POL128: POLITICS AND FILM ESSAY
Thursday March 13, 2015
Revolutions are facts that have changed the world and has helped many nations become what they are today. Revolutions can take on different forms, some may be driven with violence while others are driven with peace. This concept of revolution was first related to the “Aristotelian notion of cyclical alterations in the form of government” (Britannica, 2013), whereas now revolution is more of a drastic change from corruption to a civilized system that meets the needs of society. To name just a few of the great historical revolutions in European history that have changed the world, include the English, French and Russian revolutions, which not only changed the system of the government, but also the economic system, social structure, and the cultural values of each of these nations.
During the historical time periods, revolutions were seen as very destructive and violent, specifically looking at ancient Greece to the European Medieval Times. Greek philosopher Plato believed, that when a society has a strong set of beliefs and values, it can prevent revolutions. Aristotle went more in depth in this matter and described that if a society’s culture and values are very weak, they will be prone to a revolution (Mandel, 2003). At the time of the middle ages, the regulation of the firm beliefs of the government were the priority for all of its society. The religious authorities had a lot of power in influencing that the church made people accept the lack of fairness of power, instead of creating stability in the society. For them, power was the key to living a well life in the middle ages (Dunn, 1994).
Once humanism began during the Renaissance, the concept of revolution as an unlawful act of society change to create a more present understanding of revolution. The sixteenth century Italian writer by the name of Niccolo Machiavelli brought the idea of how important it is to create a state that could withstand threats of revolution. This idea brought Machiavelli at the most important spot of modern revolution, though he never mentioned revolution in his books, he did in fact bring importance to the creation of a stable and secure state (Britannica, 2013).
Another important role in the creation of revolution is the 17th century English writer named John Milton, who believed that revolution has the ability to help society reach its highest goal. He also viewed revolution as a right to society to help them defend against oppressive rulers, and creating needs that are wanted by the great society. According to John Milton, revolution was the way of creating freedom for the greater good of society. As time moved to the 8th century, the French and American revolutions tried to create freedom from abusive and disruptive power (Nietzel, 2012). An 18th century German philosopher by the name of Immanuel Kant, believed that revolution will advance mankind to become the best. Immanuel Kant also viewed revolution as a “natural” movement into the understanding of a high foundation of ethical goodness for society. This helped create the path as a template for the American and French revolutions.
In the 19th century, another German philosopher by the name G.W.F. Hegel was an important and crucial starter in the formation of the 20th century revolution cause. He viewed revolutions as the achievement of human cause, and the leaders of revolutions as the ones responsible to create the renewal of the society (Mandel, 2003). G.W.F. Hegel’s theories were the cornerstones for the most “influential revolutionary thinker”, by the name Karl Marx. Karl Marx used Hegel’s ideologies as the basic formation for the creation of class struggle, based on the idea of the fight for control of the economic actions of the people (Almond, 2011). Karl Marx believed that there should be a progression in stages for human advancement,...
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