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What Is a Revolution?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By elfshoe1
Words 1078
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The definition of a revolution is an “overthrow of government” or the “overthrow of a ruler or political system”. This term is generally used to describe an uprising by a disenchanted mass to overthrow existing ideology and practice and bring about major political, economic, social or cultural change in a society. Revolutions are mainly caused because of social and economic inequalities between classes causing the oppressed masses to become disillusioned with extreme excesses of the ruling classes. They then come together and revolt against the existing ruler or regime, often in a bloody movement. This is certainly true when describing the French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution, which not only brought about regime change through violent mass mobilization, but also overhauled the social, economic institutions of the time. So a revolution is essentially a struggle in which the holder of a power loses that power against their will.
Aristotle’s view on revolutions was rather confined than its modern day interpretation. He suggested the doctrine of ‘stasis’ as a reason for revolution and decline of institutions, ‘stasis’ being an arrest of the political processes of a healthy polis leading to its political system breaking own and degenerating into violence and internal warfare. For him, the condition that led to all revolutions was the desire of the many for equality versus the desire of the minority for effective superiority. In an overview of Book V of ‘Politics’, it can be gathered that inequalities in a regime such as disagreements over justice, profiteering, fear, contempt, dissimilarity, arrogance of rulers and too much power all led to social conflict. He proposed that, in democracies, revolutions often occurred because of irresponsible behaviour of the popular rulers, and in his opinion an extreme democracy was no different from a tyranny. Within…...

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