Some Thoughts on Revolution

Before we begin and everyone freaks out, I’m not calling for one! Nor for anyone to take up arms and rebel! Rather, I wanted to come back to a tweet by Dave Weigel that Anne Laurie posted the other day:

I’ve spent a lot of time reading the scholarly literature on low intensity war, everything from revolution to terrorism since I began my career in the early 1990s. Since going to work for the Army in 2007, I’ve spent a lot of time reading the professional military’s and defense policy community’s literature on this topic as well – everything from manuals to analyses to assessments to articles in professional journals. And I’ve contributed to it as well. I think that Weigel, in these two tweets, has summed up something that is so much a part of the conventional wisdom of understanding low intensity war that it is just background noise that is normally never explicitly stated. Quite simply: it is very, very, very difficult to start a revolution or a rebellion because of the social and economic costs.

The social and economic costs of a revolution or a rebellion are just too great for almost anyone who is not an elite, or an exceedingly committed ideologue, to overcome. The vast majority of people are just trying to get through the day. To make it home to their families. To survive until they repeat it all again the next day, and the next, and the next. And that’s in the US where what Senator Sanders is asking for is simply political, social, and economic mobilization through constitutional and legal means to change the government at the ballot box, not to violently overthrow it.

Imagine how much harder and more difficult it is for people to revolt or rebel in places where they are facing hypertrophic internal surveillance states, secret police, and the entire power of the state utilized to ensure the survival of the regime, those in the regime, and those favored by the regime? If you ever wondered why oppressed people, whether in the Soviet Union when it still existed or in Russia and the former Soviet states today, in states and societies in the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, in Central and South America, in Cuba don’t revolt or rebel, it is because they just don’t have the energy to do so. All of their energy goes in to surviving. To being able to put enough food on the table, to ensuring one or one’s loved ones don’t get scarfed up by the security services, to just making it through to the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. Places where you’d expect revolutions and rebellions to occur don’t have them because them people that live in those states and societies can’t socially or economically afford to undertake a popular revolt or rebellion.

The American revolution against the British was conceived, promoted, and led by elites. The southern rebellion against the United States was conceived, promoted, and led by the southern elites of the emerging Confederacy. As was the post Great Rebellion, know doing business as the Civil War, insurgency against the United States known as the Lost Cause. This insurgency, still ongoing today in the former Confederate states, as well as places that it was exported under the guise of some forms of white evangelicalism, has always been both violent and non-violent at the same time, led by elites, and conducted to co-opt non-elite support. Neither the American revolution or the Confederacy’s counter-rebellion against the US and post war insurgency were popular uprisings of the masses. And this is because it is only elites with the time, money, other resources, and the liberty that time, money, and those other resources provide them, who are able to pay the social and economic costs of trying to start a revolution or a rebellion. Or to escape them.

What Senator Sanders and his supporters, just as Jill Stein and her supporters, and Ralph Nader and his supporters, and others who think heightening the contradictions will lead to a non-violent political, social, and economic revolution in the US don’t understand is that when the contradictions get heightened, very, very, very bad things happen to those who can least afford to endure them. And being subjected to these bad things does not incentivize those enduring them to revolt and rebel, even through legal and constitutional means like demonstrating, protesting, and voting. Rather, they are further incentivized to just try to survive. To make enough to put food on the table. To get through the day and get home to their loved ones. And to do whatever they can to ensure that they and/or their loved ones can survive to the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that.

Open thread!






180 replies
  1. 1
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Before we begin and everyone freaks out, I’m not calling for one!

    Why the hell not?

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    Trump to sidestep Congress to clear arms deals benefiting Saudi Arabia, UAE

    ecretary of State Mike Pompeo notified lawmakers Friday that Trump is invoking his emergency authority to sidestep Congress and complete 22 arms deals that would benefit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries, despite lawmakers’ objections to the transactions.

    Republicans and Democrats urged the Trump administration this week not to take the rare step of exploiting a legal window to push through deals — worth about $8 billion, according to congressional aides — that lawmakers have blocked from being finalized.

    Pompeo’s notification letters effectively give the Trump administration a green light to conclude the sale and transfer of bombs, missile systems, semiautomatic rifles, drones, repair and maintenance services to aid the Saudi air fleet, and precision-guided munitions that lawmakers fear Saudi Arabia may use against civilians in Yemen’s civil war.

    He’s normalizing National Emergency Declarations.

    This is not a good thing.

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Why the hell not?

    Our logistics are terrible and our organization is worse then a herd of cats being guarded by ducks in the fox house.

  4. 4
    Annie says:

    This, this this. And a corollary: I’ve often thought that the divide between politics junkies like the Balloon Juice commentariat, and ordinary people who glance at the headlines now and then, is as deep or deeper than that between Democrats and Republicans, and for a lot of the same reasons Adam lists for the difficulty of revolution.

  5. 5
    TenguPhule says:

    If you ever wondered why oppressed people, whether in the Soviet Union when it still existed or in Russia and the former Soviet states today, in states and societies in the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, in Central and South America, in Cuba don’t revolt or rebel, it is because they just don’t have the energy to do so. All of their energy goes in to surviving. To being able to put enough food on the table, to ensuring one or one’s loved ones don’t get scarfed up by the security services, to just making it through to the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. Places where you’d expect revolutions and rebellions to occur don’t have them because them people that live in those states and societies can’t socially or economically afford to undertake a popular revolt or rebellion.

    Republicans seem to have no interest in allowing the rest of us to survive.

  6. 6
    Spanky says:

    Well alrighty then. Elites win.

    I think I’ll go feed the cats.

  7. 7
    UncleEbeneezer says:

    And this is why Slave Uprisings are even more remarkable.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Good for Coates!

  9. 9
    Woodrow/Asim says:

    when the contradictions get heightened, very, very, very bad things happen to those who can least afford to endure them.

    A-fuckin’-MEN. And, to forestall the usual WhatAboutIsm:

    MLK was an elite — you think just any Negro in 1950s America was getting a PhD?

