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Birth of a Revolution

Rock and Roll

revolution (noun), late 14c., revolucioun, originally of celestial bodies, “one (apparent) rotation about the earth,” also the time required for this, also “act or fact of moving in a circular course,” … from Late Latin revolutionem, “a revolving,” noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin revolvere “turn, roll back” (see revolve).

From early 15c. as “a cyclical reoccurrence, a round or recurrent changes or events;” also “the revolving of a wheel.” By 1660s as “action on the part of an object or person of turning round or moving round a point.”

The sense of “an instance of great change in affairs” is recorded from mid-15c. The political meaning “overthrow of an established political or social system” is recorded by c. 1600, derived from French…

Etymology Online

Divine, right?

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!

One day to a new beginning (Raise the flag of freedom high!)
Every man will be a king (Every man will be a king!)
There’s a new world for the winning (There’s a new world to be won)
Do you hear the people sing?

Do you Hear the People Sing? and One Day More – Les Miserables (The Musical)
(Note: Les Mis is set in 1832)

Acid Reign

On 6 April 1793 the National Convention established the Committee of Public Safety, which gradually became the de facto war-time government of France. The Committee oversaw the Reign of Terror. “During the Reign of Terror, at least 300,000 suspects were arrested; 17,000 were officially executed, and perhaps 10,000 died in prison or without trial.”

The war in the Vendée was a counter-revolution from 1793 to 1796 in the Vendée region of France during the French Revolution… In Nantes and Angers, around 15,000 people were shot, drowned or guillotined on the orders of the représentants en mission and Revolutionary Military Commissions, while in the countryside about 20,000 to 50,000 civilians were massacred by the infernal columns, who set fire to many towns and villages.

The number of victims is estimated at approximately 200,000 dead… between 20 and 25% of the population…

Wikipedia – Reign of Terror and War in the Vendée


The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.

Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

Working Men of All Countries, Unite!

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – The Communist Manifesto


Mao Zedong said power grows out of the barrel of a gun, and he was right. Some types of power can only be taken, and sometimes must be taken.*

But the first and deeper power is the power that can only be given. We begin weak and we will end weak, receiving power from people who lend us their strength to help us grow up or help us grow old, in the full knowledge that one day we may end up stronger than they are.

This is a different and more important kind of revolution – the giving away that turns everything upside-down and lays the foundations for literally everything else.

Happy Christmas 2022.

Pret: A Manger

The World Turned Upside Down

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’

Gospel of Luke (NRSV)

*If you ever happen to obtain this kind of power, please refrain from killing millions of people.

See also:

Shepherds and Kings
Stable relationship
Every Man Will Be a King; or, Sovereignty
The Gift
Remember the name: Persistence of wealth through China’s revolutions
Will and Ariel Durant on Inequality, Redistribution, Revolution and the Nature of Society’s Wealth
Villainy: Things Fall Apart

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...