25 July 2014
Every Generation Needs a Revolution
Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Revolutions have happened throughout history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration, motivating ideology, and the number of participating revolutionaries. There are times when it is necessary to fight against issues that have become a huge problem to where they should no longer be. According to, “How To Start A Revolution”, if an individual is going to start a revolution then they must build support and consensus because nothing will happen if the only ‘rebels’ are that individual and their buddies. It is a very important step towards a successful revolution. Once cultivated, the individual and support must be united under one common goal and fundamental principles (How To Start A Revolution).
The Occupy Wall Street in New York was the first protest to receive widespread attention. By early October, Occupy protests had taken place in over 951 cities across 82 countries, and over 600 communities in the United States (Occupy Movement). According to Nathan Schneider, supporters of the Occupy Movement in the beginning introduced themselves as students, artists, organizers, teachers, and elders, such as a Vietnam vet from Staten Island (How the Occupy Movement Began). Mass movements are big and diverse. They encompass many different kinds of people who bring all kind of skills, resources, interest, and priorities.
For a revolution to spread, protestors need to be joined by other people-specific kinds of other people. Theorists going back to Marx have found that successful revolutions require certain recurring character types and skill sets. According to an article by Sara Robinson there are sic characterized people you need to start a revolution. “You need the rabble-rousers, the organizers, rally makers, protest leaders-the people who know how to turn masses of people out into the streets, keep them there for as long as it takes, and get the rest of the country to pay attention to what they’re saying.” You also need the intellectuals, “the think-tankers, bloggers, speakers, professors, and authors-the people who’ve been honing politics and culture over the past few decades. The people who have been quietly dreaming up a new vision for how truly free, secure, sustainable, and just American society ought to work.” To start a revolution you need the ‘storytellers’-the writers, artists, songwriters, poets, filmmakers, and actors. You need the individuals who are gifted at grabbing other people by the guts and not letting them go. They’re capable of inspiring others with visions of deep historical and personal meaning (Robinson, Sara).
The next group Sara Robinson explains to her audience are the ‘insiders’- “the shrewd political operators who understand how power works, who are ready to rush in and pull the right levers.” The next person one would need are the ‘supportive elites’, “the group of people who are willing to bring their own personal connections, influence, skill, money, and fame to bear. They add weight and ballast to the revolutions efforts, slicing through obstacles and putting massive momentum behind every new action.” And lastly we come to ‘the masses’- 15 percent of America. Just enough people to create some cultural and political ripple (Robinson, Sara).
Therefore, after all of this information I believe that it takes more than one generation to start a revolution. I believe this because of the 6 people Robinson states in her article, “6 People You Need to Start a Revolution” can all be from different generations. Artists and ‘Insiders’ for example can be identified as an older generations. I believe that several generations forge a revolution because a revolution requires the many different skills and different tactics that can be identified with more than one generation.
My ideas on a revolution are similar to Thomas Jefferson who once said, “Every generation needs a revolution.”
“How to Start a Revolution”. WikiHow. Web. 23 July 2014. http://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Revolution
“Occupy Movement”. Wikipedia. Web. 23 July 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_movement
Robinson, Sara. “6 people You Need to Start a Revolution”. 12 April 2012. Web. 23 July 2014. http://www.alternet.org/story/154968/6_people_you_need_to_start_a_revolution?page=0%2C0
Schneider, Nathan. “How the Occupy Movement Began: The Full Account”. 24 October 2013. Web. 23 July 2014. http://truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/19567-how-the-occupy-movement-began-the-full-account