Taking a break from my normal debauchery posts to write about something that’s been on my mind for awhile: social revolution.

Awhile back I wrote about the modern man being a pussy.  I’ve written in Facebook posts about the stupidity of Fox News (I am a liberal if you didn’t know) and my disdain for what American society has become in general, from the idolization of the rich to the dumbification of watching stupid reality shows and other shit to the small-town mindedness of the townies I lived near back when I was Stateside. I guess I like to do a lot of social commentary.  I don’t mind being called out on it, I’m not afraid of debate and confrontation.  In fact, I feel it helps us grow.

I recently picked up a book called The Leaderless Revolution by Carne Ross, a former British diplomat who became disgruntled after the US and UK used intelligence that couldn’t be proven to justify invading Iraq, while I was biding my time at Chiang Mai Immigration.  After reading it, it truly resonated with me.  It was like my thoughts were put in tangible form through someone who has more credentials than I do. This book is about how politics can be changed through people like us on a small-scale rather than through governments.  In a way, it’s almost like a call to anarchism, but not super extremist.   The book starts out about talking the Mexican wave (the wave you see at stadiums) and how it’s started by a few unknown people making some news and blows up into thousands partaking in the action.  And this is similar to how suicide bombers get their message across.  I’m not gonna do a book review at this moment, maybe later on.

Another message of the book was that revolutions don’t start from the top down, but from the bottom up.  It’s kind of Marxist in a way, but he also attacks Marxism in that people will never truly relinquish authority.  But Ross likes the ideals that Communism does promote, such as the equal level of the playing field and promoting community.  He also likes the ideas from capitalism, such as the right to self-determination and independence with limited government influence, but that comes at the cost of social justice and harmony.  This is how I feel; both the right and left have great ideas, but it’s the extremists from both ends working against each other for their own interests, instead of fostering a sense of community that we need to get ourselves out from the crisis we are in.  The world has lost that sense of community, socially.  Instead, we are all about getting new iPhones, Benzes, bigger houses, shit from Tiffany’s, and that’s where we place all of our self-worth.  We’ve lost the ability to emphasize and are in it only for ourselves.  It’s part of the reason why I left America and have a slight disdain for our culture.

Probably one of the more memorable passages I’ve read and maybe because I’m a vet was this passage about Tolstoy:

Tolstoy believed that it was those at the base of the pyramid- the foot-soldiers of Borodino or Austerlitz – who in fact made history.  The “great men” and generals who claimed to understand it in fact had not a clue.  For Tolstoy, it was ironic that historians looked to the generals and leaders for the decisions that determined history, rather than the infantry.  More ironic still was that the infantryman did so too. 

So that’s why I don’t get why some people believe in sparing the 1% from making sacrifices, calling them “job creators,” etc.  It’s because in America we have this belief that anyone can be rich if you work hard enough and you can join the elites of the 1% as well, if you work hard enough.  We idolize the lavishness of the fancy houses, exotic cars, and basically living the high-life.  But that lives no room for empathy for those at the bottom.  Americans see the poor as moochers off the system, rather than as humans.  Sure, there are bad seeds to every crowd, but what about those who are at the bottom and truly want a better life for their kids and work tirelessly to achieve that?  The numbers of those people are surprisingly higher than what Fox News wants you to think.

I also don’t understand the religious conservative movement whose religious figures are basically revolutionaries themselves.  Yet, they stand for the things that their religions stand against, such as materialism and looking down on the poor.  Even when I was in Sunday school as a kid, I don’t remember being taught that being a rich douchebag will get me into an afterlife or that Jesus was all for being an armed bad-ass motherfucker.  Or that we are supposed to not pay taxes or deprive the sick of what they need.  It seems they’re stuck in the 80s with their Reganomics ideals and “greed is good.”  They seem to not to understand that the world is a dynamic place and globalization is bring us in closer and closer.  And that bullshit of American nationalism and that were this “beacon on a hill”, “we’re #1”, all obviously said by people who have never left the country.

On the other side, I see the extreme liberal movement trying to take a way the incentives for working hard, the main motivation on why we work.  It’s really become a bunch of slackers trying to stand against the man, but they don’t even know who the man is or what they’re standing against.  It seems that they’re just doing it to be “cool” or to hear themselves talk.  They bitch about corporations while they blog about it on their iPads and listening to music on their iPods.  In the end, they’re just pretentious dicks who have no substance.  Just like the rich douches, but pretending to be poor, so they think they can “understand” the plight of the common man.  I’m sure they’ve never truly walked out of the shoes of being uncomfortable.

Either way, both the left and the right have great ideals, when combined, can help move us forward, instead of us leaning one way or the other.

Getting us out of the funk we are in now takes more than legislation and a vote for either Romney or Obama.  It takes a social change.  It takes a change where we stop looking at each other as commodities and enemies looking to take what we have and instead, coming together to make the world a better place again.  It’s turning off the biased American media we have and stupid reality shows like Jersey Shore or American Idol, and desiring to make a change locally.  I definitely love social commentaries, such as The Leaderless Revolution and Fight Club. 

Another quote I liked, is that “our dream of safety has to disappear.”  That is the philosophy that I have adopted since getting out of the Navy.  Whether it’s taking a risk to leave the realm of your comfort zone, or to achieve lofty goals, or to achieve social change, we must cut the safety net.  And in some cases, we might have to even risks our lives to get things done.  But we are all only interested in self-preservation, whether physically or materially.  Getting to where we want to be involves cutting that safety net, which will only help us grow in a long run.

So even though I’m too small to be a catalyst of social change, it all has to start somewhere.  I’m glad there are some of us out there who can break out from the status quo, but it’s still an uphill fight from here.