I think an insurrection is something that a history book would mention only to note that so and so "put it down", which means that he shot everyone and that he shot all of their friends. Isn't this almost definitional? That something called an insurrection after the fact is therefore something that ended in mass executions?
Most of my ancestors on one side were west point men who became generals and some of them made their career on putting down an insurrection in this or that US colony. I think about that a lot. I think about the way these insurrections ended and I think about how their work didn't.
What would it mean on purpose to call something an insurrection? I suppose that you don't know what it would be like, were it to succeed. Even that you don't expect it to, at all. I like and don't like that about the word.
On the other hand I think a revolution is over, which is a way of saying that instead of being ended by men with guns, it chose to end itself. To me that is significant, but not in any way that I could simply affirm as being good.
I am affirming insurrection instead of revolution as the word that I would like to think about, but only in a provisional way. There is not yet a word for the situation where people neither have their attempt ended for them nor choose to end it themselves, since I don' think this has never happened and it's unclear what it would be like.
Insurrection is a word for those attempts that understand this. Attempts, I mean, where people do not intend to end it themselves and also do not pretend to know what it would be like or how it would feel or what they would do, if no one were to stop them. It means acknowledging that their success would only bring more, and worse problems, ones so far unthought by them.