Friday, May 30, 2003

Discussion: The Revolutionary Threshold

Joe, I think this has some interesting implications for the external revolutions (most recently Afghanistan and Iraq). What happens when oppressed individuals are suddenly "released" from the regime that had oppressed them? If Montesquieu is right, then these people might just begin to carry out their own internal revolution after experiencing the change associated with the external revolution. A clear demonstration of this in Iraq occurred with the Shiite demonstrations. I'm not sure I have seen any evidence of internal revolution or change in Afghanistan, where the culture is generally less educated than in Iraq. It seems to me that an interaction takes place between rising expectations and education (and likely other factors). If a sufficient level of education exists (whatever that is) along with rising expectations for change, this class is likely to lead further change. Perhaps the poor/uneducated are relatively unable to organize in an effective manner? Or is it that they just don't comprehend the improvements that could be made in their lives?

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