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Social Psychology and the Paradox of Revolution

By Torbjörn Tännsjö


According to the gunman theory, many revolutions do not take place, in spite of the fact that the majority stands to gain if they can put an end to the oppression exercised over it, since a gunman can see to it that egoistic individuals have no incentive to take part in revolution. Champions of the idea that there is a paradox of revolution go further: Even if individuals care about the common good, they will not take action. This is wrong. If they care about the common good, revolution will take place. This is good news. The bad news is, however, that those conditions we find in social psychological literature, which are helpful to the revolutionary cause, tend to be undermined by the oppressive system when it is well-functioning

Topics: Postprints
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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