Lucretius (lucretius) wrote,

Consciousness and Revolution

Was writing up notes for my Whitman class, and thinking a bit about failed revolutions.

For real revolutionaries, every revolution is failed.  I read old Tom Paine giving both barrels to George Washington for selling out the revolution, then some of the other founding fathers saying that after putting down Shay's Rebellion, that the real spirit of the Revolution was dead.

A show on the hippie movement--another failed revolutionary movement.  The documentary puts heavy emphasis on LSD.

It all got me to thinking:  does a revolution require a new state of consciousness? How much of a political revolution has to do with the enthusiasm of a new way of thinking?

 Whether the American Revolution's heady reimagining of how religion and government should be under the freeing influence of reason, or the Transcendentalists (an only slightly political revolutionary movement) use of inner searching to justify action against the status quo, it seems like many revolutions have been fueled not just new ideas, but by new (or at least contrasting) ways of thinking.

I've heard lots of people asking why we're not seeing strong reactions to the current war the way there were reactions to Vietnam.  People have blamed the lack of a draft, the continued prosperity of the nation, et cetera.  I kind of wonder--is it because there's no new system of ideas, no new drug, no energy from cracking open some long-standing form of repression?
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