    What he had, was a working process for a group who were already working damned hard to overcome, a group already on the edge in many ways, and a nascent tool (media) to press their case with.

    He didn’t have to convince too many Southern African-Americans of every socioeconomic level how bad things were, to churn up what we can call a Revolution; they had so little to lose as a group that Direct Action, once it started making things better and showing results, was The Way…for a time.

    And when that started to wane, it was, indeed, a division along economic (see: Nation of Islam, Black Panthers) and geographical (see: previous + MLK in Chicago) lines, because the incentives to survive Jim Crow are different than those for, say, redlining. And a revolution needs to convince you not only that you can win, but that that the cost of fighting is worth the risks involved. For suppressed populations, that’s always a tough fight.

    This is actually part of why it’s really easy to get, say, Evangelicals to “revolt” — all they have to do is pay tithes to Mammon and vote, maybe do some yelling at women “killing their babies” on the side. Because they have so much already, there’s little they need to do, few institutional barriers they need to overcome, to get a checkbox in the “win” column.

  10. 10
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    This explains why Cubans don’t revolt now…but they did, at one time, revolt and so did several other countries during Communisms’s rise. Was that all elites, or something else. I’m not asking out of belligerence, I really want to know what went wrong, or right, depending on your perspective, in times and places where revolution not lead by elites happened. France, Russia, China, Cuba, etc.

  11. 11
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If those are Coates expectations, he is going to be bitterly disappointed by Barr.

    Forget Warning shots, if the IC refuse to break out the gunpowder by now, the only conclusion that the man on the street can come to is that they’re only armed with blanks.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @UncleEbeneezer: Yep.

  13. 13
    Yutsano says:

    Let’s be fair here: a lot of times these regimes didn’t fall apart because of some social revolution. The Soviet Union just couldn’t make the books work anymore. Gorbachev saw the end and tried to make the transition away from the Communist dictatorship as easy as possible. There is no way he could have foreseen Putin essentially doing the same thing a decade later. Most of these dictatorships that do fall happen for much more complex reasons than revolution. But those that do foment revolution can step in when the timing works.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Woodrow/Asim: Exactly.

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @Woodrow/Asim:

    And a revolution needs to convince you not only that you can win, but that that the cost of fighting is worth the risks involved. For suppressed populations, that’s always a tough fight.

    Not fighting is going to lead to American citizens joining the refugees in the Private Contractor Internment camps.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?:

    This explains why Cubans don’t revolt now…but they did, at one time, revolt and so did several other countries during Communisms’s rise.

    CIA backed most of those.

    Iran Contra too.

    If only the French and Canadians could throw us some support for old time’s sake, we might have a chance.

  17. 17
    burnspbesq says:

    @Annie:

    I’ve often thought that the divide between politics junkies like the Balloon Juice commentariat, and ordinary people who glance at the headlines now and then, is as deep or deeper than that between Democrats and Republicans

    Yup. Yglesias made a similar point a couple of weeks ago, as a way of explaining Biden’s poll numbers. To paraphrase since i cant find the link, progressive obssessives are not representative of Democratic voters as a whole.

  18. 18
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Not quite good enough though. They must (and probably are/will be) consider the risk that Barr wants to supply Trump’s (hypothetical!) backer(s) with the identities of non-US intelligence assets, and with methods etc. (Which you said last night; good post.)
    Hope they’re up for this fight.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?: Show me one of those where the elites weren’t running the revolution. Lenin wasn’t a peasant. Neither was Castro. While Mao’s father was born a peasant and died one of the wealthiest farmers in his province and, as a result, Mao was born into wealth and comfort. The French Revolution? Robespierre was a lawyer and politician.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Lighten up Francis.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: Yep.

  22. 22
    Dan B says:

    Another great post! It brought up impressions of my activism in the late 60’s – early 70’s: Civil Rights, Anti-War, and Gay Liberation, followed by anti-military and more Gay Liberation. There was a lot of debate about revolution that seemed most heated when it involved people who seemed a little off balance. CoIntelPro conscripts for keep out of jail passes? Most of us were young and we combined our resources so few if us had to work full time. The biggest successes were when we organized people for fun events. These bonded disparate individuals. The “very serious people” invariably sucked all the goodwill out of the room. The well to do utilized money while us middle class types utilized himan connection.

    The big success in Chicago Gay Liberation came from the dances we organized. The four gay bars in the city were directly or silent partner operations by the mob. No dancing or touching and few women allowed on premises. The dances on UC drew over capacity crowds. It was fun and exciting. The first dance off campus drew mafia contracts and 200 paddy wagons courtesy of the Vice Squad. The same give em fun approach worked in Seattle with the Tacky Tourists Clubs of America hosting theme parties like Things That Go Bump in the Night Halloween party and The Cruise. These fundraisers provuded steady money for local groups.

    My conclusion is the rich have monetary and time advantages but the general public has opportunities. Very serious people would do well to shut up and loosen up. Let the masses speak with their feet.

    I could thriw in some Margaret Mead but that’s for when we need to ramp up the grassroots.

  23. 23
    burnspbesq says:

    @TenguPhule:

    What, specifically, would you have Coats do?

    P.S. regardless of what you think of the guy, at least pay him the ordinary courtesy of spelling his name correctly.

  24. 24
    oatler. says:

    The revolurion WILL be televised. With commercials, and Chuck Todd both-sidesing it.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    No one really wants a revolution in this country. Lots of people just want to be cosplay revolutionaries. They’re mostly political Walter Mitty’s.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @burnspbesq: The spelling thing may be my fault. For some reason I’ve decided he should spell it “Coates”. I do not know why.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Show me one of those where the elites weren’t running the revolution.

    Running a revolution automatically makes one an elite.

  28. 28
    nasruddin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What’s to stop Mr Trump from dispensing with his services?

  29. 29
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Haiti?

  30. 30
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Robespierre was a lawyer and politician.

    Fancy lawyer, or dungarees-wearing lawyer?

