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Nature Inspires a Dream: The Overnight Revolution

chicago dyke's picture

So I was one with nature all day and away from computers and text and other things that aren't green. I plugged in the iPod, and let my mind wander. I'm a writer, so I have to share what I "wrote" as I raked leaves and mulched flower beds. This is just Saturday night silliness, but I'd love to hear what you think of the ideas. Expand, critique, and most of all, have some fun. Don't invite me to the Revolution that lacks dreaming and dancing, to paraphrase a great. H/T to BD and his Chere:

I feel like making trouble. This post should get me a nice, red flag in some government server. I want to propose "The Overnight Revolution." Some smart people have told me more than once, "no one is going to save you but you." In that vein, I recall Helen Thomas' words to me recently, which more or less approximate to "the Democratic party doesn't have the stones." So, if I have to be imaginative, I will be. Mine is a simple idea, and I think it could be practical too. We're lazy in America, and we like our bloodshed and violence to last about 2 hours, and then we like to go home and have a beer and turn on the TV or light up. So, I give you: the lazy man's revolution.

So the first step is making a list. It's already been made up for us and can be found with a little Intertube work, and it's short. This list is of names of people. The people on it: the most powerful 1% in America. Some of them will be the wealthiest, some will be media conglomerate owners, some will run weapons manufacturing companies and security firms. For reasons I'll explain later, it will include every member of Congress, all the lobbyists in the Beltway, all of the Gang of 500, and some foreigners who live among us when they're not living in their homes in Gstaad. It's a list that will be discussed, and refined, publicly, for about a year.

The next step is to find out where these folks live. There will be occasional concentrations; in McLean, Jackson Hole, the suburbs of Miami and hills of Los Angeles and like places. But in most areas, the people on the list will be at a concentration of about 2-3 households per county in the greater US. You probably know whom they are where in relation to where you live, those who are greatly above you but for whatever reason choose to keep a home in your county. A map will be made, and distributed.

The next step is to have an ongoing conversation with mothers: Mothers of dead soldiers. Mothers of children killed because they didn't have health care to pay for treatment when it could've made a difference. Mothers who watched their sons sent off to prison for a 'three strike' offense, or who lost their daughters in environmental disaster brought on by corporate greed or illegal abortion in a state taken over by theocrats. Women are a central part of this fantasy. There will be mom to mom communication during the year before the night of the Revolution. "I speak to you as a grieving mother, in a language that only another can understand." These women will do nothing, except show up on the night in question and speak to each other.

The next step is to organize the Fighters. They are a tiny proportion of the movement, but they exist, and are easier to find than you may think. They are "the angry." People who have nothing to lose. Soldiers who have lost everything because of endless war, people who are so burned up and burned out, by Katrina and globalization and rape and racism, that they aren't afraid of violence. They won't be directed to be violent, this is a mostly bloodless revolution, but if violence happens, these people will be the ones with the knives and guns and willingness and experience to use them. In the end, a little violence goes a long way, and not many of these folks will be needed. They will protect the Moms.

The next step is to organize the Brave. People willing to say what is "uncivil," people who buck their corporate slavery, people who are dreamers and in love with an idea, an innovation, something that elevates them above the day to day grind. People who are most invested in the Revolution because they understand that without one, their great ideas and pathways will never be explored, because those new ways of thinking are a threat to the Establishment. This is the meritocracy, those kept down unfairly because the incompetent require it, and who are angry about this fact.

The final, and most complex group, are the Thrill Seekers. In an age where increasingly violent images don't satisfy, where poverty and oppression intersect with daring and hopelessness, these are the third sons and barren daughters, gays and prostitutes and low level drug dealers- people at the margins who have embraced the margin. People who have tasted the bitter apathy and dull slavery of our society and rejected it, but who have no stomach for a military or contrarian life. But who would thrive if given an honest chance, and like impoverished Lotto players, they live for the short thrill and shorter dream. They are called "lemmings" and "sheeple" and other derogatory terms, but they are the backbone of any revolutionary force, and they will retire from the field once they've had their moment of vindication.

