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The R word

Sound the alarm now… or it’ll soon be a reality

By Gino Rembetes

I haven’t seen the R word in progressive, let alone mainstream, media.

I doubt that their failure to use it is a matter of fear-born self-censorship. More likely, they just aren’t ready to admit that the likelihood of R grows by the day.

You might have guessed by now that by R, I mean revolution.

And you already know the causes: consolidation of wealth and power at the top, the disappearance of the middle class, the widening of the socio-economic gap, the “Let them eat cake (made of artificial ingredients)” attitude of those in power toward the less fortunate, and the shredding of the Constitution (especially the Bill of Rights) in the names of “national security” and “the war on terror.”

Unless our socio-economic direction is reversed, revolution will come within 20 years. The discontent among the displaced will grow in breadth and intensity, to the point that a small incident of oppression will be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Some people I know say it will come sooner. Most of those I know don’t believe it will happen at all; they say our system of government has enough safeguards to prevent the rise of a regime so oppressive as to sow the seeds of rebellion.

That regime is here. Now.

Who would lead a revolution? I don’t know if it would have an organized leadership, at least initially. It’s reasonable to speculate that there might already be organizations laying the groundwork. I personally haven’t heard of any.

Would it succeed? I doubt it, considering the resources at the disposal of those in power.

If it did succeed, would we be better off? We can hope so. But all too often, successful revolutions accomplish nothing more than to replace one group of despots with another.

And regardless of the result, consider the cost: War is unhealthy for humans and other living things.

We need to begin using the R word, making it part of the collective consciousness, getting the media — all of them — to see the danger.

The alternative is just too frightening to contemplate.


Gino Rembetes is a freelance journalist and progressive activist based in the Bay Area. E-mail him at rembetesg@earthlink.net.