Posted by: johnhourihan | September 23, 2013

The next American Revolution

Remember the opening scenes of Doctor Zhivago?
Scenes of a beautiful country populated by, predominantly, two kinds of people – the extremely rich and the extremely poor?russian landscape
In my life, I have found myself on both sides of that stark divide. I have dined with the extremely rich and I was born into poverty.
I bridged that gap because there was, in the United States, a middle class, unlike  in Russia at the time of Zhivago and the Russian Revolution.
Having sat on both sides of the door, I know why Republicans today see socialists behind every tree. Because they are told to.
They are told to because the very rich in this country are afraid.
And they should be.
Think about what happened in the movie. It was a historical fiction. The people were fiction, but the history was accurate.
When there is no middle class where poor people can stop their scratching and clawing to better themselves and get a rest you don‘t try anymore. It is in the Middle Class where you learn to believe anything is possible if you work hard enough. When there is an emptiness between the very rich and the very poor, the poor revolt.
And in this country, as was the case in Russia and so many other revolutions, there are many more poor, and now the rich don‘t even want to feed them, house them or minister to their illnesses.
There will come a time when the very poor say, “enough.”
It has always happened. Don’t think the United States is immune from the anger of poverty.
This is why those who want for very little in this country are seeing socialists behind every tree.
All I can say is you sow what you plant.
If this beautiful country continues on this path to disenfranchising anyone who is poor, do we think the poor will go away? Do we think poverty will become history if we just don’t acknowledge it? Do we think the overwhelming majority of the poor will continue to abide by the rules if the rules leave their children hungry, sick and homeless?
I am not a socialist.
I believe, however, in feeding the poor, caring for the sick, making sure all children have a roof over their heads. And I believe if a man works 40 hours a week he should be able to provide these things for his family.
If those who hire people in this country are so greedy that they won’t provide jobs that pay enough to do this, and the government won’t tax those people and corporations and use that money to care for those in need, history says there will be a revolution.
And that is why the very rich want you to see socialists behind every tree.
The very rich are frightened by the possible consequence of their greedy actions.
And like lambs, half the country goes along with them.
Do you remember what happened to the rich and their possessions in the movie,  Doctor Zhivago?
We had better think about that.
It is probably coming.



  1. Food, medicine, and shelter. You would think it’s the least civilized people could do for others who for whatever reason can’t do for themselves. Then you see so called civilized people show you – you CAN do less.

  2. The rich compare this nations poor to that of 3rd world countries and see only over-priveledged whiners here. Violent revolution takes anger, extreme anger. I don’t think this country is anywhere close to that… yet.
    I keep thinking this country is made of better stuff than to go the typical ‘violent revolution’ route. I guess I’m falling back on my Catholic upbringing… FAITH, HOPE… naivete.


    • Charlie, You are most likely right about the anger …. except in the inner cities such as Chicago where the governor is debating whether or not to bring in the National Guard. Once that kind of thing begins can the Montana militias be far behind? I don’t see an uprising as a probability, but more of a possibility.


  3. Well, some very important political activists and academics agree with you.
    If anyone reading this has not read Howard Zinn’s, People’s History, they should.
    I do not think that the Republicans know enough to be scared. The have no idea what is really going on. Greedy yes, frightened-not yet. The middle class is shrinking. Not good. The middle class has been the buffer between
    the Very Rich and Revolution every where. As you say, why not here. The
    Middle class must continue to exist. There are ways to make that happen. I am looking forward to Robert Reich’s new movie, Inequality for All.

    • me too


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