“Our Revolution: A popular revolution for freedom, equality and social justice and against every kind
(The Revolutionary Left opposition group in Syria)
Grinding poverty, a lack of basic needs (such as food, fresh drinking water), brutal and oppressive government and inequality are the cauldron where revolution is brewed, mixed and stewed! Within man there is a deep-seated longing for three basic things: a full belly, to be able to feel happy and enjoy life as well as having a sense of self-worth. Where these things are missing people are more likely to be persuaded to rebel, organise and rebel against their leaders. It is believed that by overthrowing their leaders a fairer and better government will replace the old and, often, corrupt one.
In 18th century the people of France lived under the heel of a monarchy that lived in opulent luxury. The ruling classes were largely indifferent to the plight of the poor and dissenters were dealt with harshly. Revolution was fomented under the banner of: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity—or Brotherhood)! Violent Revolution ensued which, in 1792, led to the arrest of the King and Queen who were both executed by guillotine in 1793.
What began as a Revolution to set the people free from tyranny soon descended into one of the darkest periods of French history—Le Terreur (the Terror) under the rule of Maximilian Robespierre. During this period, which lasted for 15 months, some 40,000 people were executed. In 1794 Robespierre himself was arrested and executed as a despot and a tyrant!
In 1917 the Russian Revolution brought an end to the Tsarist regime of the Romanovs. The Russian people suffered hunger and asked for reforms however Tsar Nicholas would not listen to the people and many were massacred by his troops as they sought to appeal to him by presenting their petitions to him. Thousands of young Russians had been lost on the fields of battle in the trenches of France and Belgium. The royal family itself was plagued by a series of scandals because of the Tsarina’s close relationship with the notorious “Mad Monk” Gregory Rasputin. The Tsar’s grip on power had become untenable and in March of 1917 the Tsar abdicated his throne. Russia was now a republic.
With the promise of Peace, Bread and Land the Marxist Bolshevik movement soon seized power. Thus was born the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1924 the USSR came under the rule of Joseph Stalin who would rule for the next 30 years. Georgian historian Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev has estimated that the death toll directly attributable to Stalin’s rule amounted to some 20 million lives as a direct result of Stalin’s orders!
In 1944 the Communist led National Liberation Front swept to power after living under occupation by Fascist Italy. Under its leader Enver Hoxha (Pronounced Hodja) the Albanian people were promised freedom, however under Hoxha’s rule thousands of people were executed, faced torture and suffered degrading treatment in labour Camps. Eventually all religions were outlawed. Most people were Muslim, however there were people of other faiths also.
In 1975 the Khmer Rouge, under the leadership of Pol Pot, overthrew the government of Lon Nol. Lon Nol had led a revolt that toppled King Sihanouk from power in 1970. The exiled king had left-wing sympathies and showed support for the Khmer Rouge. The king himself was greatly loved by the peasantry who joined the ranks of the Khmer Rouge in their thousands with the understanding that by defeating Lon Nol King Sihanouk would be restored to the throne. This, however, proved to be a false hope.
Pol Pot’s idea for the country was to make the nation self-sufficient by concentrating everyone’s efforts into agriculture. Thousands of people were removed from the cities into the countryside and a vast programme of agricultural development was begun. The result was catastrophic for Cambodia creating famine as the result of which thousands starved to death. Yet others were blamed for this failure and a series of purges were carried out ridding many of the Party’s elite from their positions of power.
Every one who was considered even tinged with Western influence was put to death. This meant anyone with an education, even the most rudimentary, was seen as a potential “enemy of the people”.
It is believed that during the four years that Pol Pot ruled the country over 21% of the population died, half of these were executed under orders from Pol Pot, the rest due to starvation and disease.
In 1945 British author George Orwell’s book Animal Farm was published. The book is a satire on the Soviet Union, particularly aimed at exposing the brutality of Stalinism.
The Plot on Wikipedia:
Old Major, the old boar on the Manor Farm, summons the animals on the farm together for a meeting, during which he refers to humans as parasites and teaches the animals a revolutionary song called Beasts of England. When Major dies, two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, assume command and consider it a duty to prepare for the Rebellion. The animals revolt and drive the drunken and irresponsible farmer Mr. Jones from the farm, renaming it “Animal Farm”. They adopt Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important of which is, “All animals are equal.”
Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, while Napoleon educates young puppies on the principles of Animalism. Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special food items, ostensibly for their personal health. Napoleon and Snowball struggle for pre-eminence. When Snowball announces his plans to build a windmill, Napoleon has his dogs chase Snowball away and subsequently declares himself leader of Animal Farm.
Napoleon enacts changes to the governance structure of the farm, replacing meetings with a committee of pigs who will run the farm. Through a young pig named Squealer, Napoleon claims credit for the windmill idea. The animals work harder with the promise of easier lives with the windmill. When the animals find the windmill collapsed after a violent storm, Napoleon and Squealer convince the animals that Snowball is trying to sabotage their project. Once Snowball becomes a scapegoat, Napoleon begins to purge the farm with his dogs, killing animals he accuses of consorting with his old rival. Beasts of England is replaced by an anthem glorifying Napoleon, who appears to be adopting the lifestyle of a man. The animals remain convinced that they are better off than they were under Mr. Jones.
