A new Revolution in America, how could it happen?



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The_Cucumber
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:58 pm

I've heard plenty of people talk about "starting a revolution" without really understanding the full scope of things. But that got me wondering, under what conditions could a full blown revolution break out in the United States.

[quote=Declaration of Independence]
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
[/quote]

The general conditions for such a revolution is therefore spelled out in our own Declaration of Independence. However this still needs to be put into a modern context. I think the most likely course of events would be this:

1. Some major disaster occurs, most likely man-made.
2. In the name of preventing another such disaster, the government institutes a series of draconian laws that effectively repeal the bill of rights (if not literally repealing it).
3. People will probably accept these new rules at first, however as time goes on an freedom is not restored people begin to openly protest
4. The government reacts violently to a protest, massacring hundreds of people
5. In reaction to the massacre, the Protesters turn violent
6. A leader, or group of leaders, arise and organize the anti-government forces, officially starting the revolution.

The success of such a revolution is then determined by a number of factors:

- How widespread is the revolution. Is it just one area of the country or literally everyone
- Is the revolution nonpartisan? If people from both sides of the political spectrum are fighting on the same side, then the success is increased dramatically
- Do elements within the government support the revolution? While individuals are bound to defect out of loyalty to friends and family, if some of the military's best leaders wind up defecting, then the government could find itself without a substantial military.
- How organized is the revolution? The more defined the leadership structure is, the better it's chances at success as well as it's chances of instituting a better form of government, rather than pure mob rule.

The probability of this occurring is still very slight. However , I see the country slowly moving in this direction and if we are given a strong enough push, it might actually happen.

So what do you think? Is it possible we'll see a new revolution in the United States? And how would such a revolution come about?


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ruveyn
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:48 pm

The chances of a successful revolution is virtually zero. The government not only has more guns than private citizen, but they have tanks, planes, gas, flamethrowers and other nasty weapons.

During the American Revolution, the insurgents and the British regulars were equally armed (or nearly so). The Brits were ahead on training and discipline, but that advantage was whittled away during the course of the war, when the American troops received battle field training and discipline.

If you want to see what happens when lightly armed citizens go up against the tanks, look at what happened in Tsieneman Square in China or in Hungary in 1957. It was pure slaughter. Your 18th century minuteman or right wing extremist in camo has zero chance against a modern armed force.

In addition the number of Americans who really, really want to have a revolution is very tiny. In the American Revolution is was 1/3 for independence, 1/3 loyalist and 1/3 wait and see which way the wind blows. Very few Americans really want to overthrow the current government. They would much rather alter it through the elective process as deficient as that is.

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John_Browning
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:13 pm

ruveyn wrote:
The chances of a successful revolution is virtually zero. The government not only has more guns than private citizen, but they have tanks, planes, gas, flamethrowers and other nasty weapons.

Actually, the civilian population has several million more guns.

ruveyn wrote:
If you want to see what happens when lightly armed citizens go up against the tanks, look at what happened in Tsieneman Square in China or in Hungary in 1957. It was pure slaughter. Your 18th century minuteman or right wing extremist in camo has zero chance against a modern armed force.

Actually, in those cases they were completely unarmed protesters.


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vibratetogether
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:54 pm

Economic collapse is the only thing I see spurring a revolution of any sort. Most Americans are lazy and selfish, just fine with the status quo. It will take them being unable to pay their electric bill before they will take action against the government.



ToadOfSteel
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:24 pm

The only way American citizens would revolt is if you made us get off our asses...



ruveyn
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:35 pm

John_Browning wrote:
Actually, in those cases they were completely unarmed protesters.


Unless the protesters were armed with bazookas, it would have made no difference. You can be armed to the teeth with automatic rifles and the tanks will run right over you.

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Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:39 pm

ruveyn wrote:
John_Browning wrote:
Actually, in those cases they were completely unarmed protesters.


