On 2014-03-10, at 2:49 PM, Carrol Cox wrote:
> Jason Hecht: ". . .the problem is they seem fairly powerless to change
> This is the reason radical left politics best flourish when life is
> improving, not when, as at present, life is getting worse. The media had a
> good label for it back in the '60s: Revolution of Rising Expectations.
Not necessarily, Carrol. The Greek left led by Syriza has become the strongest party in the country in a period when living standards have crumbled and life has gotten worse. War and the war-related deprivation and suffering inflicted on civilian populations can equally contribute to the growth of revolutionary left movements and parties. The Bolshevik revolution is the most notable example, but there are many others. It's true, as you say, that job security and rising expectations of a better life can embolden the masses to push forward to realize it; the militant strikes of the 30's coinciding with the first signs of recovery from the Great Depression are evidence of that. But I don't think there is any strict correlation between social and political unrest and the state of the economy. Mass explosions result from the convergence of many factors, and history shows they have appeared in good times and bad.