Revolution 3 Essay, Research Paper
A revolution can be defined as many things. And many historians have attempted it in the past. The most accurate depiction of a revolution, in my opinion, was written by Chalmers Johnson in the 1960’s. He stated that a revolution takes place when the dysfunction of an existing government and its decay gives rise to another power group taking control. I believe this to be most accurate because if a government were not dysfunctional or decaying, then it would be most difficult for an inferior group of power to effectively overthrow it. A revolutionary party would not have formed to start with if the government was doing an effective and satisfactory job of providing for its people.
Other theories of revolution include one by Crane Brinton, stating that revolution is a process. His idea of revolution was an overthrow of power, which led to extremists coming to power, then subsiding into a more moderate time. While this theory does a most proficient job of describing some revolutions, it is far to specific to define revolutions in a generalized perspective.
Karl Marx has had a very successful theory of revolution, one that has been used and modeled by many political and revolutionary leaders throughout history. Marx theorized that a revolution is a struggle between two antithetical elements. These two groups or classes clash, often violently, and it leads to a synthesis that results in socialism. Many leaders throughout history have changes or augmented the Marxist theory to fit their own revolutionary needs at that specific time. This theory is an excellent basis for all class-based revolutions, and Marxist type of revolutions have occurred throughout the twentieth century.
In 1962, Peter Amann offered a definition of revolution as being simply a struggle over political power. He states that a revolution is when two groups struggle for the monopoly of power. When the original government becomes abusive of its power, or unable to manage and maintain a sound society, another group must arise to challenge the power of the ruling party. While this description may be accurate of any revolution ever conceived, it is also a very accurate description of any power struggle of any kind.
Peter Calvert reviewed many different theories of revolution by many different historical figures, and after considering each, came up with a ‘revolutionary recipe’. Stating that each power struggle, in order to be considered a revolution must contain each of the following: A successful rebellion against authority that results in an overthrow of that authority, transfer of power from one group to another dictating to substantial social changes, and each revolution must contain a sudden volatile outburst in order to be considered a revolutionary movement.
Upon examination of the current world situation, I believe that Russia would be ripe for a revolution. The government can no longer manage and maintain a sound society for its people. The citizens of Russia can afford very little due to the runaway inflation and the tremendous black market. Many people in Russia would rather live back in the day when communism was controlling their everyday lives. There was no poor man and nobody was starving, because big brother was looking out for them all, and nobody had to be responsible. In my opinion it is very likely that the communist party would once again rise to power by overthrowing the sickly democratic government. It would greatly improve the people quality of life, and things can’t get much worse for them now. Radical action can easily be taken in such a poor, starving, unhappy nation with a weak governmental backbone.