Friday, May 4, 2012

Revolutionary Notes #3 - Revolutionaries are Liars

Revolutionary leaders do not exist, but their spokespeople are liars.

Don't misunderstand, this is not to say that the voices associated with the heads of revolutionary movements are not sincere in their intent - that is unknowable, can only make judgement based on a person's actions. Nor does it mean that there is any deceit in the promises of a new world they have made to their followers.

What it does mean is that there is an inherent (self) lie in assuming that any vision can fully encompass a new socio-economic system, fully formed, with all of its moving interconnected parts.

So why don't revolutionary leaders exist?


A revolution as we have previously defined it is not a modification to an existing system. It is a complete erasure so that an alternative system, one that had the potential of evolving from initial conditions, can take hold.

What would such a system be? No one, except perhaps a marginal few such as my namesake [the original Frobenius - A.W.], has had the ability to fully conceptualize a complete socio-economic system, so no one can know the ultimate outcome of such a revolution.

The few actual revolutions that have occurred have either taken place over long periods of time, for example the Mesolithic shift from matriarchal to patriarchal societies, or have been the manifestation of prevailing conditioned that catalyzed  whole societies into action. It is debatable, but the French revolution is a possible example.

In the first case there are no leaders, and it is very possible that no one was even aware the revolution was taking place, In the second, there are figureheads, and spokespeople who are products of their environments who could not have enacted similar changes in different prevailing conditions.

These people are still to be praised and valued where merited, but what accepting does is suggest criteria for evaluating their ultimate utility.

  • Does their message relate to prevailing societal conditions?
  • Is their vision of change abstract enough to allow for a new system to evolve unhindered in place of the old?
  • Are they suggesting a modification of the existing system, or any kind of phased transition that would allow followers an early out when momentum dies down?
  • Are they a figure that commands attention, and that other can relate to?

The root message of any serious revolution must be: 

This is not ok. Even if things improve it will still not be ok, and even if we don't know what , we must find a different way of doing things.

Therefore the blueprint for revolution is:

Create or wait for the prevailing conditions to support change
Identify figureheads who can support change
Cull or exclude the undesirables who will upset the evolution of a new system
Erase all traces of the current system
Let something new evolve in its place

Next topic will be: The Undesirables


For more posts in this series see:

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