Guys, as I have explained
in class a quite few times, the transition from the dictatorship of the
monarchy to capitalist democracy; or the transition from a slave owning
society to a non-slave owning society; or the transition from a racially
segregated society to a relatively non-segregated society are all examples
of progress toward civilization. But this progress has only been possible
through struggle (involving the sacrifice of lives) against those who were
opposed to these transitions. Two points follow from this fact: first,
for every step of progress that a generation enjoys, it does so because
of the sacrifice of the preceding generations; and second, we owe it to
succeeding generations to do our part in the continuing struggle toward
Civilization is not a product of conservatism, it is a product of progressivism. In other words, all human progress toward civilization has come about through the sacrifice of those who believed in progress (revolutionaries and radicals), not the conservatives. Consider the following examples: Those who overthrew feudalism were not conservatives, they were revolutionaries; those who overthrew the dictatorship of monarchies to establish democracy, were not conservatives, they were revolutionaries; those who fought the U.S. War of Independence were not conservatives, they were revolutionaries; those who worked for the abolition of slavery were not conservatives, they were radicals; those who fought for women's rights were not conservatives, they were radicals; those who fought for civil rights for minorities in the 1960s were not conservatives, they were radicals; those who fought for the abolition of Stalinist communism in Eastern Europe were not conservatives, they were radicals; those who fought for the abolition of apartheid in South Africa were not conservatives, they were radicals; those who are fighting for democracy in China, Africa, Latin America, etc., today are not conservatives, they are radicals; and so on, and so on. If you are a conservative, you must ask yourself on which side of history are you: civilization or backwardness?
As the most privileged group--in terms of education--in society, today, we have an additional responsibility to do our part in the continuing struggle toward civilization. This responsibility requires that, at the minimum, we should acquire political consciousness. What do I mean by political consciousness? Or, who is a politically conscious person? At the immediate level it may be assumed that a person who lacks political consciousness is someone who lacks political knowledge about society. Yet there are many political science professors who can easily be classified as persons who lack political consciousness. (I call persons who lack political consciousness as the ignorantsia.) Political consciousness goes beyond the matter of knowledge and information. (I consider this issue to be so important that I am going to spend some time on it in the rest of the pages that follow.) Knowledge and information, of course, are very important, but in themselves they are not sufficient to make a person politically conscious. Political consciousness should be seen as the conscious acquisition of knowledge and information about society and the world in general, and one's position in that society and the world, with a single overriding purpose: to consciously work, by whatever means (political, educational, social, economic, etc.) toward the betterment of society and the world. The motivation behind this goal is twofold: love--love for the human race and love for the planet earth--and deep altruism. Working from this perspective, there are five principal elements that together contribute to the development of political consciousness
A politically conscious
person recognizes that civilization has two dimensions to it: the moral
and the material, and it is the former that is of paramount importance.
By moral civilization it is meant the attainment of civilized attitudes
and behavior vis a vis other human beings and other forms of life on this
planet. Central to moral civilization is the attitude and behavior that
is motivated by concrete efforts to respond to the question: What can I
do, in terms of my personal attitudes and behavior toward all life forms
(beginning with my immediate family and then extending outward to my relatives,
friends, community, other communities, society, other societies and other
planetary life forms, etc.) to make this planet a better place for them
to live in? Associated with this this question would be such positive behavioral
human qualities as altruism, love, morality, humanity, magnanimity, compassion,
forgiveness, charitability, amicability, open-mindedness, humility, justiciability,
and so on.
>>>NOTE: Notice that these are the very type of qualities that cultures that celebrate 'the ideology of machismo' (such as the one in the U.S. today) denigrate. Note too that these are qualities that the DMC or capitalist classes also disdain because they interfere with the processes of limitless acquisition of wealth. <<<
At the heart of political consciousness is an unshakable belief in the ideology of democracy and its implementation, at both levels: the micro-level (that is, at the level of institutions and organizations) and the macro-level (that is, at the level of society as a whole). Now, since the term democracy has as many meanings as those willing to define it, it is important to be specific about what is meant by the ideology of democracy in the present context: it comprises the following core precepts:
(a) The uncompromising acceptance that all human beings, regardless of nationality, race, sex, religion, etc., etc., are entitled to equality of political, social and economic status. No single group of people can arrogate to itself superior status merely because of its nationality, race, sex, religion, etc.
