There are a number of reasons why I feel the prospects for revolution- at least of the sort many of us are familiar with from reading grade school history text books, and seeing depicted on film- are dim, foremost among them is my growing sense, acceptance really, that the population of the United States, composed at it is of people practicing a variety of religions-or none at all-conversing in more than one tongue, and, perhaps, most importantly, hewing to a dizzying range of, for lack of a better phrase, cultural norms, is simply too disparate to launch, let alone see to fruition, something as demanding, as all encompassing, as Enlightenment era, as revolution.
After all, a revolutionary movement of the sort that occurred here approximately two hundred and thirty five years ago- when the country comprised a fraction of its present territory, had far fewer citizens, and far less economic, ethnic, and cultural diversity, to name just a few differences between then and now- requires that an overwhelming majority of the citizenry fervently agree with whatever the basic argument is under girding the revolution. Following on from that, there must be a willingness to make great, and often times, extreme sacrifices to insure the argument's success.
I don't think there are a sufficient number of "We The People" of like mind to even fix on an argument, let alone to make the enormous sacrifices necessary to enact it. Our aforesaid differences are well enough elucidated in the red and blue national voter maps displayed at every Presidential election. And while the famous (or is it infamous) voter map is by no means the ultimate indicator of what I assert is a lack of a cohesive national identity and purpose, it still manages to be, because of its year to year consistency, instructive.
Thrown into the bargain are other factors and forces that keep the populace confused, and otherwise sufficiently off balance enough to defuse any genuinely revolutionary spark-The Republican and Democratic political cartel acting in concert with corporate power is but one force- that might threaten to burst uncontrollably (and dismayingly, at least to the PTB) into flame.
The Tea Party movement, as a pretender to acting as some sort of revolutionary force, comes to mind as an excellent example of a phenomenon that is doomed both by the narrowness of its membership, (they do not represent anything even close to a broad cross section of the U.S. population) the paucity of its agenda, (typical Republican boilerplate of lower taxes and less government) and, in a feature that is sadly endemic to our time, by the seemingly insurmountable tentacles of corporate power. In fact, the Tea Party movement appears to have been largely co-opted by some rather unsavory elements of The Republican Party, which, ultimately exists, (as do The Democrats) as little more than an ombudsman for corporate interests.
I am loathe to admit that the sheer complexity of our existence at this time (and place) almost certainly has a lot to say about why revolution, of the sort most of us would recognize, is impossible, since it would seem to exonerate, or at the very least, deflect attention away from the already mentioned unfortunate forces and factors acting to forestall revolution. Alas, it seems clear that, for the sake of honesty, the issue of complexity, the crushing weight of which the nation, and perhaps the entire world, is groaning under, can't be avoided. More on that, as it relates to the prospects for revolution, in the next installment.