Posted By stuartbramhall on January 9, 2012
Free download at: www.smashwords.com/books/view/120942
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21st Century Revolution is the second edition of a collection of essays I published on August 30, 2011, under the title Revolutionary Change: an Expatriate Perspective. Two weeks later the book was totally out of date, with the launch of Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Square. Part I of 21st Century Revolution, about Occupy Wall Street, is totally new. There are also new essays in Part V about gun control and the citizens’ rights movement.
I started 21st Century Revolution intending to offer a unique perspective on the US political system after nine years living overseas as an expatriate. Much of the book examines why progressives have such difficulty recruiting low income white and minority workers. I have always believed this relates to the failure of many liberals to recognize and acknowledge the distinct cultural differences in blue collar and minority communities.
Civic Engagement and Reclaiming the Commons
Throughout the book, I strongly emphasize civic engagement and reclaiming the commons – which I feel are the two most important areas of focus for working class activists. Engaging with neighbors and other community members comes more naturally to low income and disenfranchised groups (remember, we grew up playing in the street while our middle class peers were at piano, violin, and dancing lessons). At the same time we have a strong instinctive understanding of class privilege, the flip side of reclaiming the commons. From childhood, we are very much aware that people with all the money control the world.
This is the main reason the young looters in London went for the wide screen TVs, rather than for food. From a class perspective, this is called “leveling,” not greed.
I divide the book into six parts. The first part, “Occupy Wall Street and the New Economics,” discusses the Occupy movement from a class perspective, as well as the new light OWS sheds on our broken banking and monetary system. Part II, “My New Life in New Zealand,” briefly discusses my reasons for emigrating and the political and social features that make my new home uniquely different from the US. Part III, “Capitalism’s Last Gasp,” examines the train wreck global capitalism has imposed on the planet. Part IV, “Psychological Oppression: the Role of Corporate Media,” talks about the role of the media in shaping the American psyche and preserving the status quo. Part V, “Change Making,” explores how I believe real change is likely to come about, with special emphasis on social class and the concept of reclaiming “the commons. Part V contains two new articles on gun control and the citizens’ rights movement. Part VI, “The Endgame,” makes a few predictions about post-capitalist society.
Cover image by cisc1970
Under Creative Commons License