The Structure of Revolutions

This entry was posted by on Sunday, 16 May, 2010 at

Somehow, political revolutions generally seem to occur in at least two distinct stages.

First is the moderate stage, when people stand up and think:”This system could be improved!”. They want to reform to a better government, but want to do so without using force or indoctrination. They want to let the revolution happen slowly, without hurry.

This rather peaceful stage is followed by a more fearful system as the radicals take over. They want to revolute and change the government as well. They watch the moderate changers for some time, and they think the revolution is not fast enough. They think too few changes are being made in too much time. So they take over with force, and throw the revolution into higher gear, not fearing the use of force, violence and indoctrination. At the end, they’ll be so crazy about the revolution, they use more and more force and get rid of opponents, simply by putting them in prison, or even killing them.

As we look at the French Revolution, we see this revolution has the same structure. It all started with the National Assembly, the moderate changers. They wanted to change, and change quite a lot, but do it carefull and not too fast. But soon enough there is a splintergroup which thinks the changes are too slow. this group, the Jacobins, takes over and uses force to get all the changes done.

Finaly, they start killing everybody who *might* be a threat to the revolution, even the moderate revolutionaries.

We can see the same structure in the Russian Revolution, or October Revolution, which started after the last Czar suffered great losses in the First World War, and had proven to be not able to rule the Russian Empire.

So the moderate changers took over, leaded by Lenin. After Lenin died, Stalin took over and sped up the revolution. He did not fear the use of force. Who was against the Revolution and thus against Stalin was executed or exiled to Siberia.

Finaly, Stalin got so paranoid that he killed most of his army staff, because he feared the army would rise up against him. This was when the Second World War started. Russia had huge numbers of casualties the first few weeks, because there was no one to properly command the army, they all were assassinated. (During his reign Stalin killed over a million people, either by letting them being executed or by exiling them.)

When we look at more revolutions we would see somewhat the same structure, moderate changers being followed by extreme, radical changers.

(written 1998)


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