Global Swings of the Political Spectrum:
Cyclically Delayed Mirror Waves of Revolutions and Counterrevolutions
Institute for Research on World-Systems
University of California, Riverside
Draft v. 10-17-18 29240 words
This is IROWS Working Paper # 124 available at http://irows.ucr.edu/papers/irows124/irows124.htm
To be presented at the California Sociological Association Conference at the Mission Inn,
Riverside, CA, Nov. 9-10, 2018. Session: Global Social Change. Organizer: C. Chase-Dunn.
This paper is a multidisciplinary attempt – combining world history, political science, sociology,
and global studies – to analyze the constantly changing power-dynamics of political revolutions
and social movements on the global scale. My goal here is to gain a deeper and better
understanding of the underlying geopolitical “laws of motion.” In order to identify the primary
characteristics of such phenomena, I have transposed these global movements on the political
spectrum. The overwhelming majority of relevant social science literature has been focusing
only on revolutions and revolutionary waves (on the left); therefore, in my view, incomplete.
Most of it is largely ignoring or barely exploring the subsequent – and equally significant –
counterrevolutions and counterrevolutionary waves (on the right). Furthermore, there are violent
or peaceful interregna (in the center) by which these global political and social cycles have been
historically interrupted from the French Revolution to the present, according to my research
findings. Based on the global unit of analysis, I take a closer look and examine the global swings
of the political spectrum since 1789 – produced by global waves of revolutions, as well as by
equally powerful, cyclically delayed (mirror) waves of counterrevolutions. Finally, based on my
conclusions – drawn from plenty of historical evidence and built on a conceptually structured
timeline – I am formulating new geopolitical ideas and new geosocial concepts, as well as
proposing new theories of global sociopolitical (r)evolution in modern history…hopefully
contributing to the rapidly growing body of knowledge in current multidisciplinary research.
The central concept of this paper is political power. It is a contested concept, primarily based
on political authority, which has been questioned and challenged throughout human history.
Political power is derived from political ideology and closely associated with military and
economic power – in addition to religion and culture historically, as well as science and
technology in recent centuries – the fundamental building blocks of modern societies. These
diverse concepts are interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent. They are the driving forces
of social movements, whose primary target and main goal is to achieve political power in the
heart and center of social change. Based on my sociopolitical analysis from the historical and
comparative world-systems perspective, my underlying assumption is that revolutions are
followed by equally powerful counterrevolutions; consequently, revolutionary waves are
followed by equally powerful counterrevolutionary waves. However, this particular dynamic
(double movement) is incomplete; it is an oversimplified version of a more complex political and
social process. Thus, in addition to the first movement (action on the left) and the second
movement (reaction on the right), there is a third movement (interaction in the center),
completing the cycle and transforming the power dynamics into “power trinamics” as we shall
see in the following subchapters. The ultimate purpose of this complex process – a triple
movement – is to achieve a balance of power, primarily a balance of political power, which
would result in a long-term or ideally permanent political, economic, and social equilibrium.
However, this particular balance or equilibrium is never permanent; it is always delicate, short-
term, and temporary. In order to gain a better understanding of these complex phenomena and
obtain a more complete view of the “big picture,” my goal is to contribute to the body of
research and scholarship, as well as the academic and intellectual discourse on the correlation
between these fundamental forces of political and social change. Carefully examining and
comparatively analyzing major social movements since the origin of the concepts of the political
left and right just before the French Revolution in 1789, I observed cyclically delayed mirror
waves of revolutions and counterrevolutions, interrupted by various periods of interregna or
interludes throughout world history and human sociocultural evolution. Subsequently, I
formulated a theory and created a theoretical model, as well as a conceptual graph of global
swings transposed on the political spectrum, to illustrate the cyclical nature of these global
political and social movements, as well as their subsequent, cyclically delayed counter-
movements, interspersed by global interregna, interludes, and other global periods.
Triple Movement Theory – A Political Theory of Social Movements and Social Change
The first movement (action) – protests, demonstrations, riots, rebellions, revolts, revolutions –
originates from the lower classes of the social structure in a given society, according to the
social hierarchy of the given polity (tribe, chiefdom, kingdom, city-state, nation-state, empire).
