Monday, June 26, 2006
"The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal."
Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom. Canada: Holt, Rinehart, Winston; 1941, rpt 1961. p. 259.
The main point here is to establish a citation. The worthwhile point is to ask if one is right in revolting against the established order. Few do, and one must wonder if it's a good thing to do so even if the result is good for many. Australia, for example, had no revolution, as Dalton Trumbo points out in Johnny Got His Gun. Same result as America and no violence. Russia had a revolution and turned into a nightmare land. the French had a revolution and killed too many people for a good cause that went sour in short order. what about us? Should we have a social revolution? We had one that continues from the 1960s. It is, to my mind, a counter-revolution, a reactionary movement from the reactionary forces of 1789, not the bourgeois elements. should we evolve or fight as hard as possible for the quickest result? How long will we last if we do little but wait for incremental improvement? How much damage might we cause in acting hastily for a result we might attain regardless? And at what point is revolution criminal and not successful? Is it a matter of the winner writing history?
Corday murdered Marat. Both died. Which one is successful?