So you say you want a Revolution...

2008-09-25 00:00

With all the fuss and politicking around the new (September 2008) rapidly approaching presidential election, many people are feeling like new leadership isn't going to fix anything. The problems we face seem endemic to the whole system of government we have.

(At least that's the explicit frustration I've heard from one person I know, and many other people I talk to seem to agree. But I don't really get out much so this opinion may be based on the intelligent-technical-college-student culture and not something more general. — he, at least my biases are fairly obvious.)

Anyway, it seems like the current governmental strucutre is brokne or at the very least malfunctioning. If, for a moment, we assume that is true, and some other system would be superior, then we have a few things we need to know:

  • What system is superior, and how?
  • In what manner can the new system be instituted, or what manner can it not be instituted?

To answer the first question requires answering a lot of other questions, at the very least, identifying the superior system.

The second question is somewhat easier to break apart because we only need to know about the current system; though, it is possible the superior system's specifics will inform the precise answer (or the optimal answer).

The tried and true, old school, tested and respected method of changing out governmental systems is, of course, revolution.

But revolution is the brute force approach, it's hard, messy, and inelegant — if romantic. It also doesn't work very well "at scale."

The United States military is one the most dominating forces in the world. When both sides of a revolution had muskets, it's one thing. When one side has hunting rifles and the other side has air support — The side the the air support wins.

So straight revolution is out, unless the military is leading the way, in which case, by historial example, things have probably Gone Horribly Wrong.

The next most obvious thing to do is to have the system change itself. Revolution from within, so to speak. This, of course, relies on the system being somewhat functional, and not broken in the very particular manner of trying to keep the power it has at all costs. That last bit, unfortunately, is usually a symptom of a system that needs changing.

If you go the route of infiltrating the system until you have enough control to enact the changes you want — you've just created a totalitarian state, just like the fascist leader of the nineteen thirties and forties. This may be acceptable if there is a single restructuring and the totalitarian control goes away; but again, history tells us that doesn't actually happen.

We (the proto-revolutionaries) could try to make the current system obsolete. We provide a compelling alternative to everything the system currently provides. Then the system gets replaced effectively, but not on paper. Eventually, when everyone realized the old system is not longer necessary the old system can be removed.

Again, there are a host of problems with this plan, the the least of which is the issue of providing services in competition with your government's while not being a recognized sovereign power.

The last option, the easiest of all, is to simply write about the change,s what you want, what needs to happen. Nothing will actually change, but you do get the melancholy satisfaction of saying "I told you so," when someone complains about the system.

I don't think there's an easy answer to find for changing the status quo. You need to look at your agenda, timetable, and resources to find the best option. If you've figured out the superior system — go to it, maybe we can avoid an ungraceful all from out decaying superpower status. Instead, what?

Go buck the system, start a revolution; but remember you New World Order is standing ont he shoulds of the giant before you.

And have a plan!