Atypical Revolutionary Effort (ARE): You Ready?

“There is a new kind of secessionist movement taking place in India. Shall we call it New Secessionism? It’s an inversion of Old Secessionism. It’s when people who are actually part of a whole different economy, a whole different country, a whole different planet, pretend they’re part of this one. It is the kind of secession in which a relatively small section of people become immensely wealthy by appropriating everything — land, rivers, water, freedom, security, dignity, fundamental rights including the right to protest — from a large group of people.It’s a vertical secession, not a horizontal, territorial one.” — Arundhati Roy preparing to pitch the legitimacy of fighting for secession anywhere in the world these days in How Deep Shall We Dig?
No voting, for president or local referendum, is not subject to fraud these days. “If voting could change anything….” You know the mantra. Unquestionably, no threatening electoral effort is left behind, alone. It is dealt with by the powers that be. “One way or another,” to quote Debbie Harry.
So though one can still insist upon the need to vote here and there, clearly there’s a need for a supplement. In a serious way, not in a faux punk way.
Thing is, that supplement cannot be the usual fare. There has to be a complement for the serious supplement. For the usual forms of protest (candlelight vigils, hunger strikes, boycotts, marching in circles with placards, getting arrested, etc.) — unquestionably — aren’t working. Not well enough. And one of the daunting obstacles in the way of moving in meaningful macroscopic solidarity can be found in the fact that activists are confronted by a million and one issues. A multiplicity of choice and worries that far outstrips how consumers confronted by Colgate’s variety of counterparts fret over toothpaste alternatives. In short, we’re overwhelmed! And when one is so burdened resignation tends to rear its head.
So… what’s the answer?
I submit that, for starters, we will have to stop focusing primarily or exclusively on the usual suspects when it comes to addressing complicity. It’s way too easy — far too habitual — for concerned citizens to direct their bootless cries at corrupt politicians, incompetent agencies, corporate policies, etc. That incensed censure should continue, but there needs to be more of a focus on one’s own part in our going over the precipice.
And the “Be the Change You Want to See” mantra doesn’t cut the muster, for it gets people off the hook too comfortably. It’s not enough to stop eating pork and pick up a locally grown banana. Insufficient to be trading in one’s vehicle for a bicycle. That kind of personal action should be encouraged, but other initiatives need to be embraced. Ones that aren’t quite so palatable, perhaps.
Revolution. What is it good for? Well, it’s a sensible alternative to reform… when no electoral effort will be left out of the loop that has the powers that be undermining anything that’s threatening, cutting potentially decent transforming efforts off at the knees, making a mockery of participatory democracy. It’s a necessary alternative.
But revolution is traditionally bloody. And. today, not a good bet, what with the present power of the state in place. Increased surveillance alone, which includes much more than what high tech gadgetry now provides (with every neighbor becoming a cop, counterparts to Third Reich citizen informants); it makes radical change improbable, to say the least. Highly unlikely if one factors in the increasing militarization of law enforcement.
That’s if traditional revolution is embraced.
Here, though, I’m getting down with something that follows a fresh paradigm.
Before going into some nuts and bolts of a new model for bringing about change, I ask the reader to consider what it means for writers on alternative media outlets to be documenting what — essentially — we already know… incessantly. Without letup in lieu of doing something in solidarity with others. Check out what proportion of alternative writers give their contact info. Not many. What do they expect? To inspire the reader to contact one of those non-profits engaged in protest which embraces obsolete approaches for bringing about institutional changes? Their behavior and attitude reminds me of the church-going citizen who means well, but who expects to be able to write a check instead of getting involved in her or his community in a way that’ll get hands dirty.
Revolution is a dirty business. And it can get you killed. You and your loved ones. Obviously, posting a piece, publishing a book, going on the lecture circuit, circulating a petition, endorsing a particular protest is safer.
In fact, considering the collective deadlines we face vis-a-vis our collective crises, we are documenting ourselves to death. Expressing our rage, and building a case that’s already been made ad infinitum, as a substitute for taking revolutionary action.
The indigenous folks in North Dakota and their supporters there and all over the nation afford a very good example of a well-meaning, necessary protest that needs a supplement of some kind.