Speaking of moment, what am I getting at? What is the "one night?" Well, here's how I've thought of it. For a year in advance, a manifesto is circulated. On the intertubes, openly, publicly. It lists a series of "issues." It could be anything, but here's what I've imagined. It speaks, in plain language, of the GDP and Federal Budget, and lists numbers. "100 billion dollar spent on military program X. 100 billion dollars, *not* spent but which could address, the complete health care needs of Y population in state Z. This shall be rearranged." This manifesto is hashed out for a year, everyone who knows about it has a chance to argue for specific "reallocation" projects. It will be up to those with wit and the research time to come up with a "substitution plan" for their pet projects. Substitution is key- no additional revenues or taxes will be created in the Revolution, indeed, some will be reduced or eliminated. It will be a federal matter only, state budgets will be left unexamined, for a while. But a fine-tooth comb will be applied to the hairy matter of federal spending, and much will come of it, as it will be a group project, just like the emails have been. Everyone will find some money wasted, and propose new ways to spend it. After a year's discussion, a "proposal" will be drafted by the strongest and sanest and most representative voices. There will be a popular vote ratifying the final "new budget."

All this will be a public discussion. Membership into this or that element of the Revolution, reallocation details, the small matters of names and addresses on the Final List, is completely open. Classic blogging standards will apply: open commenting, open sourcing, nothing will be redacted or hidden. A timeline is crucial; everyone who participates will understand that 12 months from when the project begins, there will be a Revolution. Everyone who participates will know, they have 12 months to choose an action within the greater project, a role to play, a commitment to assume.

A document is completed, and put forth in the plainest language, and copied. A final vote takes place, not on the contents of the document itself, but on the willingness of readers to go and enforce it. When 1,000-3,000 per county have signed on, a date is chosen. That date shouldn't be much more or less than 12 months since this effort began. It's circulated, and everyone agrees that on this date, they will have very specific plans. The "mothers" and "meritocracy" and "planners" will all be part of the Revolution, along with a couple of other groups.

The first group is a subset of the Mothers. These will be the Mothers of Security. Moms who have sons and daughters in the security-industrial complex. This is the tricky part, but crucial. About a month before the night in question, the best and most closely related members of the Revolutionary action group will have to hunt these women down, and sit with them, over coffee or dinner. The argument will be simple: keep your son or daughter home from work on this night. Better still, get your son or daughter to call in sick, and join those on the night of the Revolution. Some of the mothers in question will also have to be persuaded to show up. The argument that will be put forth to those in the domestic security complex will be simple: this one night, pretend not to care about one person who is "your charge." Who is more important to you, gun toter and uniform bearer? Your mother, or this stranger you're paid to "protect," who in fact is directly responsible for making your just-over-minimum-wage life bearable? Only a 1//3 of these people need to agree to participate, the rest can stay home or not play or even show up for work. They won't shoot a crowd in which their own mothers are a part.

About two weeks before the Revolution, the manifesto and plan are made blatantly public. Pacifists and compassionate members of the Revolution will go to the homes of the people about to receive some knowledge, and inform them that this is the last chance to reform.Reform, real reform, will be acceptable. Superrich people who donate all their money to causes that serve the national interest (as in health care or education or elder care or the environment) will be taken off the list. Powerful people who publicly announce that gays and immigrants are no longer 'enemies' but cherished members of community will also be removed. But this will be a small number, I promise you. The rest will laugh off the visitors, and call their private security agencies to take the dirty fucking hippy off their doorstep, if their servants don't do it for them.

The day before the Revolution, all the servants of the people on the List will be contacted. They will be told, very simply, "don't go to work tomorrow, call in sick." Their friends and family members who are part of the Revolution will explain why. This will cause a little upset, at the moment of the Revolution itself, and will spare the innocent. The Revolution isn't about senseless bloodshed, and respects the serving classes as an integral part of itself.

The day of the Revolution, all of the members of the revolutionary moment will meet up. But they won't go far- this is a 'in your county' revolution. It will happen at night, no one will have to miss their day at work (excepting the third shift) or upset more than one night's sleep, or go farther than a long walk. The Revolution will muster in groups: the Mothers, the Fighters behind them, Brave behind them, and the Thrill seekers watching in the background. Last minute people can stand behind them. There will be no uniform, no weapon, no song of the Revolution, unless the local tradition is such. People will be unmasked, and in ordinary clothes and effects, and they will walk or bus or drive to the home in question, with only one object in hand.

A torch.

