“You can’t be loved for what you were at 19. You have to evolve.”–Frank Langella 27 January 2014, as told to Charlie Rose.
The irony in the above statement is that for some of the day I have been giving thought to the word, “revolution”. The “Hoteps” and the “Oswalds” in the “black community” love that word. It, I suppose, is intended to either signal a desire for change or serve as a trumpet indicating that change is starting now. Revolution is defined as a complete change; an overthrow of a society or government. I think those definitions are lacking, Mr. Webster, and should be at least modified in your dictionary.
Even when applied to politics or societal values, the first three meanings of the word; revolution on an axis, complete cycle of events, or movement around on an axis, are probably more appropriate. Why? Because in reality all political revolutions, up to this point, bring us back to where we are right now.
Did the American Revolution bring any real change? Arguably no. The colonists merely replaced one form of a tyrannical state, a monarchy, with another form of tyrannical state, a constitutional democracy where the king was merely split into a trinity of the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary and a mercantile economic system dominated by an elite 1% replaced by a corporate driven economy dominated by an elite 1%.
Did the Great Society programs of the 1960s bring about revolution? No. It merely completed the move from a Jim Crow, sharecropping, oppressive political system that saw nary any access to capital by blacks to a welfare state continuously touted as a safety net for a disproportionate number of blacks while maintaining an egregious lack of capital access for black people. Arguably, the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” class will say things got better. In the real reality show, unemployment, wealth, and income disparities between whites and blacks still remain high, and in the case of unemployment and income, just as high as they were fifty years ago.
Driving a Lexus, twerking on YouTube, and texting on a smartphone are not change. They are distractions that cloud the observation that we have revolved to where we were in the beginning. Some would rightfully say devolved.
The word we should be focusing on is evolution. Evolution means taking the risk necessary to clearly change mindsets and eco-systems; getting rid of old economic and political systems that have served no other purpose but to maintain control of capital in the hands of the opulent few and thinking it’s okay to not only avoid investing in the systems that produce or goods and services, but to think the we’ll do fine consuming the opulent few’s doggy scraps. Evolution means not being able to recognize what you are today because you decided to grow into something far superior: an empowered individual….
The secret word today boys and girls is … evolution….