What Price Revolution?

Oh apparently about $1.00 … what a bargain

OK, so there I was on 125th Street waiting for a friend to come out of the bank. Inadvertently I made eye contact with a woman holding a paper called ‘The Revolution’. She immediately went into her rant about the atrocities of war, the sins of Israel and America’s misguided involvement in the whole mess.


Oh apparently about $1.00 … what a bargain

OK, so there I was on 125th Street waiting for a friend to come out of the bank. Inadvertently I made eye contact with a woman holding a paper called ‘The Revolution’. She immediately went into her rant about the atrocities of war, the sins of Israel and America’s misguided involvement in the whole mess.

I listened patiently because, to be honest, I found myself agreeing with her arguments. She handed me the paper and, as I leafed thru it she said, “Now isn’t it worth a dollar to read the truth.” In my head I’m thinking, well yeah sure but what is the truth? This version, though much of it I felt was in fact true, is still just one group’s opinion of the truth. If there were one undeniable Truth in the world, we’d have no wars.

After a few more ounces of her rant, she posed the question, “What can be done?” Thinking it was rhetorical, I waited until I realized she wanted me to answer. So I said what I always say. That America needs to reform its electoral system, dismantle the Electoral College and embrace the brand of Democracy we’re preaching to the world. She asked what good that would do.

Her question baffled me. After all, she was talking about changing the system, revolution and all that jazz. I told her that we’d finally learn to be responsible for our leaders and maybe strike a little fear in them as well. After all, the evil Bush would never have taken office if this were a true Democracy and not a Republic.

She was suddenly agitated and said, “No! We need a Revolution! This system of capitalism and greed must end.” Now this is where she lost me and generally where I get fed up with radicals such as this. What the hell does she mean by revolution? Blood in the streets, topple the empire? Well that goes against her non-war stance. And if she was so dead set against capitalism, why did she take my fuckin’ dollar for her paper? Shouldn’t it have been free?

Like most radicals I’ve encountered, she doesn’t have a clue. You can’t fix a system by destroying it. If it were not for capitalism and democracy, this woman would be homeless and spouting her beliefs to the nearest rodent in the sewer rather than freely selling her paper here in Harlem. She can shout all she wants about the state of the union and the corruption of the state, but until she does something concrete to make a positive change, she needs to shut up.

Yes our system is flawed, all systems are but it is not a total loss. Yes we need a revolution but a social one, not a violent one. Now I will say this in her defense; she never actually advocated a violent revolution. The truth is she never really explained what she was advocating. She just kept repeating her mantra, “This country needs a revolution. Electoral reform is not enough. This country needs a real revolution!”

I just shrugged it off after letting the anger pass. I’ll let the radicals have their mantras. I’d rather work for change.


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