You Say You Want A Revolution?

Thomas Jefferson has this to say about revolution:

January 30, 1787
“A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”

November 13, 1787
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

If what he says is true, under what circumstances do you think the NEXT American Revolution will occur? What events would have to take place to bring about armed insurrection in the streets of the United States (or in your country, for all of you non-US Dopers?)

This was discussed not too long ago, but I never joined in so I will do it now. I think that once the people lost their voice in a drastic way, would I be in favor of a revolution. If government control becomes increased exponentially and the people silenced. Tapping phones and big brother everywhere is not enough, in my book.

I reckon that we could use a low-key revolution in the UK. The people do not in fact have much of a voice because of our ridiculous electoral system, and it is to all intents and purposes a one-party state. There is theoretically an opposition, but they have so far been completely unable to take advantage of the fact that this government is appallingly illiberal, ineffective and devious. This is because the opposition is made up of clowns.

However we won’t have a revolution, because the Brits have never been any good at them. They’re not even any good at peaceful protests. The Countryside March was the largest demonstration ever in the UK and it only attracted 400,000 people. Oh, and was completely ignored by the Powers That Be.

And the Brits won’t do anything about this, because they don’t give a rat’s arse, and don’t even perceive that there is a serious problem. I’m going to write myself into a frenzy in a second, so I’m going to stop.

I’m satisfied that the degree of individual freedom is high enough that it cannot be improved upon through any violent means. (Organized violence is always going to be even less democratic in its most efficient form; and then you have no guarantee that the military leaders are gonna let go the reins).

For “peaceful revolution” though, count me in. I’ll happily agitate and help popularize revolutionary notions if we can come to some agreement on goals.

I agree, I don’t think I would want a revolution in this country unless things got really bad. Mostly because I would be worried about what sort of constitution would replace the one we’ve got. I really, really like ours and I don’t think I’d want to see it mucked with by the type of people I think would lead a revolution outside of horrendous political conditions.

The next presidential election might be a catalyst for revolution. In the last one everyone was up in arms about how Gore Allegedy got cheated. If someone had been there to keep up the frenzy we could have had a revolution then. With the 3 way split between Bush, Nader and Gore it was obvious that Bush was the least favorable canidate collectively , but individualy more favored than Gore or Nader. If someone had rallied all of the Nader and Gore supporters together then , we might still be haveing protests now.

If the next presidential election is as close to call as the last and Bush wins again someone might try to mobilize the support for the opposition. If there is enough support then there will be a revolution.

If the Raiders lose today, we might see a revolution…


Are you serious?? Revolution as in armed people taking to the streets violently trying to overthrow the gov’t because it’s a close presidentila election? No way. Neither of the 2 parties would EVER sanction armed insurection over just a close election. Was even one rock thrown last time? No. It’s too much of a stretch. Did you live thru the 60s? There was all sorts of violence in the strteets, real scary some times, but still no where near close to a revolution (along the lines of the fisrt one).

It would take a complete breakdown of the economic system for a revolution to take place. And I mean COMPLETE. Hey we already had a huge Depresion 80 yrs ago, and that wasn’t big enough. Thinik 10x worse.


The only way a revolution succeeds is when a majority of the people and enough of the police and military support it. A small minority with guns is a gang. Whereas the majority of citizens with guns is a full-blown insurrection.

I would find it strange that a people too apathetic to vote would get off the couch and rebel.

Short answer: When the cops start going house to house without warrants looking for suspected terrorists, banned writers, and those guilty of wrongthink…

The revolution will come when the gulf between rich and poor becomes too great. A wealth-based class system is necessary for capitalism to function, but when those at the top become too greedy, the poor will drag them ito the streets. Capitalism is a delicate balance between oppression and gratification; the masses will give up most of their freedoms so long as they have food, shelter and the perception of security. Add cable TV, internet porn and professional sports, and they will let the powerful get away with just about anything.

Alan…? Alan Moore?

No…revolutions are started by the middle class, not the poor. Jefferson and Washington weren’t peasents. They were wealthy landowners (but not aristocrats). Without the leadership and rabble-rousing of educated men with resources, all you have is an unruly mob that is easily dispersed.

Has there ever been a revolution in a modern industrialized democracy that we could use as a reference?

I suppose the Civil War might count. But seriously, people don’t start shooting at the cops over a closely lost election. Why do Republican presidents peacefully hand over power to Democratic presidents and vice versa? Because being the losing party in the current system is orders of magnitude better than being the winning party in a devastated and destroyed country. There’s always next time. If the democrats believed that there would NEVER be a next time, and there were enough of them, it might happen.

Dryga_Yes, since I didn’t have the faintest idea who on Earth Alan Moore was, I endeavoured to find out to determine what your response meant. I found out that Alan Moore is a comic book author. I’m still confused. Does he write or draw subversive political comics?

Heh, but since Democrats are so pro-gun control, it would be a short lived uprising :wink:
It seems to me that there is no longer the realistic possibility of a ‘Civil War’ type revolution, since there don’t seem to be any really binding regional bonds in America any longer.

Lets assume that Event A has occurred. Many, many people are pissed to the point of taking up arms. What would their target be? Assume that most of the armed forces stay loyal to the government. What would the uprising go for? The gov’t? The armed forces? Event A would have to be something so powerfull, that most of the military joins in, I would guess.

As an outsider, isn’t all this talk of “revolution” what Timothy McVeigh was on about? If so, not very nice stuff I must say.

originaly by :John Mace

originaly by :Me

Nope,I am talking about people making a fuss and protesting. I can see people writeing letters,makeing T.V. ads and walking picket lines all over the U.S. if the presidential election vote is as close the next time as it was the last time. It could even mean the death of the electoral college. Most Americans are too squeamish to go for an armed insurrection.