arguable sociopaths in Lenin and Stalin. They instituted as system that represented a slight improvement in living standard for the serfs, but that was every bit as much a feudal economy as under the Tzars. The nobility was replaced by “The Party” and things devolved to such a point that the USSR became the world’s largest prison camp. Under the Tzars at last my ancestors were able, if not encouraged to leave their accommodations “beyond the pale” and come to a place offering greater freedom and opportunity. Since the end of the “Cold War” Russia has moved away from Communism and towards Fascism, now under a new sociopath, Vladimir Putin.

The Chinese Revolution deposed a crumbling empire, ruled by regional satraps into a Communist State, led by another sociopath, “Chairman Mao” and his henchmen/women. Mao died and he was replaced by a faceless group of Communist Party functionaries who embraced “Capitalism”, which in fact seems to have also gone in the Fascist direction. Having known actual American Stalinists and Maoists in the 60’s, these developments since then have given me a kind of bitter amusement at the correctness of my judgment of those I knew and whose blandishments I rejected. They were a humorless lot, who had difficulty relating to people on any genuine level. Perhaps they too were sociopathic in nature, but I really think it was that they were the type of people who needed some authority to follow in their lives and in those instances chose Marx.

 Many people, perhaps the majority of the populations anyplace are afraid to stand on their own judgment and seek the authority of some political/economic system, or most especially a religion. I wrote about that awhile ago: http://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/21/the-authoritarians-a-book-review-and-book/ . That guest blog was about the “authoritarian mindset” as detailed by the book “The Authoritarians” which was written by Bob Altemeyer, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. The book is free incidentally and a link to get it is included in the blog. To quote Professor Altemeyer from his book:

“[A] right-wing authoritarian follower doesn’t necessarily have conservative political views. Instead he’s someone who readily submits to the established authorities in society, attacks others in their name, and is highly conventional. It’s an aspect of his personality, not a description of his politics. Right-wing authoritarianism is a personality trait, like being characteristically bashful or happy or grumpy or dopey. 

 You could have left-wing authoritarian followers as well, who support a revolutionary leader who wants to overthrow the establishment. I knew a few in the 1970s, Marxist university students who constantly spouted their chosen authorities, Lenin or Trotsky or Chairman Mao. Happily they spent most of their time fighting with each other”

I can immediately see an objection raised in the minds of some readers regarding Authoritarians supporting established authorities including government officials. They might well think well the ultra-Conservative Movement is anti-government, so how could they be Authoritarian in personality? The answer is I think easy. ”Authoritarian followers usually support the established authorities in their society, such as government officials and traditional religious leaders.”  To many “authoritarians” true authority might come from FOX News, Ayn Rand, Karl Marx, Pat Robertson, or even Adolph Hitler. The innate need that they have driving them is the fact that life itself is and always has been a very scary proposition. To deal with the anxiety that fear produces many people need to reach out for something that will give them a feeling of certainty, whether it is a God, an “Ism”, or even a Glock.

In Salon.com this week the columnist David Sirota wrote about the FDU survey linked above in an article titled Rise of the conservative revolutionaries” he begins:

“There’s plenty of proof of an authoritarian streak and animus toward democratic ideals in today’s conservative movement. There was the movement’s use of its judicial power to halt a vote recount and instead install a president who had lost the popular vote. There is the ongoing GOP effort to make it more difficult for people to cast a vote in an election. There is the GOP’s record use of the Senate filibuster to kill legislation that the vast majority of the country supports. There is a GOP leader’s declaration that what the American people want from their government simply “doesn’t matter.”

Up until today, you might have been able to write all that anti-democratic pathology off as one infecting only the Republican Party’s politicians and institutional leadership, but not its rank-and-file voters. But then this morning Fairleigh Dickinson University released this gun control-related poll showing that authoritarianism runs throughout the entire party.