The first movement is a movement to the left on the political spectrum, causing social disorder.
It has a destabilizing effect on society, resulting in a disequilibrium or imbalance, and ultimately,
after a successful revolution, leading to social change and creating a new social order.
The second movement (reaction) – counterprotests, counterdemonstrations, counterrevolutions –
comes from the upper classes of the social structure in a society, according to its social hierarchy.
The second movement is a movement to the right on the political spectrum, attempting to restore
social order and re-stabilize society; resulting in a further disequilibrium and a more substantial
imbalance, and ultimately, after a successful counterrevolution, leading to a sociopolitical and
socioeconomic re-dressing of the existing social structure and re-creating or re-forming the old
social order (status quo). Both the first and second movements have polarizing effects on the P.S.
The third movement (interaction) – wars, civil wars, diplomacy, truce, political compromise –
initiated by both the lower and upper classes and mediated by the middle class of the social
structure in a given society, according to its social hierarchy, after the first two movements.
The third movement is a double movement to the center of the political spectrum – a long-term
violent or peaceful process – resulting in a short-term political equilibrium and leading to a
temporary social balance, until interrupted by the first movement. Ultimately, the third
movement has a stabilizing effect on society by building a new social structure and establishing
a new social order based on peace treaties (after wars and civil wars), new constitutions (after
revolutions, counterrevolutions, and military coups d’état) as well as mutual agreements (after
successful diplomacy) by making political compromise in order to reach social consensus.
Global Pulsation Theory – A Sociopolitical Theory of Global Social Movements
The Triple Movement Theory can also be applied to international and global social movements.
However, the global version of the TMT (also known as the Global Pulsation Theory or GPT)
is completely different structurally as well as functionally, and considerably more complex.
First of all, in order to grasp its concept and fully understand the Global Pulsation Theory,
we have to create a spherical image (globe): we need to visualize the political spectrum in
three dimensions. After this conceptual image has been created, the process of centralization
becomes globalization, and the process of decentralization turns into deglobalization or anti-
globalization. Today, in the early 21st century, we are experiencing the increasing tension
between the centralizing forces of globalization (action – first movement – to the global center)
and the equally powerful decentralizing forces of counter-globalization (anti-globalization or
deglobalization). These are different but interconnected, interrelated, and in many cases,
interdependent sociopolitical and sociocultural concepts such as nation-states, national identity,
ethnicity, as well as different levels of economic development, different religions, religious
extremism, and global terrorism (reaction – second movement – away from the global center).
The first movement (global convergence or global integration) has a short-term stabilizing effect
on the still emerging global society, resulting in a temporary equilibrium and a delicate balance.
Theoretically, after a successful globalization (global revolution), it would lead to global social
change and would create a new global society – governed by a single global government, based
on global democracy. However, the concept of global governance, given the current geopolitical
and geosocial climate, is an idealistic vision…a naïve global utopia. Nevertheless, this powerful
idea has a historical trajectory, an academic scholarship, and an ongoing intellectual discourse.
The second movement (global divergence or global disintegration) is exactly the opposite. It has
a very real, negative, destabilizing effect on the slowly emerging, but largely still non-existent
global state and global society – resulting in disequilibrium and imbalance – and practically,
after a successful process of anti-globalization or deglobalization (global counterrevolution),
basically re-establishing the old global order as well as re-creating and re-enforcing the old
global political and social structure (global status quo). The third movement (by using the simple
linguistic tool of grammatical reduction to describe this particular global process) – global gence
or global tegration – is a double movement, a complex interaction. It is initiated by both the
centralizing forces of globalization (global revolution), characterized by the post-industrial
socioeconomic and sociocultural terms Americanization and McDonaldization; as well as the
decentralizing forces of counter-globalization (global counterrevolution), characterized by the
term glocalization, based on cultural hybridity and multiculturalism. The seemingly forced
political compromise and awkward social integration, as well as the superficial assimilation and
religious tolerance between the two interacting, equally powerful, opposite forces of the third
movement are generating a temporary equilibrium. However, they are also establishing an
unnatural balance at the same time, and ultimately creating an artificial, dysfunctional global
society, destabilized by local and regional conflicts, civil wars, economic sanctions, hyper-
nationalism, religious extremism, and global terrorism.
