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View Diary: Are we on the verge of another 1848 or 1917? (283 comments)

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  •  Your history is muddled (7+ / 0-)

    While I think the issue of income equality is deeply important, I'm not sure that using a frame of historical fantasy helps the argument. I'm mean this statement is a total fantasy and removed from historical fact:

    In all honesty, I feel as if we as a society are on the cusp of another major society upheaval similar to what occurred in 1848 with the spring of nations or in 1917 with the Russian revolution and the collapse of the old reactionary monarchies of Germany, Russia, Austria, and the Ottomans.
    While income inequality was a significant factor 97 years ago, the main trigger of the Russian revolution was World War One. Without the war, the revolution would not have happened. And by the end of 1917 the monarchies in Germany and Austria were still solidly in place--they only  fell when they lost the war. The monarchy behind the Ottoman empire had effectively fallen years before to a military coupe led by The Young Turks. In 1917 the Ottomans were still actively and aggressively fighting the war with the support of their population. Post-war, the governments of these countries changed, but as a result of the war and peace terms laid down in 1919--not because of a popular uprising of any kind.

    Even in Russia, the Soviet state was just a switch of one group of elites for another. Millions were killed by the Soviet State post-1917 while freedom and human rights were more restricted than they were under the Czar. That rebellion did not improve the lives of the people very much and fewer would have died if Russia had been allowed to take a different path to a post-Czar government. WWI cut off that option and made the revolution possible.

    The 1848 Revolutions in Europe were more like the current Arab Spring--ultimately about new elites replacing some of the old elites. Factors of identity and nationalism were the drivers and as strong or stronger than any appeal to income inequality.

    While revolutions use the rhetoric of income inequality to get people into the streets, they rarely deliver justice.

    A better model to win would be the fight to end slavery and the ongoing effort for civil rights. After all, having enough income to live and thrive is a basic human right--a right that needs universal recognition. This is a long fight and we stand on the shoulders of the activists who have fought and won many, many victories. It is our turn now to be persistent, focused and real.

    When it comes to violent revolutions, history tells us that more often than not, that the elites--even if they are new elites--get stronger and people are killed. History also tells us that most revolutions are sold and promoted with historical fantasies.  

    I think arguments based on historical fantasies are not very useful for justice. OTOH, promoting  historical fantasies is how the elites to keep people divided and distracted. I don't think it is a tactic that a reality based community should embrace.

    Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

    by dengre on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:27:30 AM PST

    •  alas, your history needs some fixing too . . . ; (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Librarianmom, mkor7
      the main trigger of the Russian revolution was World War One. Without the war, the revolution would not have happened.
      Nope. The main trigger of the Russian Revolution was the failure of Alexander III to effectively abolish serfdom. That led directly to the wave of political unrest against the Tsarist system from the 1870's all the way up to 1917. That's why the FIRST major Russian Revolution happened in 1905. The 1917 Revolution was Round Two.

      World War One was an enabling factor (as it also was in Ireland in 1916), but it was not a causal factor.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:55:07 AM PST

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      •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

        but WWI still stands as the main driver. There were reforms made after the 1905 revolutions and more were in progress in 1914. Without the war these would have been made and the Russia transition away from autocratic rule would have moved forward. The war stop that progress and the revolution replaced one form of autocratic rule with another.

        Even to this day Russia still has an autocratic ruler with equality, rights and liberty pretty limited and a larger gap between the super rich and everybody else than we have in the USA.

        Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

        by dengre on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:57:58 AM PST

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