When you have a government that operates without limits, who proclaims the right to arrest, torture and kill anyone any, anywhere, with no warrants, no trial, no due process…
When you have a government that militarizes the police and grants the armed forces the power to operate with impunity within your own borders and beyond; a government that views you, the people, as the enemy… and treats you as such…
When you have a government that lies to you takes you into wars of aggression, toppling country after country, killing countless innocent civilians, and sending your sons and daughters and your fathers and your brothers home in flag draped coffins, or disfigured and broken in mind and body… their lives destroyed in wars that serve only to line the pockets of a unelected cartel of bankers and corporations…
When you have all of this right in front of you, so blatant, so clear, you shouldn’t have to be convinced that both parties in this political puppet show are owned and operated by the same interests, and you shouldn’t have to be convinced that these overrated corporate popularity contests that some call elections are distractions that will achieve nothing, and with this understood, you shouldn’t have to be convinced that the system you are living under must be brought to a halt.
These are obviously conclusions for those who have been paying attention, so we won’t try to convince you here. This video focuses solely on how to bring that system to a halt. Think of it as an instruction manual for a revolution. There are those who will be taken aback when you start using the word revolution.
Revolution, the act of revolting, and overturning the current power structure is an extreme measure, one that should be handled with extreme caution, and in most cases they should be avoided.
Revolutions are dangerous in every sense of the word, and it is difficult if not impossible to predict their outcome, but there are times when allowing those in control to stay in control is even more dangerous.
Right now the question you need to ask yourself is this:
Are we at that point yet? Can the current system be reformed?
Revolutions begin with a NO and they end with a YES.
Revolutions begin when you say NO to those who claim to have power over you, and revolutions end when you accept a new status quo, a new normal, whether that new normal is an improvement or not.
The causes of revolution are numerous in form, but there is one common root, and that’s discontent. Discontent is the emotion that builds and builds under the surface, it is a storm which brews in the mind of the people, just waiting to be unleashed.
The trouble is that it is much easier to unleash that storm than it is to get people in agreement as to what should come next. It’s not easy to get people to see eye to eye regarding what needs to happen after the current system falls. So this is usually put off, or avoided altogether. This is a serious mistake.
Without clear objectives, chaos usually sets in soon after the old regime falls, and then in the power vacuum that is created a tyrant rises to bring order. As a result the systems that follow revolutions are often just as totalitarian or more totalitarian than those that they replace.
It should therefore be abundantly obvious that discontent is a not sufficient driving force for a revolution, that is if your goal is actually to leave a better world for your children and grandchildren. In order for an upheaval to have positive results it must be driven by a clear and realistic vision, a vision that accounts for the world and humans the way they actually are right now, not the way we wish they would be or hope that they might be, and it must differentiate between that which can and cannot be changed in the short term.
There is nothing more dangerous that armed men with utopian dreams.
So let’s be realistic shall we? We the people are divided. We have divided ourselves into classes and subclasses, liberals, and conservatives, libertarians, anarchists, socialists, anarcho-socialists, minarchists, state based free market capitalists, anarcho-capitalists, Resource Based Economy advocates and more.
There is absolutely no chance that any one of you is going to convince all of the others that your way is the right way, unless of course one of you rises to political power in the fray and enforces your beliefs by the barrel of a gun. This is the way it usually happens throughout history, and this is what we must avoid repeating.
A movement is only successful if it starts with an idea that is strong enough to take root in the mind of the population and inspires and motivates people to spread it.
It is possible for a diverse and divided people to form a coalition in times of great need and unify around an idea, but it only works if that idea that meets the following 3 requirements:
- It must articulate a clear and defined common interest which will allow the people to work together. The necessity for unification, even if that unification is temporary, needs to be evident to all stakeholders and it must be accompanied by a sense of urgency which impels people to reach out to others in their community and spread the idea.
- A clear vision of what you are working towards. What are you going to replace the current system with? Ironing out the fine details isn’t actually productive. What’s needed is a broad, and abstract vision based on principles. In human societies extreme and abrupt changes are usually destructive. All efforts must be made to retain social stability and this means steering clear of any sort of utopian phantasies. The time to rewire humanity is NOT during a period crisis. Historically such attempts usually end in tragedy.
- A plan of action, and a clear understanding of the rules of engagement.
We’ll refer to these three elements collectively as the conscious revolution paradigm. You don’t have to get mystical about it, it just means think before you act.