  31. 31
    FelonyGovt says:

    Yes, even us political junkies are exhausted and overwhelmed. Most people just aren’t paying that much attention.

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Hey, Sub-leftenant Tenguphule, how about you dial it back about six notches?

  33. 33
    burnspbesq says:

    OT: I must admit, I am enjoying Naomi Wolf’s discomfiture far more than is decent or appropriate.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: There’s what he politely says in his public statement and what he actually does as a bureaucratic infighter. I’ve been pleasantly and refreshingly surprised by Coats as DNI. And as DCI, Haspell, has even more pressure because she’s career CIA who worked her way up to the senior ranks in the operational service. She’s going to have pressure on her from the rank and file that a purely political appointee wouldn’t over this. I would also expect the senior colleagues she’s made in our allies’ and partners’ intelligence agencies over the course of her career are also going to be pressuring her as well. And as someone from the Ops side of the CIA, she knows exactly what is at stake.

  35. 35
    Mike in NC says:

    We were taught the conventional wisdom in high school that 1/3 of the population in the American colonies favored independence from Britain, 1/3 wanted to remain under George III, and the remaining 1/3 didn’t particularly care one way or the other.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Contrary to how he was portrayed after the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint L’Overtoure had been a free man for 20 years by the time he became its leader. He had amassed a fair amount of wealth since earning his freedom and became frustrated by his inability to go further. He also seems to have been much better educated than his detractors portrayed him:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toussaint_Louverture

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @nasruddin: Nothing. But Coats is DNI because Pence asked him to take the job, so he’s got some top cover because of the Indiana connection. Also, the President isn’t very good at actually firing people.

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Haiti is a real exception. It was a proper slave revolt, which is sort of its own category and would take a post unto itself.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Powdered wig and frilly lace at the collars and cuffs lawyer.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: I’ve got it under good authority from some guy’s YouTube channel that it was only III%.//

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, and that’s why the Haiti case example is so hard to place. L’Overtourre was, in comparison to those he led, essentially an elite. But in many ways the Haitian revolution is almost a classic slave revolt. It is, perhaps, a hybrid case.

  42. 42
    Mary G says:

    Good post, thanks Adam.

  43. 43
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Do you honestly think he will be able to stand up to Barr and Trump without being branded as a “treason person”? It seems to me Trump has authorized Barr to plow right over (or through) the IC leaders.

  44. 44
    burnspbesq says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Lemieux is having way too much fun at Wolf’s expense.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....ing-elites

  45. 45
    debbie says:

    @debbie:

    If anything, I hope Coats and others will leak the truth in response to the inevitable Trump/Barr distortions.

  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: The people that control access to the info work for Coats. They don’t work for Barr. That gives him a significant amount of power here.

  47. 47
    burnspbesq says:

    @debbie:

    The powerful card that Coats holds is the ability to leak that “Barr is getting ready to give away sources and methods.”

  48. 48
    germy says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Dr. Wolf, please.

  49. 49
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Is there anything grossly wrong with Haspel’s wikipedia page? These two sentences caught my eye:

    On January 29, 2019, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Haspel reported that the CIA was “pleased” with the Trump administration’s March 2018 expulsion of 61 Russian diplomats following the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Haspel added that the CIA did not object to the Treasury Department’s decision in December 2018 to remove sanctions on three Russian companies tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  50. 50
    burnspbesq says:

    @germy:

    Sowwy.

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @burnspbesq: And to tell it to the heads of MI6, CGHQ, the BND in Germany, the General Directorate for External Security in France, CSIS in Canada, ASIS in Australia, NZSIS in New Zealand, etc.

  52. 52
    germy says:

    @burnspbesq: I was joking, you know…

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: I don’t know. I’d have to go and pull her testimony transcript and read it.

  54. 54
    My Side of Town says:

    I was thinking about Pelosi stating that Dirty Don is impeaching himself. I wondered why the impeachment inquiry should not be started (as if it is not already) and continued right up to and through the Nov, 2020 elections and let the voters decide the issue. House, Senate and WH at stake. If the articles of impeachment were to be made just prior, would they carry over to the Senate after the elections, should Trump lose and not relinquish power? Also assuming a clean sweep for Democrats?

  55. 55
    MomSense says:

    Just want to say thank you to this community for helping me get through this mess. If anyone here needs support, please don’t be shy about saying so. Sometimes it’s the little things. This morning I shared that I’ve been struggling with anxiety and Notmax shared a soothing song. It was very thoughtful.

  56. 56
    Wapiti says:

    @Mike in NC: Maybe both the Revolutionaries and Loyalists were overstating their numbers. Or their numbers were only counting elites. Because really, who else matters?

    I remember the same factoid, but doubt more and more of what I learned in school. Or from my parents.

  57. 57
    Kyle Konop says:

    @Woodrow/Asim: The other thing he had was the knowledge that there was a rival world power that the United States could not afford to ignore. Had the US simply violently suppressed it’s black population, as it had for the previous half-century, it would have been a massive loss of face and something the USSR would have used to (quite legitimately!) demonize the US internationally.

    Just to be clear, MLK and the civil rights movement had no ties to the USSR (much though the Soviets tried), and USSR was hardly a force for good. But the Cold War required the US to live up to it’s own hype.

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    One of the things I’ve learned is that collective action problems are far and away the hardest class of problem to solve. My solution to them has always been to find the people in charge, make the problem in their yard worse until they start to pay attention, and then they’ll act and bring their troops along. If I can’t succeed at one level, I just jump up one more level and try again. Yeah, I may recruit a bunch of the troops to make noise about it, but they never have the ability to actually enact change.

    Elites are not bad simply because they are elites. If they are fairly (perhaps democratically) chosen and held accountable for their mistakes, they tend to be pretty good. That’s pretty rare to find, though. It’s not that elites are bad, it’s the process that makes them elites and preserves their power which is bad. Elizabeth Warren is no less an elite than McConnell is.