(b) The uncompromising acceptance that equality of status must extend not only to citizens within any one single country, but to citizens in all countries of the world. We live in a world that is highly unequal, in which one third of the world's population consumes two thirds of the world's resources to sustain a standard of living that the remaining two thirds can only dream of. This inequality is neither divinely mandated nor genetically pre-determined; it is a function of human engineered international economic, political and legal systems in which those who garnered initial economic advantages through accident of history have shaped the 'rules of the game' to maintain and bolster these advantages. It must be remembered that the conditions of poverty or wealth are not a matter of choice for most people at the group level (and probably at the individual level too). The poor are not poor because they have chosen to be poor. Rather, these conditions are a product of historically rooted systemic factors. Consequently, the redress of imbalances in poverty and wealth necessitates fundamental changes in political and economic systems.
(c) The recognition of the fact that we live in a world of finite resources; therefore, an egalitarian distribution of these resources, such as to make it possible for the two thirds to enjoy the same standard of living as that enjoyed by the one third, necessitates the development of an economic system that is not only efficient in the production process at the level of individual production units, but also efficient at the national and international levels in terms of resource utilization an d product distribution. Such an economic system would have at its core of governing principles the acceptance of these two principles: first, that all human-beings on this planet, not just those of a given geographical origin, have an equal right to its resources--that is, a child born in a World-Majority country has as much right to a materially comfortable lifestyle as a child born in the World-Minority country; and second, that each successive generation holds the planet in trusteeship for generations that follow--with the consequent obligation not to irreparably exhaust planetary bio- and eco-systems via destructive greed and pollution.
>>>NOTE: The terms 'World-Minority' and 'World-Majority' are used in this summary in the place of terms such as 'First World' and 'Third World.' World-Minority nations are nations whose populations are dominated by Europeans or people of European ancestry. World-Majority nations are nations in which these same groups are either absent or form a population minority. Examples of 'World-Minority' nations include the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Russia, Sweden, Germany, and so on. Examples of World-Majority nations include China, Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, India, Argentina, Jamaica, Mexico, Ghana, and so on. In this dichotomous classification of the nations of the world, the odd nation out is Japan. Japan ought to be considered a 'World-Majority' nation, however, because of its international economic and political stature it should be considered, for most purposes, (unless specified otherwise) as a 'World-Minority' nation. <<<
(d) The acknowledgment that democracy is not intrinsically tied in anyway to either the capitalist economic system or the socialist economic system. For, if this were so there would be no dictatorships in many of the capitalist countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America and nor would there have been dictatorships in the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe. Both, capitalist regimes and socialist regimes have been guilty of persistent mass violations of fundamental human rights of their citizenry. From Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia of yesteryear, to today's Iraq, China and Zaire--the world, sadly, is full of examples.
(e) The acknowledgment that the State must be so engineered as to represent the interests of all in society, not just a select few: those with wealth and power. In most societies today the State does not always represent the interests of all, but on the contrary, represents the interests of a select few (the DMC) most of the time. Note: one consequence of this fact is that there is really no such thing as the 'national interest.' Rather, there are only competing interests, in a context where the competition takes place on an uneven playing field that slopes in the favor of the DMC. The 'national interest,' is often simply a code word for the interests of the DMC. >>>NOTE: It should also be pointed out here that in a situation where there is no 'national interest,' unbridled or unquestioning patriotism is, to put it mildly, highly dangerous. Such patriotism has great potential to be hijacked--as was the case during the period of Nazism in Germany, or during the McCarthy Era and the period of the Vietnam War in the U.S. (or even in the recent Gulf War)--by those who will put forward the 'national interest' as a smokescreen for their own interests. Under such circumstances, unquestioning patriotism permits the DMC to waste scarce resources on such unproductive ventures as armaments building (from which they draw huge profits, but yet at the same time depriving the U.S. citizenry of funds to improve their quality of life); to send the young of other classes to their deaths by dispatching them off to wars in countries whose people have no quarrel with the U.S. (but which are fought in the interests of the DMC); to place the lives of all living things on this planet in constant jeopardy by relentlessly manufacturing the ultimate weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons; to pollute and destroy the environment; and so on. <<<
(f) The recognition of the need to respect the human rights of all in society; not simply those of the majority (or in some instances those of the minority with power). Moreover, these human rights must be constitutionally enshrined in a "Bill of Rights." Human rights must include not only political rights (such as freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from arbitrary arrest, etc.), but also economic rights (such as freedom from hunger, destitution, unemployment, etc.) In other words, there must be acceptance of the fact that there is a dialectical relationship between political rights and economic rights. The first set of freedoms are in themselves meaningless in a situation where the most basic freedom--freedom from hunger and destitution--is itself absent. Conversely, the second set of freedoms may not be attainable in the absence of the first set of freedoms. In other words, the traditional World-Minority concept of human rights with its singular emphasis on political rights, must be broadened to cover economic rights.
