Monday, December 06, 2004

Revolution and Reforms

from ZNet
It makes sense, in any system of domination and control, to try to change it as far as possible within the limits that the system permits. If you run up against limits that are impassable barriers, then it may be that the only way to proceed is conflict, struggle and revolutionary change. But there is no need for revolutionary change to work for improving safety and health regulations in factories, for example, because you can bring about these changes through parliamentary means. So you try to push it as far as you can.

People often do not even recognize the existence of systems of oppression and domination. They have to try to struggle to gain their rights within the systems in which they live before they even perceive that there is repression. Take a look at the women’s movement. One of the first steps in the development of the women’s movement was so-called “consciousness raising efforts”. Try to get women to perceive that it is not the natural state of the world for them to be dominated and controlled. My grandmother couldn’t join the women’s movement, since she didn’t feel any oppression, in some sense. That’s just the way life was, like the sun rises in the morning. Until people can realize that it is not like the sun rising, that it can be changed, that you don’t have to follow orders, that you don’t have to be beaten, until people can perceive that there is something wrong with that, until that is overcome, you can’t go on.


Sheryl said...

This brings to my mind Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It's probably a bit simplistic, but I do think that people need certain basics met before they take on the bigger issues.

If you can make people worry about how they will get their next meal or if they will have roof over their heads, then they are going to spend considerably less time thinking about the greater good.

Sheryl said...

Howdy doody. Just dropping in for a sandwich. Next time I'll call first to make sure you're home. X)