The revolutions that have the biggest impact in history are ones of the mind. Agriculture, religion, writing, medicine, cosmology, democracy, industrialization, and technology. The realization that the earth orbits the sun, slavery is immoral, and people should have equal rights. These revolutions forced people to change how they saw the world. They made it impossible for them to go back to the lives and beliefs they once had.
Not that there weren’t those who tried to turn back the clock. The old order always tries to reassert itself and undo the progress that has been made. They will cry heresy, pass restrictive laws, ban books, and use fear and lies to convince people to reject newfound truths. They often resort to violence. But their successes are short-lived. Old beliefs die with the old people who hold them, but progress cannot be contained. It builds on itself and carries humanity forward.
What we’re seeing today is the death rattle of privilege and patriarchy — beliefs that cannot exist in an open and interconnected world. While the old order rages about the death of “traditional values” and ridicules today’s youth as “Tide Pod eaters,” they can’t turn back the progress that has been made. Those who have thrown off the chains will refuse to put them back on. Truth cannot be easily dismissed as “fake news.”
We are moving towards a global community that wants to take care of our environment and each other. We want schools where children and parents don’t have to worry about getting massacred, and workplaces where women can pursue their ambitions without being harassed. We want to be valued for what we can contribute, not how we look, who we love, or what we believe. We choose respect over ridicule, openness over hostility, and compassion over judgement.
It’s a revolution that is already happening. We can resist or support it, but it can’t be stopped.