The Big Ideas of 2011

Revolt!

What would it take for you to take the plunge and get out into the streets?
Demonstrators confront police in Tunis, Tunisia.
Demonstrators confront police in Tunisia – Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Revolt, if it is to be successful, must come from the mind; a growing unease and dissatisfaction with things as they are. Revolt may be leaderless, but it cannot be idea-less. Revolt, if one examines the idea, is not a new or unusual thing, merely a reversal of direction. We do it often, sometimes silently, sometimes angrily, but we do it. A choice is seen in greater clarity than before and we merely accept the path which gives us greater benefits, even if it is different from one we chose before. So revolt, to be successful, must present with greater clarity and force of argument the reasons for taking an alternative path to that one now in use, must convince that what one has now is insignificant compared to what one could have, and must present the methods by which this change could be made. It could be said that any society has vested interests in the status quo which could not be unseated by argument. I disagree. For any revolution to succeed, even those interests must be shown to gain, or to lose less by cooperation than they would otherwise. I, as a Progressive Anarchist, want the complete overthrow of present societies, but not now, not immediately, not violently, but gradually and peacefully as ideas gradually seep through one’s mind. The intention of this revolutionary is to assault your mind and destroy your beliefs.

—Lawrence Morley

59 comments on the article “Revolt!”

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Peaceful Revolu...

PEACEFULLY, the people of Egypt revolted.
and Mubarak heard. He won't be
running again.

VIOLENTLY, his supporters responded,
throwing the country into chaos.

PEACEFUL activism - does not mean
acquiescence.

PEACEFUL activism, does not mean
passivism.

We can take it to the streets peacefully and change CAN happen. We don't have to beat people to a pulp to have our voices heard.

Peaceful Revolu...

PEACEFULLY, the people of Egypt revolted.
and Mubarak heard. He won't be
running again.

VIOLENTLY, his supporters responded,
throwing the country into chaos.

PEACEFUL activism - does not mean
acquiescence.

PEACEFUL activism, does not mean
passivism.

We can take it to the streets peacefully and change CAN happen. We don't have to beat people to a pulp to have our voices heard.

Peaceful Revolu...

Wonderful words of change spoken by most in favor of a peaceful revolution. So what do we do next? People have suggested boycotting corporations. Any ideas? The revolutions taking place in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen...have been leaderless and organized through social networking. This is a great website...are there other places online where we can organize? Is anyone up for starting an activist circle where we can organize? Let's take Lawrence's advice and REVOLT!

Peaceful Revolu...

Wonderful words of change spoken by most in favor of a peaceful revolution. So what do we do next? People have suggested boycotting corporations. Any ideas? The revolutions taking place in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen...have been leaderless and organized through social networking. This is a great website...are there other places online where we can organize? Is anyone up for starting an activist circle where we can organize? Let's take Lawrence's advice and REVOLT!

Anonymous

Is a "peaceful overthrow" and actual overthrow, or just change? Is a non-violent revolution even a revolution?

I do agree that the best means of persuasion is positive - anyone who has worked in the business of personal change knows how well positive reinforcement works over pain and punishment. Pain can be a wakeup call, but only provokes change in order to avoid further pain.

Anarchism in it's truest sense is adolescent narcotic utopianism - it's no coincidence that it's long-term addicts resemble heroin junkies - sickly, unsmiling faces bewildered that the world doesn't resemble the high experienced after injecting some pure, uncut china-white Stirner or Bakunin. Every crushing return to reality unmediated by political opiate simply has them jonesing for MORE REVOLUTION NOW.

Instead of making life better now for even one person who needs a meal, a coat or a home, they are facebooking, tweeting and fantasizing about throwing rocks at cops.

Anonymous

Is a "peaceful overthrow" and actual overthrow, or just change? Is a non-violent revolution even a revolution?

I do agree that the best means of persuasion is positive - anyone who has worked in the business of personal change knows how well positive reinforcement works over pain and punishment. Pain can be a wakeup call, but only provokes change in order to avoid further pain.

Anarchism in it's truest sense is adolescent narcotic utopianism - it's no coincidence that it's long-term addicts resemble heroin junkies - sickly, unsmiling faces bewildered that the world doesn't resemble the high experienced after injecting some pure, uncut china-white Stirner or Bakunin. Every crushing return to reality unmediated by political opiate simply has them jonesing for MORE REVOLUTION NOW.

Instead of making life better now for even one person who needs a meal, a coat or a home, they are facebooking, tweeting and fantasizing about throwing rocks at cops.

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