Note on the Nature of Human Sociocultural Evolution and Political Progress
Consequently, human sociocultural evolution in general (which is different from the
Darwinian concept of biological evolution, based on the process of natural selection by
adaptation to the environment) and the so-called political progress in particular, are not
progressive at all, they are not regressive either; they are (again, using the linguistic tool of
grammatical reduction), for lack of a better word to describe the process – ressive – in nature.
In political history, instead of natural selection, (unnatural) contra-selection has been applied
from the concept of divine right of kings to rule over their subjects (which was seriously
challenged during the English, American, and French Revolutions); to the overthrowing of
governments by dictators, often by military coups d’état in dictatorships (also challenged);
as well as to electing (as opposed to selecting) presidents in democracies (currently challenged).
“Democracy is a terrible institution; but it is the best we have…so far.” (Winston Churchill)
Prelude – Examples of Movements, Counter-Movements, and Super-Revolutions
My original or primary example comes from the natural world in general and classical physics in
particular, more specifically, from Newtonian mechanics. According to Newton’s Third Law of
Motion: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Similarly, there has been a
constant struggle throughout human history and sociocultural evolution as well, between political
actions and reactions; social movements and counter-movements; revolutions and
My secondary example comes from art history, architecture, and philosophy,
based on the sequence and counter-sequence of major milestones since the Dark Ages.
Renaissance was a revolution (rebirth) of classical Greek and Roman ideas and concepts,
including the notion that the Sun is the center of the solar-system (not the Earth) according to
Copernicus, and the view of renaissance humanism, which placed Man in the center (not God)
according to Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and other renaissance men.
Baroque was a counterrevolution – characterized by oversized, elaborate design, and excessive
ornamentation. Perhaps the best example is the quintessential symbol of absolute monarchy, and
the epitome of luxury, the Palace of Versailles near Paris – financed and lavishly decorated
by Louis XIV, the “Sun King” of France. Ironically, about a century later, just before the French
Revolution in 1789, Versailles was also the location and the Palace’s Assembly Hall was the
very place of the origin of the concepts of political left and right, as well as the home of historic
peace treaties. The period of absolute monarchy also facilitated and “officially endorsed” the
regressive notion of the Earth (not the Sun) as the center of the Universe; its epicenter is a hill in
Rome, and most importantly, God is the center (not man) and the Pope rules from the Vatican.
My third example comes from religion, more specifically, from Christianity.
The Protestant Reformation (1517-1648), initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others,
was a revolution against the Roman Catholic Church. The Counter-Reformation (1521-1648)
which had begun with the Diet of Worms (1521) and the subsequent excommunication of
Luther, was a counterrevolution against the Protestant Reformation, a reaction by the Roman
Catholic Church. The Jesuit Order (Society of Jesus), established in 1534, and recognized by the
Pope in 1540, played a significant role in the Counter-Reformation. The Jesuits were
instrumental and greatly influential during the Council of Trent (1545-1563) which reasserted the
power of the Pope, the Vatican, and the Roman Catholic Church. The Jesuits had, and still have,
a global mission, primarily based on charity, education, and research. The Protestant
Reformation and the Counter-Reformation clashed in the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) which
culminated in the Peace of Westphalia (1648), originating the concept of national sovereignty as
well as the European nation-state system, based on mutually accepted geographical boundaries.
The following examples come from political history. The English Civil War (1642-1649)
was a revolution against the King of England and his monarchy. The Parliamentarians, led by
Oliver Cromwell, defeated the royalists, and ultimately executed Charles I in 1649. Cromwell’s
commonwealth of England, Scotland, Wales, and (Northern) Ireland, later became the United
Kingdom, which gradually evolved into the British Empire in the subsequent centuries, and after
its decline, into the British Commonwealth. The period between 1649 and 1660 is known as the
Interregnum in British history. During the early years of this period, the English Diggers (1649-
1650) were a radical group of agrarian-socialist peasants and proto-communist farmers, led by
Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676); their revolutionary idea was the concept of the commons.
