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Building the Institutions for Revolt


Building the Institutions for Revolt

Chris Hedges

Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to make power elites afraid do not succeed. All of the movements that opened up the democratic space in America—the abolitionists, the suffragists, the labor movement, the communists, the socialists, the anarchists and the civil rights movement—developed a critical mass and militancy that forced the centers of power to respond. The platitudes about justice, equality and democracy are just that. Only when power becomes worried about its survival does it react. Appealing to its better nature is useless. It doesn’t have one.


Important food for thought. I attended and participated in a community organizational meeting yesterday to build the resistance. A good turnout and not the usual suspects! We had to ward off a local Demoncratic Party rep. I forwarded this article to the initial organizer and hopefully we'll be hooked up with "indivisible" and more importantly networking with local groups.

The fightback and indeed, the Revolution begins no in earnest. Trump's ascendancy makes it possible but it is our last chance and a race against time given climate reality.


Excellent, comprehensive, and cogent article by Mr. Hedges.
Salient point: " If we are to succeed we will have to make alliances with people and groups whose professed political stances are different from ours and at times unpalatable to us."


off topic but... MR FISH, I CAN''T TELL YOU HOW GLAD I AM THAT YOUR TALENTS AND ENERGY CONTRIBUTE RIGHT NOW. Your work is a sight for sore eyes!


Mr Hedges gets better and better. The rebuild of COMMUNITY is paramount and Capitalism , with its attempts to privatize the COMMONS and turn it into private property for profit is the enemy.


Okay Chris! This time you have hit the nail on the head! Where do I sign up? I've been thinking all these same things. We need community. We need a way to build an alternate system. I just don't know how to do it! How do I start? I'm certainly angry enough! I've been swallowing this anger for nearly 15 years!!!! I've watched, read, signed, wrote, marched, candlelighted, ad nauseum. But haven't found a place to work through and channel my anger into something meaningful. Now I understand why all my actions have just dissipated into thin air! The elites planned well, didn't they? Divide us. Isolate us. Make us feel like we're the only ones who think the way we do. Then...dumb us down with stupid television and fake infotainment for news. I'M SICK TO DEATH OF IT!!! Even if change doesn't happen in my lifetime, working toward it will be satisfying enough.


Where? How did you find that organizational meeting? I live in a rural area. No community to speak of. No local government. We're an unincorporated area outside Seattle. How does one know which group to get affiliated with? Maybe at age 70, I don't know the ropes, but I want to!


Try here. Ask around among progressives. I live in a more backward part of the country and people just came together. One person used Moveon for outreach and we met and (hopefully) formed a basis for growing our local network. If it ain't there, start a group with folks you know and put out a call.


Thanks JP. I used to belong to MoveOn but found that they were so pro Democrat that my preference for Green Party candidates went unaddressed. I quit them to look for a more bipartisan type group.


Quoth Mao Zedong: "Political power grows from the barrel of a gun."


AS George Lakoff has recently written (https://georgelakoff.com/2016/11/22/a-minority-president-why-the-polls-failed-and-what-the-majority-can-do/) here are the three points we must say again and again to our friends and especially the misguided people who thought that Mr, T would Make Amerika White again:

1) D. Trump is a MINORITY president - he lost the election by almost 3 million votes
2) D. Trump is a liar - he has lied to us again and again. He seems unable to tell even simple truths
3) D. Trump is out to make himself and his family rich - we have no idea how much in debt he is or how much he owes foreigners. (Russian?)

These must be our constant talking points. We have to say them day after day to everyone with whom we interact.


All we have is each other

And if we do, it's all we need


Thanks for the link--I found 4 different groups where I live.


Real life can get pretty basic. Trump & Co. soon take power, and there's nothing we can do about it. I would expect some protest on the weekend. A protest is a statement, and doesn't actually change anything, but it's what people sometimes do.

Then life goes on. We aren't going to "rise up" because we can't get enough time off from work. Not many can risk losing their jobs, knowing there's nothing to fall back on today, maybe even knowing how our poor are treated today. That's what it all comes down to, and those in power know it.


Good luck to you!


Sure, we can acknowledge some of these things, but so? Trump won the Electoral College vote, and that's how our system works. While rare, this isn't the first time that the candidate who won the most votes, lost the election.

Trump was opposed by much of the Republican voting base, just as Clinton was opposed by much of the Dem voting base. So what does it mean, that we ended up with two candidates who were opposed by so much of their own voting bases? (Roughly half voted D or R, while the rest voted third party or withheld their votes.)

Race remains a useful distraction, further pitting people against each other, to the delight of those in power. The US is its economic system, and every aspect of life is determined by economic/class status. Did you know that the US has a poverty crisis? We shut down/shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s, and never looked back at the consequences. While the majority of US poor are white, deprivation of the most basic human needs is just as hellish regardless of skin color.
On the rare occasion that we think about it, we call poor people of color "disadvantaged," and poor white people "white trash." This matters.


Paula, I too started meeting with the Green Party in the county I live in here in Maryland. Our first meeting consisted of three of us. A month later, we had nine. Our third meeting is in two weeks. I'm feeling quite optimistic about our future progress.


"Even if change doesn't happen in my lifetime, working toward it will be satisfying enough." I commend your openness to relating, learning and acting, paularae! We are organizing a local chapter of the Green Party here in a rural and surburban county of Maryland, having a potluck once a month, hearing each other's concerns, putting up FB posts and google docs. This is allowing for "Three things have to be happening: ...people have to be relating, people have to be learning, people have to be acting." Face-to-Face! The good news is this provides lots of fun and fulfillment, which is actually healthy for all involved!


hey, I know how you feel, Mr. Rural... although, I might not be quite as our in the sticks as you... but, pretty close.... but in one way, I am.... It's mighty republican around here... damn.... I have been wanting to put together a "pyramid teach in" sort of thing for a few years now.... a person has a small group of neighbors who live immediately near them.... discuss developments, teach each other what they know and then, any of them, goes to their home and reaches outward from their house...and they have one on the outskirts of their area... and so on and so forth.... it grows, like a pyramid..... but, it's true if you are REALLY RURAL... THAT BECOMES DIFFICULT..... but also if .... those around your really ..... a bunch of concrete heads.... well, okay, not all the people around me are .... but most of them are.... I thought, a good few years ago.... I could reach out and just bring people into the to fold... by beginning and striking up conversations about important issues.... so, when at my kids sports events, etc.... I would do so.... but... alas... all I did was make it so they really look sideways at me.... oh, they say hi... but... it's "Hi (initiate).... and they wave, smile and move along...


Most people work from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. That leaves plenty of time in the late afternoon/evening, and on weekends to protest. We are all in this together. If the weather is nice, pack some food and drink, and take the kids. Large groups with men, women, and children of all ages are protected from the uses of police brutality, pepper spray, sound cannons, etc. Don't forget to have the organizers call several media outlets to cover the protests.