Figureheads are weak points. Leaders are useful, to a degree.
But for any real revolution of the mind to occur, in a way that affects the culture and actually lasts, it has to be widespread throughout all the people. A deeply held value will be passed down even after the leaders of the moment are long gone.
Revolutions of force are always short-lived, even if one power-hungry leader can successfully pass the reins to his successor, revolutions of pure force seem unable to last beyond a few generations.
When real changes take place in the culture, and billions of humans decide something is no longer acceptable and realize why it is bad, it ends, forever. As long as those cultural attitudes can be passed down through stories and examples, and continue to be held.
For hundreds of years, humanity was ruled by kings and queens. It seemed impossible to imagine anything else. Then, one day, we did imagine it. And we all imagined it. And then it happened, because we made it happen.
We are ruled by all sorts of unfair systems right now, and it becomes more and more evident by the day as conditions deteriorate while the internet simultaneously reveals more and more.
If 7 billion people find something unacceptable, it will not be allowed to have power. Simple as that. It just takes a culture of conviction, passed down through generations. This is why we don't have powerful kings and queens anymore.
One day, hundreds of years from now, the people of Earth will look back at the year 2019 and wonder how we tolerated the conditions, in the same way we now look back at the world of peasants during the dark ages.
And the real shift won't be in technology, although that will shift too, but instead in the freedom brought by a widespread adoption of a new mental paradigm. Looking back in history, the real landmark moments seem to be when we discovered new ways of organizing our societies that lead to things like a large middle class, and populations with actual free time that aren't over-worked.
As our population tops off at about 10 billion in the year 2100 and then begins to decline (according to population analysis trends), I believe we should see re-organization become more and more of a central feature of human society. We will get better at re-programming our own society in intelligent and compassionate ways. The waves of freedom come and go throughout the generations, and greedy people trying to seize power will never be a solved issue, but humanity will take steps forward. We always have, even if we have to take 10 steps backward to take 11 steps forward.
Sometimes it seems we imagine human progress is defined by technology, but I think it's more defined by the way we treat each other, and how we think about ourselves and each other, and the way we can create conditions to help the community of Earth to succeed, and have a nice place for all of us to live. Isn't that all we really want?
There is just a lack of balance in the classes as the hyperwealthy take the all the gains, in a reversal from past decades in the US. This is similar to the age of Kings and Queens, and everyone feels the slide backward and resists it on some level.
But the fact there is backward to slide, and that people see what is happening, en masse, is amazingly forward progress from 500 years ago. It's widespread cultural thinking that moves us forward, because that network of understanding and conviction lives on beyond any of our livespans.
The "social contract" between the masses and the rulers is something that evolves and breathes, and changes as cultural norms and technology changes. We can all clearly see the old social contract has worn thin and a new way of thinking is needed.
The good luck is that people seem to come around eventually, given the story of history. It's just a matter of that cultural wave passing through the minds of all the individuals on earth, and taking hold. And in the era of the internet, the speed of this wave is much much higher than has ever been possible. Ideas can literally get a global audience of billions in a matter of days, this was physically impossible hundreds of years ago. Even in the era of newspapers 100 years ago, the spread of ideas had to go through approved mouthpieces often owned by hyper-wealthy. The internet lets us bypass this. Even if the hyper-wealthy now own the major hubs of the internet, it's easy to route around it simply by going to another website.
This is something you cannot do with newspapers or tv or radio. This is a true freedom for ideas to spread, and they can't stop it, even in China. This is a new ability that many around the world have had for less than a decade. Even the luckiest people have only had it for 30 years. This is hardly one generation. We are the internet generation.
The pressure is building, the plans are being laid. The world is waking up. What is tangled shall be straightened. Be patient, and make sure your own ideological house is in order. For us to progress, you must progress, I must progress, and we must connect about it. The real revolution comes from within. Mass revolution comes from mass beliefs. And everyone changing beliefs is increasingly a result of the internet. This is why cultural battles, battles of words and ideas, are so important. Our beliefs shape our future. As such, form your core beliefs with great care, because it literally determines the future of humanity.