Revolution

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(from L. Revolutio action or effect of turning over, revolve). A sudden, profound change that implies an important break with the previous model and the emergence of a new one. There are a number of different types of r.: social, political, cultural, scientific, technological. In social life we observe social, national and anti-colonial revolutions, among others. Social revolutions differ from military and political coups in that they lead to profound transformations of the entire social, economic and political structure of a system, and to the rise of a new type of sociopolitical culture. The term r. often implies swift, radical change, generally achieved through violence. This is not, however, the essence of r., and thus it is possible to conceive of non-violent r., such as that proposed by N.H. (*Worker ownership). Revolutions are frequently accompanied by civil wars, massive destruction of accumulated wealth, impoverishment and hunger for the majority of the population, which, in turn, tends to provoke reversals and the triumph of counterrevolution.