(g) The acceptance of the fact that there must be respect for the human rights of not only those who live in one given country, but also of those who live in other countries throughout the world.
A politically conscious person recognizes that there is no such thing as an objective approach to knowledge--especially in the area of human affairs--if by objectivity one means lining up the pros and cons of every given issue. Under such objectivity there would be pros for torturing children to death, for starving people to death, for mutilating the dead, for dismembering pregnant women, for massacring thousands of innocent civilians, for rendering millions refugees, for imprisoning thousands without trial; that is there would be pros for all this and more that has been undertaken in the defense of some mythical 'national interest' by nations and political movements throughout history up to the present. Similarly, there are no pros for racism; there cannot be equal time for racists (of whatever color they may be). However, even more basic than this; it is necessary to concede that regardless of how desirable it may be, objective social science is impossible and in fact does not exist. This problem was raised by, among others, Gunnar Myrdal (1969) two decades ago. He framed it thus:
"The ethos of social science is the search for 'objective' truth... . The most fundamental methodological problems facing the social scientist are therefore, what is objectivity, and how can the student attain objectivity in trying to find out the facts and the causal relationships between facts? How can a biased view be avoided? More specifically, how can the student of social problems liberate himself from [a] the powerful heritage of earlier writings in his field of inquiry, ordinarily containing normative and teleological notions inherited from past generations and founded upon the metaphysical moral philosophies of natural law and utilitarianism from which all our social and economic theories have branched off; [b] the influences of the entire cultural, social, economic, and political milieu of the society where he lives, works, and earns his living and his status; and [c] the influence stemming from his own personality, as molded not only by traditions and environment but also by his individual history."
Why is objectivity impossible in the social sciences? At the simplest because (as Myrdal alludes above) social scientists are human beings and human beings are not machines: they possess emotions, likes and dislikes, subconscious minds, values, and so on. Human beings possess culture, history and above all live in societies. All these factors will impinge on the outlook (ideology, world-view, etc.) of researchers which in turn will affect--whether they like it or not--their studies. Consequently, any study of any phenomenon or 'object' in the social sciences will invariably be colored (not necessarily consciously) by the researcher's own subconscious proclivities, and manifest at the level of choice of questions asked, choice of data collected and examined, choice of methods used, and so on. There is, however, another problem too: all work in the social sciences, even that which purports to be for the sake of the advancement of basic knowledge alone, is ultimately (and if not directly at least indirectly) programmatic. That is, all studies in the social sciences contain within them a mission--whether articulated or not--relating to the ultimate value or purpose of the study: which is to either preserve or change the status quo; this also has a bearing on 'objectivity' in the social sciences. Clearly then, there is no such thing as objective social science; those who pretend otherwise, usually the so called 'academic experts' are merely foisting a big lie on the unwary. (Some, such as Kuhn , have gone so far as to say that even in the natural sciences there is no such such thing as 'objective' science.)
A person who is politically conscious is a person who seeks the truth in relation to society as a whole with the objective of understanding how that society can become a better society for all its members in terms of social justice, economic progress, environmental safety, and so on. What kind of truth? It is truth relating to how the status quo has come about and how it is maintained--that is who benefits from it and who suffers from it. This task requires one to be fully conversant with all historical processes that explain the status quo, which in turn requires him or her to be multi-disciplinary in approach given the multidimensional nature of all human existence. For, in the words of that brilliant intellectual, Paul A. Baran, '... the seemingly autonomous, disparate, and disjointed morsels of social existence under capitalism--literature, art, politics, the economic order, science, the cultural and psychic condition of people--can all be understood (and influenced) only if they are clearly visualized as parts of the comprehensive totality of the historical process.' (1961:12-13) Since no society is perfect in terms of social justice, human advancement, and general human happiness, the politically conscious person is of necessity continuously questioning the status quo and striving for its perfection.
