The Knack: How to start a revolution

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Indy Lifestyle Online
"Forget the idea of being the charismatic individual of popular myth, inciting the people to storm the barricades and overthrow the old order. Real, lasting revolutions do not start like this. They are a gradual process, so start winning popular power and support for your vision now.

Keep your eye on underlying trends and feelings of dissatisfaction with the existing order. You need to be able to offer people an alternative. Stick to simple ideas that make sense to the general public - the Russian Revolution was built upon the idea of 'Land, Peace and Bread', for example. Take bold and imaginative action which will inspire in others the confidence to rebel. The tree protestors and tunnellers have shown how such self- confidence can be infectious. You need to be disciplined, but always open and inclusive - by building wide alliances you will ensure you're never isolated; you'll never cause a true revolution unless your support is widespread. Use the official channels as far as you can, and when you get blocked, don't give up. Be ingenious. Use the media to your advantage. Never think your ideas are only worth a grotty leaflet.

If you want your revolution to last, don't lose sight of your vision. Make the means reflect the ends by practising the values that underpin your ideas. That way, you will have improved society, whether you succeed or not" Fiona McClymont

Hilary Wainwright is editor of 'Red Pepper' magazine, and author of 'Arguments For a New Left', published by Blackwells

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