The Man From the North is a fictional writer in Rivera Sun’s novel, The Dandelion Insurrection. The novel takes place in the near future, in “a time that looms around the corner of today,” when a rising police state controlled by the corporate-political elite have plunged the nation into the grip of a hidden dictatorship. In spite of severe surveillance and repression, the Man From the North’s banned articles circulate through the American populace, reporting on resistance and fomenting nonviolent revolution.
The story below is one of several written by the Man From the North. The article series is not included in the novel and was originally published on Dandelion Salad. We will feature a Man From the North story on a weekly basis through June 3, 2015. You can read the entire series at Dandelion Salad. The Dandelion Insurrection and a companion study guide can be purchased on Rivera’s website.
Baking the Bread of Revolution
There is a formula for revolution. The corporate-political elite are following it to perfection: steal the money, corrupt the power, imprison the people, starve the children, poison the water, pillage the resources, enslave the workers, eviscerate justice, stalk the citizens, stifle dissent, and inject terror in the bloodstream of society.
Massive unrest and movements for social change are natural reaction to such conditions. With these ingredients, we’re cooked. Either we’ll revolt like cattle lunging to escape the slaughterhouse, or we will wage struggle for revolution in a process as natural as the alchemy of bread baking. It is unbelievable that the powerful don’t understand: if they mix the living yeast of humans into the flour of our earthly existence, apply pressure and heat . . . poof! We will rise toward life, nourishment, and sustenance of our communities.
They’re adding kindling to the woodstove and sugar to the yeast. They’re kneading the dough that is our populace with every blow of injustice that they strike. Where we were once pudgy, weak, and pasty, we are growing tougher through their beatings. Our firma materia is strengthening, our elasticity toughening with tenacity. As they knock us down, again and again, we rise despite their efforts.
Fools! Do they not see? If they had left us alone, we would never have become the bread of revolution. My fellow men and women would have stayed upon the shelves, tucked into bottles and jars of our societal containers. Separated like spices on the rack, we would have stayed neatly segregated – blacks over there; browns, here; whites, there; rich expensive ingredients on the top shelf; cheap goods shoved underneath the sink.
But in their greedy hunger, the corporate-political thugs have torn apart the kitchen of our country. They devoured the cake, the éclairs, the crème-de-la-crème. They consumed the muffins, the scones . . . and now they want the bread. Addicts! They have ripped open the flour sack and forced a trembling woman to bake for them, silencing her hungry children as she labors for their greed.
But listen, well, for some things are sacred . . . and bread is one of them.
As lustful palms reach to tear apart the fresh baked bread, we will burn them. We will scald their tongue and sear their throats – not through spite, but through the nature of the bread of revolution that bakes hot and potent in the fire of their greed. Revolution is a law of human physics, a lever of society. When they push the people down, we have no choice but to rise. When they tear at the sacred bread of life; when they stuff their mouths in front of hungry children; when they reach for the last crumbs as young eyes cry . . . their mother will ignite a revolution.
And where the corporate-political powers could suppress all others, they will not stop this woman. She is a force of nature – a biological necessity – an imperative for our survival. She is beyond one person, one body, one race, culture or creed. Men and women, both, embody her powerful spirit. The woman who rises in defense of life transcends all divisions in humanity. She lives in each of us. She will rise in us, unstoppable.
In every heart, around the world, the bread of revolution is baking.
Rivera Sun sings the anthem of our times and rallies us to meet adversity with gusto. In addition to her most recent novel, Billionaire Buddha, she is the author of nine plays, a book of poetry, and her debut novel, Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, which celebrates everyday heroes who meet the challenges of climate change with compassion, spirit, and strength. Learn more about Rivera and her work on her website.