I read something a while ago that keeps coming back to haunt me. It’s in the introduction to Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution.
Today there are a lot of actions by governments, particularly that belonging to the USA, that represent an erosion of freedom. Other events that demonstrate the growing power of the rich.
In response to this there are some popular actions, OWS for example. Mostly, there is discussion along the lines of “what can be done?”, or “Will anybody do anything?”
The observation that haunts me is that all of human history has been like this. There is oppression that most people resent, but they do nothing. Until it reaches some sort of threshold, at which point id descends into rioting and mass insurrection.
And Trotsky seems to suggest that is the only outcome that will change anything, and that the result of that change is uncertain.