Nike, Fear, and Revolution…

It’s common for the conservatives to get the early crowing so I’ve learned to wait a beat.  The most recent faux-row has the cons all up in arms in protest of a black man protesting unarmed people of color being gunned down by police.  So, they burn their shoes.  My guess is, these are shoes no longer worn or perhaps picked up at the local thrift store.  Nike’s stock plunged – initially.  That’s the early crowing.  But then?  Nike’s stock has reached an all time high.  Sure, certain conservatives think people of color should just take their shootings  with a “Thank you, sir, may I have another?” attitude but it looks to me like Nike got it right…

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Wow, President Snowflake sure did get upset by Bob Woodward’s new book, ‘Fear’, didn’t he?  Anything that paints him in a less-than A+ light (which means “anything true”) really upsets the guy.  He seems to have spent his entire privileged, protected life using the money his daddy gave him to whine and throw tantrums to get his way.  It seems he’s been convinced that this behavior “works” because, through most of his life, it has worked.  It looked like it might be working on the US as well – for a terrifying while.  But the cracks are forming…

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I had occasion to see a video of an interview with Russell Brand by the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman.  The clip I saw is about 10 minutes long and it’s a couple of years old but it’s a fascinating conversation.  Here’s a link.  Basically, Brand takes the position that the overall system has become so corrupt and out of balance that the inevitable result will be revolution.  I think history makes a strong case in support of that position.  Then he says he doesn’t vote, not just because of his conclusion but in an effort to speed the result along.  I think he should vote – for two reasons:

One, it’s the system we have.  I feel a little silly even taking this position.  I honestly believe that as long as electorates are forced to use electronic or computerized voting systems, we’re living in pseudo-democracies and the masses are NOT doing the “electing.”  We MUST use paper ballots so that the votes can be counted and recounted if necessary.  If the corrupt officials insist on the machines – and they do – then we use absentee ballots.  But we vote.  When we discover the systems are corrupt, we work to improve the systems from within – even if we believe we can’t win.  Because…

Two, revolutions are messy and unpredictable.  Oh, did I say “messy”?  I meant destructive and deadly.  Wreckage and ruin, death and destruction; these are the kinds of things people should be trying to avoid.  But they’re part and parcel to revolution.

Sure, wipe everything away and start again – this time better!  But will it be?  Look back through history.  Revolutions don’t always go the way the revolutionaries think they’re going to.  Remember the White Bolsheviks?  They teamed up with the Red Bolsheviks in the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” mold, then got wiped out by the Red Bolsheviks after the Tsar was gone.  Whoops.  What, too “foreign”?  Okay, a little closer to home, then.

The American Revolution would not have succeeded without help from the French.  Frenchmen were with us every step of the way.  They not only saw but participated in making the American Revolution play out the way the founders hoped it would: we formed a new democratic Republic and moved on (for a time) in the best interests of the masses.  Then the French, applying the model the Americans had just successfully used, tried their own revolution.  Their results were…different.

Having watched and participated in the American Revolution, they nevertheless couldn’t steer their own revolution dependably.  THEIR revolution became so bloody, history knows at least a portion of that time as “The Terror.”  THEIR revolution led to Napoleon and over a decade of war and death.

I’ll tell you this: It’s one thing to say one believes that revolution is inevitable.  It’s an entirely different thing to call it desirable…

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