The Professional Revolutionaries

Oppose, reject, refuse, revolt, and stand against anything and everything anytime and all the time… that is what these days’ “revolutionaries” do.  Nothing short of total agreement with their perspective would suffice.  Words like “compromise”, “flexibility”, or “give and take” have no place in their vocabulary.  You are either with them or with the “enemy”, for there are only two colours in their reality; black and white.

Ordinary people have long concluded that they are not perfect; they cannot build a perfect machine, let alone a perfect society.  They accepted that imperfect creatures can only produce imperfect products and solutions.  In their search for a solution on how to manage their collective interests, those ordinary people have accepted democracy as their preferred method of selecting government to organize their society and provide necessary public services, knowing full well that democracy is not perfect.

Ordinary people agreed that the wisest should govern, but they had a problem in determining who is the wisest among them.  They started by agreeing that the wisest should come forward and claim his/her place.  But what if more than one person claimed to be the wisest; which of them should govern?  Those ordinary people came up with a solution that is as imperfect as they are; democracy.  They agreed that they would assemble, every few years, and select one of the competing candidates to govern.  The dilemma was obvious; they finally agreed to have the public (i.e. the ones with less wisdom) to decide who is the wisest among them.  But that is the best they could come up with, short of perpetual war and unending suffering, destruction and bloodletting.  Therefore, they resigned themselves to accepting democracy and agreed to live with this imperfect solution, and continue to improve on the little details (hear and there) as they go along for the rest of their lives.

One product, among many, of that imperfection was the emergence of a new phenomenon; what I call the professional revolutionaries.  Those are folks who “know” that they are the wisest.  They “know” all the answers; they “have” all the solutions; they paint a beautiful picture of the perfect society; and that perfect society is so beautiful it was given a name: utopia.  And since utopia is not achievable except with the direct intervention by the Creator, it was inevitable that those professional revolutionaries would become a permanent fixture in all societies that chose democracy as their imperfect, but the best available, tool with which to select their government for purposes of organizing society and providing necessary public services.

In a democratic society, there is nothing stopping the professional revolutionaries from offering their own candidates to the public for elections, except their own decision to not do so.  First: those professional revolutionaries cannot agree among themselves on specific candidate(s).  Anyone of them who claims to be wiser than the others, s/he would be immediately regarded as elitist, reactionary, impure, outcast, and rendered by most of them unacceptable.  Second: they know full well – and that is their known but unspoken secret – that they do not have a snowball’s chance in hill to gather sufficient public support to elect any candidate they might offer, even if a miracle takes place and they do agree on a candidate.

Therefore, they place themselves in opposition before elections start; before rules are established; and before election time is announced.  Permanent opposition is the “raison d’être” of their very existence.  They know how to revolt, how to oppose, how to reject, how to refuse, how demand their utopia, but they have no clue on how to build and maintain a modern state with the tedious, detailed, and boring work of the bureaucracy and the near impossible task of taking decisions with the confirmed knowledge that none of the available options is perfect.  Choosing an imperfect solution, when none of the available choices is perfect, is not an art they master, to put it mildly and politely.  Either perfection or nothing; and that is why they usually end up with exactly that; nothing.

At last…. professional revolutionaries found their permanent and comfortable place from which they can maintain their opposition and refusal to anything and everything anytime and all the time.  From that place they can continue to demand their utopia that they wish to have but do not know how to build and maintain.  Opposition is what professional revolutionaries want to do, and outside state institutions is where they feel most comfortable.  Therefore, opposition outside state institutions is what they will do and where they will remain.  In the meantime, ordinary people have a job to do; they need to pick what the majority among them considers to be the best option from among the available imperfect choices.  They should attend to their job, leave the dreams of professional revolutionaries about their utopia alone, and allow the caravan of their lives to continue on its way to eternity.

Monzer Zimmo
Ottawa, Canada

Hope is the stuff from which life is made!

About Alcanaanite

Monzer Zimmo, a Palestinian-Canadian living and working in Ottawa, Canada. Monzer is an advocate of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the peaceful creation of a bi-national-democratic state on all the territory of historic Palestine, where Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others live together as equal citizens; be and feel safe, secure, and at home.
This entry was posted in America, Arab Awakening, Canada, Egypt, Egypt's Revolution. Bookmark the permalink.

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