The English Restoration (1660) was a counterrevolution, restoring the monarchy by Charles II.
The Scientific Revolution was a superrevolution – giving us the scientific method, as
originally applied by Descartes, Galileo, Newton, Leibnitz, Huygens, Leuwenhoek, and other
pioneers of science. The next major milestone in the history of western political thought was the
Glorious Revolution (1688), establishing a new form of government, constitutional monarchy (as
opposed to absolute monarchy), based on popular sovereignty. John Locke’s political concept of
consent by the governed as well as his other ideas had a major influence on the political
philosophers of the Enlightenment, especially Hume, Rousseau, and Thomas Paine – greatly
influencing Thomas Jefferson and his fellow Founding Fathers of the United States of America.
The Enlightenment in the 18th century, the Age of Reason, was a revolution of thought
and philosophy, including political, economic, and social philosophy, promoting rational
thinking, and clear, logical reasoning. Its primary characteristics were secularism, scientific
inquiry, and political innovations, including freedom of speech, press, religion, and free
assembly. The key political concepts of this revolutionary period were democracy, the separation
of church and state, the abolishment of slavery, social and economic equality, and basic human
rights. The most influential thinkers and political philosophers of the Enlightenment were Locke,
Hume, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, and the classical liberal economist, Adam Smith.
The Counter-Enlightenment in the late 18th and early 19th century was a
counterrevolution of feelings and emotions against the rational thinking and logical reasoning of
the Enlightenment (foreshadowing romanticism), the precursor to romantic nationalism and
heroic patriotism. Its primary characteristics were based on the underlying assumption that social
hierarchy is natural, normal, and inevitable, according to tradition and clericalism – as opposed
to “enlightened” revolutionary ideas and secularism. The key concepts of this counter-movement
were ultra-royalist monarchy, religious fundamentalism, and authoritarian conservatism. Notable
thinkers and philosophers of the Counter-Enlightenment were de Maistre and Chateaubriand, as
well as Edmund Burke, “the father of conservatism,” who published the first major political and
social criticism of the French Revolution in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790).
The Industrial Revolution was (and still is in the most underdeveloped parts of the world)
a superrevolution – which had begun in England, circa 1712, when Thomas Newcomen first
managed to pump out water from a flooded coal mine, using his newly invented steam engine.
James Watt later significantly improved Newcomen’s steam engine and made it more efficient –
making possible and paving the way for the subsequent inventions of steam boats, steam ships,
and steam locomotives, ushering in the transportation revolution as well as various machines
powered by steam, speeding up the manufacturing process in the early factories, thus playing an
essential role in the manufacturing revolution. All these major inventions and innovations led to
fundamental social change, first in Europe, later in North America, and ultimately, all across the
globe. Consequently, the Industrial Revolution – in addition to the Enlightenment – created the
pre-existing economic and social conditions for political change; it was the precursor and a major
cause of the subsequent revolutions on both sides of the Atlantic.
Trans-Atlantic Transition and Transmission of Revolutionary Ideas and Concepts
After the Glorious Revolution in England (1688-1689), greatly influential works of the English
political philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) the “Father of Liberalism,” and other thinkers,
philosophers, and writers, were printed and published in England. Locke’s Two Treatises of
Government (1689) laid down the groundwork for the new structure of modern government,
including classical republicanism and liberal theory, as well as the concept of “government with
the consent of the governed,” in other words, popular sovereignty versus absolute monarchy, as
well as parliamentary democracy, based on general elections. These revolutionary ideas –
translated and printed in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and later many
other languages – were widely circulated in Europe, and subsequently, in the American colonies.
