We Live in Revolutionary Times, by Michael Krieger.
Two hundred and fifty years ago, it was 1767, and the seeds of the American revolution were being spread across the 13 colonies. The Stamp Act became law two years prior, and many of King George’s subjects across the Atlantic had become enraged by this “taxation without representation.” A few years later came the Boston Massacre, followed by the Boston Tea Party. The rest is history.
Two hundred and fifty years prior to that, on October 31, 1517 (exactly 500 years ago today), Martin Luther sent his Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences to the Archbishop of Mainz, thus kicking off the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic Church’s extraordinary influence over the religious and political life of Europe up to that point would never be the same again.
Both these eras were earth-shattering revolutionary time periods which massively transformed the Western world over the subsequent centuries. Taking on the Catholic Church in the early 16th century and Great Britain in the late 18th would’ve seemed like total suicide to people living at that time. Nevertheless, and against all odds, both Great Britain and the Catholic Church were successfully confronted and exposed as more vulnerable than anyone had imagined. …
It seems Western civilization finds itself in a similar state to where it was both 250 and 500 years ago. In other words, it appears we’re once again on the cusp of momentous paradigm level change regarding how the world functions.
Naturally, this stuff doesn’t emerge out of a vacuum. Whenever a system or way of organizing human affairs reaches a certain level of corruption and also refuses to reform (think crooked government responses to the financial crisis), you invariably get a reaction from the public. If this demand for change is not appropriately addressed and things continue to decay, some sort of revolution becomes inevitable. That’s where I think we stand today. …
Faith has been lost, deservedly, in the media, the financial system, political institutions, intelligence agencies, etc. These entrenched power interests have therefore resorted to unprecedented levels of propaganda, censorship and threats to hold on to their power. Thus far, they’ve maintained it, but it’s come at an enormous cost. Credibility is gone.
Here’s where the second driver of the revolution comes into play: technology. Specifically, technology has provided the public with tools to rebel against the status quo in a peaceful and effective manner. For instance, media narratives used to be highly centralized within a few well-funded and powerful organizations, but thanks to the internet and social media we now have the citizen journalist who can influence tens of millions with a short video clip and a click of a button….
When people hear the word “revolution” negative feelings often come to mind. Images of pitchforks and torches; of violence and chaos. Although I’m not going to tell you the next ten years will be a cakewalk, I want people to understand that the revolution is already in progress and it isn’t the stuff of nightmares. This revolution is not about simply tearing down what already exists, but about creating something better in its place.
We can all agree that both big business and big government are out of control, corrupt and dangerous. That much is obvious. What we need are both the will to say no, and the consciousness and creativity to build and embrace something better.