Take a look at the cross-tabs on page 3 of the national survey. That’s right, you are reading it correctly: Almost half (44 percent) of all self-described Republican voters say they believe “an armed revolution might be necessary to protect our liberties.” Just as bad, more Republicans believe an armed revolution might be necessary than believe one isn’t necessary.” http://www.salon.com/2013/05/01/rise_of_the_conservative_revolutionaries/

In the 2012 election obviously more Americans voted for Barack Obama than for Mitt Romney. In the total vote for the congressional election the majority by far voted for Democratic Congresspeople over Republicans, but gerrymandering skewed the outcome. My point is that currently the population clearly favors the Democrats and in a democratic system one would suppose that the populace would abide by the results of the election. Yet we now see proof, as if it hadn’t been obvious before, that 44% of Republicans believe an armed revolution to support their views might be necessary. Following that the survey also found that including the beliefs of self-described Democrats and Independents a total of 38% of the American populace believes that an armed revolution might we be necessary.

Another way of putting that is that much more than one third of all Americans believe that our system of government and our Constitution has failed, or has been failing. Now truthfully I am among that thirty eight percent, yet I am strongly opposed to the concept of change via armed revolution. This is no dichotomy in my thinking; rather it is my judgment of what I see as the reality of the situation.  My background in the social sciences and mental health, combined with my lifelong interest in history and mythology, has led me to the conclusion that most of humanity’s problems are not religious, political and/or economic in causation. Those “Ism’s” are merely the manifestation of the ills of the world, or to put it another way the symptoms. The real cause is rooted in psychological and possibly genetic pathology and is called Sociopathic Behavior. Those who are said to be sociopaths suffer from what is defined in the DSM IV as Anti-Social Personality Disorder. What follows is an overview in the DSM IV “Antisocial Personality Disorder Overview (Written by Derek Wood, RN, BSN, PhD Candidate)”

“Antisocial Personality Disorder results in what is commonly known as a Sociopath. The criteria for this disorder require an ongoing disregard for the rights of others, since the age of 15 years. Some examples of this disregard are reckless disregard for the safety of themselves or others, failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, deceitfulness such as repeated lying or deceit for personal profit or pleasure, and lack of remorse for actions that hurt other people in any way.”

“People with this disorder appear to be charming at times, and make relationships, but to them, these are relationships in name only. They are ended whenever necessary or when it suits them, and the relationships are without depth or meaning, including marriages. They seem to have an innate ability to find the weakness in people, and are ready to use these weaknesses to their own ends through deceit, manipulation, or intimidation, and gain pleasure from doing so.

They appear to be incapable of any true emotions, from love to shame to guilt. They are quick to anger, but just as quick to let it go, without holding grudges. No matter what emotion they state they have, it has no bearing on their future actions or attitudes.” http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

Read the overview above and think about how closely that description may well apply to our political leaders, corporate leaders and religious leaders. When we someone like Sarah Palin that description should come to mind. One of the points made in the book “The Authoritarians” which I quoted above is that those who lead those with authoritarian personalities are rarely, if ever true believers in the cause. My take on it is that most of those who lead us humans in the cultural, political or religious sense are sociopaths using a particular doctrine to merely satisfy their own ends. In revolutionary terms they are willing to sacrifice anyone on the altar of their own needs. These leaders then are willing to commit any deed to achieve their ends. Was this not true of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao?

To paraphrase John Lennon “you say you want a revolution well you can count me out”. So we come to my own personal conundrum which is that I see how bad things are, yet I don’t have any real solution to change them. An American Revolution in this current climate will only lead to a Fascist Dictatorship of those who would make the “Tea Party” seem moderate. When one defines the problems in this world in religious, political and/or economic terms one can propose solutions, but I believe that ideological solutions lead to the same dead end, because the problems are the result of sociopathic behavior, with some genetics thrown in. The issue is how do we deal with that successful, yet anti-social behavior and change the country and or the world for the better? I really don’t know, nor have I any long term solutions. I cope with that by trying to report the world around me as I see it and hope that someone much wiser than me, who is not a sociopath, nor a barker of a some palliative nostrum, will come along to help provide ideas that can save us all. Perhaps that someone is you the reader. If so please share your ideas with us and any comfort they may bring.

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

205 thoughts on “You Say You Want a Revolution?”

  1. Definitely a thought provoking article (all to the good, I say). I read most but do not have time to read all. Which means that very few will read what I have to say.