Mr Frederick, one of the neighbouring farmers, attacks the farm, using blasting powder to blow up the restored windmill. Though the animals win the battle, they do so at great cost, as many, including Boxer the workhorse, are wounded. Despite his injuries, Boxer continues working harder and harder, until he collapses while working on the windmill. Napoleon sends for a van to take Boxer to the veterinary surgeon, explaining that better care can be given there. Benjamin, the cynical donkey who “could read as well as any pig”,notices that the van belongs to a knacker, and attempts a futile rescue. Squealer reports that the van was purchased by the hospital and the writing from the previous owner had not been repainted. But in reality, Napoleon has sold his most loyal and long-suffering worker for money to buy himself whisky.
Years pass, and the pigs start to resemble humans, as they walk upright, carry whips, and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are abridged to a single phrase: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. Napoleon holds a dinner party for the pigs and local farmers, with whom he celebrates a new alliance. He abolishes the practice of the revolutionary traditions and restores the name “The Manor Farm”. As the animals look from pigs to humans, they realise they can no longer distinguish between the two.
Why Revolutions So Often Fail.
Why is it that revolutions gain so much eager support from people and yet seldom seem to deliver the type of society that they promise? Well I believe that there is one key factor in all this—that men are basically flawed.
A truly just and equitable society can never be achieved because humans are unjust and discriminatory by nature. The Bible describes the problem thus:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
In a rebuke to His religious critics Christ goes even further in describing what lies within the heart of man:
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:20-23)
With all that going in each person’s life how can people be so naïve as to believe that a Revolution can bring about anything other than despotism, inequality, oppression, tyranny and death?
Systems are created by people, organised by people and led by people. As people are corrupt at the heart of their very being so the very systems they create and lead can only become corrupted. This is why revolutions are so effective at removing governments and corrupt leaders, however another government led by yet another succession of corrupt leaders will only follow them.
What makes a person engage in a violent revolution?
Two things, really; Hatred and Anger!
People must become angry enough to want to fight and hate whoever is seen as the reason for the problem.
The main targets of anger and hatred are inevitably the rich and those who are perceived to be their friends. It is reasoned that the rich and those that control the economy are the ones responsible for all the ills of society and the world in general. Therefore, it is believed, that if “we simply overthrow the evil rulers we will be able to establish a more just and equitable society based on the interests of the working classes.” This seems reasonable to many people however, as we have seen from the history of Socialist Revolutions, inevitable one single leader usually rises to the top of the pile and it is he (we have yet to see a Socialist Revolution that has culminated in a strong woman as the supreme leader) who decides what are, and what aren’t, in the Workers interests. Such leaders have tended to be psychopathic demagogues who have to be even more oppressive and ruthless that the very leaders that they have overthrown.
Change Your Heart.
In 1980 The Corgis sang, Change your heart look around you. Change your heart it will astound you!
A Revolution IS needed, but not a political, economic or even social revolution. What is needed is a personal revolution, one that changes the individual from the inside out. What point is there in bringing about a revolution that merely changes circumstances if the people who lead and those that live under the new circumstances are still ruled by the desires of the carnal nature?
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like….. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Once again Christ, whilst challenging the pious, stated:
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (Matthew 12:34-35)
Yet again He is addressing the problem of the human heart. Several hundred years previously the Prophet Ezekiel gave this message to his people:
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:26)
Also the Prophet Jeremiah Prophesied thus:
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:31-33)
Many people think of changing their lives. They think that their dissatisfaction and inner yearning for true happiness will come by changing their circumstances. Like Tevye, in The Fiddler on the Roof, they think that if they were rich they’d be happy. Or like ABBA, they reason:
Always sunny in the rich man’s world…
All the things I could do If I had a little money!
Christ taught us that neither the rich nor the poor were ever contented. The Poor envy the rich and the rich are never contented with what they have, they will always want more. The rich are always fearful of losing their riches and are always suspicious of the poor.
Human beings always have a tendency to compare themselves with others. We want to be like others, look like others and have what others have. We are impressed by looks. The people we admire most are so very image conscious about how they appear. Those artists that have greater success are the ones who are, as it is described, “constantly reinventing themselves”! Yet these stars employ bodyguards to keep their adoring crowds away from them. These stars live in expensive mansions in exclusive neighbourhoods with high fences and hi-tech security systems. They like to be loved and adored but only at a distance. Often they have huge personal “issues” with insecurity, addiction and failed relationships!
We admire people for how they look, how they speak and (above all) how successful they are. However God tells us not to be so shallow:
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1Samuel 16:7)
When Christ addressed the pious further (in Matthew chapter 12) He stated:
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (vs. 36)
Here He speaks of a coming day of judgement to which ALL will be subjected. Everything will be stripped away and we will appear naked before Him. On that day wealth, status, looks and such things will have no bearing on the outcome, whether we be believers or not!
Only two things will allow a person to stand on that day; did we believe and did we love? Did we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and did we keep His commandments? We cannot have the one without the other. We cannot have just the love if we do not believe, and we cannot simply believe and it not produce the love!
You want a Revolution? Then you must choose the only true Revolution, the Revolution that the Gospel of Jesus Christ produces! The only Revolution that will take you, turn you around and make you a new creature!
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
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