Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Prelude: Reactionary vs. Revolutionary

If this whets your appetite, then you'll be pleased to know that I am planning to write a novel for NaNoWriMo about this concept of Reactionary vs. Revolutionary.

College students are probably the most laughable kinds of revolutionaries. They begin to study some other political systems or learn about some injustice in the world and think that they're going to make things better by doing something. They may start using some fancy words, or kid themselves into thinking that going to protests with militant socialists will somehow help the situation. They read about Che and start wearing those ridiculous shirts with Che's face plastered on the front. They may begin to fall out of favor with the local authority, opting to give them the middle finger, all the while living under the protection of the same. They criticize administrations of all kinds for their lack this or that, but in the end they're mostly just making noise.

It reminds me a lot of the high school students who wrote their own version of the "Pledge of Allegiance" and proceeded to show up late to school in the mornings so that they could recite their version of the Pledge (which omitted God, allegiance to the State, and pretty much everything that made the original what it was). The video they made showing off their progressive-thinking act of civil disobedience showed the student organization behind all this was a group of liberal kids who had a history of jumping on the bandwagon of the next most progressive thing to-do. These kids were in high school, an abysmal time for many in many different ways, yet they were claiming to be on the forefront of progressivism? They're little act of rebellion did nothing more than put a few bad marks on their attendance sheet and gave Yahoo! News something to talk about for a day while a few thousand viewers commented on it like the peanut gallery they are.

As I have gotten older, I too have grown dissatisfied with the status quo. I have begun to question all that I know; challenging it all with what I am learning. This trial by fire as all the tradition I grew up with passes through the flame of reason with hope that all that remains is what's worth embracing of the old traditions. The problem comes when my emotions are running high and I want nothing to do with the traditions of my parents or of the culture I live in, and when the flame of reason doesn't consume everything, I am quickly left with something that makes sense; I just don't want to accept that it does. This rejection of something that makes sense on the principle that it is a part of what you want nothing to do with is a central them of what I called Reactionary.

Reactionary is called so because the actions that stem from this type of thinking are usually a reaction to something. Some people might look at the hippies of the 1960's who were into bra burning, nudism, sexual flippancy, and all sorts of other things and say, "Huh, what a silly group of people." The sad part is that we can find examples of the same type of reactionary radicalism on campuses today. This is not to be confused with Revolutionary activists on campus who are genuinely seeking to change the way things are and (hopefully) improve something about the environment of the campus.

To be continued in November in my novel...

Hoc est verum,


  1. Your novel has great potential to be an interesting one. I would be curious to see where you go with it.

    It also kind of reminds me of this silly video (http://www.smbc-theater.com/?id=251).


  2. I like the way you explained the contrast between Reactionary and Revolutionary. Curious as to what style the novel will be written in :)