Close button
The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

Age of once-fiery revolutionaries


nelson-mandela-speech-HBy available standards, humanity is revolutionary in thinking and action and usually these two processes are initiated by man’s surrounding circumstances and individual attributes. Since creation, no human being has ever or can dare afford to remain static for too long a period as such fellows or group of people might be left behind by its rapidly changing world.

As a matter of fact, even inanimate things are made to shift locations either for good or evil effects and over the ages, circumstantial forces had compelled man to change fundamentally from one to another course or position of life. Otherwise, if there had been no such causal relocations, virtually everything would have stymied and subsequently atrophied.

Taking revolution in totality, certain issues are so central, foundational and conditional as to what really follows after a typical revolutionary intervention. As often said, every revolution nurtures its own seeds and upon maturity burst out new ideas for generational development which may be peace-driven or violence-bearing.


However, for some, upon the mere mention of the word, revolution; seamless stream of ceaseless agitations, sheer strifes, massive violence and outright bloodbath readily come to mind while for others, revolution is the very end rather than being a means to another end. Some resort to revolution as that plateau where power flows…often accompanied with unchecked violence and terror-attacks by other means.

It may amount to inexcusable laziness to confine or regard the whole idea of revolution as a foolhardy or avoidable concept without some dosage of its historical antecedents. As earlier mentioned, revolution from its evolutionary outset originated with man when his Creator endowed him with the brain power over and above other living and nonliving creatures and with Adam operating then at his optimal best.

Because, for him to have been so gifted to ‘baptise’ every type of all things by their now-stuck name(s) suggested how revolutionary-conscious father Adam might have been! Perhaps it was for this similar reason of ‘revolutionary feat’ that temptingly pushed Adam’s descendants to dare, challenge and rebel against the set-course of nature with their envisioned ‘Tower-of-Babel project’. Nevertheless, not only did divine intervention strike the ‘assembled workmen on site’ with a spirit of confusion and error of judgment, but each of them was dispersed in different directions and for ill-defined purposes.

Ever since has this issue of contention called revolution been so craved as a redeeming catalyst or loathed as an asphyxiating venom just like any other beholden thing. Widely is revolution regarded as a make-or -mar visitor of sort! Operating on the contrasting thesis and anti-thesis cum clockwise dynamics; its quiet and continually creeping effects have prompted fundamental realignment in diverse dimensions.

Till date, ensuing revolutionary battles have been fought along the ideological thoroughfare and putting it dispassionately straight, revolution is a change-driven agent which hardly ever leaves anyone or thing the exact way as before. Upon the whole universe, if there is one thing that scares those who, indeed, have reasons to fear…even their own shadow; it is this rather acidic agent called revolution because so confronting, irresistible and decisive is it that no one, no matter how powerful or scheming, can stop its awakening gale.


Over time, successive phases of history (ranging from the palaeolithic, hunter-gathering, agrarian, industrial, information to the now neo-modern age) have characteristically birthed penetrating seeds of revolution thereby linking each generation to the next era of development. Typically, the driving force regulating revolution in its wake can be likened to the catchy logo of that Taiwanese multinational computer company, ASUS…inspiring innovation; persistent perfection. By deduction, it means that there is no stopping the onward movement of revolution; just as there is no known end to its unmarked destinations.

In the immediate backyard of history, especially in the last three centuries, one could recall the strategic and decisive role that revolution had played in societal development top of which were enthronement of fundamental human rights, accountable governance, impartial justice system, provision of basic standards of good living as well as putting in place visionary goals for the greater number of people.

From the foregoing, laudable codes of consensual belonging and eclectic processes evolved from several revolutionary efforts which, timelessly, man has revolution in ideas, concepts and approach to thank for. This was due to providing a needed platform upon which the soul and essence of humanity was retrieved from the shackles and bloody grips of monarchical reigns, feudal overlords and extraneous forces of subjugation.

First, take as revolutionary ground-breaking examples of the British 18th century industrial revolution vis-a-vis 1760-1840 economic development; America’s 1776 independence war, French 1789 revolution, Russian 1917 revolution, China’s 1949 cultural revolution; Soviet Union’s history-rewritten 1991 glasnost and perestroika.

Central to the above-mentioned interventionist cases was a legendary fact that, irrespective of creed, race, linguistics or nationality; man, as a peculiar species, had a revolution of the mind to resolve and for this singular nudging came to the inevitable point of a no-going-back-severance from its iniquitous past. For this, far-sighted revolutionaries of though divergent ideological callings bubbling with innovative ideas painstakingly seeded, nurtured and harvested a new concept in the mould of a global village…for the ultimate good of the world at large, no matter how far-flung.

Drawing insightful cues from the British industrial revolution, man, on a universal scale, was equipped with the techniques and foundry-knowledge of production of needed tools as opposed to the paleolithic age when it was an unpredictable case of sheer brawn over brain or survival wits of the physically fittest.

Similarly, for the French revolution, historic accounts have it that the wife of Louis XVI ignorantly admonished that a riotous band of famished protesters be fed with cakes when she learnt from a balcony peep that part of the reasons for the rebellion was due to shortage of bread! What eventually followed the life-for-life onslaughts was the triple-attainment of equality, liberty and egalitarian values for the French.

Often, it is argued that it was the French that led the pack of struggle for democracy in its modern terms because of its aforementioned democratic and people-driven triplets of human advancement and this was aside the acclaimed Greek ascription as the original home front of democracy.

However, with the upcoming of America’s assertive style of people power after its hard-won war for total freedom in the late 18th century, global democratic attention was shifted to this northern hemisphere country. One common feature that has endeared America to those yearning for emancipated freedom is its almost-non discriminatory acceptance of the poor, wearied, huddled masses from other nations seeking its open-arm statue of liberty for succour.


Until recently when it became necessary to guard against the increasingly deathly security threat all over the world, America was one sure place for virtually anyone to migrate to… regardless of one’s background and if anything, this is one longstanding reason for its bustling diversity and structural cohesiveness.

Despite its famed past as a forerunner in the face of its industrial revolution and normative scientific discoveries; the British society has widely been described as a so closed in, intolerant and xenophobic lot and for this ill-tempered hostility, several inherent benefits in eclectic collaboration have already passed it by, quite unconsciously and perhaps irredeemably. Squeezed to a critical limit, some have even castigated the British stock as a community that has stopped growing altogether since it is now almost bereft of revolving modernity, innovative exuberance and seemingly content with its imperial past glory.

Obviously reined in, the articulated train of revolutionary change burst in to the 20th century with the 1917 Russian revolution amidst the first European war of 1914-19 and it was at this historical mark that revolution (in political and power assertions) started spotting sharp ideological mechanism and thorough out this rather long-drawn era, absolutely nothing-tolerable or contrary was spared by the warring camps.
• To be Continued

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet