Revolutions often go unnoticed. When there are more publicized and pressing issues or movements concerning social change, our complacency towards other issues acts as its own form of political revolution that Lapham describes in his book “Revolutions.” While most political movements are easily apparent, dormancy towards less acknowledged issues creates an undesirable miscommunication and complexity, since dormancy is much more difficult to notice than impactful movements that are constantly in the forefront.
Only those who fear the dormancy’s effects notice the apathy that is occurring, a dangerous predicament since others will see said worried people to be overreacting, brainwashed or apathetic towards more pressing movements for change. Apathy is dangerous. And revolutions aren’t always a step forward in progress. Revolutions can simply be changes in our world understanding that need confrontation.
However, it would be ignorant to say that passivity and apathy is the sole type of revolution. I know that Copernicus took part in a scientific revolution. I know Martin Luther King took part in a racial revolution. I know that Norman Borlaug took part in the Green Revolution. I could keep going, but it’s pretty obvious that indifference didn’t play a factor in these revolutions. These examples are different types of revolutions, those that we are much more comfortable and familiar with. We like these revolutions because they are obvious. We can clearly see the goals and objectives, whereas the apathetic, passive revolution I am describing lacks these attributes.
Confronting apathy is difficult but necessary. Revolutions aren’t always progressive, and political dormancy allows for this regression.