Consequently he/she is by definition an insurrectionist, a revolutionary (but whose weapons are pens and whose ammunition are words) because he/she does not wish to permit the beneficiaries of the status quo (the rich and the powerful) from obfuscating the truth: that the status quo, especially in capitalist societies, benefits primarily the rich and the powerful and that it has evolved to this end through human agency and not some supernatural being or even just 'nature.' It follows from this that even in those instances where an unjust order has been overthrown and a new just order is being constructed, the task of those who are politically conscious is not over. The new order will still have imperfections. Hence as long as human societies remain imperfect the job of the politically conscious is a permanent one. To put it differently: a politically conscious person is someone who is essentially, to use Baran's words: "... a social critic, a person whose concern is to identify, to analyze, and in this way to help overcome the obstacles barring the way to the attainment of a better, more humane, and more rational social order. As such he[/she] becomes the conscience of society and the spokes[person] of such progressive forces as it contains in any given period of history. And as such he[/she] is inevitably considered a 'troublemaker' and a 'nuisance' by the ruling class seeking to preserve the status quo ...." (1961:17)
V. Status quo
A politically conscious person is never satisfied with the status quo. >>>NOTE: The term status quo, in the context of this paper, refers to the existing imbalance in power relations and resource allocation between the dominant group and the dominated in society. The demarcating criteria for the dominant and the dominated can be class (rich versus poor), sex (male versus female), race (white versus black), religion (Christianity versus Judaism), ethnicity (Italian American versus Anglo-American), etc., etc. <<< Or to put the matter differently: a politically conscious person is not a conservative; that is he/she shuns the ideology of conservatism.
So, what then is conservatism? Very briefly it is an ideology that advocates the preservation of the existing or a bygone political, social and economic order. In other words it is an ideology that justifies maintenance of the status quo or its overthrow in favor of a past order (status quo ante). Historically, conservatism in the Western world arose in opposition to the revolutionary political, economic and social changes wrought first by the French Revolution and later by the Industrial Revolution. For example, Edmund Burke, one of the prominent conservatives of the 18th century England, and whose thoughts would influence conservative political theory in the 19th century, believed in the preservation of the power of the monarchy and the landed gentry (the upper class); retention of a close relationship between the State and the Church; and the limitation of voting rights to a select few in society.
Conservatism in the twentieth century has tended to emphasize laissez faire (meaning to 'leave alone' in French) economics, where there is no State intervention in the economy (except in circumstances explicitly requiring the protection of the interests of capitalists), and virulent opposition to the development of a welfare State. Conservatives, therefore, believe in absolute minimal government--except where capitalist interests are threatened (for example, conservatives do not object to the use of State power to smash trade unions--especially in situations of conflict between capitalists and workers). Since conservatism harks back to a past social order it follows that present day conservatives, such as those in the U.S., are opposed to many of the advances that have been made in the area of human and civil rights since the end of the Second World War, including rights for blacks, women and even children. They are also opposed to efforts by the federal government to regulate industries in order to protect consumers directly (e.g., from fraud, unsafe products, false advertising, etc.) and indirectly (e.g., from environmental pollution), and of course are vehemently opposed to any programs designed to help the poor.
On the basis of their pronouncements and on the basis of the foregoing it can be safely asserted that in general (there will always be exceptions of course) conservatives--depending upon the degree of intensity of adherence to their ideology--tend to display the following attributes: racism; sexism; favoritism toward the DMC; intolerance toward alternative viewpoints, ideologies and lifestyle; patriarchal tendencies; unquestioning obedience to law--even if unjust; disdain for programs, projects and ideas aimed at protecting the environment because they believe environmental protection costs capitalists money (and since they have money they do not have to worry about their own health: e.g., if you can drink imported mineral water why worry about water pollution); disdain for the poor and the handicapped (the former because they are considered lazy and the latter because they are considered a burden on society); and jingoism accompanied by much belligerency (since the DMC tend to profit from war and usually their children are able to avoid military service). Today in the U.S. in general, but not always, conservatives tend to be Republican party members and/or usually vote for Republican candidates, and in general they are DMC or come from DMC backgrounds. It is necessary to stress that not all conservatives will share all of these attributes; though all will share most of them. In a nutshell then conservatives are people who believe in a political and social order that would protect to the maximum possible privileges that they have garnered over the long course of human history at the expense of other human beings. (For an excellent account of the genesis of the conservative ideology see Moore ).