You can’t stop the horrid momentum that’s slated to roll over that sacred ground without adding a new ingredient to the activist mix. What’s being done at present cannot be allowed to be the exclusive way to end the abominations which are in gear (in the pipeline, as they say).
What to do?
I ask the reader to consider what they personally must change in their lives as per what’s given above here. Meaning, above and beyond personal safe resolutions, what are you prepared to do internally to prepare for revolution with others? What dangerous changes are you willing to embrace? Dangerous meaning what deeply cuts into your present Ground of Being.
A specific is called for here. A single example which can serve as a highly challenging litmus test.
We could pick from 101 from the top of my head, but let’s focus on an issue which will easily push the envelope for the vast majority of readers.
I use a computer, but I don’t own a cell phone. I’m pretty low profile when it comes the realm of Silicon Valley products, even though the capital of high tech gadgetry is virtually in my backyard. No matter where anyone lives these days, however, they’re likely to be going overboard with their use of high tech products without so much as a second thought being given to what the continuation of the habits are contingent upon. With me, I say a kind of prayer that’s comparable to what indigenous people have chanted when taking the life of a buffalo… when I sit down to my computer. I’m conscious of its source. And I work toward giving it up and/or dealing anew with the abominations associated with how it ends up in my lap.
I do care about the slavery and death that’s connected to those products. I fret seriously over the physical dangers of such products (as per Dr. Martin Blank’s revelations in Overpowered), but that’s a personal safety concern. Respecting compassion, however, my eyes are on those mining and minding the many assembly lines… in the Congo… in China… and elsewhere.
Where does this lead?
I submit — humbly and respectfully — that all the well-meaning protest generated by highly educated and deeply experienced souls supporting the thrust of indigenous protest ’round the world should factor in the fact that concerned citizens are going to have to honor Rilke’s mantra:
You must — in fine Buddhist fashion, if you will — do something about your attachment to the products you’re obsessed about. For without doing that you won’t be able to see just how radical you’re going to have to be to save the world.
Are you ready?
My closest activist associate — when I address the new paradigm for revolution — tells me to write a book which features a manifesto. But we don’t need more publications. They’re beneficial often, but delineations of any kind (words, words, words) won’t stop what President Clinton (yes, as per the Irish bookies, her reign will begin January 20, 2017) has in store for us. And on that note, I ask readers to settle for the moment on my underscoring that secession movements throughout the country need to be supported, legally and otherwise. That the new paradigm I speak of must incorporate an acknowledgement (in daily action) that we must break up these so-called United States. Yes, the United States of Abominations cannot be permitted to continue.
Details about how to proceed?
I’m telling you. I’m not being cryptic here. It’s as clear as the habits we’ve embraced.
Step One will have to be personal transformation that hurts deeply. Deeply in the sense that quitting nicotine or heroin cuts to the bone in most addicts.
“Habit is the great deadener” — Samuel Beckett
Following the personal commitment that I’m pleading for here, well-meaning grassroots citizens — healthy in heart, head and soul — will be prepared to meet and tap into their collective creative juices and come up with very effective viable options for secession efforts ‘cross country; all efforts, of course, will have to deal with the fact secession won’t work vis-a-vis climate change issues or the worldwide nuclear dynamic and the like unless there’s a resolve to address our interconnected threats. Our utter dependence on one another. But that’ll have to be on the agenda down the road. First things first. First we’re going to have to stop aiding and abetting.
Unprecedented hacking could be part of the mix initially. Stopping “business as usual” could be embraced (but in a different vein than what always takes place, interfering with traffic, blocking entrance into offices, preventing ships from docking, etc. only on part of a single day or for a given week or month). There are many options, but in the spirit of properly acknowledging the threat of infiltration and premature undermining by the powers that be, I believe most readers will understand the need to not lay out all the nuts and bolts here and now. Suffice it to say that to cripple the United States of Abominations, we’re going to have to start calling a shovel a shovel when it comes to our present day form of activism, which is burying us fast.
Are you ready?
Let me know, if you will, when you are.
Richard Oxman has been an activist since he was seven-years-old at the Peekskill Riots. He’s been a professor and a worldwide educator on all levels for half-a-century, and he can be contacted at [email protected].

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