Revolutionary RoadIn the following PowerPoint you will build a revolution basedon two historical Latin American revolutionaries and severalrevolutionary theorists. Whether or not your revolutionsucceeds, however, is up to you…
Step 1: Design Your RevolutionaryAn effective and inspirational revolutionary leader is essential to any revolutionary movement. Your revolution is no exception. Revolutionaries, however, differ in many ways. From non-violent revolutionaries such as Mohandas Gandhi, torevolutionaries like Che Guevara who use violence as a means to achieve their goals; revolutionarypaths alter drastically depending on their leader. In your revolution it is up to you to decide your revolutionary personality.
Option 1: Violent Revolutionary Revolutionary theorist Karl Marx believes the success of revolution hinges upon the proletariats ability to fight violently against the Government. Will you choose violence as a means to reach your aims?“ „Violence is the midwife of every old society pregnant with anew one. It is itself an economic power.‟ ” (81, The Syntax ofViolence. Between Hegel and Marx)
Option 2: Non-Violent Revolutionary A lesser traveled road to revolution is one of non- violence. Gandhi, for example, relied upon non- violent practice in his push for revolution.“By the example of [Gandhi‟s] consecrated life, by hisgentleness and simplicity, by his understanding of the Indiantemperament and faith and ideals, he has summoned afollowing and built up a technique of non-violent revolutionthat is baffling to the British government and a challenge to thewhole world.” (Das 204)
Select Your Ideology Option 1: Violence Option 2: Non-Violence
Abimael Guzman Your revolutionary uses violent means to achieve hisgoals. You‟re a revolutionarymuch like Abimael Guzman. It is now up to you to followGuzman‟s revolutionary path. Born in Mollendo, Perú you are well educated and previously a member of the upper elite. Your education, paired with your growing anger of the Peruvian Government has lead you to turn to Maoism. You believe that a violent revolution is the only means to lasting change.
Goal 1: Gain a Solidified Public OpinionAbimael Guzman, your revolutionary road beginswith the successful acquisition of a solidified publicopinion. Only through such opinion can you create the revolution you so desire. But how do you go about finding this solidified public opinion? “General awareness of resentment against the provocations, together with the provocations themselves, creates that kind of demand for change which becomes effective in making revolutions.” (Gottschalk 5)
Option 1: Bottom-Up ApproachYou use a bottom-up approach to create a solidified public opinion. Through grassroots efforts and small acts of terrorism you build yourself into a living folklore. You spread your revolutionaryideology through the peasantry first, and then push your aims towards the capital.
Option 2: Top-Down Approach You use a top-down approach to create a solidified public opinion. You use your great intellect and education to earn the support of elites within the government. After earning the respect of a few other elites you push your revolution ideologythroughout the peasantry. Now, with the peasantryas well as political elites at your side, you attempt to overthrow the entirety of the central government.
Choose Your Approach Option 1: Bottom – Up Approach Option 2: Top – Down Approach
A Wise Choice IndeedWith a belief in the power of the proletariat, you like many revolutionaries, do in factchoose a bottom – up approach. You decide to slowly and deliberately build up your influence in rural Peru before taking your revolution to the capital.
Goal 2: Create a Program of Reform According to revolutionary theorist Luis Gottschalk, “hopefulness of revolutionary successcomes first from the fact that there exists a programof reform.” (Gottschalk 5) You, Guzman, must also create a program of reform in order to reach your goals of revolution.
Option 1: Initiate the “People‟s War” Home by home, town by town, you infiltrate Perúon your path to the capital. You target the army, the police, government officials, and slowly but surely conduct a violent coup which gains power throughout Perú. This, is your “people‟s war.”
Option 2: Seek Support From Like - Minded Neighbors. With your intelligence and education partnered with a loyal following amongst the proletariat ofPerú, you seek the help of like - minded neighbors. Between your proletariat followers and new alliesyou now have enough power to head for the capital full force.
A Decision Must Be Made Option 1: Initiate the “People‟s War” Option 2: Seek support from like – minded neighbors.
Your Power is MountingA Maoist at heart, you follow your revolutionary ideology and initiate the “People‟s War.”