  59. 59
    burnspbesq says:

    @germy:

    Yes, I know. Thus the Elmer Fudd voice.

  60. 60
    Wapiti says:

    @My Side of Town: I think that once it starts, the chorus will change to “aren’t we done yet?!?” Pelosi might be slow walking the start for that reason.

  61. 61
    debbie says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Nice that it occurred on the BBC. Bonus points if Sweet has one of those plummy Brit accents.

  62. 62
    My Side of Town says:

    I don’t think armed revolution is what I want. Just to live out my remaining years in relative comfort. I know I don’t have the stake that younger people have, but if it came down to it, I would line up with the left, and do what I could.

  63. 63
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The people that control access to the info work for Coats. They don’t work for Barr.

    https://babylon5.fandom.com/wiki/Point_of_No_Return ‘”respect the chain of command” regarding any orders.’

  64. 64
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Mike in NC: When I was at school we were told something similar about the English Civil War. The difference was the percentages. I remember my teacher saying that 1 out of every 10 people supported Parliament, one out of every 10 supported the King and 8 out of every 10 just hoped and prayed it would stop.

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:

    @TenguPhule:
    No, it is not😠😠😠

  66. 66
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Good for Coates!

    All fingers crossed that Dan Coats will continue to be a voice of reason. God knows there aren’t many of them around these days.

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    Let America Vote (@letamericavote) Tweeted:
    BIG NEWS: A federal judge rules a lawsuit attempting to require paper ballots in Georgia elections can move forward. https://t.co/JE7cmLI1uS https://twitter.com/letamericavote/status/1132029755157557249?s=17

  68. 68
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Good to know, but that isn’t quite how Trump has framed Barr’s mission. //

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Millard Filmore: It goes beyond that. Anyone Barr sends over as investigators to get and review the information prior to him declassifying it has to be cleared for access. ODNI clearances are done by a different agency than DOJ clearances. It is Coats’ special security officers who will determine if the DOJ personnel need additional investigation and vetting prior to being cleared for access and read on. If they do, which is normal bureaucratic bullshit between the different agencies and departments that require classifications, that can take a while. Especially given the backlog of clearances, clearance renewals, and nominations for sensitive compartmented information (SCI) applications in the system. And once the investigation is done, then they’ll need a lifestyle polygraph. And the scheduling on those is also significantly backlogged.

  70. 70
    Hawes says:

    I think Gary Nash would like to have some words with you regarding the American Revolution being “conceived (and) promoted…by elites.”

  71. 71
    My Side of Town says:

    @Wapiti: It’s a conundrum of timing for sure. I have confidence she’ll do the right thing at this point. But hell, I’ve never been in an actual revolution, so maybe a bucket list item. All I could lose would be everything.

  72. 72
    debbie says:

    @MomSense:

    Aww, I hope you’re feeling better.

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: What the President knows about classification, clearances, and access would fit in a thimble.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Hawes: How many signers of the Declaration of Independence were not-elites? How many members of the Continental Congress? The leadership of the Sons of Liberty? The leadership of the Green Mountain Boys? Make a list for us.

  75. 75
    Baud says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I recently learned that to table a bill in parliament means to exact opposite of tabling a bill in Congress.

    Thankfully, I don’t have a book coming out in the subject.

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    @UncleEbeneezer:
    Slave uprisings happen when there is no other way. They happen when things are so bad that revolution is an opportunity to live rather than a much higher chance of dying.
    What’s that old saying, something along the lines of – ordinary people live lives of quiet desperation.
    It’s true most of us do.
    We find ways of making the desperation less. Of entertaining ourselves to pass the time. That doesn’t change the situations we find ourselves in, it just colors how we see them.
    Think about someone with more money than a hundred average people will make in a lifetime and worrying about it being enough. Think about someone with more money than 100,000 people will make in a lifetime and worrying the same.

  77. 77
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    It may be that you overestimate this President’s knowledge of such things.

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    There will be no elites in the Baud! Revolution!

  79. 79
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Whew! I have some time then, to get a bit of cash out of the country.

  80. 80
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Ha! Everything he knows would fit inside that thimble.

  81. 81
    Timurid says:

    The way I explain it in my World History classes is that “revolutions start in the middle.” Whether that’s the actual middle class (a smaller, more ‘elite’ group in pre-modern settings) or some high status group that’s in competition with the faction currently in power. They’re people with both grievances and the resources to act on them. The revolution then grows by mobilizing the masses and recruiting dissidents or opportunists from the ruling elite.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Possibly.

  83. 83

    Apparently, per The Hill, Democratic Senators want the House to not consider impeachment. They seem to be using the Clinton impeachment as the example of “what not to do”, I agree with that, it’s also the wrong example.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: That is a good explanation.

    Balloon Juice tested, Silverman approved!//

  85. 85
    Mike in DC says:

    Adam, very well put. The level of misery/catastrophe that would have to occur in order to mobilize/energize significant portions of the populace is on par with the Great Depression, a wave of domestic terrorism ala the 1950s-60s, or some kind of environmental catastrophe. I’d rather avoid any/all of that shit. That being said, I do worry about the galloping authoritarianism of the modern GOP, which seems to be accelerating in a kind of overreaction to demographic changes in the country.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Haiti may have been successful because a black elite was forming and was able to channel the revolt. I don’t think there were any other successful slave revolts in North America, but I am by no means an expert.

    I recently read a biography of Louis XVI’s daughter — the only one of his and Marie Antoinette’s 3 children to survive the French Revolution — and apparently there’s a theory that it gained momentum in part because the Duke of Orleans (aka Phillippe Egalite) and his followers were hoping to overthrow the Bourbons, and they underestimated what they’d unleashed.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in DC: Thank you for the kind words.

    And to use part of your example, you’ll notice that other than the Bonus Marchers there wasn’t anything even remotely close to a revolt or rebellion during the Great Depression.

  88. 88
    MomSense says:

    @debbie:

    Thanks. I skipped NPR today so that helps.

