A Revolting World
The Forces of Reaction never rest
by John Kozy
February 12, 2011
Many in many lands are demonstrating against their governments. Some claim that people everywhere are revolting and that a worldwide revolution is imminent. Even both the orthodox and heterodox presses are all atwitter. But it is far easier to bring about a successful revolution than it is to build and preserve a humane, functioning government. The forces of reaction never rest, and they have managed to undo most of history’s people’s revolutions. Revolutionaries must recognize that their first task is to defend their newly formed governments from reactionaries, for once reactionaries get their feet in the door, they will not stop until the revolution is undone.
Yes, the double entendre is intentional.
Any humane, sensitive, and intellectually honest person cannot help but be revolted after taking note of the inhumane condition of the people in most countries and the declining condition of most people in the so-called developed world. It is a world in which a very few prosper spectacularly while most suffer and perish without ever being noticed. And we call ourselves “human”! But is an inhumane person human at all? How does one attempt to answer such a question?
Of course, there are people everywhere who are genuinely revolted by what a few persons have done to the many. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill would surely wonder what ever happened to the principle they both advocated—the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Their Utilitarianism has been pulled inside out. Now it seems that the principle is the greatest happiness for the fewest people. They would indeed wonder what have human beings become.
This revulsion is now leading many in many lands into demonstrating against their governments. Some claim that people everywhere are revolting and that a worldwide revolution is imminent. Revolution is everywhere in the air. Even the orthodox and heterodox presses are all atwitter. Is a new world awakening? Is the eternal spring of hope to be actualized? Would that it were so. If history is any guide, not likely!
There are, of course, a few voices urging caution. No, not the president who claims to be advocating peaceful governmental transitions. I mean people such as Mohamed, an Egyptian, living in the United States, who says, “Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak must go,” but he fears that regardless of the promises, Mubarak will figure out a way to keep his henchmen in power and the brutal legacy of cruelty and torture will continue. There is also Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, who has just published an interesting piece, Revolution: Is 1848 Repeating Itself in the Arab World?, which warns that the forces of reaction might negate current revolutions just as they negated the revolutions of 1848.
In fact, given the revolting condition that most people endure, it should be evident that revolutions, no matter how sincere at there inception, never produce the reforms desired by the revolutionaries. Although everything Nazemroaya says about the aftermath of 1848 is true, he doesn’t go back nearly far enough.
Ever heard of the French revolution? What ever happened to it?