The Final Step: Is There Sufficient Weakness of the Conservative Force? Revolutionary theorists agree that the weakness of the conservative forces is the most necessary immediate cause of revolution. In Gottschalk‟s paper, he writes, “Despite universal demand for revolutionary change, despite intense hopefulness of success, unless those who wish to maintain the status quo are so weak they cannot maintain themselves, there is little likelihood of revolution.” (Gottschalk, 7) ) Is there sufficient weakness of theconservative forces for you to successfully complete your revolution?
Option 1: Sufficient Weaknessof the Peruvian Government Your violent coup slowly bleeds out the power of the Peruvian government. Over time the government becomes weak enough for a full, immediate and drastic take over. Your revolution has come, and your revolution has won.
Option 2: InsufficientWeakness of the Peruvian GovernmentAlthough your violent coup has indeed hurt the Peruvian government, your murderous waysbackfire. Your own coup grows angry with yourviolent and militant ways and turns against you. Desperate, you amp up the violence and attackLima full force. Your revolution cascades out of your control and you meet your demise.
What‟s It Going to Be?Option 1: Sufficient weakness of the Peruvian governmentOption 2: Insufficient weakness of the Peruvian government
You Have Chosen the Correct Path, it is Guzman Who‟s Path Does not Shine The violence that you have used to gain power ends up being your downfall. In 1992, afterkilling thousands of people, the Peruvian government captures you. Your revolutionary road, although quite successful in comparison to most revolutions, falls short like nearly all revolutions do
. Rigoberta Menchú Your revolutionary uses non– violent means to achieve her goals. You are much like Rigoberta Menchú. Born on January 9th, 1959, you are an indigenous Guatemalan of the K‟iche‟ ethnic tribe. In response to Guatemalan police infiltration of your tribe during the Guatemalan civil war; you, your father, mother, and brother, have each joined the Committee of the Peasant Union (CUC). Immediately after joining the CUC, the Guatemalan army has arrested, tortured and murdered your father, mother, and brother. To avenge their deaths, you have made it your duty to rise against the Guatemalan government through non – violent means
Goal 1: Gain a Solidified Public OpinionRigoberta Menchú, your revolutionary road beginswith the successful acquisition of a solidified publicopinion. Only through such opinion can you create the revolution you so desire. But how do you go about finding this solidified public opinion?“General awareness of resentment against the provocations, together with the provocations themselves, creates that kind of demand forchange which becomes effective in making revolutions.” (Gottschalk 5)
Option 1: Gain Support of Dissident Elites Mourning the loss of your family, you persuade political higher-ups to help your revolutionary cause. You convince the higher ups to push your opinion through sympathetic elites. Then, once opinion is earned up top, you push that opinionthroughout the public, creating a solidified public opinion.
Option 2: Seek the Support of the ProletariatYou take matters into your own hands. Full of passion and a desire for justice, you increase your involvement in the CUC. Your educate the Indian peasant population in resistance to massive military oppression. Your grassroots efforts help to build a solidified public opinion of your cause.
Choose Your PathOption 1: Persuade political higher–ups to spread your revolutionary ideology Option 2: Spread your revolutionary ideology through grassroots efforts
Your on Your WayThe current political climate proves to dangerous to trust your revolutionary ideology in the hands of political elites. Instead you educate the Guatemalan people. You join the radical 31st of January Popular Front, where you work chiefly in educating the ethnicmasses. Quickly, you spread the knowledge of Guatemalas repressive dictatorship in the minds of the common man, and spur on revolutionary ideology across the country.
Goal 2: Create a Program of Reform According to revolutionary theorist Luis Gottschalk, “hopefulness of revolutionary successcomes first from the fact that there exists a programof reform.” (Gottschalk 7) You, Rigoberta, must also create a program of reform in order to reach your goals of revolution.
Option 1: Organize Massive OppositionYou continue where you left off. Now, though, youamp up your opposition and organize resistance inthe form of strikes. Your strikes help to create more support for your cause amongst the Indian peasantry, as well as demonstrate your immediate and drastic desire for change in the Guatemalan government.
Option 2: Seek Support From Like - Minded Neighbors. With your loyal following amongst the proletariat of Guatemala, you seek the help of like - mindedneighbors. Between your proletariat followers andnew allies you now have enough power to head for the capital full force and demand change for your people.
What Will It Be?Option 1: Organize Massive Opposition in the Proletariat Option 2: Seek Support of like – minded neighbors.
