I’ve watched a lot of TED videos recently, and it’ s got me thinking about revolutionaries. There’s the old-fashioned Marxist, aka Trotsky; the Central American revolutionary, Che Guevara;  the non-violent revolutionaries, Gandhi and Martin Luther King .  I can respect what the armed revolutionaries in the Middle East have had to do, but in the West, that sort of struggle seems ill-advised. Non violent struggle, though,  isn’t defeatist.

Non violent revolutions have succeeded from India to the Philippines to Poland to Tunisia, even if, sometimes, they had to fall back on armed struggle. (Here’s a great TED video on these non-violent struggles by peace activist Scilla Elworthy.)  Non-violent struggle comes in all forms and there are other sorts of real revolutionaries out there working away for radical change. The best of them fly under the radar or hide right out in the open.

(Paul Ryan is no right-wing revolutionary despite the hype; he’s  the latest iteration of David Duke, a corporate mercenary peddling ignorance and bigotry with a Facebook page.) I am particularly interested in people working where the food industry intersects the education system. The school lunch system in the U.S. epitomizes the decadence of the contemporary economy. Curious about the impact of greed? Visit the cafeteria at your child’s school.

Jamie Oliver”s Food Revolution, is show biz  revolutionary work, hidden in the open, but he effectively illustrates the stupidity of feeding school children corporate crap while neglecting to offer the education about food they need.  Oliver seeds the ground for more far-reaching, under-the-radar people like Stephen Ritz, who shows the revolutionary potential of taking the corporation out of the school. His TED video is an inspiration.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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