    Not one response, nor the article, is correct in their assessment of the left and right divide in the US. There is no viable (meaning politically effective) left in the US. The Democrats (at least those who are in support of the policies of their party) are center right. The Progressives are center, mostly. Do I really need to tell you why?

    Secondly, if as many of you attest, we now have a corporate state fast leading to a police state, then one might easily see the government as a foreign power. That is, it is foreign to its founding principles, the Constitution and the wishes of most of its population. This corporate rule is supported by a bought Congress (despite being elected).

    The prospect of an armed revolution against this foreign power is not such an alien thought. The defeat of such a revolution would be swift and fruitless. Better to think of establishing a new party to counter corporatism. However, there is already a party waiting in the wings that is gaining political expertise as it waits. I suggest (and I am not a member of this party) that you learn what the Green Party stands for. And, no, it is not just about environmentalism. I’m not saying it is the perfect solution, but it may be a way towards one.

  2. Chris Hedges / Julian Assange interviews:

    “The Death of Truth”

    “This interview is a joint project of Truthdig and The Nation magazine.”

    http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/the_death_of_truth_20130505/

    (http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/listen_chris_hedges_interviews_julian_assange_20130505/)

    From, “The Death of Truth”:

    “Assange, Manning and WikiLeaks, by making public in 2010 half a million internal documents from the Pentagon and the State Department, along with the 2007 video of U.S. helicopter pilots nonchalantly gunning down Iraqi civilians, including children, and two Reuters journalists, effectively exposed the empire’s hypocrisy, indiscriminate violence and its use of torture, lies, bribery and crude tactics of intimidation. WikiLeaks shone a spotlight into the inner workings of empire—the most important role of a press—and for this it has become empire’s prey. Those around the globe with the computer skills to search out the secrets of empire are now those whom empire fears most. If we lose this battle, if these rebels are defeated, it means the dark night of corporate totalitarianism. If we win, if the corporate state is unmasked, it can be destroyed.”

    “The world has been turned upside down. The pestilence of corporate totalitarianism is spreading rapidly over the earth. The criminals have seized power. It is not, in the end, simply Assange or Manning they want. It is all who dare to defy the official narrative, to expose the big lie of the global corporate state. The persecution of Assange and Manning is the harbinger of what is to come, the rise of a bitter world where criminals in Brooks Brothers suits and gangsters in beribboned military uniforms—propped up by a vast internal and external security apparatus, a compliant press and a morally bankrupt political elite—monitor and crush those who dissent. Writers, artists, actors, journalists, scientists, intellectuals and workers will be forced to obey or thrown into bondage. I fear for Julian Assange. I fear for Bradley Manning. I fear for us all.”

    Given what I know is going on in this country — a domestic “program” that hasn’t yet come to light… I, too, fear for us…

  3. Oky1,

    Lottakatz is correct, Oky1.

    The US specifically pursued a unilateral strategy after 9-11 despite world sympathy (at the time) and the support of NATO:

    “‘If it is determined that this attack was directed from abroad against the United States, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty,’ stated NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, after a meeting of the North Atlantic Council on the evening of 12 September.”

    http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-692B87B6-09165270/natolive/news_18569.htm

  4. Oky1: “Spooky ugh, UN & Nato running our military not our congress.”
    *
    They don’t. America is the greatest military power in the world- the history of the world and does nothing militarily it does not want to do, that isn’t in its interest, or perceived to be in its interest. NATO didn’t seek coalition support for the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan, we sought coalition partners to give it the gloss of legitimacy. We only seek a consensus among our allies (and who knows what that costs?) to avoid looking like a mongering beast.

  5. lottakatz,

    I believe the first place I saw that clip was live on Cspan.

    Spooky ugh, UN & Nato running our military not our congress.

    I think the USC is very clear on who has that authority.

    Not all people in our govt are evil.

    Most of them want to be helpful in fixing these messes, but they have to be careful or they’ll be fired or worst.

    They are trying to get the info out to the public the best they can.

    The trick for us is to find govt leaders we can have trust in.

    I like Ron Paul better then Rand Paul. Maybe Rand is having to cave on positions for political reasons?

    Ron stated he knew we couldn’t just get rid of programs like SSI,etc..

    Where it gets tricky is people like the teachers unions, etc. have to figure out how to work with many of the people who hold Alex Jones type positions. And the Jones type have reciprocate.

