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At work, there is a guy named Jimmy with whom I debate many things, the best Hot Dog in L.A. (Carney's), the best Burger (In-n-Out) and why revolutions that lead to dictatorships are not good for living people. Jimmy, takes the opposite view. Here is my view of modern revolutions, great and small:
Jimmy likes to cite Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez as better men then President Bush. If Revolutions are so great, why didn't the United States have any internal revolutions? Because, after India, most revolutions are simply a path to power. How are the people representated if they cannot vote? How are the people allowed to voice their opinions if their press' and television stations are shuttered? Or if they are thrown in prison for being devient?
The maturity of a political system is how the transfer of power occurs and if there are Central bankers still working in the country. Can anyone say that Castro has eased the path to power for a new generations of Cubans? Or is Chavez going to give up the reigns of power peacefully?
Even the Heathlander believes in Revolutions -- however, his version of the Palestinian Revolution means the death of every Israeli man, woman, and child from the Red Sea to the Galilee. What do Jimmy and the Heathlander have in common? They both live in the comforting light of civilization, at the upper reaches of the economic strata, and they both expect others to die for their beliefs. Sorry, but it's true. The Heathlander hasn't left for the Gaza Strip yet to promote his beliefs.
When I studied History during College, I read of the February Revolution of 1917. The new Government that formed was learning to be responsive to the Serfs for the first time since the Flood, and then came the October Revolution which begat Stalin. Under one party states, the Jews are the first to go (i.e. Stalin, Hitler). Just because you overthrow the old regime does not mean the new regime comes with democracy or capitalism.
Here is where America's two foreign policies gets involved:
Using Nixonian Realism, after the Revolution, the new dictator sets up shop. America allows the Dictator to kill his own people (and thus fomenting a future rebellion) and play chess in the balance of power games. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Under Wilsonian Idealism, the Revolution is squelched by the neighbors and maybe the U.S. Democracy begins and trade circulates, people live after the time of transition is over. The President and parliament play poker in the United Nations with their neighbors. There is a secure transfer of power. Roads are built, schools open, business' flourish.
Jack Kemp had something to say about Revolutions, it still rings true now:
"The only true 'Permanent Revolution' the world has seen is the American Revolution,"