Benjamin Franklin was a printer originally, and he printed (in addition to newspapers and
calendars) political pamphlets, as well as highly influential works in political philosophy, social
contract theory, and economic law – written by John Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau,
David Hume, Adam Smith, and others. These thinkers, philosophers, and authors of the
European Enlightenment (especially Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau) heavily influenced the
Founding Fathers of the United States, most notably Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) who wrote
the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (1776), justifying and legitimizing the
American Revolutionary War for independence from England and the British Crown.
As we have seen, without the invention of the first global mass-communication device,
the printing press, which revolutionized mass-communication through mass-production and
mass-circulation – as well as without the trans-Atlantic transition and transmission of
revolutionary ideas and concepts – global revolutionary waves would not have been possible.
In order to provide plenty of historical evidence to prove my triple movement theory, the
following subchapter consists of a structured (by no means complete) timeline of major events in
political history, as well as an (incomplete) list of political revolutions and social movements –
resulting in fundamental social change from 1776 to 2018 – including my notes and comments.
I. 1. The First Global Wave of Revolutions (1776-1830)
The Atlantic Revolutions and the First Wave of Global Decolonization
The first major revolution of the first global wave of revolutions, as well as the first major
Atlantic revolution during the first wave of global decolonization was the American Revolution.
Following the tragic events of the Boston Massacre (1770) and the Boston Tea Party (1773), the
Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in 1774, laying down the legal and political
groundwork of gaining independence from the British Empire, ruled by the King of England,
George III. The United States Navy was established in 1775, and the Revolutionary War broke
out later that year. Thomas Paine (1737-1809), the greatly influential political philosopher,
theorist and activist, as well as revolutionary, published his treatise Common Sense in January
1776, which was read by his fellow Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson. Paine’s other
works, The American Crisis (December 1776), Rights of Man (1791), The Crisis (1792), and The
Age of Reason (1794) had a great impact and influence on the establishment of the first
independent and free nation on the American continent. The Declaration of Independence was
signed by the representatives of the thirteen original British colonies on July 4, 1776 – the
official birthday of the United States of America. However, the colonies did not gain their
complete independence from England and the British Crown. It took a long war, which broke out
a year earlier, and lasted for eight years. Ultimately, the “American rebels,” led by George
Washington (1732-1799), defeated the British Colonial Army and the Royal Navy with
significant strategic help from the French in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The
British surrendered at Yorktown in 1781; however, the peace treaty was signed two years later
by Benjamin Franklin, and other English and French dignitaries in Paris, in 1783. Four years
later, in 1787, the Constitution of the United States of America was drafted and signed – greatly
influenced by the abovementioned thinkers and philosophers, especially David Hume’s essay
“Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth” (1752). The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789 – the
same year George Washington was inaugurated in New York as the first president of the United
States; and the French Revolution broke out in Paris.
The American Revolution (1776) and the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) was
a revolution against the British Colonial Empire, ruled by the King of England, George III.
It was the first major revolution of the World Revolution of 1789 – initiating the first wave of
global decolonization. The Declaration of Independence (1776) officially established the United
States of America, the first independent nation across the Atlantic, on the American continent
(if we exclude the pre-contact native American tribes, which call themselves first nations).
The political significance of the subsequent historical document, the U.S. Constitution (1787),
which is the oldest living constitution, and still in use today, was the innovative system
of checks and balances between the co-equal executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the
newly established U.S. Government. General George Washington could have been king or
emperor after defeating the British; however, he was elected and subsequently inaugurated in
1789 as the first president (not king or emperor) of the new nation, a new republic, the United
States of America.
The Origin and Evolution of the Political Left and Right – A Brief History and Timeline
The original Left – La Gauche – was formed in France as a political action against the Ancien
Regime (Old Order); the original Right – La Droite – was also formed in France, as a political
reaction against the Left. We can trace the origin of the political concepts of Left and Right back
to the Estates General, which convened (for the first time since 1614) in the Palace of Versailles,
near Paris, France, on May 5, 1789 – just before the French Revolution broke out. According to
the seating arrangement in the Assembly Hall, the First Estate (Roman Catholic Clergy) sat on
the right (in front of the president’s chair); the Second Estate (nobility and aristocracy) also sat
on the right (behind the clergy); and the Third Estate (commoners) sat on the left (all the way to
the back of the hall). The political situation in Paris – exacerbated by hunger, food shortage, and
the resulting social unrest – rapidly deteriorated in May and June. It got out of control by July.
