Violent revolution

Violent political revolution

The use of force, whether by the regular armed forces or by guerrilla, terrorist or other subversive tactics, may be used initially to achieve revolution and may continue to be used in order to suppress the populace and certain key institutions or industries. Such violent means, when used to achieve social, political, economic, cultural or ideological revolution, may result in death, mutilation, massacre, internment without trial, torture, civil or guerrilla war, or social and national disintegration culminating in foreign intervention. It may also lead to repression. This in turn may cause social or national disintegration, counter-revolution and foreign intervention, or civil and guerrilla warfare.


It has been demonstrated again and again that not only are the ends of revolution corrupted by the tent that noble ends justify all means, but the dynamic of revolution brings bad government. The violence and authoritarianism needed to bring revolt to success reproduces itself in the new regime, sometime much worse than before. The kind of people who emerge as compelling leaders are seldom the kind of people who are willing and able to manage a decent government and practice the inspiring visions that they preach. Real stability comes from suppleness and flexibility, the capacity to perceive shifting needs and bend to them. That is not the legacy of romantic revolution but tedious reform.

(D) Detailed problems