Because what happens is that when you rise up, the elites can no longer count on the foot soldiers that maintain control both within the civil service, within the police and everywhere else, to protect them.
truthdig.com May 9, 2015
In advance of the May 12 release of Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges’ new book, “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt,” Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer asks Hedges in a conversation on KPFK radio what Hedges is really asking people to do when he urges them to revolt.
Revolt “implies resistance, but it also implies suffering and violence and struggle of a kind that most often doesn’t end well,” Scheer says. It “suggests to people, ‘You’ve gotta go out there and throw your bodies on the barbed wire. You’ll suffer enormously; your family will and everyone you know about.’ ”
“Is this what you’re holding out?” Scheer asks. “You still see—what—orderly alternatives? Peaceful alternatives? Peaceful protest?”
Hedges responds: “The fact is most rebellions don’t succeed. Most rebels are ultimately crushed. We are up against the most terrifying security and surveillance apparatus—as you chronicled in your book [“They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy”]—in human history, something the Stasi state in East Germany never even dreamt of being able to impose. …
“I covered the breakdown of the Stasi state. When half a million people every single day were gathering at Alexanderplatz and tens of thousands of people were marching through the streets of Leipzig, what happens is they speak a truth, as Vaclav Havel’s great essay, 1978 essay ‘The Power of the Powerless,’ that when you speak a truth—and you know, the American public is not fooled. Congress has less than a 9 percent approval rate at this point. They get it. They don’t trust the corporate media, nor should they—And when you speak that truth and enough of you are willing to go out on the streets and speak it, and then the state begins to get frightened, then as they did in East Germany, the dictator Erick Honecker sent down an elite paratrooper division to fire on the protesters in Leipzig and they refused, Honecker was out of power within a week. Because what happens is that when you rise up, the elites can no longer count on the foot soldiers that maintain control both within the civil service, within the police and everywhere else, to protect them. And I think that our elites at this point are so discredited on both the left and the right that, I’m not naive enough to tell you it’s gonna work, but it is a mechanism that might work, and frankly it’s the only mechanism we have left.”
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.