The Meaning And Necessity Of Revolution In The 21st Century

Published on ROARmag.org, by Jérôme E. Roos, May 11, 2012 … (This is the transcript of a presentation given at the
OVNI 2012 festival in the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona on May 11, 2012)
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It’s amazing to be here in Barcelona – home to one of the most inspiring revolutionary episodes in European history and today once again a hotbed of popular resistance against market fundamentalism and a false democracy. Before I start, I would like to thank the OVNI organization and Carlos Delclós — a lecturer at Pompeu Fabra, an active member of the movement here in Barcelona, and a contributor to ROARMAG.org — for giving me the opportunity to speak to you today, on the eve of the global day of action of May 12.  

On the Edge of History: … //

… Revolution as a Co-Creative Process:

Whatever the answers may be, one thing that has become abundantly clear over the course of the past year, is that the idea of revolution cannot be condensed into a singular event – like the overthrow of a tyrant or the seizure of state power. Revolutions are processes by their very nature. They take place over a time-span of years – if not decades – and arise out of a complex web of historical currents and global interconnections. They have external manifestations – in the streets and squares – and internal motivations, in the hearts and minds of all those individual people constituting the masses. In other words, a real revolution does not occur – it unfolds. It unfolds both mentally and materially; both individually and collectively.

While images of the multitude amassing in the square to overthrow the tyrant may carry crucial elements of political and emotional symbolism, our struggle cannot just presume to lead towards a single cathartic explosion of popular dissent, or the capture of existing institutions. It must first of all take place inside of each and every single one of us, radicalizing our worldview and propelling us to take action. From there, it must spread into the collective consciousness and the very social fabric that we are trying to revolutionize.

Our challenge, in other words, is much greater than overthrowing a dictator or an austerity memorandum. For the root causes of our current predicament are not to be found in the symptoms of the system – but at its very core. It is precisely the internal contradiction of a world system consisting of a globally integrated marketplace on the one hand, and a scattered array of competing nation states on the other, that conspires to keep reproducing the patterns of oppression and exclusion that we are trying to fight. As the glaring failure of almost any form of Really Existing Socialism has displayed, the capture of state power will not suffice to keep the global market in check. A revolution in one country is doomed to fail. To bring about a genuine revolution, we will have to work together across borders and unite for global change. But most importantly, to bring about a genuine revolution, we will have to replace the institutions of the old world – including the nation state, parliamentary democracy and a privately-controlled money supply – with our own.

This requires building a new world from the grassroots up to the global level. In order to achieve such a seemingly impossible feat, we must be daring. We must be patient. We must be creative. We must cooperate. But most of all, we must persevere. Persevere in the face of external repression. Persevere in the face of internal conflict. And above all, persevere in the face of the enormity of the challenge that lies ahead of us. In the short term, there will be no easy gains to reap. Sadly, we may not even see any tangible results until many years from now. But that does not mean that our ultimate goals are not worth the struggle. In fact, we have a responsibility to keep up the good fight – and fight it till the bitter end. This movement is only the beginning of our revolutionary process.

To be a revolutionary today is to take a plunge; a plunge into the deep, for we do not know what’s on the other side. But to be a revolutionary also means to make a vow; a vow to persevere until we finally reach the other side and prove once and for all that another world is possible.

The Crisis of Global Capitalism: … (full long text, 3 videos and comments).

(The videos: el général, the voice of Tunisia, english subtitles, 4.18 min; Kazeboon – ? – Revolution Records (English Subtitles), 4.45 min; One World One Revolution, 7.39 min).

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