What is a revolution?
Many do not know what a revolution is, we give the definition of revolution, and will also review the basic theory of this social phenomenon.
Revolution as a social phenomenon
When we are talking about a revolution, most people gives it a political meaning. Although in a broad sense, revolution is any radical change in any sphere. For example, the revolution of labor, education, or production. From the Latin word «revolution» is translated as «upheaval» or «conversion».
Revolution is always radical, deep and rapid changes in human development, nature or the world in General. With the revolution associated leap in development. That is why, this term is contrasted with evolution, which describes a smooth, incremental changes. Also, revolution, and distinguished from the reforms.
Revolutionary changes may be in the following areas:
- Nature (geological revolution).
- Social development (the Neolithic revolution).
- Economy (revolutionary trade).
- Culture (revolution literature).
- The demographic revolution.
- The scientific revolution (the emergence of a new high-quality knowledge in the Sciences), etc.
Initially, the term was used in such areas of knowledge as chemistry and astrology. In scientific use the term «revolution» was introduced by Nicholas Copernicus.
What are the causes of the revolution?
If we talk about revolution, about the social and political upheaval, we can highlight the following causes:
- An unstable economy. The population of any country is acutely aware of any problems in the economic sphere, whether the increase of the government debt, inflation or unstable exchange rates. All this leads to riots, which is a consequence of the price increase. Of course, higher prices for goods and services due to the unstable economy and a number of economic problems. In such a situation, people are scared, they try to find a solution, and find it in the revolutionary uprising.
- The divergence of opinions of the elites. Each state has their own elite: the political, economic, cultural and others. The ideology of one of the elite may differ significantly from the ideology of another elite. It brings discord in the stability of views on the future of the country. Elite that puts forth the opinion opposite to the majority, can create political opposition and negotiate with the ruling elite in the revolutionary context.
- Mobilization of the masses. We are talking about human resources that are mobilized for extension of the opinion of the authorities. Mobilize is a revolutionary negotiations. People see only the revolutionary way of communication and acts accordingly.
- Ideology. The ideology of the majority may not coincide with the ideologies of the minority. Usually, the ideology imposed on the minority through various methods: violence, the impact of technology, etc. Dissenting minority objected to the imposition.
Classification of revolutions
Revolution can be classified in different ways. We give the most simple and logical classification. In political science and sociology, revolution is divided into political and social.
- The social revolution is revolutionary changes associated with the change of public formations, with the result that one social structure is changing others.
- Political revolution is revolutionary changes associated with the replacement of one political regime to another. In some cases, the revolutionary advent of the new political elite can also be considered a political revolution.
The main feature of any revolution is considered to be a complete replacement of the old regime to the new one.
A significant contribution to the development of the theory of the revolution made by Karl Marx. He divided the revolution into the bourgeois and the socialist. Every revolution, according to Marx, leads to the change of formation. For example, after the bourgeois revolution, feudalism changed to capitalism. And socialist revolution leads to the replacement of capitalism to socialism. Each of these formations corresponds to a separate form business, form of economic and market relations.
We must highlight this type of revolt as a national liberation. The aim of the national liberation revolution is the liberation from alienation from the dominant nation. Such rebellion inherent in the colonial and conquered countries.
It is worth noting that the history knows many examples when the revolution did not succeed. Rebels do not always have the opportunity to convey to the ruling elite their point of view. Because of this, they are often arrested and even killed.
Scholars from different Humanities had different ways of evaluating the social phenomenon of revolution. Consider the most interesting theories about the revolution.
The Theory Of Pitirim Sorokin
Pitirim Sorokin, a distinguished Russian sociologist familiar with the revolution firsthand. The fact that during the October revolution of 1917 he fled to America. Sorokin is a very negative attitude to any revolutionary uprisings, including their morally poor. He talked about the fact that victory in the revolution is achieved too high a price, the price of many lives. There is quite logical question: and whether there are resulting changes lives? For Sorokin, the answer is obvious, clearly not.
In his opinion, to change the situation, we have to compromise. From the government, this compromise are the reforms. If the state is dissatisfied and disagree, easier to go to meet them and to fulfill a number of wishes. It will be humane and fair. Moreover, after properly introduced and implemented reforms, the number of dissatisfied citizens will decrease. This will lead to the extinction of revolutionary sentiment among the masses.
Karl Marx’s Theory
Marx and Engels developed their theory (which was later called «Marxist»), earlier than Sorokin. The Marxist theory of revolution is completely the opposite of the previous theory.
According to Marxists, the need for a revolutionary upheaval is just huge! The rebellion needed people in order to change the bourgeois capitalist formation on the proletarian socialist. This change of formation should have a positive impact on the development of the economy and mass consciousness.
Marx believed that the formation of socialism should change to the formation of communism. Communist society he considered the highest social good. Therefore, in order to build a society of equality and justice required a revolution.
Psychological theory of revolution
The representatives of this theory – James Davis and Ted of Gurr. In their opinion, any rebellion can be explained by the presence in the human psyche-conscious and unconscious mechanisms. People do not want to be poor but, at the same time, it strives not to be socially isolated. In other words, he wants, he did not remain poor. This pushes him to join the mass such as dissatisfied as he is.
Thus, the reluctance of poverty is due to the conscious components of the human psyche, and the desire to be part of a revolutionary crowd – unconscious. The result is a revolution, riots and uprisings.