The big dilemma in political/social activism is; How does one bring about change without coercion? Coercion, by it's nature, steals the individuals freedom. If we seek through activism to improve the lot of our fellows, coercive force is anathema.
To apply compulsion to the population (whether it be economic or military/policing) can be effective. We see all around us the results of this way of managing the population. If done with a light hand, the population will largely be compliant, and their lot will seem preferable to the disruption involved in making changes. Even if those changes are to be to their benefit.
If applied with a heavier hand, there will be growing discontent, especially in the undereducated, as the elite and middle classes see it as their "duty" to coerce them into greater servitude through reductions in economic opportunity, and increasingly restrictive regulation. The better educated, generally the middle management of the system, are generally compliant for they are beneficiaries of the system. There will be, of course, a section of the educated that will use their knowledge and insight to attempt to address some of the failings that they see in the system. This may have some effect.
If applied with a very heavy hand, the undereducated will be ripe for revolution, for they will be to the point where death will seem like a release from the suffering inflicted on them by the elite. Much of the educated will also be ripe for action as they too will be getting shut out of the goodies, as the elite ramp up the accumulation of wealth and power.
This then leads to revolt.
The leaders of the revolution will most probably be from the educated, or even the elite if some of them see a chance to leapfrog the hierarchy to seize power.
Violent revolution is a poor option. Even though the names and faces change, the quality of those new names and faces are generally no better, and sometimes worse, than those they replace. The belief that the population is there to follow the lead of the elite remains. However noble the initial thrust of change is, the method eventually leads to corruption and oppression of varying degrees. And in the process, people die and suffer greatly.
A great hope in the world is that a number of recent revolutions have been non violent(effectively, though there may have been a little).
As we seem to have entered the second stage now in most of the " developed world" (inc China and India) and at stage three in most of the rest, we need to work to not only open up governments and business to scrutiny, we also need to educate and empower those that at present have no strategy to bring about change.
This is where Wikileaks and Julian Assange have entered. They are to be applauded for the quality of insight and the courage that has led them to initiate this strategy for change.
It is imperative that we diffuse the march to violence.
To die for an ideal may be a worthy sacrifice, but to kill for an ideal is lunacy!!!
Choose to be Happy