Friday, July 18, 2008

Working For as Opposed to Working With

Why are so many revolutions started by intellectuals who impose the belief that life is horrible on people who might not think that way on their own? Is that why so many of the "ground-swell" revolutions don't live up to their initial beliefs and philosophies? Is that why intellectuals who have such grand ideas at the start transform into dictators of the worst sort?

After all, the core group begins with this wonderful idea, one of utopia where all are equal and work together to make a better whole, and then spends years pushing it at people who are satisfied (rightly or wrongly) with their lot. By the time the revolution succeeds, if it does, the intellectuals are so used to shoving the "proper" thoughts into the heads of people who are reluctant, or as often styled, too ignorant, to think these thoughts themselves that they continue to "dictate" what everyone is to think or believe, something that almost always violates the principles those self-same intellectuals were attempting to realize.

I find this connection especially odd when so much of the "intellectual class" believes in pastoralism, returning to the land, to the roots of humanity before we became so wrapped up in technology and workaholicism.

Offhand, the revolutions that come to my mind are the Russian revolution and Marxism realized in ways Marx would not have approved. The Iranian Revolution was started by college students, many of whom probably had some experience in other countries and definitely benefitted from the liberal aspects of Iranian culture. Did they really intend to bring about a restrictive religious regime? What other revolutions came about because of imposed ideals that turned into dictatorships? I know there are others, even though I can't name them at the moment, that demonstrate this same type of pattern.

So, I hope you enjoyed your stray thought for the month, brought to you by the unlikely combination of something Holly Lisle wrote in one of her classes about indoctrinating people into the belief they are victims combined with having reached the portion of Nicholas and Alexandra which recounts the roots of Russian Marxism through the early life of Lenin.

P.S. Yes, I've violated title capitalization rules. But I tried and I just can't decap the two most important words in the title ;).