Revolution…Anytime soon?

At a recent event, with contemporaries discussing our time together at School in the early seventies, we came to the conclusion, that we were a Bolshy lot. Bolshy is a derivative of Bolshevik. Yet, we clearly were not revolutionaries. We were, however, from an era that was starting to question the status quo. Whether, it was politics, education, authority, sex, music, art and anything else that derived from the Establishment.

Following that event, Julia and I watched a programme about the revolution in Art (in the UK) that supposedly took place in the early nineties. The likes of Damien Hirst were getting fed up with the way art was sold only through a few traditional galleries, devised a way to revolutionise the selling and marketing of modern art. But all they did was develop a different way to market.

The Internet has revolutionised our daily lives.

The telephone revolutionised the way we communicated.

The Motor car revolutionised the way we travel.

The Container revolutionised the transport of goods.

In reality none of these were revolutions. They made dramatic changes, but they no more revolutionised these aspects of life any more than the wheel, the spinning jenny, the typewriter, and printing press. They were major evolutions rather than revolutions. Revolution is by definition the ‘up ending of a system‘ . What happened in France in the 19th century, Russia and China were real and proper revolutions. They up ended a system and society.

There have been no revolutions in Retail. Massive changes but no revolution. People sitting beside the road to flog some stuff, little stalls at the side of the road, markets, shops, big shops, stores, multiples, supermarkets, and eventually Online. Retailing, has, is and will continue to evolve.

There are those who would suggest that many western democracies are facing revolutions in a political sense . There are few of recent years that have not been tainted by populism. The events that occurred in front of the Whitehouse, or the Yellow Jackets in France, 5 star movement in Italy are indications that all is not well at the top and it may well be that in the future, we will look back and say they were the roots . In the U.K. and other European, populism may have ignited a desire for change but alone they are unlikely to make for revolution. Even in Russia there may be significant changes, but a revolution is not on the cards (yet). As for Iran, it would be doing a great disservice to those vast numbers of women seeking change to consider any outsiders view as to what is happening.

This is a revolution against politics by the non-political

Like the blue-collar Brexit voters in the United Kingdom, the Yellow Jackets believe they have been betrayed by decades of neglect and exploitation by mainstream politicians obsessed with metropolitan areas. On the other hand, immigration and Euroskepticism are, surprisingly, dogs that do not bark loudly among the Yellow Jackets.

Like the 5Star Movement in Italy, they started as an internet rebellion against representative democracy. But the 5Stars’ base is heavily urban, young and ex-left.

Like the Tea Party and Donald Trump’s MAGA base in the United States, the Yellow Jackets are strongest in fly-over — or drive-through-quickly — country between big cities. But they are unmoved by the cultural issues (God, gays and guns) that excite rural conservative Americans. They hate taxes but also demand generous state intervention.

In sum, this is a revolution against politics by the non-political. Four in 10 Yellow Jackets, according to polls, voted for the far right in last year’s presidential election. Two in 10 voted far left. Many of the others have not voted for years, except to spoil their ballots.

Politico -John Litchfield 2018

Despite very recent machinations within the UK political system, it does not come close to a revolution. There could be seismic changes but there will not be a revolution. How does any of this relate to those who just want to get on and earn a decent living? We are faced with huge developments and challenges. We have to work out the best way through and where necessary evolve and not revolve our businesses to maximise their potential. That is all we ask of our politicians throughout the World’s Democracies ….

Evolution not Revolution

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