    🙉

  89. 89
    Mike in DC says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Right. The main mobilization was Roosevelt beating an incumbent Republican in a huge landslide and the Democrats taking control of Congress and the White House for a generation. And that shift in support was enough for him to enact major policy changes.

  90. 90
    My Side of Town says:

    If it happens I hope it happens in the winter. It’s too damn hot here in Central Florida right now. Plus although most of this park is right wing, many are in walkers and can only march in golf carts. Should I infiltrate or be in open defiance? Infiltrate and ambush is smarter.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in DC: Interesting counterfactual is what happens if FDR doesn’t get elected and the Depression drags on and the isolationists within the Republican Party keep the US out of WW II, so there’s no weaponized Keynesianism helping to get the economy back on track.

  92. 92
    geg6 says:

    This is a very wise post, Adam. I’ve been thinking a lot about this very thing lately in regard to the polling numbers for Biden. And when I think of it in this way, and not just in the context of my own preferences or even those of us Jackals as a whole, I totally get it. And I even think that I could be content content with Uncle Joe just for the break it would bring to my fears, anger and anxiety. In my heart, I want more and better. But in my head, I just want the country to make it through another day without us all being on the edge of a panic attack.

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @My Side of Town: Stay hydrated!

  94. 94

    @Baud:

    I recently learned that to table a bill in parliament means to exact opposite of tabling a bill in Congress.

    When will the English learn to speak English?

  95. 95
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Barbie’s thimble. What he knows would be lost in a standard sized thimble.

  96. 96
    burnspbesq says:

    @debbie:

    Judge the plumminess for yourself. Warning: this is really hard to listen to.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/naomi-wolf-facts-new-book_n_5ce83c2be4b05837a4538f81

  97. 97

    Totally agree, Adam. Comes down to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Some grand notion of a potentially better future for the country does not come before all that other stuff unless you’re an ideologue (nigh unto delusional) or have all your needs met to begin with (the elite). (Susan Sarandon and Jill Stein, I’m looking at you!)

  98. 98
    germy says:

    Republicans attend rally to carve out new Christian state: ‘It’s either going to be bloodshed or Liberty State’ https://t.co/9gF7ln9ptK
    — Raw Story (@RawStory) May 24, 2019

  99. 99
    Richard Guhl says:

    Not only was the American Revolution led by elites, it was led by the elite colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, and South Carolina, which had their own imperialistic designs on the land beyond the Appalachians, merchant classes eager to break free of British constraints, and alarm at encroachment by the Church of England.

  100. 100
    Mike in DC says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hmm. No lend-lease to the USSR, no 99 old destroyers to the UK to help fight the U-boats, no sanctions on Japan, so they have no incentive to go to war with the US. Japan decides on “Strike North” (at the USSR) instead, which combined with the loss of Lend-lease makes life even harder for the Soviets. Meanwhile the US drags its way to a very, very slow recovery(perhaps taking until the early 1960s!). Not quite “Man in the High Castle” but nonetheless a truly miserable alternate history.

  101. 101

    @Adam L Silverman: We’re still in a winter weather pattern here on the west coast, though it’s supposed to get to the high 70’s next week.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @burnspbesq:

    IANAL, only a lowly historical novelist, and HOLY FUCKING SHIT is that embarrassing.

    In the film writing world, the only recent book that came close was the dude who wrote all about how the mostly Jewish moguls of Hollywood conspired directly with the Nazis in the runup to WWII to produce pro-Nazi propaganda. (Short version: he misread and misunderstood multiple studio communications.) Needless to say, once the book was published and his “evidence” was revealed, he was a laughingstock.

  103. 103

    @germy:

    Liberty State

    aka, the Confederacy of Dunces.

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    When will the English learn to speak English?

    Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks are taught their Greek.

  105. 105
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How many Americans carry citizenship papers on them in their own country?

  106. 106
    debbie says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Plummy indeed, but such lazy scholarship on Naomi’s part. Where were her editors??? In your link the publisher says they’re working with the author on “fixes,” so there’s something good.

  107. 107

    @TenguPhule: Madame and the kid carry a passport card, then again, they’re POC.

    ETA: They both have “Real ID” CDL’s as well.

  108. 108
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    They seem to be using the Clinton impeachment as the example of “what not to do”, I agree with that, it’s also the wrong example.

    In retrospect, Republicans were quite through in making sure to abuse any legal constitutional avenues of recourse so that any attempt to use those against them would face this problem.

  109. 109
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Madame and the kid carry a passport card, then again, they’re POC.

    Yes, but that’s because your family is smart and informed.

    Now consider the national average.

  110. 110
    burnspbesq says:

    @debbie:

    The error was so central to the thesis of the book that it makes “fix” sound like a euphemism for “start over.”

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MomSense:

    I missed what happened and I don’t want to make you repeat yourself, so I’ll just give you some ((((hugs)))) as needed.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    There will be no elites in the Baud! Revolution!

    But there will be plenty of leeks.

  113. 113
    MomSense says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Hugs to you, too. I’m so sad about Annie.

  114. 114
    Cacti says:

    For some reason, I’ve not seen Susan Sarandon at the head of any citizens’ battalions, or at any Wilmer campaign functions for that matter.

    I wonder why?

  115. 115
    My Side of Town says:

    So me and my wife went to Chicago in 1968 (we lived about 90 miles from there) for the convention and parked in the south lot at Grant Park. We were working our way north when the tear gas bombs started falling in the distance. Chickens that we were, we just high tailed our way out of there and went home.

  116. 116
    Jay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Dumpsters.

    But, given much of the “modern ethics”, the publisher probably doesn’t give a rats ass that the books premise is bs built on ignorance, only that it was exposed,

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MomSense:

    Thanks. Even though it was the right thing to do, it was still rough. 😢

  118. 118

    This isn’t parallel situation to the examples you cite. The USA is a huge federation and a lot of elites hate Trump and his merry band of fascists. Also, many-to-many mass communications make this strategically different.

