Friday, January 19, 2007


This old left expression is worth thinking about.  The National Conference for Media Reform held last weekend in Memphis, showcased the diversity of views about political reform.  It also showed a troubling similarity between the semi-paralysis of the Democratic Party and members of "the movement".

For all the hollering about the Democrats, I heard few voices ready to go further than hoping for change. As one of the few people there to suggest guerilla-type media actions, I came away mulling our fear of the word revolution.

Revolutions don't have to be violent, and they don't have to lead to communism!  The useful question, I think, is, if we could accomplish a relatively peaceful revolution, what kind of society would we want to create?  There are plenty of places to look for inspiration, from Parecon (participatory democracy) theories and realities (for example in Argentina) to science fiction.

I say we shouldn't allow ourselves to be hung-up on 20th century associations with the word revolution.  Just look at how different Chavez'direction is from the one undertaken fifty years ago by Castro.

And bear in mind two things: 1) power ALWAYS goes to the limit of what the powerless will accept; 2) vis a vis other powers, all governments will indulge in brinkmanship, as China has just shown by shooting down one of its own rockets.

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