Nature Inspires a Dream: The Overnight Revolution
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 GWB43.com 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.
(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.