    This means it is more like an incipient civil war than a popular revolution. Which means … I am not sure what, but I think we need to look at late Rome and China for precedents.

  119. 119
    Dan B says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Temps in the SE will be brutal. BillinGlendale may have to photograph things closer than stars (celestial) because of a phenomenon, the Jet Stream gone wild. Currently it is south of LA then snakes north through North Dakota and east into Ontario and Quebec far north of Ottawa and Quebec City.

    Disruption of the Jet Stream and wild variations in weather are predicted by a number of Climate scientists. It’s been wild for most of this spring. The “crisis” is upon us.

  120. 120
    My Side of Town says:

    @My Side of Town: I was pretty pissed at Humphrey and Daily and (voted for the first time in my life) for George Wallace. I hated Nixon but could not bring myself to vote for the guys who tried to tear gas us.

  121. 121
    low-tech cyclist says:

    The vast majority of people are just trying to get through the day. To make it home to their families. To survive until they repeat it all again the next day, and the next, and the next.

    Consequently, per Jefferson:

    all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

  122. 122

    @TenguPhule:

    But there will be plenty of leeks.

    I’m sure the Baud! campaign can spring for some Depends.

  123. 123
    Dan B says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Keep an eye on the Jet Stream. It’s being kicked into crazyland territory. In SoCal it’s over San Diego, as far south as Dallas. Hasn’t moved much for months – some exceptions but smapped back quickly.

  124. 124
    JR says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Robespierre didn’t even come on the scene until after Lafayette, Sieyes, et al instigated the 1789 revolution.

    That is the Marquis de Lafayette and the Abbe Sieyes.

  125. 125
  126. 126
    Don says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I have a friend who’s been spelling his own name wrong for 80 years. And he doesn’t seem to want to fix it just because I say so…

  127. 127
    Dan B says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Steaming potato leek soup for California and Vichysoisse for Flahridah!

  128. 128

    @Dan B: Weather Underground’s 10 day looks favorable, at least towards the desert. I may make a trip to Joshua Tree in the next couple of weeks. I shot there 2 years ago and while it’s got a nasty light dome from Palm Springs, it’s got great foregrounds. The organizer of our photo group is hot to go back out there.

  129. 129

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And to tell it to the heads of MI6, CGHQ, the BND in Germany, the General Directorate for External Security in France, CSIS in Canada, ASIS in Australia, NZSIS in New Zealand, etc.

    It might be helpful to put together a dossier of all of the dirt those agencies have on AG Barr so that he understands what is at stake if he starts leaking information our allies would like to remain secret.

  130. 130
    Butter emails!!! says:

    We’re a nation of 300 million people. Isn’t the near term risk not some sort of large scale revolution or civil war, but rather that stochastic terrorism gets triggered and fed on the left by some of these right wing policies?

  131. 131

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What the President knows about classification, clearances, and access would fit in a thimble.

    And still leave room for a finger.

  132. 132
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    But FDR understood the power of revolution or its image. He once said,
    “If I fail I will not be the worst President, I will be the last.”

  133. 133

    @Mike in DC:

    The main mobilization was Roosevelt beating an incumbent Republican in a huge landslide and the Democrats taking control of Congress and the White House for a generation. And that shift in support was enough for him to enact major policy changes.

    Sure. One reason revolutions are uncommon in functioning democracies is because winning an election is a more practical alternative. This is why the “worse is better, heighten the contradictions, bring on the revolution” types are so dangerous. Anyone who wants to foment revolution has to close off less drastic responses first, which means undermining democracy.

  134. 134
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Don:

    I have a friend who’s been spelling his own name wrong for 80 years. And he doesn’t seem to want to fix it just because I say so…

    When my stepmother was in the earliest stages of her Alzheimer’s, and still living at home, she and my dad agreed that whenever she couldn’t think of the right word immediately, she would simply say “farmer” and carry on the conversation instead of having both of them waste time searching for the elusive word.

    This worked fine for several months. Then one night Susan, a musician friend, called with several questions for my dad. When he eventually hung up, Pearl asked “Who was that on the phone?”

    Daddy said, “That was Sue Farmer.”

    Without missing a beat, Pearl responded “What’s wrong with her? Can’t she remember her own name?”

  135. 135
    Gin & Tonic says:

    At the airport with not much time to read all the comments, but in light of Adams intro, the Maidan movement in Ukraine 5 years ago was extremely impressive organizationally.

  136. 136
    Jeffro says:

    @My Side of Town: why don’t the Democrats just say they are opening an impeachment inquiry, with the only exhibits/evidence being the president*s statements and conduct from that day forward?

    “Your move, you violence-encouraging, hostile-foreign-power loving, emolument-scarfing, $100M-golfing, fake-video-promoting scum”

    Anything to bring a lens back to this shitfest

  137. 137
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Don:

    I have a friend who’s been spelling his own name wrong for 80 years. And he doesn’t seem to want to fix it just because I say so…

    When my stepmother was in the earliest stages of her Alzheimer’s, and still living at home, she and my dad agreed that whenever she couldn’t think of the right word immediately, she would simply say “farmer” and carry on the conversation instead of having both of them waste time searching for the elusive word.

    This worked fine for several months. Then one night Susan, a musician friend, called with several questions for my dad. When he eventually hung up, Pearl asked “Who was that on the phone?”

    Daddy said, “That was Sue Farmer.”

    Without missing a beat, Pearl responded “What’s wrong with her? Can’t she remember her own name?”

  138. 138
    Barb 2 says:

    @germy:

    Eastern Washington State. Racism. Prosperity Gospel right wing nut jobs. I’ve been watching and talking to these jerks for decades. Idaho is right next door with skin heads and other racist/white supremacist groups. We’ve also had them move into the deep woods.

    These groups talk about breaking away with like minded fools but the self sufficiency really takes a lot of time and effort. Plus they have to earn a living somehow and somewhere. The money jobs are in Seattle and King county. The liberal/conservative divide is common in the coastal western states – or urban/rural divides. The prosperity doctrine of the rural churches – sexism/racism keeps people waiting for the big pay off (owed to them by Christ). Suckers waiting to be harvested.