(I suppose I'm blowing the minds of those people who think I'm a traditional anti-racist, but bear with me, I'm having just having some fun.)

Let me stress, like in the time of the Founders, the assembled group of Revolutionaries won't be larger than 1/3 of the county's entire population. In many cases, it will be far smaller. Per home, I don't think more than 1 or 2 thousand people need to show up on this one night, and that's less than can be found in busy clubs or sports stadiums on many given summer nights in America. Just a few like-minded people, who are willing to "be the government" they are proclaimed to be. These small but determined mobs have one, and only one goal: to run out of town their oppressors.

Each person on the list will get its own "mob" at home. Each mob will select a representative, who will knock on the door of the list member, say, at around midnight. It will be a short communication. The representative will say to whomever answers the door, "You have two minutes to get yourself and all your family out of this house, in the car, and out of this country for good. We are going to burn your house down, in two minutes and two seconds. No one will follow you as you drive away, but if you don't leave, we will burn your house down anyway. If you are ever seen here again, you will be instantly killed." That narrative will be followed to the letter. Nothing else will happen. When the house is clearly in flames and the occupants either driving away or sizzling, the Revolutionary members will go home. They will sleep soundly, and the next morning, they will get up and go about their normal business. To work, to childcare, to creative activities, whatever. But life will go on, "as normal."

That next morning, the remaining VPs, military leaders, and staff members will receive a note of demands. It will stem directly from the aforementioned discussion about the budget. It will say something like, "from now on, the 100 billion spent on military program X will be directed to the following local schools and hospitals. No patient or student will be charged for services, and everyone will have access to what they need." Life will go on, and people will go to their jobs and lives as if nothing has changed. VPs will become presidents, whatever leadership has been removed will be replaced with their regular replacements. But the understanding will be widespread: no more waste, no more fraud, no more cronyism. Regulators will have to regulate, efficiency experts will actually have to gauge efficiency, there will not be politically motivated reallocations of wealth because of the whim of one rich person. If the important and basic problems of the majority are not instantly taken up in government and industry, the Overnight Revolution will be repeated in one month's time, upon the next echelon down. The process will be repeated until constitutional democracy is restored.

The tricky part is that all the politicians and bobbleheads and lobbyists have to go. So around DC, there will have to be a greater concentration of revolutionaries than in other parts of the country. I suggest we use vets coming home from Iraq, those wanting to go AWOL but without sufficient cause. A nice force of ex-military people combined with the groups I've mentioned above, with a smattering of "immigrants" and drug war "criminals" would beef up the revolutionaries in those areas where the concentration of bloodsuckers was particularly high. Much of official DC would have to come down. In the end, most municipalities would find that with much less federal intrusion, they could solve their own problems just fine. But members of both parties would have to leave, for good. They've failed us, in a major way for too long, and they are too ingrained with the "wisdom" of Washington to ever be trusted with power again. The day after the Revolution, there would have to be elections, and a new federal government made up of people who've never held office, would have to come into being. Those folks could "campaign" during the year before the Night of Revolution. Lobbying would be banned completely, as would "national" news organization. No one group of corporations or media entities would ever be allowed to control political discourse nationally again. I suppose this means that the FOX HQ would have to be torched as well. I'm open to the idea that like in 'Fight Club," we destroy all the financial institutions and financial record keeping buildings as well. A "financial year zero" is an idea I can get behind, in which all individual debt, including home ownership and rent for several years, is eliminated.

Terrorism in the South worked well for many years, and Jim Crow was a fact of life for many. A small group of "fanatics" created this country, running around without socks and shoes in the snow and beating back the most powerful global empire of the age with little more than farmer's guns and fiery rhetoric. Revolutions can and do happen, they often aren't "pretty" or "civil," but they do occur. But the most important idea I'm trying to circulate: what would you do if 1,000 people with torches stood outside your door in the dead of night and told you to leave and never come back. If your rent-a-cops are part of that group, or off to the side because they won't shoot their moms, the answer is clear.

And before you accuse me of being racially insenstive, I know the Klan from personal experience. Ask me how many mailboxes have been blown up in front of my family's home, and phone calls made in the night instructing "get out, nigger." This is a post that attempts to "think outside the box" by "learning from the enemy." Our corporate masters have made revolutionary discourse a mocked and forgotten topic. That can change.

