There’s something that Snowden and Occupy have in common: they made big cultural changes in society by opening up previously-taboo topics; but they did not make any notable political changes, at least not yet.
I therefore call them both ‘revelationaries’ rather than ‘revolutionaries’. They revolt by revealing. Occupy said that the 1% rules, and people listened. Snowden said that the government spies on the people, and people listened. It is now conventional wisdom that we live with oligarchs and police spies. That is a bell that cannot be unrung.
Revelationaries are what I call ‘spinal prophets’; their words are prophetic not due to superior brains, but super spines. They say what everyone else knows but does not dare to utter; but once the revelationary spinal prophet speaks, the news is broken and can be discussed freely by all.
Revelationaries are harbingers; they foretell changes to come. First come cultural changes; then social-structure changes; then economic changes; and finally political changes.