Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

It is hardly a question of either the "right" or "left" hijacking someone else's revolution. Looking at the variety of models from works such as Crane Brinton's classic The Anatomy of Revolution or Hanna Arendt's On Revolution, we can see that too much depends on initial questions.

In other words, it depends on the issues being debated, and on who's in charge to be overthrown.

The Nazi Revolution or Franco's fascist state were every bit as revolutionary as the Russian or French models, by measuring social class upheavals and other quantifiable data.

There are other markers, such as that complete revolutions like the Russian 1917, French 1789, or Nazi always redraw the provinces and subsdidiary geographic units.

Complete revolutions also come approximately 270 years apart, and can easily be followed by several semi-revolution overthrows, as in Mexico or France.

The most advanced work on the subject is in "Politicometrics" on the web.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby , PA

Mar 2 2009 - 3:16am

Web Letter

It seems that global capitalism is not disintegrating as the author claims. There are risks inherent in the system and companies will always fail. The whole idea of capitalism is that when one company fails, that opens up opportunities for others to come in. It's not supposed to just go on status quo forever, nothing in life can exist like that. Change is the only constant in life, and this is a period of transition. There are negative and positive effects of the current economy--e.g., a young graduate like me can afford a house, where two years ago it would have been hopelessly out of reach. Capitalism hasn't failed, this is just a part of the ride we call life. Everyone goes through ups and downs, and the economy is no different.

Jesus Morales

Raleigh, NC

Mar 1 2009 - 9:28pm

Web Letter

The current depression represents the failure of globalization. When you outsource industries and jobs overseas to a few countries for the sake of cheap labor, along with insourcing cheap labor from other countries, you destroy a market. The jobs of ordinary consumers support at least two-thirds of Western markets. No jobs, no disposable income, and no market! Because there is no markets, the goods produced by the few countries with cheap labor cannot be sold, and the cheap labor in the producing countries are laid off.

For well over 200 years, American markets were protected, and we had an independent, self-sustaining economy. A foreign company could produce goods with American workers in the American market. Similarly American companies built factories oversea employing local workers supporting their own market. If the market in one country failed, that failure might have little effect on the operations, workers and consumer base in the other country or countries. However, each branch of the overseas business could not be dependent on parts from another country. Stock portfolios should be diversified for safety, and companies need to be diversified in different markets to employ and serve different consumers. This is how you stop social unrest, and it is cheaper than a police state.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Mar 1 2009 - 12:47am