Crane Brinton on Revolution
I want to talk about something that lambert did not touch on, but has struck me for years. One of the things that Brinton talks about is parallel structures, structures created by revolutionaries that are intended to be temporary, but eventually take over society. We have no parallel structures where government is concerned, nothing like the parallel structures Poland's Solidarity set up in the summer of 1980. But we do have parallel structures as far as the news media is concerned. I know this is blogger triumphalism, but hear me out. I keep seeing new publications like Truthdig, Truthout, Commondreams, and the morning star of blogosphere, ConsortiumNews. (by the way, I am nominating Ezra Kline for the role of Talleyrand, in with the ancien regime, in with the revolution, and mark my words, in with the Thermidor to come.)
These publications, along with Naked Capitalism, The Real News Network, The Young Turks, and others, continue to expand their influence, even though that influence remains limited.
I sued to be one of those people who watched all the Sunday interview shows, and read the Washington Post every morning. Everyone I knew did likewise. Almost all my friends have given up Sunday morning talk shows and most of them no longer get the Washignton Post. In fact, no one of I know under the age of 50 reads the newspaper. I don't know why publishers and editors thought that they could continue to get all the big stories wrong and appeal to young people, but you can't.
It does not do to have a juvenile romance about revolutions, they are a little like hurricanes, they kill a lot of people and leave survivors devastated. Even ones like the velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia have their casualties. But if I am correct, and we are in a pre-revolutionary state, it behooves us to consider what actions we should take to build a velvet revolution rather than a bloodly one.