In concluding this summary, there is one other matter that must be addressed: what is the precise mechanism for acquiring political consciousness? This is an incredibly difficult question to answer. To begin with, there is no single place (such as a college or school) that one can go to acquire political consciousness anywhere in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world for that matter. Political consciousness cannot be "learned" in the same way as one "learns" law, or political science or biology, or engineering or religion or philosophy. The reason is that political consciousness is acquired through a combination of processes, some more easily within ones control than others, but all aimed at one single objective: to reverse status quo socialization (SQS) and resist social control.
>>>NOTE: The term socialization has a number of different definitions depending upon the disciplinary field. For example, economics has its own definition, as does psychology and social anthropology. In the context of this paper this term is joined with the term status quo (hence SQS) to refer to the transmission of cultural values, ideas, stereotypes, political beliefs, ideologies, social and personal rules of conduct, etc. authored and subscribed to by the dominant group in society, to the rest of society. This transmission is achieved through mechanisms of latent learning via informal education (education that occurs outside formal settings--such as educational institutions) The 'agencies' that provide this informal education include the pee r groups in the school play ground, peer groups on the the university campus, peer groups in the college dorm, gatherings at church organized functions, the 'buddy groups' in the armed forces, the media, the entertainment industry, political parties, the family, etc.) and it is only possible because of the monopoly over power and resources held by the dominant group. In other words, SQS can be regarded as a form of 'political and social indoctrination.' However, this 'indoctrination' occurs over a person's lifetime in many complex and subtle ways, but in which there is an absence of the use of direct coercive mechanisms. The sole purpose behind it is to ensure that the status quo is maintained in which the imbalance in power relations between the dominant group (as identified by, for instance, wealth and/or color and/or sex and/or religion and/or ethnicity and/or age) and the rest of society is preserved. The important point to note here is that because this 'indoctrination' occurs in diffuse ways over a long period of time, via many different agencies and through many different means, the possibility of reversing it can never be completely rule d out--especially at the level of specific individuals. It is this reversal that the process of acquiring political consciousness involves. Social control, like socialization has a number of different definitions. In this paper it refers to the specific and formal aspect of SQS. In other words, social control, begins where socialization leaves off. Whereas socialization involves latent learning, social control involves formal learning (such as that provided in classrooms in schools, colleges and universities). Agencies of social control are not restricted to formal educational institutions only, however. They also include those agencies of socialization that are equipped to provide formal learning situations, such as the churches and the armed forces. Note, therefore, that in a number of instances, the same 'agency' has the potential to serve as an agent of socialization as well as an agent of social control, depending upon whether the learning situation is a formal one or an informal one. The purpose of social control, is of course, the same as that of socialization. However, because social control is less diffuse than socialization, it is easier to resist by means of achievement of political consciousness. It is less difficult to manipulate formal learning situations than latent learning situations in the service of resistance to the status quo. <<<
To put it differently: the achievement of political consciousness is not possible without reversing SQS, that is those aspects of socialization that together are the antithesis of political consciousness: such as the belief that patriotism is always a good thing, or that the government never lies, or that all laws (no matter how unjust) must always be obeyed, or that some color and/or gender defined groups of human beings are genetically either inferior or superior, or that that memebership of the the DMC rests solely on ambition, vision, and the work ethic; and so on. Since SQS, like all socialization, is a lifelong process that works at both conscious and unconscious levels the problem of reversing it is, clearly, a very difficult one; but not impossible. This still leaves us with the question: How does one acquire it?
There are three principal mechanisms by which one can acquire political consciousness as defined in this chapter: self-education; education by others; and political participation. Self-education refers to the process of acquiring information and knowledge on the basis of one's own initiatives--which primarily involves doing a lot of selective reading and selective viewing of television and cinema. Taking the example of reading, the objective here will be twofold: first, to read a great deal of all types of material (newspapers, papers, journals, etc.), and second, to read material that comes from both sides of the status-quo line. To explicate the last point: one must not only read, for example, newspapers such as The New York Times and news-magazines such as Time and Newsweek (which support the status quo, and therefore, for the most part, serve as agencies of social control), but also newspapers such as The Guardian and news-magazines such as In These Times that are opposed to the status quo. To take another example, one must not only read scholarly journals such as the American Journal of Sociology (which for the most part support the status quo), but also journals such as The New Left Review and The Monthly Review (which are opposed to the status quo). The important point to note here, however, is balance. It is not sufficient to restrict one's reading to only publications that promote the subversion of SQS through their opposition to the status quo. One must also read publications that support the status quo. Why? So as to learn to detect how the latter publications perform their role as agencies of SQS.
