Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guest Post by Evan Angler!


You Say You Want a Revolution...

As the Dust grows ever more influential across our American Union, I find myself thinking quite a bit about social change—how does it happen, and what does it look like? At the risk of oversimplifying, I think maybe there are two basic ways, two basic paths: There is revolution, and there is evolution.
Revolution, we all know about. We study those moments, those great turning points in history, because, I think, those are the dramatic ones. Those are the ones that have captured our collective imagination, and awe. Those are the ones with heroes we can point to and revere, with sacrifices we can honor and mourn. Even the tragic aspect of revolutions—the mass murder that comes with war, the emotional, physical, and cultural scars...even those most horrible aspects of it fascinate us, though we’d never as a society admit it. Like rubbernecking on a street as we pass by an electrobus or magnetrain accident, it’s hard for us to look away.
You can make stories out of revolutions. They have clear beginnings, clear middles, clear ends. They have set-ups, high points, low points, climaxes, denouements...
And so we do make stories of them. We make movies of them. We teach them in classes and textbooks. We teach them because they’re easy to teach, and we teach them because they’re easy to learn.
They also happen fast. Even a long war doesn’t generally last more than a decade. That’s a length of time we can visualize. That’s a change we can see clearly in our mind’s eye.
It makes sense to me, why so much of history is framed around the pivot points of revolution.
But what of the more evolutionary social change? The long-term social trends that take generations and that move slowly, that sneak up on us while we’re busy paying attention to other things. These are the changes less talked about, less understood, and much harder to dramatize. As David Bowie said in his classic pre-Unity song: “Time may change me, but I can’t trace time.”
Much thought and many words have been given to our great Total War, and to the revolutionary changes it’s brought to our post-Unity world. These changes are clear, for they happened too fast to be anything but.
Who could have missed the Rupturing of the East Belt Dike as it flooded our eastern seaboard so completely? Who could have overlooked General Lamson’s rise to power and the formation of the American Union, or, for that matter, Chancellor Cylis’s rise to power in Europe? Who doesn’t know about our transition to the Mark system of citizenship, or the Inclusion?
All this—all of it—came as a result of a true revolution. It came fast, and we were eager for it.
But now, as Logan and Peck and their growing movement of Unmarked Dust takes roots in each of our major cities, as the whispers travel across country through the Unmarked River and shortwave radio signals and banned books, I can’t help but think there might be another movement—an even bigger movement—happening all around us, right under our noses, without us even realizing. An evolutionary social change. One that has been brewing for longer than we can trace. One without so many heroes to celebrate in such simple terms. But one that is lasting...one that is happening not out of necessity or haste or desperation, but out of simple inevitability....
You may say you want a revolution...but my money's on the social evolution that is happening all around us, in the shadows, without fireworks. On the change that is lasting, and on the movement that propels it. And Logan Paul Langly, in his own quiet way, has recently become the torchbearer of that movement. He is the symbol of a sea change that could turn even our Unified world upside down.
After all, as the pre-Unity visionary Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
I don’t know if DOME sees it yet. But I think they will. If the events of Swipe and Sneak are any indication, then that arc...well...we've just watched it turn a corner...

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