Absolute , erratic , inevitable. These three adjectives best describe the three certainties in life. We have grown used to the first two as a part of the life-lexicon of ; “There are two certainties in life ; Death and Taxes”…well..I am going to introduce a third certainty : Revolution.
Revolution has played such an important role in the development both scientifically and socially in human progress, and at such regular intervals ( It seems there is some spiritual / physical / scientific uprising going on in some part of the world every day!), that it surely warrants inclusion in the list of certainties.
Of course, with Death, there can be no debate, it is a given and even with the enthusiasm of science and cosmetics striving to find a path to eternal youth, I seriously doubt there could be many of the extremely aged who would welcome another decade or so added to an already restricting existence.
On Taxes, the best that can be said for such a certainty is that it finances, through communal donation, those essentials that benefit the entire community..and human society is the better for it..if and when those who most benefit from the general purse to persue their self-interest goals, could find it in their miserable nature to pay their percentage equal to the profit they derive from the general community!
Revolution, that most uncertain yet inevitable of all the certainties, needs a catalyst to “jump-start” its impetus. In the transition from tribal to civil governance, the chieftains of that warrior age, naturally took command of the leadership of governance…after all..”Kingship” was the natural evolution of leadership..this Patriarchial Potestas guided the early city-states through a hit-miss millennia of fortune, interrupted in it’s leadership only by a revolution amongst the royal-court players..usually a prince of the same or a rival family house seizing command.
The rise of the middle-class in the time of a greater outreach of trade over land borders and seas, brought wealth to certain “lowly-born” merchants who, by the use of bribery and gifting, learned where the cracks and fissures in the “born to rule” governance could be found..and they found them very useful. It wasn’t long (in a time sense) before several of the more wealthy became useful to the now heavily indebted Royal Houses and the promotion to the court or administration ensured.
We can read in Cassius Dio, the echo’s of one such merchant banker ; Maecenas, giving “advice” to the young, newly crowned emperor Augustus to appoint more of the Equestrian class ( que ; Middle) to manage his administration, and while there is that usual oleaginous , Uriah Heep hand-wringing servility “I’m just yer ‘umble servant sirrr..” common amongst that class of citizen. One can also detect the undercurrent of a hunger for power that would come later for such a merchant. Indeed, it did evolve down through the millennium that the middle-classes did gain control then supreme power over the penuried, feckless Aristocracy and with the institution of the parliamentary system of governance, guaranteed a secure foothold to maintain their dominance of influence in governance.
This is not to say there was silent acquiescence on the part of the common citizen in all this “shuffling of the deck chairs” …There were regular uprisings by the irate citizens at every juncture of social dysfunction..usually ending in a bloody slaughter and agreement for change in systems of oppression..at least for a while . The most major “disturbance” that happened at the equally challenging time of Patriarchal House change involving Julius Caesar / Pompey / Crassus in the Roman Republic was the “Slave Revolt” led by (amongst others) one : Spartacus.
I will not repeat the history of that war, that revolution..there are sources enough online and in primary texts (Plutarch’s Lives : Crassus) to look it up. But the gist is known to most of us , what is not developed from the event is a concise history of the people who participated in that revolt, nor the popular support they gleaned from the citizen body of the times…oppression of the masses creates an undercurrent of sympathy and support for the revolutionary. But it is because the victor writes the histories, we have till this day all our backgrounding, our social and governance history written with a slant most favouring the ruling elite.
There now is the opportunity to change all this.
There now is a rising revolution of the working / producing classes that is educated to a point where it can take control of governance and with the command comes the chance to awake the sleeping histories of our own heroes..our own explorers, our own leaders of those past revolutionary causes and conflicts..for even at the Eureka Stockade, alongside Peter Lalor, was there not the “International Brigade” with one ; Rafael Carboni ?..Later charged along with Lalor and the others..Why is there not a parallel volume in the history of this nation, indeed the world’s peoples giving the names of the everyday citizens who have given their all for family and community..above those of “position and breeding” who claim the sweat of the brow of the workers for their own enrichment and kudos..
From Victor Hugo ; Essays on Humanity.
“…The cleverness of the governing and the apathy of the governed have arranged and mixed things in such a manner that all those forms of princely nothingness have their place in human destiny; peace and war, the movement of armies and fleets, the recoil of the progress of civilization, depend on the cup of tea of Queen Anne or the fly-flap of the Bey of Algiers.
History walks behind these fooleries, registering them. Knowing so many things, it is quite natural it should be ignorant of others.
If you are curious to ask the name of the English merchant who in 1612 first entered China by the north, of the worker in glass who in 1663 first established in France a manufactory of crystal, of the (shipping) pilot who in 1405 discovered the Canary Islands, of the Byzantine lute-maker who in the eighth century invented the organ and gave to music it’s grandest voice, of the Campanian mason who invented the clock by establishing at Rome on the temple of Quirinus the first sundial, of the Roman lighterman who invented the paving of towns by the construction of the Appian way in the year of 312 BC.: of the Egyptian carpenter who devised the dovetail, one of the keys of architecture…of the Chaldean keeper of flocks who founded astronomy by his observations of the signs of the zodiac, the starting point taken by Anaximenes…Of the Corinthian calker who, nine years before the first Olympiad, calculated the power of the triple lever, devised the trireme, and created a tow-boat anterior by two thousand six hundred years to the steamboat…Who is that ;- a ploughman, a calker, a shepherd, a lighterman, a carpenter, a mason, a lutemaker, a sailor and a merchant? History does not lower itself to such rabble.“
With the coming change of order of governance, must come an end to the managed histories of the ruling order. This new class of governance should hold no truck with royalty and it’s fripperies, nor with the crass, bling of the middle-classes..As a matter of fact, it can be seen as deranged, that a person or society that needs the sets and props of theatrical mummery to sustain a sense of dignity..far better would it not be to be able to point to a physical structure or piece of work, be it of bricks and mortar or field of grain or flourish of art at least of honest if only humble labour and say ; ‘There is my effort, my contribution”..than to parade about with a fools costume covering a dilettante’s heart?
First the Aristocracy lost its legitimacy to rule through a combination of incompetence and fecklessness, to see the governance fall into the hands of a once efficient, steady hand of the middle-class. Now, that class has itself fallen victim to its own hubris and greed, and is headed by fools and imbeciles..its powers of command delegated to opportunists and buffoons..it is time to remove its indolent and dotage grip from the levers of governance and place such into a more vibrant and capable navigator..it is time for the rise of a new “Spartican Revolution” of the “ working / producing classes” that will hopefully see a new equality of ethnicity , creed and gender governing of the people, by the people and finally ; FOR THE PEOPLE !
Certainly, with the need for revolutionary change, even by the most passive kind at the ballot box, there will be those who will suffer..but better surely to make a courageous stand for your beliefs than to “die” socially and economically by the death of this government’s “a thousand cuts”?..we can look to the account of Spartacus for courage of leadership in the face of certain defeat..:
“ … More men from both sides kept on coming up, and Spartacus, realizing that he had no alternative, drew up his whole army in order of battle.
First, when his horse was brought to him, he drew his sword and killed it, saying that the enemy had plenty of good horses which would be his if he won, and, if he lost, he would not need a horse at all. Then he made straight for Crassus himself, charging forward through the press of weapons and wounded men, and, though he did not reach Crassus, he cut down two centurions who fell on him together.
Finally, when his own men had taken to flight, he himself, surrounded by enemies, still stood his ground and died fighting to the last. “ Plutarch Lives : “ Crassus”.
It reminds one of the last stand of our own Ned Kelly.
The time for revolutionary change has never been more inevitable or certain!