The Revolt Of The Masses ~ Some Choke, Others Cheer

With the grudging exception of the Amish and the Networks, most of us will now admit the power of Social Media. Especially as the Tweeter-in-Chief has kidnapped it into his daily service. Interestingly, one of its recurring passages is this: “connecting the dots….”

Maybe we’re onto something here. Isn’t this our generation’s urgent itch to find a pattern? Some pattern running through the billions of daily dots that might for god’s sake make some sense out of the chaos? When you take a long algorithmic look at what’s out there, the word that best describes this is Populism.

Understanding Populism as a leaderless post-WWII revolt might be the light needed to shine our way through the chaos. And along the way, to decide if this revolt means letting the patients take over the asylum, or fulfilling the long deferred dream of real democracy:

* Culture ~ For centuries fine culture was enjoyed only by the elites. They alone could afford the fine homes, vehicles, clothes, and amusements befitting their class. Since 1945 the masses have revolted by means of easier mortgages, accessible knock-offs and on-line orders. The Opera? The French Riviera? “I can get there on credit, thank you very much…!”

* Economics ~ For centuries it has been the working class on whose backs the nobility and later the capitalists stood tall. Outright revolt like socialism and communism have not taken root among the masses only because there still remain remnants of The American Dream. Just enough to mute the kind of open class warfare in other economies. “Guys like me can still hit it big, and don’t you forget it…!”

* Education ~ For centuries education was denied the masses, thereby keeping them bound inside their ignorance. After WWII education became more a right than a privilege. Steadily the masses [read women and minorities] have revolted for curricula that includes Non-Western, Black and other alternative studies. The masses have announced, “We expect to be heard, not just taught…!”

* Religion ~ For centuries the masses in the West have hewed to the ancient Judaic-Christian ethic. But in the bloody wake of WWII’s atrocities, many have found their God missing-in-action. There has risen up revolutionary alternatives once thought unthinkable. Agnosticism, Atheism, and spiritual alternatives continue to grow. “My God and my Church are inside me, not out there…”

* Politics ~ In the most obvious manifestation of an angry Populism, we have a new President who has made claim to the title. Here the revolt has unfolded in an angry anti-establishment tidal wave. Half the nation has denied him the right to that claim, but the angry half have so far championed his style if not his substance. Time alone will tell; but for now, he is master of the Social Media through which today’s masses continue to revolt.

So far this is a bloodless revolt….a leaderless revolt….a revolt by other names. Are the establishment right to say the inmates are taking over the asylum…? or is it just possible, the masses might rise to the summit of democracy’s best promises of real equality…?

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