Why I Am Not a Revolutionary

Many writers and thinkers I respect a great deal argue that the extant social order — which is in bell hooks’s terms white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy — is hopelessly morally corrupt and must be ended.  I agree with this, in fact.  The inhumanity of our system is evident; thus clearly it must be changed.  However, it’s common for these people with whom I agree (Twisty Faster is a good example) to hold that because this hopelessly morally corrupt social order is extant, and being hegemonic will not only fight to preserve itself, but has access to virtually limitless resources in order to do so1, it is functionally impossible to reform, and must instead be overthrown by revolution.  And there, I do disagree.

First, I want to emphasize that it’s the conclusion I disagree with: the idea that the solution is revolution.  It is certainly true that the extant social order is very, very difficult to change.  But I reject revolution, as I’ll explain, on the grounds that it’s a cure worse than the disease.