Devotees of incremental change may view death by degrees as safer, or at least postponing the inevitable, but it is often merely a fearful reaction to the vagaries of life rather than fulling embracing that which we hold most dear in life. Incremental change is the preferred mode of neoliberal politics, often under the guise of inevitable progress. The shadow side of incremental change is that it can acclimate us to unsustainable practices and also be easily co-opted by reactionary forces serving any particular set of privileged elites benefiting from the status quo. In the current presidential race, this shadow is solidly represented by the Democratic Party and its candidate, Hillary Clinton. Of course, not all large change is a positive paradigm shift or revolutionary evolution. Sometimes it’s just chaos, which can also serve those who have a better position to profit from upheaval (e.g., war profiteers, prison profiteers). In the current presidential race, the apparent chaos of Trumpism reinforces reactionary interests more so than creating human evolution. Donald Trump is the poster boy for devolution.
So, what is a revolutionary to do? If it’s a revolution of love, then cast out fear — which includes not casting a ballot riddled with fear. Of course, limiting ourselves to electoral politics, relying simply on voting in a deeply dysfunctional and rigged democracy, is the surest way to maintain our status as sheep. A sustainable and evolved humanity will be built it must be built on the bedrock of mass resistance and noncooperation with evil. Compromise is the art of politics. Noncooperation with evil is the truth force that sets healthy boundaries enabling the good to flourish. Compromising one’s values is a luxury of the privileged who don’t directly experience the daily onslaught of an injustice. Compromised incremental change is the privileged managing the underprivileged. Revolutionaries have their own skin in the game — nothing to lose but their chains. In liberation theology, developed out of the experience of oppressed peoples in Latin America, God’s “preferential option for the poor” recognizes the reality that God’s values are more directly accessible by the dispossessed, those not compromised by worldly power. This revolutionary theology understands that the salvation of the world rests in the hands of the dispossessed of the world, not supremely triangulated politicians or populist (sic) billionaires.
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