Marcos Perez introduced two concepts found in revolutions that explain why people would or would not participate in a revolution. One of these is the collective action dilemma, in which an individual does not think their involvement would make little to no difference in the scheme of things. This idea was a particular concern over the elections this year. Given the huge population of the United States and the way in which democracy system works here, there were many, too many, people who did not think their one vote would count for anything. I know of several people who did not vote and were eventually either regretful or still thought that they would not have changed the outcome if they did. Perez’s second concept, collective effervescence I think also plays into who chose to vote or not. For those who did not vote, that passion and drive to at least try to voice their opinion and try to contribute to change was lacking. From what I know, they were more indifferent towards both candidates and did not care enough at the time. They did not feel that whichever outcome would not impact their lives very much.
Many other revolutions have involved the risk of harm to those who participate, and that is when collective effervescence is important. When the desire to be involved in something greater than one’s self and to directly tackle the very issues that you and many others face is the drive revolutionists need. That is when the benefits outweigh the risk. And those are the people generations later will commemorate and thank. I think it is difficult to take that risk especially if one cannot see the immediate benefits. For instance, with climate change, an individual cannot visualize the direct impact they are making, particularly because it would be on such a minuscule scale. Climate change, for this reason, is similar to voting systems. Thankfully there are people who are willing to make sacrifices for a bigger cause than themselves, and I am hopeful, in fact I know, that there are many people in my generation who previous revolutionists can pass the baton down to so that we can continue fighting.