We have often seemingly muddled the idea of ‘revolution’ with discussions of ‘virtual revolution’. But the idea is simple: it is a mere bluff on the threshold of the real thing.
We confront the fact that what we suspect is needed requires a social transformation that we cannot bring about and we fall back ward into the treadmill of revolutionary hand wringing and partial solutions, notably the social democratic, if that, issue activism that fragments and fails to really confronts the monumental need for fundamental change. We can barely discuss the issues in public given that plotting against ye olde dot.gov is illegal and that various Big Eye computers are probably listening to the discussion. It is also useful to do what we can and be wary of revolutionary hallucination, supposedly. That’s the exit point into safety that ‘virtual revolution’ tries to address. The answer to that is ‘gedanken experiment’, in our instance ‘virtual revolution’, which is also a simple discipline to make us extend our range of observation/activism. It is a way to make us suspect that real change is impossible via half measures even though more than half measures are the only option, apparently. Some examples of the almost frightening scale of the issues that point to the scale of domination set to trounce real change are, the question of covert agencies with half a century of experience thwarting progressives, the 9/11 conspiracy and its cover up itself subject to leftist cover up and black out, wall street and the military industrial industrial complex (at least usually denounced, but not really confronted), imperialism and mass murder (the destruction of the middle east is the most grotesque example), democracy reduced to oligarchic facade (the left is well aware of this), the hidden action of the Israeli lobby and its suspected control of public politics in the US…we can hardly hope to complete the list. We should include the intractable dangers of revolutionary action itself and our lack of confidence given history they could succeed, to say nothing of the false ideologies of non-violence used to keep us passive consumers of eloquent left phonies.
We tend to black out when confronting the real situation therefore, and the idea of virtual revolution is a useful theoretical bluff, legal top to bottom, that will force us to look at the total problem however hopeless at first that might seem.