Prelude to the French Revolution – The Swiss-American Conceptual Axis
The American Revolution, “The Father of All Revolutions” (which took place thirteen years
earlier), obviously had a major impact and significant influence on the French Revolution, “The
Mother of All Revolutions.” New political philosophies, new social theories, and new economic
concepts, which originated in the European Enlightenment (The Age of Reason), paved the way
and laid down the groundwork for the future European and American revolutions. The Founding
Fathers of the United States had already demonstrated that a successful political revolution is
possible – inspired by and based on the revolutionary ideas and concepts of the Enlightenment.
The Francophone Swiss Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) from neighboring Geneva,
Switzerland, was the most influential and most popular free thinker and political philosopher of
the French Revolution. His works were originally published in French, and subsequently
translated into English and many other languages. Discourse on Inequality (1754), Discourse on
Political Economy (1755), and The Social Contract (1762), had a major impact and significant
influence on future revolutions on both sides of the Atlantic. Rousseau’s revolutionary concepts
of political philosophy and social theory – including natural right, general will, popular
sovereignty, civil society, as well as direct democracy, positive liberty, and the moral simplicity
of humanity – undoubtedly inspired major political revolutions as well as provided the
conceptual blueprint and ideological foundation for social change since the 18th century.
The French Revolution
On July 14, 1789, thousands of poor, hungry, and desperate citizens stormed the Bastille—the
infamous fort and prison in Paris for political prisoners. Revolutionary France had its own
declaration (however, not of independence) on August 26, 1789: the French declaration of The
Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The French Revolution’s goal was to create a democratic and
just society, based on political and social justice, civil law, and human rights – expressed by the
famous and iconic slogan “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” The French Revolution (1789-1799)
was a political, economic, and social revolution against the Ancien Regime (Old Order), a
centuries-old political system, characterized by a rigid social hierarchy in the Kingdom of
France. However, the Revolution did not remove the King, Louis XVI from power immediately;
therefore the form of government was constitutional monarchy for three years. The King was
reduced to a mere symbol – just little more than a figurehead (until he lost his head, literally,
and became a headless figure after his execution). The monarchy fell in 1792. The National
Convention declared and subsequently established the First French Republic (1792-1804). The
royal concept of hereditary monarchy (based on the divine right of kings) and the feudal system
of the Old Order (dominated and controlled by the nobility and aristocracy) were abolished, as
well as the institution of slavery, at least temporarily. The French Revolution was the first major
movement to the left on the political spectrum and the first major victory for the political left –
completely reorganizing and restructuring the political and social structure of France by
transforming the entire French society in the increasingly violent process – culminating in the
Reign of Terror phase of the Revolution in 1793 and 1794.
The Origin of the Extreme Left and the First Red Terror
The moderate, center-left Girondins, led by Brissot, Roland, Condorcet, among others
(Charlotte Corday and Thomas Paine also associated) were dominant and more influential in the
Legislative Assembly (1791-1792) than the radical, far-left Jacobins (who were members of the
Jacobin Club). Nonetheless, these two opposing factions (proto-parties) shared political power
during this particular period, in order to make the increasingly difficult political process work.
The third “party” of the revolution was more exactly a paramilitary group or militia, wearing a
special uniform, the sans-culottes (men without fancy pants; more specifically, men without
white silk knee-breeches, worn by members of the upper classes, including nobles, aristocrats,
and the wealthiest bourgeois). However, by September 1792, the Jacobins turned against the
Girondins (who were gradually shifting to the right) and grabbed the political power in the newly
elected National Convention – transforming themselves into the first political party on the
extreme left of the emerging and rapidly polarizing political spectrum. The Jacobins, led by “The
Incorruptible” Robespierre, Danton, Marat, Saint-Just, and Desmoulins, also known as the
Montagnards or the “Mountain” (they sat on the highest seats on the far left in the assembly hall;
as opposed to the Girondins who sat on the right) were instrumental in carrying out the
subsequent Reign of Terror – the original Red Terror – culminating in thousands of executions
by the guillotine, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, as well as twenty-two leaders of
their political rivals, the Girondins, in 1793.
