The revived discussion of the Revolutionary War founders of the United States, has brought about a some discussion of potential revolutions today.
One problem at a lot of looks at revolutionary movements is that they tend to take a retrospective fix on movements that are successful.
But most movements aren't successful. They don't even get to the stage where street protests, or armed resistance threaten the existing regime.
Most rebellions are unpopular, and fail.
Early Stage Rebellions Are Never Safe, Comfortable or Popular
Chris Hedges, Truthout, 25 February 2012 (hat tip: NC)
The White Rose has been lionized by postwar Germans—one of its members, Alexander Schmorell, was made a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church last year, and squares and schools in Germany are named for the resisters—but in the BBC interview Furst-Ramdohr curtly dismissed the adulation of the group.
“At the time, they’d have had us all executed,” she said in speaking of most Germans’ hatred of resisters during the war.
Although history has vindicated resistance groups such as the White Rose and plotters such as von dem Bussche, they were desperately alone, reviled by the wider public and forced to defy the law, their oaths of national allegiance, and public opinion. The resisters, once exposed, were condemned in vitriolic terms by most of the German public, and their lopsided trials were state-choreographed lynchings. Von dem Bussche said that even after the war he was spat upon as he walked down a city street. He and those like him who made a moral choice to physically defy evil teach us something extremely important about rebellion. It is, when it begins, not safe, comfortable or popular. Those rare individuals who have the moral and physical courage to resist must accept that they will be pariahs. They must live outside the law. And they must be prepared to be condemned.