The R word
Sound the alarm now… or it’ll soon be a
I haven’t seen the R word in progressive, let alone
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
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
The alternative is just too frightening to
Gino Rembetes is a freelance journalist and
progressive activist based in the Bay Area. E-mail him at