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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some Factors that can Help a Revolution Succeed

Andrew Miller, a journalist at The Economist who witnessed the colour revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan has come up with a useful “checklist” of some of the factors that can help a revolution to succeed .

● “Critical mass”: small demonstrations of 5,000 people can be ignored or suppressed. But half a million people in the streets is another matter.
● Weak or divided security services.
● Some independent media.
● Money.
● Serious corruption, which Mr Miller argues is “generally the main mass motivator”.
● Opposition leaders who have served a stint in government.
● A history of rebellion from which lessons can be learnt.
● Strong support in the capital city.
● A rigged election that provides a spark for the revolt.
● A divided ruling elite.
● A sense of revolutionary momentum from events overseas; Europe in 1989 and 1848 show that revolution can be catching.
● External help.
● The use of violence by the authorities, which can either make or break a revolution.

Every element on these two lists is now present to some degree in Iran – with the possible exceptions of division within the security forces and significant external assistance

link: / Columnists / Gideon Rachman - Check-list for an Iranian revolution


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