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Im a one man revolution

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Liberalism, in the nineteenth-century sense of the term, came to Austria much later than it came to western Europe, for it was not until the s that the industrial revolution reached the Hapsburg Empire, bringing in its train miserable working conditions and economic upheaval, which created bitter resentment among the working classes and a longing for a Utopia that would cure the ills of mankind. This new-found liberalism, largely self-contained and uninfluenced by liberal movements outside the empire, centered mainly in the idea of individual freedom and constitutional monarchism. In the end, the revolution failed because the moderates proved too weak to control the radical excesses, and the radicals in growing desperation tried to turn the rebel idea into a democratic and, at the extreme, a republican one. Fear of this extremism finally drove the moderates into the counterrevolutionary camp.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The Nightwatchman - One Man Revolution (Live on Jools Holland 2007)

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The Nightwatchman - One Man Revolution

The One-Man Revolution (The Only One That’s Coming?)

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I bid you to the one-man revolution — The only revolution that is coming. The one-man revolutionary says: no, the revolution starts here and now. Your first task as a revolutionary is to overturn the corrupt, confused, puppet governor of your own life and to put a more responsible sovereign in its place. Because he refused to name names, he was kept there for several months.

The only book they allowed him was the Bible and they even took this away and replaced it with a smaller-print version for no other reason but to inflict another petty torment in the dim light of his cell. To change the world by bullets or ballots was a useless procedure. Each one could make this by himself and not need to wait on a majority. The advantage of organizing and working together is superior numbers, and, in theory anyway, greater force.

But there are many disadvantages. What such a movement gains in quantity it may lose in quality, and the force it gains from numbers it may lose from the diffuse, blunted, half-hearted effort of the individuals that make it up, or from the fact that much of their energy is expended in the organizing itself rather than the ostensible goals of the organization.

The advantage of drawing a large crowd of half-hearted followers is rarely worth the effort. It is not too hard to sway a crowd of wishy-washy people by appealing to the half-truths they already believe and being careful not to attack any of the nonsense they adhere to.

But what does this get you? A crowd of wishy-washy people who are just as vulnerable to falling for the next demagogue who comes along with patronizing speeches. Thoreau wrote of how when he was invited to speak he refused to water down his message to make it most palatable to his listeners. They think they will never get me there again.

Thoreau noted with approval that the abolitionist revolutionary John Brown had not gathered around him a large party of well-wishers and collaborators, but instead had been very selective about whom he let in on his plans:. I hear many condemn these men because they were so few. When were the good and the brave ever in a majority? Would you have had him wait till that time came? The very fact that [Brown] had no rabble or troop of hirelings about him would alone distinguish him from ordinary heroes.

His company was small indeed, because few could be found worthy to pass muster. He would have no rowdy or swaggerer, no profane swearer, for, as he said, he always found these men to fail at last. I would rather have the small-pox, yellow-fever, and cholera, all together in my camp, than a man without principle. And second, because this makes it difficult for your opponents to get a foothold in trying to persuade you with threats or with bribes to give up the fight.

Detective Wilson said that the young Socialists arrested with me for refusing to register had all given in and registered. Later I found out that he had also told them that I had registered. The detective assumed that Hennacy valued his belonging more than his integrity, and so made a completely ineffective attack. Thoreau similarly noted that his captors had failed to understand his motives, assuming he valued his freedom from confinement more than his freedom of action:.

I should feel as if I were worth less in that case. The lesson proved by this is not that unless we stay united we are weak, but that to the extent that our strength depends mainly on our unity we are vulnerable. As often as not, you end up with something as bad as before. The Russians made a revolution against the Czar and now have an even stronger dictatorship.

Tyranny is not something that only infests the top of the org chart. Tyranny lives as tenaciously in the tyrannized as in the tyrant. This is why Thoreau was careful to say emphasis mine :. Thoreau mused in his journal:. If a man has spent all his days about some business by which he has merely got rich, as it is called, i. Success and failure have superficial and deep components that may contradict each other. John Brown set out to launch a rebellion that would end American slavery; the government stood its ground and defended slavery against the rebellion and had Brown hanged.

Who was successful? Who won? A victory for evil is just a triumphant form of failure. Some gave as evidence for his in sanity the most extraordinarily sane thing about him:. He made this comparison: if the only way you can save yourself from drowning is to unjustly wrest a plank away from another drowning man, you must instead do what is just even if it kills you. So I win and they lose. Do not let your opponent set the norm. Generally a minority is jeered at because they are so small.

It is quality and not quantity that is the measure. Sometimes, a single one-man revolutionary really does change the world. Maybe the world was already ripe for changing, but it still needed a one-man revolutionary to break from the pack and make the change happen. Hennacy says the self-transforming doers like Christ, the Buddha, Gandhi, or Joan of Arc, were far more radical than theorizers like Marx or Bakunin.