    While these different groups share many concerns against corruption in govt, banking/insurance/transnational corporations good will towards each other gets harmed when jackazzes like Wisconsin’s gov. Scott Walker comes out the gates & attacks unions instead of corporate corruption first.

    The last thing the corrupt evil b*stards can have is for We the People to set some of these social issues aside for now & reform politically in the middle.

    I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but very soon the US will look just like the people rioting across Europe & other places around the world.

  6. OKY1, I had not seen the video you provided above and if there was no disingenuous editing it is indeed shocking but not unknown or unanticipated. Many people that have posted to this site have complained repeatedly that Congress has made a point of abdicating its right to declare war (or put the brakes to one) for decades. They have been all to happy to leave the decision to the Executive. That Sessions seemed surprised by Panetta’s answers was almost comic, so deep is the hypocrisy of Congress regarding the abandonment of their authority on that front.

    Not carping at you, we are probably on the same page regarding who gets to declare war. I’m watching episode 3 of Vice, an HBO series Mike S talked about yesterday in one of the threads: the dirty weapons war in Iraq and the lingering, monstrous effects thereof has put me in a really pissy mood- it makes the ‘red-line’ concept of chemical weapons in Syria almost laughable.

    Thanks for the heads up on the show Mike.

  7. Tony,

    Not only are the patterns of history cyclical, they are muti-phasic. It’s a room full of pendulums all operating at a different frequency. Some pendulums loose their momentum all together and stop functioning. Others get stuck from time to time at an apogee before moving again, but on aggregate I think the cyclical nature holds true. Cyclic is simply shorthand for what is in reality a much more complex set of individual behaviors that on a large enough scale manifest cyclically even if a particular pendulum may have variant/deviant behavior.

  8. Oky1 (whichever personality I’m speaking with),

    If you get your info from prisonplanet, infowars, and Alex Jones, it explains a lot.

  9. In the last year I’ve called & written more of our govt Reps then I have in all other 50+ years combined. The Wallst/London Bank/Insurance mafia remains at the top of my focus as they are the criminal masterminds behind most all these different disasters in ever sector of the economy the US & the world faces today.

    I suggest that there is something beyond fear & that people should get off their knees & be taking peaceful actions of revolt against those corrupt aholes while they still have the chance to do so.

    Do not give into violence, that’s what the corrupt aholes want you to do.

    I believe peaceful actions & exposing them to as many others you can is the way to putting their evil intent to an end.

    **Obviously, the role of a radically expanded surveillance and police state is not to protect us from terrorists the government created – and continues to create for its political theater – but to undermine and subvert opposition to the government and the establishment status quo.

    In order for a police state to work effectively, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be subverted and rendered useless as well. Political enemies of the elite must not be allowed access to counsel or appear before judges.

    The United States is rapidly becoming a third world dictatorship where enemies of the state disappear. It is a long-term project going back decades. **

    More….

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-new-normal-boston-bombing-suspect-interrogated-without-counsel.html

  10. Several commenters above have pointed out that a war of revolution will not attain the goals the participants want it to.

    That is backed up by a statement of a couple of investigators who have been doing an autopsy on the Iraq war:

    … all wars are an infernal machine in which the persons most infected with hate inevitably flourish and are promoted.

    (America’s Words of Peace and Acts of War).

  11. Did someone mention Penny Prtizker?

    CPS Parent Matt Farmer Puts Penny Pritzker on Trial at CTU’s STANDS STRONG RALLY

  12. BobK: “Oky1, you got it straight. Tomorrow, my liberal/progressive/commie/nazi friends and I, will be going house-to-house, eating up all of your guns.”
    **
    I was actually going to volunteer to be part of the confiscatory dining group but then I re-read your posting and saw that you had said “guns” and not “buns” as I first thought. I’d go raiding for buns, hot, buttered buns for sure, and hope there were scrambled eggs in attendance also, but guns? Not so much. If you want to get a breakfast-food crusade gong though you can count me in, I’m there. 🙂

  13. oath of office to protect and defend the US … defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC,

  14. Gene: It is also possible that the slowing is an indication of approaching the goal, and/or the difficulty of executing the next steps (like the complete destruction of any economic safety net and the elimination of rules and regulations that cost them profits).

