HOW CAN A DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO CREATE AN EGALITARIAN WORLD?
Democratic revolution is the act of the great majority of people taking real power in society, to shape society by their shared egalitarian values--equality and democracy and solidarity (mutual aid, concern for one another)--as discussed in This I Believe. It includes removing from power those who--like the billionaires who control the United States today--want society to be based on inequality, the domination of the many by the few, and pitting people against each other to control them.
It is very unlikely that a democratic revolution can succeed by voting. We live in a dictatorship of the rich. The rich control the election process to make sure that it never allows us to seriously challenge their power. If and when the rich fear losing control of the election process, then they shift to using more obviously undemocratic means of control. The Big Money rulers of the United States have overthrown democratically elected governments in foreign countries when it suited them, and they would certainly not give up their power in the United States just because of an election.
The Big Money rulers of the United States can only be removed from power by a popular, mass egalitarian revolutionary movement of hundreds of millions of Americans (with support from similar movements in other nations.) The reason such a movement is possible is that, as we know from our experience, most Americans want an egalitarian revolution. When they read This I Believe most sign it right away. Furthermore, the reason why millions of Americans are involved in the various small or large organizations they belong to is, even if they don't think about it in these terms, because they want to make the little corner of the world over which they have some real control more equal, more democratic, more about people helping each other--more egalitarian, and the opposite of how the Big Money rulers want it to be. In this sense, a huge egalitarian revolutionary movement already exists. But most people in this movement do not see the revolutionary significance of their efforts. They don't see themselves as part of a huge majority in wanting to remove the rich from power in order to shape society by their egalitarian values.
Our Ring the Bells of Revolution campaign to collect 130 million signatures for This I Believe is intended to help Americans know that in having egalitarian revolutionary aspirations they are the majority--not a hopelessly small minority, as they now believe themselves to be. As Americans come to know this, they will develop the confidence to have their organizations express their egalitarian revolutionary aspirations explicitly, by telling the public that this is why they are working for the specific aims of their organization, as discussed here. They will see the common revolutionary egalitarian goal of people with different immediate aims and act with increasingly militant solidarity with them. And they will demonstrate increasing determination to win and to defend themselves from those who would attack them. This is how the American public can persuade a critical mass of members of the military forces (people like themselves who also want an egalitarian revolution) that the revolutionary movement is large and determined enough to actually win if it had their support. This is when members of the military will take the risk (of being executed for treason possibly) of refusing orders to attack the revolutionary movement and instead join it and use their weapons to help defend it against those who would attack it. (Click here to read about how American GIs in Vietnam essentially did this.) This is how the majority of Americans can--for the first time--take real power and shape society completely by their values. This is what People for Democratic Revolution-Boston is for--in the United States.
But in order to prevail, the revolutionary egalitarian movement must be GLOBAL, so that ruling elites in one nation are prevented BY THEIR OWN PEOPLE from coming to the aid of ruling elites in other nations where egalitarian revolution is happening. This is why we aim to establish relations of solidarity with people in other countries who are building a revolutionary egalitarian movement there.
What is the difference between "democratic revolution" and egalitarian revolution? There is no difference at all. We in PDRBoston used the phrase "democratic revolution" before we realized that egalitarianism was the best name for what we believed and egalitarian revolution was a better phrase for what we were aiming to make happen.
Here is an article about how soldiers went over to the side of the revolution and forced the Czar of Russia to abdicate.
Here is an article about how people formed voluntary federation on a national scale within weeks.
Here is a video documentary about the Spanish Revolution that shows how millions of people in Spain in 1936-9 created an egalitarian society.
PAST REVOLUTIONS FAILED TO MAKE A BETTER WORLD, SO WHY WILL AN EGALITARIAN REVOLUTION SUCCEED?
What's to prevent the egalitarian revolution we want from turning out bad like the revolutions in the past, in which old bad rulers were simply replaced by new bad rulers, old forms of oppression replaced by new forms?
The problem with past revolutions (and social movements) was not that they failed to win what they explicitly aimed for, but that what they explicitly aimed for--Equal Opportunity (to be rich) in the French revolution, Bolshevik power in the Russian Revolution, Ending Apartheid (while keeping class inequality) in South Africa, Islamic theocracy in Iran, Ending Jim Crow (while keeping class inequality) in the American Civil Rights Movement--was not exactly what people actually wanted. Result: these mass movements won what they aimed for, but then the people discovered how it wasn't what they really had in mind, which was the abolition of class inequality, with no rich and no poor and real democracy based on voluntary federation as described above.
The lesson from history is not that revolutions and mass movements cannot win; the lesson is that they can win, but if they don't aim explicitly for an egalitarian society based on the abolition of class inequality, then they'll end up still stuck with class INEQUALITY. The only difference is that new people will be on top; things end up remaining bad for the people on the bottom.
What makes egalitarian revolution different is that its explicit goal is egalitarianism--the abolition of all forms of class inequality and the end of governments that let a few people write laws that everybody else has to obey. When the rank-and-file of an egalitarian revolutionary movement have this goal firmly in mind, then they will denounce and reject any leaders who work for a different goal. This is the reason an egalitarian revolutionary movement will succeed where past revolutions failed to create real equality and democracy.
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