I know of few radicals as yet who are radical enough, and have not got this name rather by meddling with the exposed roots of innocent institutions than with their own. Whether in poetry or history it is the same. The gods have given man no constant gift, but the power and liberty to act greatly.

How many wait for health and warm weather to be heroic and noble! In trivial circumstances I find myself sufficient to myself, and in the most momentous I have no ally but myself, and must silently put by their harm by my own strength, as I did the former.

As my own hand bent aside the willow in my path, so must my single arm put to flight the devil and his angels. God is not our ally when we shrink, and neuter when we are bold. If by trusting in God you lose any particle of your vigor, trust in Him no longer.

It is only one-in-a-million who moves the world. But despite the odds we all should aspire to be this one in a million. Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member.

Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual.

Therefore one who has love, courage, and wisdom is one in a million who moves the world, as with Jesus, Buddha, and Gandhi. Even if we fall short of this goal ourselves, by choosing this goal we not only choose the only goal worth choosing, but we adjust our standards so that if we are ever lucky enough to meet this one in a million, we will be more likely to recognize her or him. By aiming at this standard, you also raise the standards of those around you, and so even if you cannot detect a direct influence, you improve society.

Thoreau was convinced that one person was enough to leaven the loaf:. The best we can do is to start a few thinking here and there. The way to do this, if we are sincere, is to change ourselves! The Reformer who comes recommending any institution or system to the adoption of men, must not rely solely on logic and argument, or on eloquence and oratory for his success, but see that he represents one pretty perfect institution in himself….

Too many reformers think they can reform the rottenness of the system the people are sustaining without changing the rottenness of the people who sustain the system.

False relations grow out of false conditions. So often we hear of a Big Plan that, were it enacted as designed, would solve the Big Problems. But the problem with the big plans is that they never seem to get enacted, or if they do, they never seem to work as designed, as the same problems show up in new guises. Tolstoy put it this way:. If a man drinks, and I tell him that he can himself stop drinking and must do so, there is some hope that he will pay attention to me; but if I tell him that his drunkenness forms a complex and difficult problem, which we, the learned, will try to solve in our meetings, all the probabilities are that he, waiting for the solution of the problem, will continue to drink.

The same is true of the false and intricate scientific, external means for the cessation of war, like the international tribunals, the court of arbitration, and other similar foolish things, when we with them keep in abeyance the simplest and most essential means for the cessation of war, which is only too obvious to anybody. For people who do not need war not to fight we need no international tribunals, no solution of questions, but only that the people who are subject to deception should awaken and free themselves from that spell under which they are.

This means for the abolition of war consists in this, that the men who do not need war, who consider a participation in war to be a sin, should stop fighting. You are right in not wanting to change the world by violence; the change has to come with each person first. The present American peace movement, stubbornly paying for the imperial armies it says it opposes, reminds me of drunks meeting in a tavern at happy hour to organize a prohibition movement that will solve their alcohol problem.

Hennacy and Thoreau also had faith that if you begin the one-man revolution, this will attract like-minded souls to you and you to them, and that you will find yourself working in concert with comrades you never knew you had:. If a man has faith, he will cooperate with equal faith everywhere. If he has not faith he will continue to live like the rest of the world, whatever company he is joined to. Not that everything is your responsibility, or that the world is looking to you personally to solve all of its problems.

But you should at the very least examine your life to see what problems or solutions you are contributing to with it. Can one person make a difference? As to conforming outwardly, and living your own life inwardly, I have not a very high opinion of that course. Do not let your right hand know what your left hand does in that line of business. I have no doubt it will prove a failure. When society and the status quo are opposed to justice and virtue, as they so often are, this puts them in opposition to you as well.

Your friends and even your enemies will come to your aid when you try to hold yourself to a high standard. All you have to do is to make yourself vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy. People love to point out hypocritical moralists, in part because some hypocritical moralists are hilarious, but also in part because it helps people excuse their own failures to hold themselves to high standards. If you build yourself a glass house and throw stones from it, everyone will volunteer to keep you on the straight-and-narrow.

I have… put myself in a glass house. If so I must needs take whatever stones come my way.

I bid you to the one-man revolution — The only revolution that is coming. The one-man revolutionary says: no, the revolution starts here and now. Your first task as a revolutionary is to overturn the corrupt, confused, puppet governor of your own life and to put a more responsible sovereign in its place. Because he refused to name names, he was kept there for several months. The only book they allowed him was the Bible and they even took this away and replaced it with a smaller-print version for no other reason but to inflict another petty torment in the dim light of his cell.

One Man Revolution is the debut album by The Nightwatchman Tom Morello , including many songs with themes of bitterness and revenge that refer to a world in turmoil, and was released on April 24, The Bush administration and Bruce Springsteen's early works are considered his primary inspirations for the politically charged album. Bob Dylan was also a chief inspiration for the words Morello crafted in his album.

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Jun 27, - I'm not going to cover the details of how Hennacy's and Thoreau's one-man revolutions played out and what specific decisions they made.

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