26 November 2011

occupy everything -- tea party time -- you say you want a revolution

Thomas Jefferson is widely quoted as saying America would need a revolution every twenty years.  We have had a few.

In my lifetime:
  •  The returning veterans who used the GI Bill to transform both their futures and the entire education system certainly were a revolutionary force.
  • The civil rights movement, which made the racism so endemic in America begin to dissolve began a revolution that is on-going.
  • The Space Program that Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy began have given us a series of technology revolutions.
    • Personal computing devices have pushed organizations to become flatter, and productivity to rise.
    • The Internet and Web have changed the way we do research, communications and even dating.
    • Spin off technologies in areas like robotics, databases and metallurgy have changed everything from cooking to oil refining.
    • Super seeds have changed agriculture around the world.
    • Medicine has extended life spans, taken vaccination to new places, and is about to challenge more killers.
    • The social, political and economic impact of "the pill" cannot be over-stated.
  • In the fields of cosmology, archaeology, linguistics,  and theology; revolutions abound. We understand the Natural world, and the ancient Hebrew, Roman, and Greek cultures in ways that were out of reach a century ago.
You say you want a revolution? So much abundance is available to us, yet many children starve, many others work in sweat shops to make the things a consumer economy demands, and many of their parents are completely unable to break the cycle.  We know more about the times and cultures that swirled around first century Palestine than the catholic fathers and reformers combined; at the same time secularism, bigotry, and ignorance rule much of the thoughts of humankind.

You want a revolution? The command of Jesus, "Love one another" remains unheard. In fact, one set of loonies is "re-translating" (I think "selective editing" might be more correct) the Bible to get the "love" and "feminist" things out of it!

When the tea party movement began, and again when the occupy Wall St. movement began, reporters and others asked, "what do they want," "what is their agenda," and "who will they elect?" What silly questions. Revolution begins with a simple premise: what is being done is wrong. It does not begin with an agenda.

The revolutionary changes in technology, knowledge, and communications have left our institutions in the dust as they race by. The revolutionaries of this time want justice, fairness, and functional changes. They get the point: the institutions are hopelessly out of date. Now if only politicians, bishops, and corporations could get it too.


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