3. November 2012
Revolutionary mass upheaval generally weakens the people's respect for authority, law, and discipline; and it brings in its wake social, economic, and political disorders, facilitating the establishment of an authoritarian regime. The French Revolution was based on the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity; but the destruction of the old social and political fabric, and the failure to institutionalize the new ideas, led Frenchmen to search for “the man of genius destined at once to carry on and to abolish the revolution.” The Russian Revolution of 1917 was also followed by several years of civil war, which led to the establishment of the ruthless totalitarian regime of Stalin, itself reminiscent of the Thermidorian Reaction. In Algeria, Cuba, China, and North Vietnam, successful mass armed revolutions have been consolidated only because of their one-party dictatorships.
Talukder Maniruzzaman was Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science at Rajshahi University at the time he wrote this article. He is now Professor of Political Science at Dacca University. Much of the material contained here is not available from other sources. The Editors are grateful to the author for permission to edit and abridge his original manuscript, and to Susan Hadden for carrying out this task.
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