In a previous article [Crisis! So what else can we do?‘] I argued that among the anti-capitalist left there was much discussion of ’revolution’ and what initiatives given the developing crisis, might galvanise the masses into struggle. I asserted the following;
“However, some of these initiatives stem from a mistaken view, that small groups, with the correct orientation and ideas can stimulate significant and sustained actions, involving large numbers of people – before the vast majority of the population are ready to do so. In this case, such attempts are bound to fail….. A parallel problem is that promoters of these initiatives generally appear to have insufficient understand of the dynamics and evolution of protest, uprisings and revolutions.”
This article itself gave rise to some criticism and discussion, particularly after its further posting on the Commune blog. Because that particular article was suggesting what could be done, much of the reasoning behind the last sentence of the above extract was not included. However, there is now a further article posted in above pages, entitled ‘Uprisings and Revolutions’ which attempts to make good that deficiency and make clear my own reasoning behind the original assertion.
The article outlines three economic and social circumstances which form the historical context for uprisings, civil wars and revolutions along with the general sequence of stages which serve to distinguish between the unfolding of these various social upheavals. It suggests that while such processes are complex, fluid, contradictory, and interconnected, recognising the outlined general stages and phases can be useful in helping to understand what is and what is not happening in the various struggles around the world. Popular uprisings are the collective – NO! Popular revolutions are the collective – YES! For those interested the full article can be read by clicking on the following; ‘Uprisings and Revolutions’.
Roy Ratcliffe (December 2012.)