4 thoughts on “Quote of the day—kchrisc

  1. Lately I have been thinking that Americans have unhealthy understanding of the success rate of revolutions. We look at our history of three (founding revolution, civil war, texas vs mexico) and think two out of three is not bad. Sure the one in the middle killed a million odd people (military and civilian) but the other two turned out alright. This is not the normal situation. The slaughter of the French Revolution is more the norm with revolution and counter revolution mixed in the with purges of the not quite revolutionary enough. Haiti might be called a success going from a hell on earth slave state to almost hell on earth state of corruption.

  2. I can only add a bit of amplification to what kchrisc and eriko said:
    In college I took a class in Latin American history. In addition to observing how corruption in the various Latin American nations would increase until the desire for a man on a horse to come in with a new broom to clean things up was overwhelming (not to mix metaphors, or anything), there was the observation that often the new broom swept too clean, ending someone’s opportunity for graft and causing yet another precipitous change in governments.

    The other observation I recall was how the Mexican Revolution was the subject of much study, as it was the last revolution whose origin and progression could not be attributed to the outside influence of Soviets. Observing the course of Mexican politics over the last century I cannot say that the lack of Soviet influence helped Mexico avoid the corruption and oligarchy that brought revolution to that country in the first place.

  3. This is an important subject. It highlights, without coming right out and saying it, that it is not only possible to do the right things for the wrong reasons but it is in fact very common.

    The American founders addressed this more directly when they pointed out that the U.S. constitution wouldn’t mean jack squat without a moral people to keep it. To say that rules are only for the immoral, because the moral don’t need them since they are already guided by the right principles, is to say essentially the same thing.

    Thus we get back to a seeming paradox, which I’ve been addressing in multiple ways for a few years now;
    When faced with injustice, with bullying, with a crabby spouse, with mean parents, an irrational boss, etc. (all injustice at any level) there are two primary responses. Comply or rebell. Whether you comply or rebell, you are NOT living by your own nature, or personal constitution, ot whatever you want to call it. You are not living your own life. Thus, compliance and rebellion are two sides of the same coin, which is precisely why kids with angry, impatient parents end up on drugs and revolutions replace one kind of tyranny with another.

    Seeing injustice is one thing. Replacing it with justice is quite another matter. The vast majority of us will replace injustice with some other injustice. Tit for tat, doing unto others what was done unto us and falsely believing THAT to be “justice”. That is your typical revolution and that is also the typical response in personal relationships– There is no difference.

    Rebell in frustration and anger against injustice, and congratulations; you have just been indoctrinated into the Authoritarian System. You may now take your place in the chain of command of bullies and cowards, each bully being a coward in the face of stronger bullies, and each coward being a bully in the face of weaker cowards. It’s been set up and waiting for you, sucker, and the more justified you are in your rage and vengence, the worse it’s going to turn out for you.

    OK, so what’s the alternative then, Lyle, smarty pants, if you know so much?


  4. It would be interesting to examine the character of the leaders of various revolutions. I only know a couple of revolutions (some good, some bad) and can speak to the character of its leaders for only two (successful ones: the American and the Dutch). In both cases, the leaders were people who did not seem to have a desire for power; if you look at how Washington and William of Orange dealt with their roles, the similarity of the two is striking, and the way their high character helped produce the good outcome feels entirely natural. The Dutch had their troubles, including some internal strife that didn’t quite reach the level of the War between the States but was quite a mess nevertheless, and it happened before the war for independence was fully concluded (during the 12 Year Truce).
    All if all, for both of those, the contrast with the bloody chaos of the French, or the deliberate evil of the Russian revolution, is amazing.

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