Three Kinds of Revolution
MAKING CREATIVE CHANGE PART III
TRADITIONAL REVOLUTION. Thorough and swift destruction and replacement designed to demolish existing institutions and the System itself and replace them with all-new everything. See Robespierre and Lenin.
GRADUAL REVOLUTION. Change within existing institutions and hierarchies, designed to capture them. Theodore Adorno and the Frankfurt School might exemplify this mode of thinking. Or were precursors of it, along with Antonio Gramsci.
COMPETITIVE REVOLUTION. Competing with existing institutions using smaller, faster, more mobile and vastly more creative new organizations. Elon Musk’s various projects, as well as many popular DIY podcasts, fit this category.
Currently we live in a world where Revolution Style #3 has pushed its way to the forefront. Upstarts everyplace. New ways of thinking pushed by what could be called change agents. The active molecules mentioned in Part I of this series.
Musk due to his penchant for publicity is at the forefront of such energized entities. Elon Musk has always been a huckster, combined with an arrogance unleavened by humility. (He’s yet to be knocked down hard by life.) His real strength lies in his ability to see weakness in established institutions, whether they be Boeing in aerospace, or General Motors and other legacy giants in the auto industry. The ability to observe “the best” and realize they can be taken down.
Elon Musk carries the ethos of the upstart– eager to topple complacent established kings and set himself up as new one.
In this quest, he relies on the doctrine of First Principles, which we’ll look at in the next installment of this series on change and how to make it.