Whatever Happened to Revolution?

I’ve been noticing something lately, as I wander through various social groups and talk to people who seem to be the independent-minded type: nobody talks about revolution anymore.

I am not a child of the sixties. I’m a child of the nineties. But I’ve always admired the sixties- and seventies-era idea of getting tired of the way the current system works and trying to tear it down. Free love, free food, the careful and spiritual expansion of consciousness, all attempts to create a world that is better than the one the revolutionaries found themselves in.

What happened to that ethos? Although we are living in a time, it could be argued, that is just as unstable and unpleasant as the sixties, I have not heard a single young person even hinting at the idea of revolution. I haven’t heard anybody suggesting that this society needs to be changed. What I hear instead is talk of work. Of making money. I hear of drinking problems and parties and drug abuse. I don’t hear anybody trying to change the world, I only hear people trying to ignore it.

And I’m not saying that I’m immune from this. I spend a good deal of my day ignoring the world. I spend a lot of time trying not to think about $120 a barrel oil and genocide in Africa and cyclones in Burma and human-rights abuses here and abroad. Perhaps it’s a psychological defense mechanism. But it seems to me that a better way to solve the problem would be to return to the “hippie” ethic of trying to eradicate hate, to enjoy life, and to create a world that is more comfortable for everybody.

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3 Responses to “Whatever Happened to Revolution?”

  1. Brandi Says:

    I’ve been thinking about the same thing. However, the lack of motivation to change the world probably has to do with how lazy people are now. No one wants to riot when there is reality television to watch. Change the world? Nah, not today. Someone is going to get voted off American Idol!
    It’s really sad how far we’ve fallen.

  2. asymptote Says:

    I’m incredibly pleased that I’m not the only one, at least, who thinks that way.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    The idea of revolution is still around. And many are still planning for one. What they are doing, is discussing it at the moment. Though they are smart enough to keep it underground, they do not have the intelligence to execute it rightly. I hope they don’t even try. They’re just kids that want to be rebellious. They don’t have the necessary skills to do anything more than spray the walls with paint. That’s just my opinion. And only from what I’ve heard.


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