    I am not so sure it is cyclic at all. Some things that appear cyclic are not, really. Consider the cheetah and its prey; it may appear that over the generations one species is on average slightly faster than the other at various times, presenting the illusion of a cycle or pendulum; but there is an underlying monotonically increasing factor (running speed) that is asymptotically approaching a limit for both.

    For us, that hidden monotonic variable may be something like our decreasing ability to effect any change or mount an effective rebellion. Even under kings that was higher in the past than it is now, kings did not have the weapons and surveillance ability that they have now, and were more physically accessible in the past.

    But every time we do find a way (the pendulum swings our way) the sociopaths find a way to plug those leaks in their system (e.g. gerrymandering; and the pendulum swings their way), and one more route to freedom has been shut down for us.

  15. mespo,

    The return of a pendulum depends upon the force behind it. While there is some indication of a slowing of the pendulum swing toward fascist authoritarianism, it is not an unreasonable based on the facts to observe that the pendulum has yet reached apogee and is on the return path just yet. Slowing is not reversal.

  16. Bron: What is insurance? Think about your auto, life and homeowner’s insurance. Each of these is designed as a means to pay for unexpected, unpredictable, very expensive occurrences outside of the control of the policyholder.

    I know you are quoting somebody, but his premise is false, or at least misleading. None of the descriptors he uses is a necessary component of insurance; death is expected, and often relatively predictable, and often not that expensive. A man with a million dollar life insurance policy is not necessarily going to actually incur a million dollars worth of expenses should he die.

    Insurance has a very simple mathematical justification; some expenses and events have extremely low average costs per person, but extremely high specific costs. Therefore, one can protect oneself from the bad luck economics of a high specific cost by joining with others and paying the average cost, plus some overhead for administration and taking precautions against free riders and frauds.

    That can apply to routine expenses as well; especially if sometimes the routine expense can become an extreme expense. There is a definite value in applying insurance to a routine expense; it accomplishes two things.

    First, and foremost, it can eliminate any decision or language needed in a policy to try and define what is covered and what is not. It can simplify the insurance policy; for example, all prescription drugs (as defined by the FDA) are covered with a co-pay of $5.

    That might increase the premiums, but ultimately the insured do not care, because the necessary increase in premiums is something the insured would have had to pay anyway, if they paid for routine prescriptions on their own. It also can actually decrease the overhead for the insurance company; because without checks, lawsuits over coverage, and filing decisions to make, all those prescription claims can become completely automated, require zero human intervention, and cost them less than a penny.

    The second benefit this delivers is that it allows coverage of the outlier cases, say very expensive drugs, that would otherwise not be worth the overhead of insuring. If the average expense of an HIV drug is one cent but the specific cost is $1000 a day, and we ONLY offered insurance on such drugs, you do not have an actuarially sound insurance offer; the overhead of administration and other such insurance factors will far outweigh the average cost to people, and the expense of free riders and frauds is part of that cost. However, when combined with the coverage of routine drugs, the added cost of covering things like HIV drugs becomes an increase of a penny in the premiums; i.e. the ratio of overhead to premium remains small, and in the entire population of insured, the HIV free riders and frauds, also remain a tiny fraction of the whole, instead of being hyper-concentrated into a single population (as would be the case for an HIV only insurance policy).

    Likewise, in health insurance, raising the premium in order to cover routine checkups that most policy holders are willing to do anyway can simplify the policy and reduce the overhead of decision making, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing costs.

    I can imagine doing the same for car insurance; an increased premium to provide blanket coverage of routine oil changes, tire changes, tuneups, and other fixes could simplify the policy, reduce the decision and claim processing load via automation, increase efficiency, pay for itself, and potentially even reduce accidents. (Fewer bald tires, blowouts, broken brake lights, limited visibility due to bad wipers, etc). For policy holders: They would pay for those things anyway, but making it part of the premium spreads the payments out over the year, and makes them more likely to promptly correct any problems that arise (because they are entitled and it no longer represents an unusual expense for them).

  17. I am reading Washington’s Farewell Address…..Mike, I think we were warned then as well….

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