Your Power is MountingFurthering your support from the public, you figure prominently in organizing strikes against the Guatemalan government. In 1980, you help lead a strike the CUC organized for better conditions for farm workers on the Pacific Coast. And, on May 1, 1981, you are heavily involved in large demonstrations in the capital.
The Final Step: Is There Sufficient Weakness of the Conservative Force? Revolutionary theorists agree that the weakness of the conservative forces is the most necessary immediate cause of revolution. In Gottschalk‟s paper, he writes, “Despite universal demand for revolutionary change, despite intense hopefulness of success, unless those who wish to maintain the status quo are so weak they cannot maintain themselves, there is little likelihood of revolution.” (Gottschalk, 7) Is there sufficient weakness of theconservative forces for you to successfully complete your revolution?
Option 1: Your Opposition has Squandered the Guatemalan Government Your grassroots efforts have formed an enormous following. With your growing numbers, your ideology spreads across borders and continents. Soon, other countries come to your side to help the suffering people of Guatemala. With your new found allies you march to the Capital and peacefully bring down your oppressive government.
Option 2: Your Opposition has Gained Strength, but your Revolution Continues Your grassroots efforts have worked in securing a loyal and large following, however, your work is far from finished. The people of Guatemala continue to suffer at astonishing rates. You have helped many of those suffering, but permanent and lasting change has yet to come about. But, with your voice that echoes the stories of the Guatemalan people across the globe, the future looks better than ever.
Choose Wisely Option 1: Your Opposition has Squandered the Guatemalan GovernmentOption 2: Your Opposition has Gained Strength, but your Revolution Continues
A Moral Lesson Whether violent or non-violent, all revolutions tell a similar story. A story that reminds us of just how powerful words can be. Through your revolutionaryrhetoric and spirited speeches you have laid the bricks ofhistory on your revolutionary road. You have altered the course of a country and it‟s people for ever. With yourwords, you have changed the world.
Links Rigoberta Menchú Biography Abimael Guzman Biography Louis Gottschalk‟s Causes of Revolution John Foran on Revolutionary Theory Rigoberta Menchú‟s Film When the Mountains Tremble Taraknath Das on Non-Violent Revolution Vittorio Morfino on Violence in Revolution
Citations Abimael GuzmánReynoso. Líder De SenderoLuminoso. Photograph. Picasaweb. Web. 6 Mar. 2011. Collopy, Michael. Rigoberta Menchú. 2008. Photograph. Defronzo, James. "Social Movements and Revolutions." 7-25. Print. Foran, J. "Theorizing the Cuban Revolution." Latin American Perspectives 36.2 (2009): 16-30. Frängsmyr, Tore. "The Nobel Peace Prize 1992: Rigoberta Menchú Tum." Nobelprize.org. Web. 06 Mar. 2011. <http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1992/tum-bio.html>. Gottschalk, Louis. "Causes of Revolution." American Journal of Sociology 50.1 (1944): 1-8. Print. Morfino, Vittorio. "The Syntax of Violence. Between Hegel and Marx." Historical Materialism 17.3 (2009): 81-100. Print. Presidente Gonzalo Shown to the Press, September 1992. Perf. Abimael Guzman. YouTube. 9 Feb. 2008. Web. 06 Mar. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQzUK7qjxXo&feature=related>. Revolution Manuscript. Photograph. Loc.gov. Web. 6 Mar. 2011. <http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0307-8/hale.html>. Silverstone, Michael. Rigoberta Menchu: Defending Human Rights in Guatemala. New York, NY: Feminist at the City University of New York, 1999. Print. Simon Bolivar. Photograph. Quezon. 14 July 2009. Web. 6 Mar. 2011. <http://www.quezon.ph/2009/07/14/the-bolivarian-temptation-an-illiberal-democracy/>. Taraknath Das. “The Progress of the Non-Violent Revolution in India.”The Journal of International Relations. Vol. 12, No. 2 (Oct., 1921), pp. 204-214 The Dancer Upstairs. Dir. John Malkovich. Perf. Javier Bardem, Laura Morante and Juan Diego Botto. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2003. DVD. The Motorcycle Diaries. Dir. Walter Salles. Perf. Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo De La Serna and Mercedes Morán. FilmFour, 2004. DVD. When the Mountains Tremble. Dir. Newton T. Si
A Fatal MistakeYour revolution has proven insufficient. Counter-revolutionary forces havecrushed your moral and frozen your revolutionary ideology in time. Your revolution has come to an end.