As for my two revolutions, I am afraid they would appear rather wimpish compared to past revolutions. Why? I only want nonviolent revolutions. Violent revolutions, more often than not, act as enemies to democracy. That was a point I made to a fellow May Day participant as he was calling for revolution. But don't let the wimpish appearance of my revolutions fool you. Both are significant and far reaching, and both are urgently needed if we are going to survive.
What are those two revolutions? The first one is a structural revolution. We must change our political and economic systems so that wealth and power are shared rather than consolidated. In capitalist countries, power follows wealth. And when wealth is allowed to consolidate, so is power. So while our nation has changed to embrace a neoliberal form of capitalism, wealth disparity has grown. In fact, as neoliberal capitalism has spread throughout the world, wealth disparity within many nations as well as between nations has grown. And in the U.S., this growing wealth disparity has led to a demise of our democracy (click here). That demise was occurring before Trump was elected. What we are seeing now is the acceleration of an Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged coup of the government That coup's acceleration happened with Trump's election as he fooled many of those who voted for him into believing that because he was opposing elites being represented by Clinton's globalism, that he was representing the common man instead of elites.
The structural changes needed here revolve around dispersing power over businesses and corporations from major shareholders and their executives or business owners to workers. It's not that these owners and executives would be disposed of. Rather, it is that they must share power with their company's other stakeholders, especially the workers. This can be done by adopting Europe's codetermination policies used to give workers more say at their places of employment (click here for an example). Such a structure limits corporate power that is monetarily based. It allows owners and workers to make joint decisions. But most of all, it weakens the 'maximize profits' ethic employed by many companies.
Likewise, as stated before on this blog and as revealed to me by a friend who is a political conservative, we are represented in our government by location, not vocation. The demographics of our elected officials reveal that the jobs most of our elected officials held just prior to being elected were lawyers, business people, government officials, and teachers. That means that the interests and concerns of housewives, factory workers, first responders, IT professionals, salesmen, and so on often go unheard let alone unrepresented. The only remedy for such a sorry state is to either change the configuration of one of our two bodies of Congress or create a new body of Congress where those elected represent people in the various vocations in our nation. What is needed here is a codetermination structure employed by the government.
Now while many of us can feel at least somewhat detached from the working out of the first revolution, the second revolution smites all of us where our hearts are. That second revolution is a revolution of moral values and is most aptly described by Martin Luther King Jr when he spoke against the Vietnam War (click here for the source):
I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
Contrary to the beliefs of many capitalists, it is essential that as many people as possible, from all walks of life and economic classes, join the moral revolution that King called for. We should point out to those who say that they oppose racism are inconsistent, if not hypocritical, when they remain thing-oriented. For such an orientation ensures the existence of racism. Perhaps that is why the Civil Rights Movement had such a time-limited effect on our nation. Our society remained thing-oriented and thus racism has not been as eradicated as it could have been.
We should note that many capitalists selectively agree with King's call for a moral revolution. Their selectivity revolves around who should follow that moral revolution and who is free to ignore it. Many capitalists believe that it is the privilege of business owners and the executives representing them to remain thing-oriented while all others, for the competitive health of the business, must see themselves as potential martyrs for the sake of the business. That martyrdom revolves around the exploitation of workers and the environment. And these capitalists do have a point here, being thing-oriented has sometimes moved workers to make some places of employment noncompetitive and eventually closed.
But what those capitalists fail to note is that when business owners and the executives who represent them are thing-oriented, they create a culture that drives others to imitate them. In addition, sometimes it takes only the business owners and their executives to be thing-oriented to shutdown companies.
Now being thing-oriented vs. person-oriented does not just affect the workplace, it affects society as we elect representatives who write laws that define our social safety nets and other "entitlements." Being thing-oriented limits how much we personally give to those in need. Being thing-oriented determines whether our happiness will be built on materialism rather or on an abundance of diverse, personal relationships.
Without these two revolutions, I'm afraid that there is little hope unless one lives solely for the moment because tomorrow we may die. Those who live that way have no regard for their children or their children's children or the children of others. For in persisting in being thing-oriented they doom the world to destruction as technology makes the individual more and more powerful.