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Revolutionary “Style” and Revolution

June 25, 2018

In 1968, half a century ago, civil society was disrupted by campus rioters. The “movement” began at University of California–Berkeley in protests against restrictions on “speech.”  That protest elided into a protest against war being conducted against North Vietnamese communists seeking to overthrow a government in South Vietnam. The “draft” was not a small matter for students eligible for compulsory military service who did not react in the same manner as the World War II generation. “Hell no, I won’t go” was a chant that expressed that view. Added to anti-Vietnam War protests, the “Civil Rights” movement, begun in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama and culminating in the 1963 “March on Washington” contributed to a revolutionary “style” that disrupts American society today whenever injustice, real or imagined, occurs.

Today the argument is made that the election of Donald Trump was “stolen” from his Democrat Party opponent by meddling of Russia that included negative news stories planted in media and hacking of a personal server containing Hillary Clinton’s e-mail. Winning a majority of states in the Electoral College was not sufficient in light of a majority of popular votes won by the Democrat.

The Trump Administration prone to making mistakes, largely due to the President’s unfamiliarity with norms by which a vast administrative state governs the nation, has culminated in calls for defeat of members of the Republican Congress in 2018 and the President’s Impeachment. At the very moment when Republicans should stick together, “thought-leaders” of the Republican persuasion are leaving the Party.

The government of New Deal Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, was painted with the “illegitimate” brush and now the Trump Administration has been similarly declaimed and a revolutionary change in public attitude in civil society is occurring.

Anyone who thinks this is good for America needs to read a history of the French Revolution or one of the many histories of the Crusades. Nothing good comes from holding regimes illegitimate unless they are tyrannies (for which there is a series of questions to ask before killing a tyrant) and totalitarian regimes motivated by political religions. Four such totalitarian regimes exist on the world scene today: the People’s Republic of China founded by Mao Tse-tung in 1949, the government of North Korea founded in 1948 by Kim Il-sung, the socialist government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and the radical Shiite regime in Iran.

Though the revolutionary “style” visible in anti-Trump agitation and propaganda is noisy, it does not symbolize the motives and ideas of a revolutionary political religion. Until it does, and a revolutionary leader appears, the American ancien Régime, for awhile, is safe. But, we’re close, very close to a real revolution.

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