Chapter 2 Revolution Versus Reform
What exactly does one mean by revolution? Revolution is a permanent change in the system for the better. This must be contrasted with reform. Reform is a change inside of the system. I will illustrate.
After the Civil War all the African slaves had been freed. This was a revolutionary jump that affected everybody in society. The African slave was no longer another man’s property. Reform is changing the system, for example when F.D.R. instituted a lot of social programs to help people, that was reform. While things got better the system itself stayed intact, albeit much different.
Axiom #1- Those who control power will never relinquish power or wealth unless they feel some extraordinary pressure to do so.
When F.D.R. was president the vibes of sedition permeated the air. There were a lot of poor, angry people, listening to radical theories of communism and the worker owning everything. As a result the ruling class felt threatened. They felt threatened both physically for their lives and materially for their power, place and possessions. Thus all the reforms that F.D.R. instituted were not done out of kindness. Rather they came about because people were mad as hell and were ready to kill for their survival. Think of it in this way. The discontentment of the people turned up a fire on the stove. The tea pot could have held out until it exploded and lost everything. Instead the lid was lifted and steam let out.
Unfortunately settling on reform over revolution only puts off the problem for future generations. In the eighty years that have transpired we have seen the “New Deal” being slowly and systematically dismantled. Now we are at the point where Medicaid and Medicare might be done away with. We need to once more pressure the powers that be to change for the better, this time with a permanent solution.
Let us examine Bernie Sanders. On a lot of issues he is very progressive, especially domestic. Single payer health care would be a great move in the right direction of benefiting the masses. However unless we ensure that such a change is permanent any victory celebration would be premature. Nothing less than a constitutional amendment guaranteeing all citizens health care would do, if you settle for less your children will suffer.
What would revolution be like in the United States of America? Nothing less than the end of capitalism would do. It is capitalism that drives the endless wars and divides the people.