Movements and Revolutions

When you see a problem in society, such as homelessness, austerity, or war what do you do? Hope the problem will sort itself out? Sign a petition? Wait a few years to vote for a politician who probably won’t sort the problem out?  These are the forms of ‘protest’ which we often resort to, and the ones which the mainstream media and political class prefer, or even champion. Despite this, history shows us that forms of direct action and worker organisation, are far more effective for inspiring social change. Indeed, as I have said before, even social democrats admit that when politicians see people posing a threat to their power, they are more likely to implement change. The series Movements and revolutions is all about looking at social movements, throughout history, all the way from the origins of the anarchist and socialist movement to the civil rights moment to the modern occupy movement, and seeing how they have had an effect. As we have seen, these need not be violent nor unreasonable, some of the most effective have posed a challenge to capitalism and the state while using largely peaceful tactics and remaining open to a range of viewpoints and ideas. Therefore, to attempt to discredit them with phrases such as ‘why don’t you hippies go out and vote’ is an extremely foolish thing to do, considering such movements clearly have the potential to make a positive difference to peoples lives. In fact, it is these movements that inspired and put in places reforms and revolutions that we have today, not unaccountable politicians nor a natural course of history. This is why, social movements are relevant today, and why if we care about social change we should fight for it.
If you have any suggestions or ideas as to what I should include in this series please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. Also, please appreciate that, in order to gain a full understanding of social movements, while I will try and cover the reactions to these, it is sometimes necessary to cover issues of injustice that have occurred throughout history, such as the origins of the police. Please note that, as I am constantly finding out about different movements and revolutions, each of the titles in this series do not progress in chronological order. Thank you and enjoy

No comments:

Post a Comment