Don't believe me? I have a question for you: do you know what's happening in Iraq today? Expanding that notion, I ask: would you like similar theocrats to take over here, or people like me? It's up to you. But don't think you aren't making that choice.

No votes yet


Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

For a long time now now I've been thinking, to hell with civility. These bastards are willfully deaf, time to throttle 'em

Submitted by lambert on

A flaming torch with a pitchfork, crossed, on a field of blue.

We could have T-Shirts made ;-)

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

is how i believe it is called. but still...hey, we're a tech nobility- gimme some good geek motifs for our new house labels. DS9? Empire? Bab5? anyone?

no, i don't want our coat to have "arms." i would prefer a song, and/or a dance. "numphar, do the dance of revolution!" is what i'm looking for (obscure cultural reference, sorry if it doesn't take, just think bearded women and dancing white and nonwhite people)

how about a cake of revolution? or a zucchini? we're about peace and love and not sticking thrusting things where they don't belong, is a hug of revolution ok? i suppose.

sex. sex works. how about the sex act of revolution? all those who cannot immediately show love for the nearest revolutionary person are to be massaged, until they are properly and revolutionairily happy! or something like that.

revolutions should have torches, yes. but after that, bbq'd shrimp and fireside marshmellows and torchlit naked co-ed swimming and beach sex to slowly dying fire light. or else, they shouldn't happen.

'There you go again', CD.


But the somber truth is that some version of what you propose will probably occur, spontaneously and with authority powerless to stop it due to their leaders own singleminded quest to destroy organised government.

Such widespread incompetence, the deliberate product of the Norquist dictum and the subsequent seeding of hundreds, maybe thousands of government-hating loyalist nincompoops in positions of power throughout the U.S. federal apparatus, renders a great nation a prostrate victim powerless to protect the perpetrators of its demise...And what will they pay their mercenaries with in the new wheelbarrow economy? Turnips from their victory garden?

No law. No limits. And black days ahead, indeed.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

is growing as we speak?

.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I like the field azure, the zucchini rampant, and the torch azure, but I must insist on a bar sinister. A brass cannon somewhere in the lower quadrant would be a nice touch too, and if you can work in the motto "TANSTAAFL!" I would fight beneath it as if I had already died and gone to heaven. :)

And as for numphar, I'm all for it, but how do you order a water lilly to perform dance? An intriguing concept I must say and I look forward to discussion of technique here.

Submitted by lambert on

Don't be coy about "overzealous operatives." Elevate non-violence to an organizing principle.

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

you all are the ones who make the plea for peace on justice on the day of the revolution. you are the ones who go and speak with our oppressors, directly, and do no harm. they won't listen to you, mostly, but you will still have that chance. you can also do a lot of work in the run up to the revolution, helping dismantle the military budget and finding new programs and places where that money can be spent on the project of more peace.

indeed, i think the pacifist segment of the revolution should be in charge or retooling the intelligence budgets. no more dead nuns and blown up iraqi children, no more school of the americas, no more assisinations of foreign leaders.

peace is good, and i would never ask the unwilling to share in the more agressive parts of this.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"We are those revolutionaries, too."

To be in a pacifist brigade of a revolution that burns down people's houses wouldn't absolve me of complicity. Anyway, lest I be a total buzzkill in your exploration here, allow me to sit the rest of this one out.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

I can understand VL's point. To paraphrase him: to be a nonenlisted citizen of the USA does not absolve me of the horrors being done in Iraq in our names, reported or unreported.

And to be ignorant of the suffering of others does not absolve me of the responsibility for some of that suffering, only furthered by my own ignorance. choose pacifism—yet to pay my taxes and help the machine pump away in a hundred ways—also does not personally absolve me of the violence done every day to so many other humans by that government which profits and is sustained by my money and efforts.

.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by lambert on

... then don't call them fighters. Emphasize their protective role.