Let’s start with the common interest. Establishing our common interest is easy if you are informed and if the people around you aren’t informed then your job is clear: inform them. Whether you consider yourself liberal or conservative or none of the above the bankers and corporations which hold the puppet strings of the state have placed us all on a path that leads to complete and total destruction. Our common interest is the world we are leaving our children. The clear vision of what we are working towards is much harder. Again there is nothing more dangerous that armed men with utopian dreams, and there’s no greater symptom of utopianism than the illusion that we can convince the entire world to accept one monolithic belief system. Yet at the same time all great movements are driven by an idea, they are driven by a vision.
How do we resolve this apparent contradiction? How do we find a common vision without falling for the naive phantasy that we can unify all world views?
The answer is actually pretty simple, and that’s a good thing, because only very simple ideas can be transmitted from person to person without breaking down.
Our vision must start with the foundational understanding that there is not one single right way for humans to live on this planet, and that it is unacceptable to force others into any system without their consent, or to use violence or coercion to compel them to obey a set of rules that they never agreed to. That should be common sense, but it’s really not for most people.
Most people like to use government thugs to enforce their good intentions. They just don’t like it when it comes home to roost and the gun is pointed in their face.
When the system falls there is going to be no way to reconstitute it in its old shape and size without violence and coercion and even that probably wouldn’t work. Therefore the only real, ethical option is to accept that humpty dumpty isn’t going to be put back together again.
When the United States falls it’s not coming back. This may not be true for smaller countries who are socially and ideologically unified.
When it’s time to rebuild we don’t need to figure out one system that everyone can fit under, rather we need to figure out an approach which facilitates multiple systems side by side.
What would that look like?
Imagine a network of small voluntarily formed communities bound together in loose federations that cooperate for mutual defense and trade as needed, with decision making taking place at the local level.
It’s a simple concept, one that has been applied many times throughout history. The most striking example however is the Iroquois Federation, which unified 6 tribes each with their own cultures and traditions. The Iroquois Federation existed before the arrival of Collombus and lasted until 1779 when they were conquered militarily by the U.S.
Many historians believe that the Iroquois Federation served as the original inspiration for the united states. The most striking difference being that the Iroquois Federation never had a central government. No one at the top had the power to force the member tribes to do anything whatsoever, and yet this system worked well. So clearly this is not a utopian phantasy. It is a viable option, and it’s the only option that can be enacted on a voluntary basis. The final element of the conscious revolution paradigm is the the plan of action, the strategy and tactics, the short term and long term goals and the structure of the movement.
First let’s start with the top level strategy and move towards tactics.
Some think of revolution in terms of bullets and bombs, but this is a misconception. Revolutions are about pulling the pillars of power out from underneath the state one by one until it falls.
The state leans on three primary pillars of power: 1. Control of the group mind, ideas and beliefs 2. The control of money, finance and thereby human activity 3. The monopoly on violence, and the use intimidation to extract obedience by fear.
There are three stages of revolution. They are sequential, and they correlate directly with the three pillars of power. The first is the ideological revolution. This is where we undermine the belief systems which support their control, this is where we systematically erode at their illusion of legitimacy, their aura of power. We expose these criminals for the scoundrels that they are and we inspire discontent among those who the state depends on for its functioning. If you’re new to this, welcome to the party. It’s already in full swing, and guess what we’re winning. The powers that be have lost control of the dialogue, and they know it.
The second phase is of the revolution is strategic non-compliance or more accurately defiance. This can take many forms, and multiple approaches can be used at the same time. The goal of strategic non-compliance is to interrupt the chain of obedience for as long as possible as many times as possible, to publicize that interruption on as large a scale as possible, to document the police and or military brutality that follows and to distribute that footage far and wide. The purpose of this is to damage the ruling party’s image, because power is all about image. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Once that image starts to break down this inspires others to disobey, monkey see, monkey do, and when this catches on and contagion sets in it becomes a force of nature, like a tidal wave. It’s all about reaching critical mass.
What’s crucial to understand here is that revolutions are almost entirely psychological in nature. In this context building confidence is the most important element. Therefore it is better to do small successful operations and build up from there, than it is to start with large high stakes events.
