the men behind the curtain

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“Spontaneous popular uprisings”??

  • Posted on: 9 August 2009
  • By: Hello Dolly Llama
Promoted, with thanks and a special welcome to Hello Dolly Llama. -- GH

“Spontaneous popular uprisings”??

Yet another myth the Republicans are peddling, is the myth of the spontaneous popular uprising. As Robert Heinlein observed decades ago, the notion of a handful of revolutionaries gathering in an attic or a coffeehouse around a candle, plotting to change the world, virtually never leads to anything. Anything that is really worth accomplishing takes time, money, organization, a good sense of timing, communication, logistics, intelligence, usually some security, and a fair amount of luck.

Arguably the first uprising against a government occurred in Rome, when Tarquinius Superbus, the king whose son raped a nobleman’s daughter, was removed from power by the Senate, not the people. This established the Roman Republic which was in turn overthrown by the killing of Caesar, which was a murder conspiracy by Senators, not a popular uprising.

Most of the violent upheavals in the Middle Ages came in the form of full-scale civil wars between armies led by noblemen; the only role of the common people was to be slaughtered. Even Magna Carta: people believe it was a popular uprising to secure the rights of the common man, but it was in fact a conspiracy of noblemen to secure rights for…noblemen.