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Will the Recession Engender Revolution?

An Adbusters editorial thinks it might indeed:

Young people in the West are pissed off as they stare into an increasingly empty and precarious future. If Obama’s stimulus packages fail and Sarkozy’s “new capitalism” doesn’t catch hold, “hope and change” will be mere campaign slogans — bearing no connection to reality. Left with forfeited promises, ravaged planetary ecosystems and forced to deal with the massive debt left to them by their parents, no amount of rhetoric will douse their generational discontent. Out of this frustration and anger, a charismatic new leader — a “Lily the Red” — may suddenly appear in Berlin, or Berkeley or maybe Beijing and spark a wave of protests around the world.

The recent food riots may also be a harbinger of things to come. The world’s one billion slum dwellers are the real victims of the economic collapse and it’s only a matter of time before a leader emerges from among them to call for a jihad against the decadent West. His fiery speeches will trigger massive protests against the richest one billion, whose economic philosophies and immoral five-planet lifestyles are accelerating climate change and propagating misery and inequity throughout the world. He will lead the call for a radical new frugality in Western lifestyles, repayment of the West’s ecological debt and a democratic overhaul of the UN Security Council, the IMF and World Bank.

This year, or maybe next, our neoliberal world order will explode like a million fireworks against the night sky and we shouldn’t doubt or fear, but celebrate, because one dream is ending and another being born.


  1. Paul wrote:

    Step 1: All American Christians read a book about St. Francis and/or his teachings.

    Step 2: American Christians “go and do likewise.”

    Step 3: Problem solved. The Kingdom of God will truly be among us.

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 9:56 am | Permalink
  2. and this too shall pass.

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 10:16 am | Permalink
  3. kim fabricius wrote:

    If I read it rightly, what a wildly sanguine editiorial. The editorialist should read some biblical apocalyptic and peruse the history books about what happens in times of massive economic and political earthquakes: the demagogues always triumph over enlightened revolutionary leaders. As global capitalism collapses along the fault lines, it’s the forces of of nationalism and fascism that will rise from the noxious fissures. Dreams? That should be “one nightmare is ending and another being born.”

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Permalink
  4. Halden wrote:

    Yeah, I think so too. I just find it interesting that revolution is on people’s minds.

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 11:44 pm | Permalink
  5. Skip Newby wrote:

    “Revolution” is always on someone’s mind. However, even successful revolutions merely “revolve” into new oppressive systems maintained by power.

    As believers, and as followers of our Master Jesus, should we be afraid of whatever conditions the powers of the world bring forth, whether they be political, economic, or even religious powers?

    It seems that the very point He was making in showing us who our Father is, says that He didn’t fear whatever the powers would do. Love would be victorious.

    As we live lives of compassion to the weak and broken, we should have an attitude toward the powers of, bring it on.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 12:41 am | Permalink
  6. Paul wrote:

    I think our attitude toward the powers and principalities should be shoulder-shrugging. We know they are incapable of telling the truth, and they are incapable of ruling people justly. We believe that their days of holding power are numbered. What that number is, our Lord didn’t say.

    If the demagogues triumph, which is certainly possible, racial and sexual minorities will get the brunt — they always do. Even though it’s exceedingly obvious who is responsible for the mess we’re in, I don’t underestimate our culture’s ability to put the blame on the “least of these”. In which case, we Christians will have a lot of work to do.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 6:55 am | Permalink

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