The third stage of revolution comes when the people have built the necessary momentum to take the monopoly on violence out of the hands of the current regime. In the best of circumstances such a transition can be relatively peaceful, but this is only possible when a significant portion of the police and military have taken the side of the people. The police and the military are the enforcement arm of the state, without them the powers that be have no power at all. Faltering governments almost always resort to brutal repression to attempt stay in power, but this is often a fatal error. Even one refusal to follow an immoral order can set off a chain reaction that destroys the illusion of authority they so carefully cultivate. Once that happens, it’s game over.
In East Germany on November 7, 1989 the communist party ordered the military to put a stop to mass protests which had been growing through out that year. The commander of the army refused and ordered his men to stand down. This sent a clear message that the communist party was no longer in control. This realization spread rapidly through the population and communism fell.
Now since this is such a crucial element in the equation it’s not something that should be left up to chance. Every effort needs to be made right now reach out to the police and military, to help them wake up to what’s going on and to let them know that the people will support them if they break the chain of command.
Now that we’ve outlined the big picture let’s look at two other key elements: leadership and organizational structure. Our current system relies on a hierarchical chain of command, a social pyramid which allows a small handful of individuals to control everyone else. In sociology this is referred to as vertical collectivism.
If our long term vision is not compatible with such a structure, it would be foolish to build a resistance movement which copies it. The ends don’t justify the means, the means will determine the end result.
So if we want a decentralized, non-hierarchical federation of autonomous communities to replace the current system, the movement must be decentralized and non-hierarchal as well.
This doesn’t mean that there is no place for leadership. To the contrary leadership is essential. The distinction needs to be made between leaders and rulers. Leaders walk ahead of the crowd. Rulers place themselves above the crowd.
What is needed is a vast network of leaders, independently motivated and capable of thinking for themselves working to organize groups both locally in the real world and online, unified not by obedience to a single leader, but unified by an idea.
Now while this approach does present challenges logistically it has the advantage of making it virtually impossible to destroy the organization merely by getting rid of one or two leaders. A distributed organization structure is much more resilient.
So where are these leaders?
Well don’t wait for them to appear. We need you to be one of those leaders yourself. If you don’t know how to be a leader, learn. Dealing with crowds is a skill, one that you can refine through practice and study. Anyone who wants to learn the basic psychology of uprisings, and how to work with the public should study the following books intensely, reading them each several times, taking notes and reflecting on what they say.
“The Crowd” and “The Psychology of Revolution” by Gustave Le Bon and “From Dictatorship to Democracy” by Gene Sharp. These books are all available online to read and download for free.
Now a word of warning: These books contain politics, opinions and prejudices that I do not endorse. Like all books, they should be read with a critical mind questioning everything that is said. However they do offer a great deal of insight as to how to take power out of the hands of a tyrant.
Leadership takes many forms and can mean many things depending on the situation, however, the primary job of leaders is to inspire people to take action, to organize people into groups so that they can be more effective than isolated individuals, and to train others to do the same.
The final element needed to start your revolution is tactics.
In the realm of violence the state has the definitive advantage and it would be foolish to engage them where they are strongest. Instead we should use tactics that engage them where they are weakest. Fortunately there is no shortage of non-violent tactics which have been proven effective in toppling dictatorships. Gene Sharp’s book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” lists 198, but those are by no means the only ones that can be used.
The tactics employed by each group will depend on the mission and the specific goals of the group. The military divides itself into Army, Airforce, Navy and Marines so that each can be specialized in the tactics of the terrain where they fight, likewise a non-violent movement should have specialized groups for specific issues. This is already developing. We have P.A.N.D.A. people against the N.D.A.A. which is a national organization that’s been working to build resistance to the N.D.A.A. on the state and local levels and they’ve been having successes. What’s most impressive is that the founder, Daniel Johnson started this organization when he was 17.
Also there’s the OathKeepers founded by Stewart Rhodes, which has been reaching out to the police and military, reminding them of their oath and preparing them psychologically to disobey when unconstitutional orders are handed down. The OathKeepers have taken a definitive stand against the N.D.A.A. and they are gaining traction within the ranks. Others are organizing social media teams to collect and spread information. Others organize street activism such as writing messages in chalk on sidewalks, or hanging up posters, or inserting small leaflets into books and magazines in the store. The possibilities are endless.
Whether you start your own group, join an existing group, or act as an individual will depend on your disposition. No one can decide that for you. The most important thing is to take the first step and to start doing something, anything. Take action and break the inertia of passivity, this is how you take back your power, one millimeter at time.