About Calling For Revolution

A few months ago we watched the news as several governments in the Middle East were changed by huge protests in the streets. As the world watched many were sympathetic and hopeful for a brighter future for the protestors, a few misguided Americans even expressed a desire for the same thing to happen here. I am afraid the so called Arab Spring is not likely to bring about the freedom and democracy the oppressed people yearn for, because it is hard to overthrow the power structures through anarchy.
I often wonder why our American revolution was so successful while the dozens of revolutions around the world since have either, completely failed by bringing something even worse, or have made very little actual improvement. I finally realized that the colonies had an existing government structure that functioned all during the war. In one sense it wasn’t a revolution within but more akin to throwing off an external oppressor.
I read recently a history book called “A Patriot’s History of the United States”. From it I learned that the French and Indian War was in a way the beginning of the revolution because England authorized the formation of the Continental Congress which brought the separate colonies together where they could become united in the goal to throw off the oppression of Britain. I suppose that one colony could have tried to cast off England but with the other colonies uninvolved it would have been almost impossible to muster enough power to succeed.
During a revolution, such as the Russian, near the end of the fighting a state of anarchy exists where there is very little or no law and order. During this time the various factions that had banded together to bring down the oppressive Tsar, begin to vie for control and as typically happens it is the most ruthless, violent and power hungry element that is willing to kill anyone who interferes with their power grab including their comrades in arms..
During the Egyptian unrest the Egyptian chirstians were wiling to work with the Moslem Brotherhood because they both wanted to throw out the existing government. Little did they realize that as soon as anarchy prevailed the Moslims began burning the Christian churches. Now it is looking less hopeful for freedom and democracy in Egypt.
We only have to look to Iran for a more typical outcome for a revolution. Under the Shaw, Iran was subject to a tyrannical government but women were more free than they are now and the new government is perhaps even more tyrannical than the Shaw.
The American Revolution is a unique and wonderful example of a very successful governmental change, another is India. In some ways India is even more remarkable because freedom from England was gained without war.

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2 Responses to About Calling For Revolution

  1. Lara Updike says:

    What about the French Revolution and the fall of Soviet Russia? They attained stabilyt afterward. I’m not arguing that peaceful, gradual change is preferable to a violent revolution, but I’m wondering what you think about these changes in power.

    • Royal says:

      I don’t know that much about the French revolution, but thousands were killed after the revolution was over. People were killed if they were thought to be against the revolution even after the Royalty had been killed.
      The end of the Soviet Era was a collapse caused by the failure of an economic system. The government was not overthrown. Each country that became free from Russian influence did not go into anarchy although thy did suffer some unrest. Czechoslovakia did go into anarchy and suffered terribly.
      I am certainly not an expert on this subject but wanted to reduce to print some of my thoughts about this and welcome your comments and hope more will participate by adding comments.

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