In part 1, we acknowledged your dissatisfaction and sense of powerlessness in the face of our current social crisis. In part 2, we discussed the need and nature of change itself and identified the need for some guidance on the way forward. Here, we discuss that way forward.

This is a big topic. Oh man, what a big topic! Currently, many a revolutionary organization calls for a three-step process, those steps being:

  1. Education – We learn about the current state of affairs, understand the truth behind the propaganda, diffusion, distraction and lies, and pass this information along however we can and as much as we can. 
  2. Non-violent resistance – things like boycotting products, services, companies and corporations that are in cahoots with the powers-that-be and/or are detrimental to society and social progress. It’s about protests and community gatherings. It’s about making the power structure aware of our extreme dissatisfaction, striking fear into their hearts and pushing them to step 3. 
  3. The physical pushback – This is the outright revolt, the uprising, the physical toppling of the power structure. It is most often portrayed as “the revolution,” usually suggesting that it might be oriented to violence.
 This is a fairly realistic view; one supported by loads of history, but let’s make it better. Let’s do a little addition and subtraction. We’ll call it revolutionary math!

First of all, step one is lacking substance and tends to focus on ideology. We hear much about what is wrong, not about anything positive. Understanding current events and how they relate to corruption and injustice is fine. And understanding the ideas and theories of the great social and political thinkers is all well and good. But there must be a more well-rounded education that includes how society might reasonably develop and what it might realistically look like.

This leads us nicely into step two. Having subtracted, from our first step, a dependence on ideology and an orientation toward the long list of maddening problems journalists, pundits and would-be revolutionaries love to reference, we’ve got to balance the equation by adding a couple of things to step two.

Step two is just a means. It asks us to do things—but why and to what end? Perhaps amidst all the hubbub of action and assembly, we start considering and planning for the future we want. Let it be something that allows thinkers and those of integrity to ascend to the halls of power. Let it be non-utopian, rational and realistic. More on that below, but first, let’s subtract an assumption out of step three.

While violence will certainly be a part of this coming social transition, it doesn’t have to come from us. The power structures and supporters of the status quo will use any method available to hold on to power or maintain course and heading. We’ve already seen a complete lack of integrity from our leaders and self-inflicted blindness by those who want nothing to change; why not expect more of the same. And as desperation mounts, the more coercive they will become. However, we do not have to participate. Many positive social changes have come without any violence from the masses—Gandhi’s India, Dr. King’s civil rights movement, the fall of the communist totalitarian regimes in the Eastern Bloc. We can do it again. However, step three does get one thing right: any change will require the participation of most, if not all, of us.

The great revolutionaries of the past, for good or ill, like Guevara, Castro, Lennin and Marx, were certainly right about some things—one of those being that revolution is about hearts and minds. Revolution is not a point in time, nor is it a battle cry. It’s not an excuse for violent or destructive behavior. It’s a mentality, a way of life. It’s fuel and purpose and strength. When it spreads, it is the magnificent act of a society and its peoples taking responsibility for their past, present and future.

This gathering of the masses is a defining feature of what we can expect after our current political state of affairs buckles under its own weight. THEE calls it the Conventionalist mode. Here, our responsibility becomes more an explicit factor than in any previous political era. Only when the course of society is determined by our willingness to participate in politics and not by the goals of elites, vested interests, self-serving bureaucrats and corrupt politicians, will we have any hope of sensible government.

The question is—and this takes us back to issues inherent in step two—what is it that we’ll ask for. What will we hope to gain from our revolution? As the crowd comes together to call for change, they will inevitably fall prey to the crowd mentality. Like the French Revolution, will we call for the execution of our former leaders? Or, like the Cuban revolution, will one deposed dictator only install another (or plutocrats or parties, etc.)? The dissonance of Conventionalism lies in the irrationality of the crowd and the need for rational political choices. We’ll need to go back and revisit the principles of a political mode now largely ignored—Rationalism.

We’ll need to take into account people’s values. We’ll need to find ways to reign in the goals of individual politicians and moneyed interest groups. We’ll have to look to case studies, consider human nature over idealistic, utopian pipe dreams.

This is all much easier said than done. When the crowd takes over, the rational voices crying out for reason, pragmatism and an acknowledgement of the sometimes dirty realities of politics get swallowed up in a sea of rage and resentment. Torches and pitchforks.

To all you would-be revolutionaries, we at the TOP Project want to help. We offer ourselves and resources for realistic, rational and positive change. We offer frameworks for handling political tensions as well as for determining political choice. We offer insights into appropriate governance at different geopolitical levels and a glimpse at where we’ve been politically and where we’re headed.

No one has “the answer.” We certainly don’t. However, we have important guiding principles necessary for positive social change. Any revolutionary hoping to use these principles need only to custom-tailor them to the nature and values of their society.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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