You say you want a revolution

Article from Issue 138/2012

“Making revolution is not a crime!” This catchy turn of phrase is often attributed to Jian Qing, otherwise known as Madame Mao, otherwise known as one of the notorious Gang of Four – the group of former Chinese leaders who stood trial in 1980 for launching the devastating and discredited Cultural Revolution in China.

I’ve always found this quotation very unsettling. Not that it is always wrong; it is just that it is pretty clearly not always right. On the surface, these words seem like the perfect battle cry for the downtrodden to stand firm against oppression. But at a closer look, this philosophy comes with some bold assumptions. The statement would seem to allow any would-be revolutionary to operate without hindrance of any particular legal code – so long as their actions occur within the course of making revolution. But what is a revolution – and what is a crime? The quote appears to leave such things to the eye of the beholder.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • OR IS IT?
  • Welcome

    A little over a year ago, I wrote a column about a Nokia memo that appeared a little over a year ago. The famous “Burning Platform” memo made the case for Nokia bailing out of the open source MeeGo project as a last-ditch effort to save the company.

  • Comment

    Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige, the iconic athlete-philosopher who was probably the greatest baseball pitcher of all time, used to pass around this insightful list of “Rules for Staying Young”:

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

003-003_comment.pdf (703.37 kB)