Greg Johnson recently translated an article by Dominique Venner detailing how revolutions are born (counter-currents).
HOW DOES A REVOLUTION START?
Here are the basics: In a normal, functioning society there is a homogeneous mainstream with marginal elements. Translate, there is a general citizen body with similar characteristics and then a smaller group of different people on the sidelines. This is all kept together with authority figures on the top. In a peaceful, functioning society, the majority and the minority more or less get along with mild hiccups along the way.
FIRST, THERE IS A COLLAPSE IN AUTHORITY
Revolutions and chaos happen when the authority at the top begins to erode. There is no longer a strong force keeping society together. Imagine uncorking a bottle of wine – the wine begins to go off.
RADICALIZATION OF THE CENTER
Once authority is lost, there is a radicalization of the center to compensate for the loss of authority. Things start to get hostile between the majority and the minority.
When we talk about the majority via the minority, this can mean a number of traits. First, there is nationality. A prominent example today is the situation in Greece. Before austerity was imposed on Greece, Greeks and foreign citizens generally lived alongside one another in peace. Not to say there weren’t any problems, but we didn’t see the massive violence against foreigners that we see today.
But identity doesn’t narrow itself down to just a perception of nationality, it can be race, religion, sexuality or general appearance. It times of government collapse and economic distress, the violence isn’t only directed towards racial minorities – but it is also directed towards sexual and religious minorities. Tolerance goes out the window and there is a more extreme attempt to cast the minority groups away from the center. For example, with regards to the history of Nazi Germany, most people pay attention to the Jewish aspect of persecution. However, there was also considerable lash back against Homosexuals, Slavs, Romanians, Gypsies and Left Wing Activists. So Ethnicity isn’t the only qualifier here.
So what will a revolution look like in America? To answer that, we must ask…
WHAT IS THE AMERICAN MAJORITY?
(The results below are not an absolute truth. This information is based on the prominent surveys – but remember that there are also people who don’t answer these surveys at all. So the actual figures could be different, these are just a general picture.)
CHRISTIAN: Anywhere from 75-80% of adults identify as Christian (United States Census Bureau). However, while the majority of Americans are Christian, this number is declining. Before the 1990’s, 87% identified as Christian. Religious Tolerance. Yet Christianity is still a powerful influence in the United States.
DON’T ATTEND CHURCH REGULARLY: According to (Gallup) 43% of Americans identify as attending a religious institution (a church, a mosque or a synagogue) on a regular basis. If this number is true, this suggests that more Americans are becoming “spiritual” rather than “religious.” Elements of religious belief influence their spirituality, but they no longer rely on religious institutions to influence the main aspects of their lives. Perhaps the declining number of Christians mentioned above reflects a greater number of “spiritual Christians” rather than “religious Christians.”
NOT MARRIED: According to the 2010 Census Data, married couples are now the minority – 48% identify as being married. It’s hard to say whether this is half…or a minority…since there is room for marginal error. There are many couples who prefer to live together now without the title of marriage. There are many adults who live alone. There is also a growing number of single mothers. (New York Times).
CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT: According to Gallup, most Americans favor protecting the environment over economic growth. 49% care about the environment via 42% who care about economic growth. I don’t like the way the question is framed, because the economy and the environment are not mutually exclusive goals.(Gallup)
PUBLIC OPINION: THE RICH ARE GREEDY AND DISHONEST: A slight majority believe the rich are hard working. Yet an even greater majority believes that the rich are greedy. A slight majority also believes that the rich are more likely to be dishonest. (Pew Research).
TRUST IN THE GOVERNMENT REACHES A HISTORIC LOW: In the 1960’s, 73% of the population trusted the government. Today, only 26% of Americans trust the government (and I’m honestly surprised the number is that high.) (Pew Research)
CONCLUSIONS ON THE DATA
We must remember that Statistics are prone to error. Results over 60-70% can be taken as a majority. Yet results that hover around the 40 – 50% zone are not necessarily an indication of majority feelings, since there is always a margin for error and politically selective sampling data. From this data, we can make a generalization that most Americans are environmentally conscious, don’t trust the government, don’t trust the rich, have a Judeo Christian oriented spirituality – but are straying away from Christian institutions, and are straying away from the institution of marriage.
THEORIES ON THE REVOLUTION
Overall – if this data is reliable – it seems that a majority of Americans do not have faith in America’s main social institutions: the government, marriage and religion. These are the factors that keep a society together. So, either we will find new institutions to fill in the gaps, we will fall apart and be mired in a series of civil wars or we will reinvent the old institutions.
FIRST, THE COLLAPSE:
The Illusion of “a Growing Economy” Will Collapse
The collapse hasn’t quite happened yet, but it is approaching. The period of “economic growth” we’re having is a mere dusting of the dirt under the rug. Inflation rates are being kept low artificially by the government. The government is pouring massive amounts of printed money into the economy to keep the lights on. They’re continuing to add massive debt to the budget to sustain the illusion of prosperity while refusing to raise the necessary taxes to pay for this spending. There is still time to turn things around if we can muster the politcal will to make the tough decisions. But the chances of this happening peacefully are looking less and less likely.
The “Job Growth” Is Not Real
The current “job growth” we’re having is a highly exaggerated affair. These numbers don’t reflect the large numbers of people who have stopped looking for work altogether. These “new jobs” are also more likely to be part time or temp work with little pay and few benefits. Most of the “career” jobs with benefits and a salary have disappeared and are not coming back.
When the government can no longer hold down inflation rates, the debt will skyrocket. The economic bubble will burst as it did in 2007 – probably worse. The sequesters will further unleash a new madness – since we won’t have a safety net for this fall out.
The Bursting Environmental Bubble
We’ll also have to answer to our environmental debts. We’re borrowing from the planet at a rate we can’t sustain. Hurricane Sandy is the initial tremor of an even worse disaster. Many of America’s prominent cities are on the coasts. These cities will be destroyed and launched into chaos.
RISE OF AN INVERTED, TOTALITARIAN STATE VIA TECHNOLOGY
“Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the Corporate State. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, and the Constitution while manipulating internal levers.” ~ Chris Hedges
In the West, there has been a surge of optimism at the emancipatory role of the internet and cellphones. Even the United Nations’ Human Rights Council unanimously backed a notion that online freedom is a basic human right. What we don’t realize, is that we’re celebrating our newest shackles of oppression with cries of idiotic glee. The United States Government is going further and further down the path of using technology as a tacit totalitarian tool. Via Facebook they can discover what people’s political allegances are. Who is a political threat? Who isn’t? Through the media they’ll scare people in giving up their civil liberties. “Look at this crazy shooter who killed 3 people! Look at that bomber! Lock down the roads. Stay in doors! Pass CISPA! It’s necessary for your safety”! They’ll detain and arrest dissidents with no trial. They’ll use drones to spy on the activities on everyday Americans. Yet this too will eventually fall apart at the seems.
This will fall apart when the Elites in power lose control of the military…
Military control is essential for maintaining any society. America has one of the most powerful military machines in the world. It is one of the few industries left where you can hope to find a well paying job with benefits. Yet when promises from the elite fail to deliver, when more of our servicemen and women get sent abroad to fight corporate wars, the military as an institution will begin to crumble.
We’re already cutting benefits for veterans. Many servicemen will begin to support a more nationalistic – right wing solution when the suicides, PTSD, cuts in pay and benefits become too much to bear. Others will join the armed militias for the rich out of desperation.
This will fall apart when the Elites in power lose control over religion…
In the 1980’s, there was a marriage between the Republican Party and the Religious Right. Yet as we can see from the 2012 presidential campaigns, this marital bed between mainstream Republicans and the religious right is beginning to grow cold.
The religious right have threatened the GOP many times before. Yet as demographics change, the Republican party currently finds itself between a rock and a hard place. This week, many social conservative leaders wrote a letter to the RNC, threatening to leave if the party changes its position on gay marriage. Will the Christian Right Flee the GOP? Ever since the Tea Party gained momentum in the Republican Party, their hawkish economic agenda has taken priority over social issues. So, the Republicans can either fade into obscurity as more and more Americans support Gay Marriage and social liberties, or the Republicans can lose some of their most fundamentalist members. Either way they’re doomed.
