January 23, 2013

PAUL RAHE: What Occasions Revolutions? “One key indicator is that those with access to the levers of power within the ruling order cease to believe in the religion or ideology that legitimizes the regime. Another is that their underlings also gradually abandon the beliefs that render respectable the rule of their masters. This happened some time ago in China, and there very nearly was a revolution at the time of Tiananmen Square. Tellingly, the key players among the young at that time were often the children of party officials. . . . The Tocquevillian account of revolution fits the Arab Spring, the eruptions in eastern Europe in the 1980s, and the collapse of the Soviet Union to a ‘T.’”