The Roots Of Resistance (Rising Sun Press 2017) is the second book in the Dandelion Insurrection trilogy by Rivera Sun. The first book deals with how a non-violent revolution in the United States is able to topple an extremely corrupt corporate controlled federal government, and this book details problems entailed in implementing its policies which are aimed at benefiting the general public.
The Dandelion Insurrection had succeeded with their non-violent revolution, but not without losses; nevertheless, the small numbers who lost their lives in the revolution was nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands killed in the continual corporate military government’s wars in place before the change. Too much money and power was invested in the previous government for them simply to surrender without a a vanguard action in an attempt to regain control.
This book is reminiscent of Upton Sinclair’s novel Jimmy Higgins where he describes the frustration dedicated communist party members have trying to topple the government and what they ran up against. The difference between the communist and the Dandelion Insurrectionist is that the communists adhered to a rigid party line; whereas, the Dandelions flexed themselves in every non-violent way possible.
“Nonviolent action is twice as effective as violent means, Idah had told him, because in conflicts, participation matters.
“In this type of struggle, like in democracy,” Idah explained, “Everyone has a role to play. The kids can all participate, blockade, the grandmothers can sit-in . . we can all participate somehow. If this were a violent conflict, it’d be the people with strong backs and the ability to shoot straight, not the rest of us.”
He nodded, thinking of the military’s rugged physical demands.
“And, if participation matters,” Idah went on to argue, “Then sheer numbers matter. And so, the tactics that involve the most people on the broadest scale of denying the opposition resources are going to work.”
Like an ecosystem needing water, or an economic system reliant on capital and commerce, participation matters to all systems, including the political. If the people cooperate with the dictator, the tyrant can give orders and see them carried out. But if the people refuse, the dictator is just a little man in a room having a temper tantrum.
Phyllis Devanne couldn’t run a school without kids. When parents pulled the children out and enrolled them in the Penny Elementary, her power collapsed like a sail without wind.
The strength of a movement also relies on participation. Nonviolent campaigns succeed or fail by the numbers of people willing to get in the way of injustice, or withdraw support from tyrants, or put their hands on the freedom plow and sow seeds of change.
“And that’s why,” Idah mentioned, “Whenever a movement turns violent, the likelihood of success drops. Because violence lowers the active participation rate.”
The above quoted material is the basis for change in the United States as it has been in the successful revolutions such as India, Venezuela, Lithuania, Estonia and others. In this sense, this book is a handbook for change.
This book set in the near future is a book of hope, and well worth reading. The problems this reviewer has with the book is its basic misunderstanding of how government works. The executive branch of government gets the most attention; however, it is very limited in what it can do. According to the constitution, the real power lies in Congress; though, that is not really the case, because no matter what Congress passes and the president signs, it is still in the fiefdoms of the bureaucrats that the policies are implemented, and if the Dandelion Revolution were truly a revolution from the bottom upwards, the vast majority of bureaucrats would be thwarting any effort of the executive branch to try to undermine the revolution. Furthermore, the book makes little mention of the continual external wars being waged by the US, and no mention whatsoever, as to the rest of the world’s reaction to what is taking place in the US. This reviewer would like to see a John Dos Passos styled novel (John Dos Passos revolutionized novel writing, and his technique has been used by many writers since he first came out with it in Manhattan Transfer in 1926) where various viewpoints are presented and eventually converge. It would allow the novel to do a lot more than it does.
Nevertheless, this an important well written novel which should be read by everyone serious about righting the wrongs on the current system in the US. An added plus is that The Roots Of Resistance also involves a love story.
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