It’s not time yet for the Democrats to burst out the champagne…
On the surface, it may appear that the things are on the up for Democrats. A majority of America’s youth support more liberal social ideologies, they won the presidential seat of power and the Republican party is fighting among itself. Yet there is a good chance that the next big economic/environmental/international disaster will happen under a Democratic Administration.
People need three things: food, water and shelter. Whoever can deliver these three things in a crisis will win the adoration of the people, no matter how brutal their methods. When Liberalism fails to deliver, their ideology will be thrown out the window. There will be a violent and barbaric counter reaction to liberalism much like the 1970’s Revolution in Iran. Yet instead of fundamentalist Islam, we will get a fundamentalist something else (due to the incredibly small number of Muslims in the United States).
WHAT DOES A REVOLUTIONARY SOCIETY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
- A Mandate From Heaven – A Connection With The Eternal: When fascism started gaining steam in the 1920’s and 30’s, there was an embrace of Europe’s old Pagan traditions. Yet would this be possible in America? This is a place with little history or tradition. Those with the most history in this nation are the Native Americans. The biggest cultural value on this continent that is pre-modern is Christianity. Many will appeal to Christianity and God when trying to appeal to the masses. Yet it won’t be one particular church. It will be a vague amalgamation of many churches. I have a hard time seeing Americans embrace ancient Pagan values given that the Pagan Movement in this country is less than 1% of the population – compare that with the 75% of Christians. (I say this as a practicing pagan myself). Yet there is a growing awareness of these European Pagan, Native American and Eastern Spiritual values in America. Perhaps there may be a future cult that combines the values of Christianity with more Earth Based traditions. After all – this would appeal greatly to America’s Spiritual, but not religious diaspora who are growing disenchanted with an old and crumbling church.
- Earth Based Values: As I mentioned in the statistics above, most Americans are becoming more and more aware of our need to protect the environment in order to protect ourselves. Those who waste will be brutally punished in the future. Any future revolutionary movement that gains success will be based on a divine mandate from God and a sacred bond with the Earth.
- Discipline: The modern world of special snowflakes will melt in the firestorm of what is to come. There will be a demand for uniform obedience to a mutual goal – this will be necessary for survival and harsh penalties for those who don’t. The old John Smith rule of “work or you don’t eat” will return. There will also be the need for a moral code to be established. The modern, secular state will be history. Much of this moral code will be a backlash against modernity. It will be anti-materialist and very Spartan indeed.
Place a Leash UponWin the Hearts of America’s Powerful Institutions: Would a successful revolution completely destroy the structure of the previous society, especially when it needs some structure to build the new society? This is like when we went into Iraq, destroyed their key institutions and then were surprised when they couldn’t establish any kind of order. A successful revolution will not destroy America’s key institutions – it will co-opt them. Part of Hitler’s popularity and success in Germany is that he DIDN’T throw out the churches, the businesses or the military. No, he took over these things and placed them under his heel. A successful revolution in America must do the same. It must appeal to the military and offer them benefits of power and glory (this won’t be hard to do since modern America is already cutting veteran benefits). It must offer the most influential churches a voice in the debate – and give them a choice to stay relevant by embracing Earth Based Values. It must also co-opt the largest and most influential companies in America (this will be the hardest part, but when a Robespierre Rage against the rich starts to spread, it might be in a company’s best interest to become a part of the revolution rather than oppose it). Yet once these key institutions are co-opted, the Revolution will place its own leaders in the ranks of these powerful institutions.
- A Charismatic Dictator: All of this, of course, will be lead by a charismatic dictator. A dictator with a strong “connection to God,” an irresistible charm – and an extensive YouTube and Twitter presence. The Dictator will have the approval of America’s prominent religious leaders and celebrities. They will be the every man who is capable of being the overman. They will be able to make the brutal decisions necessary of saving a society from complete collapse. They will galvanize the young and gain the trust of the old. It is highly possible that they will be a decorated veteran with military service experience. They will be backed by an adoring movement. They will light a fire in the hearts and minds of men and women with their speeches. Yet they will also be able to convey the blunt realities about what is wrong with our world and what we need to do to fix it. Machiavelli said it is better for a leader to be feared than loved, yet this dictator who comes to power will be feared and loved.