Revolutions are constantly happening. They are changing the world around us, constantly forcing us to adapt and think and question. We can choose to either become a part of these revolutions or to sit idly and watch as they take their course. Professor Marcos Perez, a sociology professor here at Colby College, did a phenomenal job of summing up a semester of revolutions. Professor Perez was able to define the profile of a revolutionary. His lecture focused on the formation of this profile of a revolutionary, of what a revolution is, as well as where revolutions are likely to happen. His lecture, while continuously entertaining, had a wonderful message that I believe can be tied to nearly all of our past seminar talks.
Why would someone elect to join a revolution? This question, which Professor Perez addresses in his lecture, is extremely thought provoking. I had never considered the financial, social, and corporal repercussions that are at stake when joining a revolution. Perez mentioned the possibility that revolutionaries could lose their children and families when joining a revolution. I found this to be particularly interesting because I initially thought that revolutionaries (or anyone really for that matter) would want to ensure their family’s safety and survival. Doing so would ultimately ensure that your ideologies and beliefs are carried into another lasting generation. However, when jeopardizing the safety of one’s family for the ideas behind a revolution, the revolutionary is prioritizing one over the other. The prioritization of self interests over the interest of the revolution was something that I had not considered so deeply until Professor Perez raised it in his lecture.
Revolutions, as we’ve seen throughout our semester of revolutionary talks are never guaranteed. The outcomes of a revolution are a gamble. It’s a risk and a commitment that revolutionaries will have to take in order to ensure the successes of their movement. The uncertainty of it all would likely drive many away. Most are not willing to take such risks in order to evoke change. Which is why Professor Perez was able to paint the picture of a revolutionary as such a bold, excitable, charismatic individual. Professor Perez acknowledges that the commitment to join a revolution with such uncertain outcomes and while risking nearly everything that you have (to be perfectly frank) takes guts. His ability to discuss and develop the character of a revolutionary helps to provide life to the movements that people are so inspired by. Revolutions take the spirit of the people who support them, and Professor Perez did a fantastic job of providing revolutions with that character.
I thought that Professor Perez had a wonderful lecture to end up a semester of revolutions. Throughout the semester, we had reflected on social, scientific, historical, current, nearly every single type of revolution. The one theme that ran through them all was that these revolutions were spearheaded by revolutionaries. Professor Perez’s depiction of a revolutionary and how they can impact the movement of a revolution as a whole was an effective and sentimental end to the semester.