And I don't see burning the houses down. Sorry. It would be nice to "visit" though ;-)

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

so what was all that nonsense north of here? now im having a hell of a time trying to figure out how to get rid of this boner(cut to sharon stone). seems no one really is going to do anything about a revolution theyre to lazy.

lets see if we vote out such in such well get this toe hold then in 20years all the corruptions' will be filtered out while the incumbents figure out how to be corrupt. i apologize if ive assumed most that post here are boomers. even tho most of us will be around in 20 numbers dont mean a thing unless they group together as a team. americans are no differant than the iraqis under saddam. can anyone say military complex? this kind of ummmm intelligent thought will not get anyone anywhere. to think your voting is going to change what our gov has morphed to is the definition of insanity revisited look(no over there) at the back 40. stuck in the 60's again,no? stick one thumb in your mouth and the other up your ass and rotate them every 5 min tell me if the taste changes. guess it would/could depends on your diet or how much more we/you are going to stomach. please feel free to elaborate about your diet and how much more you can stomach.

side step:
funny true story last week talking to a racist neo-con backer that blames everything on clinton and the dems for the commander-of-grief's woes. he says i see your buddy got fired, i says who is that. imus the leftist and all the leftist he has on. i says minus is such a leftist thats why he was backing joe lie-berman and rick sanitarium at the mid terms. liebermans a democrat and what storytelling that don imus backed rick s. thats those leftist blogs you read. joe l. a dem guess thats why 70% of the time hes voted with the neos. guess hes never looked at joe blowhards voting record. he gets his news updates from drudge and the oxy(cotin)moron. i rest my case. point being and leading to the revolution i dont care if 70% of americans think iraqi attacky was wrong(now) or 53% think this admin. or congress(9th,10th,11th and beyond) are fiscal or going to be in anyway the problem is youll never change their core thinking no more than you will the democratics or progressives. Dems:oh just wait till '08 well have a democrat for prez and no more veto power. girls and boys does the pattern look familiar? pt-n-pt those 20-22% that now side with the level headed on iraq are never going to truely side with us so forget about 'em and leave them in the dust we can do this on our own WE DON"T NEED THEM TO PULL OFF A REVOLUTION! Get IT!?

So what if someone gave a revolution and no one came? first of all pull the thumbs out of your asses. secondly ans this how do you fight money? well if you want to get down and dirty as the opposing team you fight money with money. if you all want to congregate as a tribe(say as in d.c. chi s.f. atlanta) and keep stroking each other as you do on the keyboards...well your only fueling the fire. your spending money for gas(rem the oil barons) paying food motels taking off work(did someone say spending/losing money)? so this is my take on throwing a revolution while sitting on your thumbs a non-violent peaceful ill order the chinese or dominoes delivery while i sit on my fat ass and do nothing attitude.

You fucking shut down the economy, get it? i swore i wasnt going to swear but oh well. you sit on your complacent arses after youve gotten off your thumbs. you get together by way of the best tool we have inet you combine all the fractured factions and you stop buying any, get it, all and any products in america whether it be a 3 day weekend or when schools out. the pricks will stand up to attention whether it be the oil barons wally-world the chinese. just think what havoc it would produce if 25 million combined adults and kids didnt buy anything for 3 dys maybe a week. no one has to take off work just gas up shop for the week as most of us already do but do not buy any x-tras for a time frame and these corporate bastard bean counters will be scratching their heads when they look at the end of the week bottom line. thats how you take control of the so called mythical by for and of the people.

so your going to ask what do we do next sphincter, after we have their attention of the revolution. well we set up committees and panels to work along with our political caring brethren. and you ask what if corruption and greed overtakes them. U have a plan B or fucking C or murder by numbers. non suicidal harry carey. you change the commits pans 3-6 months at a time at random.

but whats your proof that this will work you ask? well you complacent bragging to each other on the blogs about your heartfelt contentious double phds sitting on your do nothing asses that you accuse of others of well get 'em next go round at the elections bullshit is the definition of insanity again. sorry heres some recent proof besides a bus boycott in the 50's or a wait a minute did the imus firing have something to do with a boycott so to speak? well imus was pc incorrect thats for sure but when first chastised it was only a 2 week suspension. why was he fired for the long run because the sponsors pulled out. you mean to fucking tell me a boycott of sorts oh and someone kinda like corporate dickheads might lose money and the bottom line numbers might look different. well ill be i had no idea that putting a dent in someones economy would have such an affect.

Now pull your thumbs out of your asses fellow Americans and strive for a sweeter taste.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

someone's got a thing for anus games, i think.

.delusions of un mundo mejor.