(Original post by ckingalt)
How many of us today are willing to sacrifice our quality of life in the present, in order to have a chance at providing a better one for the future? At this point, that may be what is truly required.
This site is represented by Libertarians, extreme Conservatives, extreme Liberals, and everything in between. As passionately as these ideologies often disagree, there is one belief regarding the state of our society that 99% of us agree on.
Our governments, our economies, and the welfare of our societies have been hijacked by corruption, vested self interests, private agendas, and outright tyranny.
The very basis for democracy is an attempt to prevent such insidious influences from prevailing through the empowerment of the people. If democracy has failed it is because we the people have failed in our commitment and due diligence to the responsibility entrusted us. What if we have indeed failed though? Is democracy adequately capable of removing these unwanted influences once they have prevailed? The democratic system when functioning as intended, provides only subtle course corrections. The private agendas which have infiltrated the system are well organized, highly efficient institutions. These institutions (for lack of a better description) have become the equivalent of a deeply embedded parasite which will kill the host rather than allow itself to be extracted. I’m not suggesting conspiracy, I’m simply acknowledging that human nature is for power to beget power. Revolution may be the only answer if we are serious about real change. Let us hope if necessary, it will be a peaceful one. What might that require?
George Lakey in his 1973 book  and in his 1976 "A Manifesto for Nonviolent Revolution", laid out a five stage strategy for nonviolent revolution. Stage 1 Cultural Preparation or "Conscientization": Education, training and consciousness raising of why their is a need for a nonviolent revolution and how to conduct a nonviolent revolution. Stage 2.Building Organizations: As training, education and consciousness raising continues, the need to form organizations. Affinity groups or nonviolent revolutionary groups are organized to provide support,maintain nonviolent discipline, organize and train other people into similar affinity groups and networks. Stage 3. Confrontation Organized and sustained campaigns of picketing, strikes, sit-ins, marches, boycotts, die-ins, blockades to disrupt business as usual in institutions and government. By putting ones body on the line nonviolently the rising movement stops the normal gears of government and business. Stage 4. Mass Non Cooperation: Similar affinity groups and networks of affinity groups around the country and world, engage in similar actions to disrupt business as usual. Stage 5. Developing Parallel Institutions to take over functions and services of government and commerce. In order to create a new society without violence, oppression, environmental destruction, discrimination and one that is environmentally sustainable, nonviolent, democratic, equatable tolerant and fair, alternative organizations and structures including businesses must be created to provide the needed services and goods that citizens of a society need.
I make the above reference because there are many parallels occurring today. The “Occupy” movement would be the most obvious example, though it’s on a much smaller scale than required. It is relevant however, because history and current events have taught us that these things can escalate quickly. If they do, are we truly prepared as a society for the actual sacrifices our convictions demand? The objective of stage 3 and 4 is to disrupt the function of institutions and government on a massive scale.
The repercussions of such actions will cause us to, temporarily at least, lose many of the luxuries, basic services, entitlements, and securities that our culture has come to consider as rights.
Would the protesters still have their enthusiasm to face the potential heavy hand of the authorities if they couldn’t be assured of receiving medical treatment? Would the masses support the protestors if the authorities were no longer able to provide a sense of security from rouge protestors and general lawlessness? Would the so called “disenfranchised poor” still resent the meager assistance they receive when they realized it was better than no assistance at all? Would the mighty intellectual students still preach a "New World Order" if their precious access to education was in jeopardy? I don’t think our society is prepared for real change because it’s a burden. To put it simply, we may not be ready for revolution because, as screwed up as the system has become, it just isn’t bad enough.
Many of you may not agree with my beliefs. As a matter of fact several have gone out of their way to make that abundantly clear. Most of us share a desire to make the world as right as possible though. We just happen to view it differently. As Obnoxious as some of my beliefs are, I do not make them lightly. I once thought that the ultimate test of ones convictions is to be willing to fight for them. I have done so in more ways than one. I am now coming to realize there is a much more difficult test. The true test is to be willing to suffer for your convictions, and I’m not sure I will measure up. So I ask you again;
Are you willing to sacrifice your quality of life right now, for nothing more than to have a chance at providing a better future?