Turning now to the second avenue of acquiring political consciousness: one must undergo education by others: such as teachers in colleges and universities. Here, again, the objective would be to bring balance in one's college education by taking not only courses that support the status quo, but also taking courses that question the status quo. Of course, the majority of courses taught in colleges and universities in the U.S. (as elsewhere in the world for that matter) are courses that are taught in the service of social control. If this were not so, the rich and the powerful would have these institutions closed, by one means or another. In any case, the teachers who teach in higher education institutions are usually conservative themselves; therefore, they are likely to want to teach pro-status quo courses. (Colleges and universities tend to prefer hiring and promoting teachers who are conservative because do they not cause problems by teaching 'radical' courses; that is courses that subvert social control.) However, since the U.S. is not a totalitarian state, in almost every college and university you will find a few courses offered that teach students information and skills that can allow them to think for themselves, and thereby allow the students to acquire the ability to resist social control. How does one go about locating such courses? It is not easy. It is a matter of trial and error: you examine the course syllabi to see what material is being covered; you examine the kinds of textbooks used in the courses; you talk to the teachers who teach the courses; you ask other students who have taken courses that appear to be promising, and so on.
The third avenue of acquiring political consciousness is through political engagement. The term political engagement is being used here in a very broad sense to include any type of activity related to any formal movement/ organization that is concerned with changing the status quo in a positive direction. Such movements range from those that are opposed to racism and sexism, to those that champion the protection of the environment from pollution, and the preservation of plant/ animal habitats. They range from those that are opposed to limitless production and sale of military weapons, to those that champion the protection of human rights worldwide. They range from those that provide food and shelter to the poor and homeless in this country, to those that provide famine relief abroad. They range from those that are concerned with workers' rights, to those that want to protect the rights of consumers. Political engagement with these movements/ organizations can take the form of any of the following kinds of activities: attending talks by their speakers, participating in marches and demonstrations organized by them, becoming active members by formally joining them, donating money and time to them, reading their publications, participating as consumers in commercial ventures they may be promoting for fund-raising purposes. In fact, political engagement can be as simple as obtaining services from a socially responsible commercial enterprise.
>>>NOTE: An example of such an enterprise is a U.S. based commercial organization that donates one percent of its profits to charitable movements and organizations nominated at the end of each year by its customers (at no cost to the customers). Among the commercial services this organization provides include a long-distance phone service, a credit card service, and an investment service. Customers of these services automatically acquire the privilege of nominating movements and organizations that should receive portions of the one percent donation. One interesting twist to the activities of this commercial enterprise is that bills sent to customers carry not only the usual billing information, but also information on current legislative activities of the U.S. Congress that are of relevance to those who are struggling to create a better society for all--not just a few. (You can learn more about this capitalist through this web site by clicking on the Investment/Business heading on the contents page).<<<
There are two critically important points, however, that must be made here about political engagement. First, is that such activity (whatever forms it takes) must involve calculated thinking on the significance of this activity from at least four perspectives:
>>>NOTE: To give an example: millions of people in Africa and Asia achieved their dream of freedom from Western European colonialism in the 1950s and 1960s only as a result of a shift in the international balance of power against Western Europe and in favor of the U.S. and the F.S.U. (former Soviet Union), brought about by the Second World War. However, the dream of freedom from Western European colonialism among many of the African and Asian countries long predated the 1950s and 1960s. The Second World War helped to realize that dream because it broke the monopoly of international power held by Western Europe--principally Britain, and to a lesser extent France. However, in order for the Second World War to emerge there had to be the rise of fascism in Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. In other words, as awful as this sounds, the rise of fascism in Europe proved to be a fortuitously propitious historical factor from the perspective of those who were struggling in Africa and Asia for independence from European colonialism. <<<
Now, what this lesson of history concerning major social change teaches one are two sub-lessons: first, is that one can never be certain that the social change one is struggling for will come about within one's own life time, regardless of how committed and well organized a social movement desirous of the change may be. Second, is that one cannot abandon the struggle for change merely because at a certain moment in time the struggle appears to be hopeless given the power of those opposed to the change. In other words, those who are struggling to bring about major social change must be, both, patient and perseverant.