The Revolution

Written for The Activists and can be found here.

"The revolution" is a phrase I've often seen bandied about. It's as if the revolution is imminent, as if nothing anyone could say or do would stop it from hurtling towards us and giving us our long-deserved dues.

That is a pack of lies.

The revolution will not come unless we fight and toil and sweat blood for it to come; the revolution will not come if we simply sit here talking about it. The politicians and the media and the corporations who finance them all will make sure of that.

No, the revolution will only come if we grasp it with two hands and nurture every little spark of resistance.

The revolution will only come if we set aside our differences and reach out to others who share our agenda. As painful as it may be - some would prefer to pull out their own teeth without anaesthetic rather than thrash out a compromise - we must fight the establishment instead of quibbling amongst ourselves.

The revolution will only come if we stop parroting what the media tells us to parrot and start thinking for once. We cannot rely on political ideology to get us through; we must learn economics, psychology, anything which might be remotely useful so that we are better prepared to look after our countries and peoples. Learning is not treacherous: it is one of the worthiest things anyone can ever do.

The revolution will only come if we answer the doubters fairly instead of flinging insults at them. Doubters are not "liars, deceivers, charlatans"; neither are they "nothing more than addicts to comforts and material indulgences". They are good people with skeptical minds, good people whom we should coax over to our side instead of driving away.

The revolution will only come if we plan for it to come. No-one ever achieved anything by sitting on their hands, and we are no exception. We must stop talking of revolution as though it's something inevitable, something which will magically take care of itself; no, we must sow the seeds first and carefully nurture them.

The revolution will only come when parents and children alike learn that there is more to life than blind consumerism, when people stop focusing on buying things.

The revolution will only come when we win over the hearts and minds of the people - rich and poor and middle-class alike - instead of being seen as some lunatic fringe group. We will have to fight the mass media for those hearts and minds, I think, and it may cost us a great deal; we may lose much and gain little. Other than bloodshed - at least as unsavoury, if not more so - I don't see any other way.

The revolution will only come when we put people before money, when all are treated fairly and when the wealth of the rich is at last given back to the community.

The revolution will only come when we start putting its principles into practice.

The road to revolution will be long and hard and fraught with stumbling-blocks; we may inch forward only to be thrown back suddenly and violently. We may have to sacrifice some - if not all - of our ideals just to have a fighting chance of changing something. There will be painful decisions to take; some - perhaps a great deal - will doubt that we are doing what's right. It will not be easy. It may end up going horribly wrong. But for our sake, for their sake, for the sake of those who have died for change and those who will be born into a world where money is everything, we have to try.