[FFT] “Somehow revolution always seem to be just around the corner. Along with the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus.”

“Yeah, people have been predicting them since the 18th century and they never happen, other than the American one in 1776. And the French one in 1789. The Haitian one in 1791 too, but that was connected to the French one. But that was just the tumultuous 18th century. Nothing much happened after that.

“Well, the Serbian Uprisings happened in the early 19th, but that was Eastern Europe, a troublesome part of the world. And you can say the same about the Mexican one in the 1810s, being in Latin America. Likewise the Paraguayan Revolt and the May Revolution in Argentina. And Uruguay and Colombia, of course. And Mexico again in 1822. None in the Western world though. Other than when France went again in 1830. And Belgium. That’s just crazy Europe though, not North America. Except for Texas in 1835.

“But nothing really happened after that. I mean let’s ignore 1848, with revolutions in France, Italy and Germany. Weird year. There was the Meiji Restoration in the 1860s, but that’s the other side of the world. The 1868 revolution in Spain was an aberration. Well, if you ignore the Paris Commune of 1871. And the Philippines Revolution of 1896 was far away. But anyway, that’s all pre-1900. It was a troublesome period.

“After that there was just the Mexican Revolution of 1910. And the Portuguese one the same year, and China the year after. There were the Russian Revolutions of 1917, of course. But these are all far away things. They wouldn’t happen in stable English-speaking countries. Other than the Easter Rising in the UK. That’s the Irish though – they’re not a very stable people like, say, the Germans. I mean the Germans had a revolution in 1918 of course, but that was following a war. And Egypt’s one in 1919 can be explained in other ways. We can put the 1920s revolutions in Italy and Mongolia down to the war’s aftereffects too. It’s a bit harder with Brazil’s one in 1930, but let’s put that to one side. Also the 1932 one in Thailand. It wouldn’t happen in a Western democracy right? Well, other than the Spanish Revolution of 1936. That wasn’t a major power like, say, China, however. Although they did go in the 1940s. But most revolutions are more along the lines of the Egyptian one in 1952. But like Algeria, Iraq, Angola, Eritrea etc, that can all be put down to colonization. And all those revolutions of the 1970s and 1980s happened in backwards non-educated places, like… um… Iran. Well, at least they were all in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Except that one in Portugal. And Poland. And Hungary and Czechoslovakia. And Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. And Romania. All that was down to Cold War politics though. Barely counts. We’ve been a much more stable place since that ended.

“I mean there were those events in Albania, Ethiopia and Bosnia, of course. But that was early 90s in the Cold War aftermath. Not later. Other than the 1998 one in Indonesia. Not the new millenium though. Other than Georgia and Ukraine. And Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan and Nepal. And the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria of course.

“Anyway, my point is that these are all things that have special circumstances. They all happened in places suffering from a polarized angry society. Or war exhaustion. Or gridlocked political systems. Or financial and economic crises. Or rampant class inequality. Or governments operating outside the rule of law. We’ve got nothing to worry about.”




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