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... is not functional, and that confuses issues when some people start talking as if there were mechanical cause and effect relationships ... or even worse, as if all cause and effect relationships are mechanical.

The economic profession is rife with this sort of confusion, which causes a tremendous amount of "well, the real problem is too hard so lets all pretend its this easier problem" kind of work in economic history done within the traditional marginalist school.

The cause and effect relationship here is viability. A Political Revolution is a very uncommon thing, and far more uncommon than the periods where there are some groups of people somewhere in society trying to provoke one.

Therefore, the search for common factors to the Political Revolutions that have occurred in the international Atlantic political economy (which has from its inception expanded to include most nations in the world).

The basic causal argument is that there are factors that increase the viability of Political Revolution. However, conditions that make a Political Revolution viable are certainly no guarantee that it will occur, because these are people we are talking about, rather than charged iron filings.

Indeed, it seems that one thing that makes Political Revolution inviable can be the presence of enough people in the society who have lived through one. As far as I understand it ... which is likely to be vaguely ... the Pan-European Revolutions of 1848 were essentially stillborn as those who the French Revolutionaries counted on as allies within the French body politic recoiled from the prospect.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Feb 24th, 2008 at 02:17:01 PM EST
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