    I’ve seen signs (hang her – meaning Clinton) just below rope tied into a noose. Just down the road. Very upsetting to see that much hate. Sexism is part of their religion.

    These folk love Trump – thankfully Trump doesn’t have a chance in Washington State. The hate is from has-been idiot groups. This movement hit early in the 80s when the religious right took over the GOP. Some rwrnj are elected but they are a minority.

    All the states need to do battle and take back the government on a grass roots basis school board, county commissioners etc. Jay Inslee is governor and he was my Congress critter!

  139. 139
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Anyone who wants to foment revolution has to close off less drastic responses first, which means undermining democracy.

    I’m sensing a theme here. Not sure it’s intentional, although some could probably persuaded that armed revolution from the right was the only cure for a majority that thinks they are nuts.

  140. 140
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What the President knows about classification, clearances, and access could be written on the head of a pin with a paint roller.

    Not so much a fix as an alternative formulation that I’m rather fond of. Apply liberally.

  141. 141
    Emma says:

    @burnspbesq: I listened to it earlier and my stomach clenched. I have no use for her stuff, and I am not surprised it happened, but it’s damn hard to listen to.

  142. 142
    lumpkin says:

    If you want to know what life was like under Ceauescu, read Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller. I came away with a much better understanding of how the totalitarian state simply wears people down.

  143. 143
    Ruckus says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:
    I likey.
    What he knows is what he wants now and that everyone else on the planet, except those who give him money, have to give it to him when he wants it. The old who, what, when, where, how he’s boiled down to me, Me, ME, Meeeee, MEEEEEEEEE! He’s a spoiled 4 yr old with a bad combover.

  144. 144

    @lumpkin:
    My boss is Romanian and likes to talk politics, so I get to hear about how awful things were under Ceausescu fairly regularly. It’s interesting how focused he is on the level of corruption under Communism.

  145. 145
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Powdered wig and frilly lace at the collars and cuffs lawyer.

    Ah—like me on drag night

  146. 146
    Brachiator says:

    @burnspbesq:

    OT: I must admit, I am enjoying Naomi Wolf’s discomfiture far more than is decent or appropriate

    Saw a brief headline about this, but didn’t realize at first that it was such a monumental authorial blunder.

    I am enjoying it, too.

  147. 147
    Fair Economist says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I recently read a biography of Louis XVI’s daughter — the only one of his and Marie Antoinette’s 3 children to survive the French Revolution — and apparently there’s a theory that it gained momentum in part because the Duke of Orleans (aka Phillippe Egalite) and his followers were hoping to overthrow the Bourbons, and they underestimated what they’d unleashed.

    I was under the impression that there isn’t much questioning of the idea that elite resistance to Louis XVI was critical to getting the French Revolution started. Before the first major popular action (the storming of the Bastille), they had already had the Tennis Court Oath, where the entirety of the (elite) representatives of the Third Estate swore to become a National Parliament, and substantial fractions of the clergy and nobility had joined in with them, including Phillippe Egalite. The French Revolution is very much an example of an intra-elite struggle spreading to the society as a whole.

  148. 148
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I don’t think there were any other successful slave revolts in North America, but I am by no means an expert.

    Haiti was the only successful slave revolt, but it wasn’t a complete success. Why is Haiti so poor while the other half of the island, DR, is doing so well? None of the white people in other countries would do business with them after that.

  149. 149
    PJ says:

    @debbie: @burnspbesq: Most editors don’t even edit for grammar or coherency or cogency these days, let alone hire a fact checker. I have read many books in the past 15 years which contain grammatical errors or repeated information in the same chapter or even on the same page. I know why these things happen when one is composing and cutting and pasting on the computer, but there is often no one after the author who actually reads the text prior to publication. I have a friend who had a book of popular history published by a major house a few years ago, and he had had to beg the “editor” to give him a month to go back and revise his first draft before it was published. It would not surprise me if the “editor” even read the draft the entire way through. The idea that a publisher would actually hire a fact checker these days is laughable. See Anand Giradharadas’ review of Jared Diamond’s latest book for more.

  150. 150
    PJ says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Because they had to pay the modern equivalent of $21 billion to France in “reparations”. Not to mention terrible politics (Duvaliers, etc.)

  151. 151
    My Side of Town says:

    @Jeffro: I agree.

  152. 152
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What the President knows about classification, clearances, and access would fit in a thimble.

    Yes, and so could a proton. What Trump knows about security, classification, etc, could be engraved on a grain of Pink Himalayan salt from Megan Macarglebargle’s kitchen stash.

    So I’m agreeing with you. But you wouldn’t need the whole thimble to hold it!!

  153. 153
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Richard Guhl: so you have to go back centuries to use “South Carolina” and “elite” in the same sentence

  154. 154
    Dan B says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Joshua Tree is great. We were there for spring bloom one year and it was interesting to see so many of the “fancy snobbish” annials we were planting for fancy wealthy clients blooming in the wild.
    Our June trip to look at real estate at 107 degrees was less rewarding.

  155. 155
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    @Dan B: Crazyland territory for the weather is right. We had snow on top of the Sandia mountains in Albuquerque on Tuesday.

  156. 156
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @PJ:

    Because they had to pay the modern equivalent of $21 billion to France in “reparations”. Not to mention terrible politics (Duvaliers, etc.)

    This and also this:

    None of the white people in other countries would do business with them after that.

    (as noted by Steve in the ATL)

  157. 157
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I mean, if you define “elite” as anyone a step above the peasantry, yeah. Lenin wasn’t a peasant, but he wasn’t exactly Tsar of all the Russias or anything like it. And Mao, while his dad may have prospered, was the son of a farmer. Robespierre…while reasonably prosperous and educated, was not exactly a member of the French aristocracy.