Unless the protesters were armed with bazookas, it would have made no difference. You can be armed to the teeth with automatic rifles and the tanks will run right over you.

ruveyn


Tactically, you are correct that a direct frontal assault would be amazingly ineffective. However, there is a history of clandestine groups within the United States disrupting the political and military machinery. Look into the Weather Underground, Symbionese Liberation Army, Black Liberation Front, and you will see that there have in fact been groups that have garnered some success at disrupting the system.

Disclaimer : I am making no claims of support or opposition to these groups. It's just good to know your history.



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Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:05 pm

ToadOfSteel wrote:
The only way American citizens would revolt is if you made us get off our asses...

Now that would stir the populace to rebellion!


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Fnord
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:06 pm

Orwell wrote:
ToadOfSteel wrote:
The only way American citizens would revolt is if you made us get off our asses...

Now that would stir the populace to rebellion!

Yeah, but first you'd have to make half of us put down the TV remote, and the other half to log off the Internet!


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Cyanide
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:18 pm

ruveyn wrote:
John_Browning wrote:
Actually, in those cases they were completely unarmed protesters.


Unless the protesters were armed with bazookas, it would have made no difference. You can be armed to the teeth with automatic rifles and the tanks will run right over you.

ruveyn


That's why you use guerilla warfare.



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Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:30 pm

John_Browning wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
The chances of a successful revolution is virtually zero. The government not only has more guns than private citizen, but they have tanks, planes, gas, flamethrowers and other nasty weapons.

Actually, the civilian population has several million more guns.


:lol: Yeah I heard that america would be the worst country to try and invade became the cillivians are armed with alsorts of guns.

I was thinking about this thread too. If you look at what happened in the 1992 LA Riots it can eaisly happen.

I think inequalty will cause it. If you are going o have lots of extremely poor that can't survive mixed with exessively rich indifferent people it can happen.



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Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:32 pm

The destruction of living standards of the working classes can be the catalyst for revolt, war is another, both are looking likely.

To assume that the working class is unarmed is naive, the vast majority of the Armed forces are Working Class. So any concept of armed revolt will by necessity require the mutiny of large portions of the military. Ruveyn is quite correct that if a civilian militia attempted to overthrow a government fully supported by the military they would effectively be committing suicide.

The goal of a serious revolutionary is to carry out said revolution with the absolute least amount of conflict. This can only be achieved by raising the political conciousness of the working class (in the case of Marxism). If this is done in a methodical and principled manner this group can shut down a country and bring a government to its knees without the firing of a single bullet.


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DentArthurDent
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:36 pm

MR_BOGAN wrote:

:lol: Yeah I heard that america would be the worst country to try and invade became the cillivians are armed with alsorts of guns.



I thought the worst country to try and invade was Afganistan :lol:


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Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:51 pm

DentArthurDent wrote:
This can only be achieved by raising the political conciousness of the working class (in the case of Marxism).

You give the working class *way* too much credit. If they were smart enough to be politically conscious, they would not be part of the working class. "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they can not be conscious"-George Orwell

DentArthurDent wrote:
MR_BOGAN wrote:

:lol: Yeah I heard that america would be the worst country to try and invade became the cillivians are armed with alsorts of guns.



I thought the worst country to try and invade was Afganistan :lol:

No, that's Russia. Napoleonic France was the greatest military power of its time, and it was destroyed when it tried to invade Russia. Nazi Germany was stronger than most of the rest of the world put together, but they could not succeed in an invasion of the Soviet Union. Remember, friends don't let friends invade Russia with winter approaching.


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DentArthurDent
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Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:17 pm

Orwell wrote:
No, that's Russia. Napoleonic France was the greatest military power of its time, and it was destroyed when it tried to invade Russia. Nazi Germany was stronger than most of the rest of the world put together, but they could not succeed in an invasion of the Soviet Union. Remember, friends don't let friends invade Russia with winter approaching.


I get your point and yet I must disagree. When Britain was at the height of its powers, it could not subdue the Afghanis, then a hundred or so years later the Very people you put up as your champion got royally f****d over :wink:

Oh and BTW I think you give the working class too little credit. Not all working class are trailer trash, in fact most trailer trash are NOT working class :P


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