Mexico. These new forms differed from earlier millenarian movements in three important ways. First, each movement articulated a clear program of solutions for the problems of their societies. Their goals were well-defined, organized, and purposeful. Second, rather than looking back to a previous Golden Age, these movements were forward-looking. Progress was inevitable, they believed, and the program they espoused would chart their course. Third, these movements placed a great deal of responsibility for the manifestation of heaven on earth in the hands of the people themselves.Through strict morality, rigid discipline, egalitarianism, community of property, and the rejection of corrupt (i.e., foreign) ways, humankind, they believed, was capable of achieving a perfect world. These movements sought utopia and were willing to utilize violence in order to achieve it. They thoroughly rejected the existing institutions of society and sought total sociopolitical transformation. In this sense, these movements became aborted revolutions, not simply rebellions.
The ancient concept of millenarianism, in all three cases, was transformed largely in accordance with the needs of these societies. Much like its transmutation in the West, millenarianism moved from a magical source of origin in the eyes of its believers to that of a more human source. As a result, the notion of social transformation was converted from an exclusively God-induced process to one that was largely in the hands of the people. This transformation of millenarianism prepared the way for revolutionary violence in these societies.