    If all it takes is some schmoe who is reasonably educated and middle class or slightly more prosperous than that there are literally millions of potential revolutionaries in just about any reasonably large country on Earth. Feel like it has to take something more than that.

  158. 158
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho:

    (as noted by Steve in the ATL)

    Thank you. It’s shameful how little credit I usually get for the massive contributions I make to this blog!

    Forgot to mention this the other night in response to gripes about the redundancy of “Rio Grande River”: “sahar” is Arabic for “desert”, so Sahara desert….

  159. 159
    J R in WV says:

    @My Side of Town:

    I was pretty pissed at Humphrey and Daily and (voted for the first time in my life) for George Wallace. I hated Nixon but could not bring myself to vote for the guys who tried to tear gas us.

    I was only 17 at the time of the ’68 elections. I watched Bobby’s assassination coverage, and MLK’s assassination coverage, on TV in the dorm, as well as the riots following MLK’s murder. Then we watched the police riots in Chicago. Glad I didn’t have to make the decision on who to vote for then.

    Fuck LBJ!!!

  160. 160
    debbie says:

    @PJ:

    Back in the early 1980s, the publisher where I worked would make changes to the next printing when errors were found. Of course, there were fewer errors back then because there were actual copy editors.

  161. 161
    James E Powell says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Interesting counterfactual is what happens if FDR doesn’t get elected and the Depression drags on and the isolationists within the Republican Party keep the US out of WW II, so there’s no weaponized Keynesianism helping to get the economy back on track.

    But then Kirk and Spock (wearing a watch cap) show up and straighten everything out.

  162. 162
    JR says:

    @Fair Economist: Nobles didn’t want to pay taxes. Sound familiar? The Duc d’Orleans was a bete noire who got in way over his head. There is no way he was masterminding anything. First he was an idiot and second Louis had many children and several brothers.

  163. 163
    Joy in FL says:

    @MomSense: You are so right about this community. If I didn’t have this place of humor, animals, and professional wisdom (front-pagers & commenters) I would have been consumed by hopelessness (since Nov. 2016) instead of just being frequently tormented by it.

  164. 164
    different-church-lady says:

    You know what else the “heighten the contradictions and let Trump win” people didn’t appreciate? That they live in a goddamned fantasy world.

  165. 165
    different-church-lady says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Because in a real revolution, people get killed.

  166. 166
    different-church-lady says:

    What Senator Sanders and his supporters, just as Jill Stein and her supporters, and Ralph Nader and his supporters, and others who think heightening the contradictions will lead to a non-violent political, social, and economic revolution in the US don’t understand is that when the contradictions get heightened, very, very, very bad things happen to those who can least afford to endure them.

    They may or may not understand it, but either way, they don’t give a shit.

  167. 167
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:

    That they live in a goddamned fantasy world.

    Pretty shitty fantasy.

  168. 168
    Harbison says:

    Look, I’m not calling for revolution now either.

    All I am saying is that there is no harm in getting a semi-automatic pistol or an AR variant, taking some introductory courses then move onto practical pistol or 3 gun until you’re completely comfortable using those firearms accurately under pressure. And joining an air-soft league so you can learn how to work together with other players as a team to take on other teams of opponents while of course reading up secure methods of communication, organization methods for resistance and insurgency actions and insuring that you are physically fit.

    Just fun, interesting things to do even if, you know, you don’t think you will have to put them to practical use in the next few years.

  169. 169
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kyle Konop: Didn’t Hoover work hard to paint MLK and all civil rights leaders as communists?

  170. 170
    Harbison says:

    @different-church-lady:

    People are being killed right now. Children at the border. Women denied reproductive healthcare. Over 100,000 people in California alone don’t have access to safe drinking water most of the time. That is going to kill people. Probably already has. And not to mention the thousands of troops and probably hundreds of thousands of civilians that are going to be killed in some ginned up war with Iran.

    So people are going to die. The question is who.

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Harbison:

    Oh, look, the NRA troll is shilling for his masters again.

    Can’t get those high body counts for you to whack off to unless you sell more gunz gunz gunz for your paymasters! Sell, little troll, sell!

  172. 172
    AnotherBruce says:

    @geg6: Very wisely said.

  173. 173
    smintheus says:

    It’s a truism among historians that revolutions start when rising expectations are thwarted. Not because of oppression per se, if anything because of its partial removal. Witness the collapse of the Soviet Union in the ’80s.

  174. 174
    smintheus says:

    @PJ: My wife is a copy editor, and a damned good one. She catches lots and lots of factual howlers…things that might have damaged or ended academic careers if they had made their way into print. All in a day’s work.

  175. 175
    smintheus says:

    @burnspbesq: Met her briefly when we were grad students decades ago. It was immediately obvious that she was a poseur. Also not very nice. She seemed to imagine that she was much more intellectual than everyone else at Oxford. Maybe she was…no, actually, that’s not remotely possible. There were some brilliant people at Oxford whereas she’s a nitwit.

  176. 176
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @J R in WV: It’s amazing how few then and now are willing to call it a ‘police riot’!!

  177. 177
    JimV says:

    Another great post! Just saying.

  178. 178
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?: To restate my point, or question, the issue is not so much whether the leader of the movement is a member of the elite, however that is defined. You contend that most people don’t have the time, energy, or courage (lack of risk aversion) to get engaged in a revolution…but those elites – Lenin, Mao, Robespierre, brought hundreds of thousands of people with them – people who probably resemble the folks who just want to get through their exhausting day, go home, and spend time with their family. Basically you are saying only the elites have the time and ideological commitment but then they don’t seem to be a large enough cohort of the population to successfully revolt without bringing along with them a lot of people you say are just not going to revolt for various reasons. I’m wondering what the switch that makes those folks jump on board is.

  179. 179
    different-church-lady says:

    @Harbison: Odd definition of “fun” you have.

  180. 180
    Johannes says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: In France every a Frenchman knows his language from A to Zed (The French never care what they do, actually,
    As long as they pronounce in properly.)

Comments are closed.