Chronicling the Bottom Up
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The Future of Revolutions; John Foran

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Broadcast 4/6/2011 at 16:02:50 (0 Listens, 0 Downloads, 0 Itunes)
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my brief review of the book, THE FUTURE OF REVOLUTIONS
If you want to make change happen-- revolutionary change-- then it makes sense to want to understand revolutions-- who starts them, what creates the fertile soil for them to emerge from-- This book is a collection of articles that explores these dimensions and predicts what revolutions will look like in the 21st century.

Interview rough notes
(These are very incomplete. Don't assume on the quotes. Go to the audio and listen)
John Foran
Professor of sociology Univ. of California Santa Barbara

The Future of Revolutions; Rethinking radical change in the age of globalization
Taking Power; Origins of Third World Revolutions-- Why a Few Succeed, Why most fail

Definition of Revolution
States and Social Revolutions;

A social revolution transforms not only the state, not only the political system, but also the underlying society.... they have to be brought about by participation of great numbers of people. cuban, chinese, nicaraguan, russian, not more than five or six

Social revolution; three parts-- political change, economic change, mass participation

without economics, there's a political revolution.

Attempted revolutions.

If you have great social and economic change not brought about by mass participation is revolution form Above, possibly rise of power by Muama Ghadaffi, the rare military.

what caused it
who made it, why were they involved
outcome-- results
future prospects

what causes revolutions-- origins?
Common factors in great social revolutions in third world; (not russia or france)
Some economic causes, some political causes and some cultural causes.
I don't believe they are simply economically caused. Don't believe ideologies cause, not magically caused-- a combination of factors working together canbring about

Jorge Castaneda quote

political culture of opposition or resistance.
shared memories of past glorious moments of insurrection
everyday lived experience
Revolutions are driven by emotions
judgments that social arrangments are unfairk unjust
eliciting emotions of anger.
Grievances emotionally and deeply felt.
INput of ideas-- revolutionary leadership of ideas-- swhether socialism, democracy, religious utopian thought--- coming from above-- revolutionary elites, or popular-- Maghbar Shah, Magbar Amerika-- dath to the shah, death to America-- identifiying the shah and America as wrong--
I call those polular idioms.

All that comes to play in forming a political culture of opposition and ultimately the forming of an organizational embodiment-- in china, cuba, nicaragua...

It's a complex idea and a real achievement when one of these emerge in a given society.

What has to happen- not just something that your shooting for, but something that you're against-- that comes out of everyday life-- the economy, the political system as causal factors. It's not simply to say that misery breeds revolt, as a theory of revolution. There's a certain kind of economic development that leads to the great revolutions.

Dependent development- - great growth, rise in GNP, trade, signs of development a positive econommic dynamic, but also to dependence-- certain classes do very well but othyer classes-- rural peasants, don't. People experience this a deterioration of their life chances. That doesn't happen everywhere.. this process unfolds over several decades.

First world--- rich world countries
Third world-- majority world countries

Revolutions cross class lines and ethnic lines, involves men and women to form a critical mass. Middle class plays a very important role-- if middle class is involved that adds greatly to the revolution going further.

There's a particular factor that tends to push the middle class to involvement-- an economic downturn-- to join with others who have longer term grievances.

When these things happen it creates the populist

Politcal factors that favor revolution happening.

Particular types of states, of government are more vulnerable to revolution than others.
Dictatorships are more vulnerable.

Chinese 1911 revolution overthrew monarchy.
When power is through a central figure...

A second kind of govt-- fully functioning democratic system-- left parties can become elected to office-- see it in Latin America-- the Pink Tide-- Chavez, Morales in Bolivia, Lula in Brazil,
Ecuador, El Salvador-- governments come to power in elections.

The Pink Tide-- rise of left of center governments in Latin America-- pink because thy are to some degree socialist, which would be a red tide-- Pink because there are a whole series of people-- it is a tide. Makes it very hard to be intervened against.
Hard for US to oppose a government elected democratically.
hard to overthrow them because there are several at once and they can form alliances.

World systemic opening- - a favorable international moment for revolutions to succeed.
happened in Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua--

We're in a moment when the US is not only a declining world power where it does not call all the shots, but it faces multiple crises and internal distractions-- allows revolutionsw to proceed

Recipe for a successful revolution:
dependent development
-politically vulnerable state-- dictatorship or open democratic polity
-popular accomplishment-- elaboration of a political culture of opposition to act on shared grievances.
--Two things that come together at a given moment-- economic downturn and world systemic opening-- because the normal relationship between the dictator and it's outside benefactor breaks down.

20th century revolutions vs 21st century revolutions-- characteristics (you gotta listen)
all 20th century revolutions were national revolutions
21st century
radical social change
21st century-- revolutionaries not necessarily national
Zappatistas-- not about taking power.

Weakening of the state under globalization, but they are also more secure in their tools for repression.

Zappatistas- - after ten years of organizing under radar of the world, in 1994 rise up in Chiapas-- overwhelmingly indigenous mayan people speaking Mayan languages-- very impoverished state, even though it's a resource rich state.... resources were pulled out while people were exploited, left on its own.

In 1983 three people, including Marcos, leave mexico city, go to jungles of Chiapas and think they will start an armed uprising. That's a flop.
Rather than give up or try to impose their ideas of revolution, they begin to listen to the indigenous people. They see the strengths of local people, the underlying communal sense of making decisions in a non-hierarchical public meetings where people get to say "Their word."

The Zappatistas begin to absorb this. They begin to think that THEY are the ones who are changing with this encounter--
ultimately after ten years of organizing in the community they actually have an army of guerrilla fighters and communities who s upport them, leaders emerge from the communities and serve them. IN early 90's we have neoliberalism coming into play-- a savage form of economics in which trade barriers are broken down and you can't protect "..your cutlure, your urban areas. Trade barriers are removed, exposes Mexican agriculture -- the growing of corn and beans, the stape of mexican life-- conditions get harder and harder with neoliberalism, which zapaitistas call the "Death sentence, "

Moment that NAFTA goes into effect, the appatistas take over six towns, including capitol-- overwhelm military garrisons. The world wakes up the the Zappatistas controlling these towns.

They can't hold these towns against the full force of the Mexican army. After 12 days, there are not more hostilities.. The Zappatistas are world known. The web-- allows people to get their word out from a rural place, to the whole world. Population in the big cities support cessation fo force against Zpatistas--

They are an ongoing revolution-- stand for -- not tryting to take power, but creating kind of communities they envision living in. They are poor, but self sufficient-- very democratic. They rotate leaders on an obsessive basis.

This movement has inspired the world.
Meeting at the world social forum.

There is a worldwide social movement-- aimed at global radical change.

Above the nation state and above it, as the global justice movement.

Arab spring.

Global Justice Movement
f irst
values, the way we live, the way we govern ourselves, trying to duplicate zapatista democracy on a much larger, global scale.
the world social forum--
Global Climate Justice movement;

global justice movement believes in celebration, that it should be fun-- expressiveness in art, theater--

NGOs Friends of the Earth INternational-- led by Mimo Bassi (? sp) Democracy Now
Pink Tide, Evo Morales from Bolivia

The Arab Spring didn't come out of nowhere. It was the result of a kind of planetary shift in the way we think of how we live and what is possible.

A third route of radical social change-- if we discard the armed route and acknowledge that there are other ways to radical social change that can be through non-violence. ".

Three routes-- that while they all existed

The Fire and the Word
Gloria Ramirez.

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Rob Kall is the host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360, where he discusses how the bottom up mind and bottom up revolution are reaching different areas of the world, of life, of politics, business, society and anywhere else.

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