As a boy of the tenantry in the Caribbean in the 1970s and as a student of history in the 1980s, revolutions were very appealing. Considering the conditions of the people around me, revolution, I thought then, offered the best and immediate amelioration for all of the people.
Forget about dilly dallying and long and drawn out processes, revolution, I thought was the inevitable vehicle to uplifting the masses. Overnight, the landless tenants of plantations would become owners of what was rightfully theirs and cooperatives of the people would form governments to represent the interests of all the people. Marxist thinking? For sure! Yet it provided the hope that youth like myself craved.
Revolutions in 1979 in Africa, Iran, Nicaragua and Grenada lacked the charm and glory of prior revolutions - the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, etc. Revolutions, I sufficed, would never be the same again. The present modern world order blocks most possibilities to overnight drastic political, economic and social changes. Therefore, all revolutions are now transitional events taking place over long cycles. As a matter of fact, these changes should not be deemed as revolutionary since they take so long to come to fruition.
Yet, permit me to err: there is a revolution currently take place under the radar of most social and political scientists. It is the Transitional Revolution in western democracies.
While the end point of the Transitional Revolution cannot be fully defined today, it's existence is affirmed. For example, in the United States (US), the recent election of women - minority women, Native American women, Latino women, Muslim women and other non-tradition electees to the US Congress and State legislatures, do affirm the transitioning of government.
Transitioning is proceeding without political violence, a former component of all revolutions. Yet, the transition has been sent into motion because of division, hate and violence.
Across Europe, the transition is witnessed by the rise in the political representation of far right parties seeking to redefine the continent's arena of government in response to an influx of migrants who have sought shelter there, after fleeing wars in the Middle East and economic hardship in Africa.
Nations are responding to particular concerns within their communities and the results represent an emerging Transitional Revolution that will ultimately alter the political, economic and social landscape of western democracies.