The Origin of the Extreme Right and the First White Terror
After purging from the National Convention and subsequently executing their fellow Jacobins,
Danton and Desmoulins, with their followers, on April 5, 1794, Robespierre and Saint-Just as
well as twenty Montagnards and more than hundred Jacobins were also purged from the
Committee of Public Safety by the Thermidorian Reaction and executed by the guillotine the
next day, on July 28, 1794 – the greatest public execution in Paris. Finally, the first and
“original” Red Terror was over in France. However, during the subsequent White Terror in 1794
and 1795, the pendulum had swung from the extreme left all the way to the extreme right on the
political spectrum; thousands of Jacobins, Montagnards, and sans-culottes, as well as their
followers and sympathizers were beaten, tortured, imprisoned, or executed in retaliation.
Following the White Terror, the French Directory (1795-1799) was established (replacing the
Committee of Public Safety), led by five directors, but dominated by Paul Barras (1755-1829)
who was originally a Montagnard and a supporter of Robespierre. The Directory was overthrown
by a coup d’état in 1799; Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) became the First Consul (de facto
leader of France). The French Consulate was replaced by the First French Empire in 1804.
Extreme Political Violence on Both Sides of the Global Political Spectrum
As we have seen, political terror, state terror, and domestic terror are not new concepts; they
have been around for centuries. These tragically extreme phases of systematically organized
political violence on a mass-scale have resurfaced time to time in history, for example, during
the civil war after the Bolshevik Revolution in Soviet-Russia (both Red and White Terror); in
Hungary, during (red) and following (white) the glorious 133 days of the Communist Revolution
in 1919, as well as after the brutal crushing of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956; in the Soviet
Union under Stalin; in China under Mao; in Cambodia under Pol Pot (although the correct
term here is genocide) etc. – just a few examples from a long list. It seems like the high ideals of
humanity, secularism, and equal human rights, such as “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” as first
advocated by the French Revolution, failed miserably. These political ideas and social concepts
really did set the high tone (and the high bar) probably too high; however, they still resonate and
inspire political revolutions and social movements today. Indeed, we are still struggling to live
up to these high ideals and moral standards as well as political philosophy in the 21st century.
The first major rebellion inspired by the French Revolution – the Haitian Revolution
(1791) – was the first and only successful slave revolt against the colonial system of the French
colony on the Caribbean island of Saint Domingue, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture. The uprising
of the black slaves turned into a long war for independence from France, and resulted in the
declaration of the independent Haiti by Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1804.
The Latin American Revolutions (1810-1828) were revolutionary wars, fought by former
colonies in Central and South America, against the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires.
During this period, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador,
Bolivia, and Uruguay gained national independence from Spain in the 1810s and 1820s; Brazil
became independent from Portugal in 1822.
The last revolution of the first global wave of revolutions was the July Revolution (1830),
in Paris, France, against the Bourbon Restoration (1814-1830), establishing the July Monarchy.
I. 2. The First Global Wave of Counterrevolutions (1799-1815)
Napoleon became the First Consul (de facto leader) of the new French Republic in 1799.
He led the counterrevolution against the Republic, culminating in crowning himself Emperor of
the French in 1804, and establishing the First French Empire (1804-1814/1815). Napoleon’s
counterrevolution, his wars, and his empire characterized the first major movement to the right
on the political spectrum and it was the first major victory for the political right.
In 19th century France, the Old Left consisted of the supporters of the republic – free
thinkers, urban citizens, civil servants, students, young intellectuals, workers, and peasants
(mostly poor secularists) who held revolutionary views. The Old Right consisted of the
supporters of the monarchy and the empire – the clergy, the nobility and aristocracy, legitimists
and ultra-royalists (mostly wealthy Catholics) who held counter-revolutionary views.
The Bourbon Restoration (1814-1830) by Louis XVIII and Charles X, respectively, was
an unsuccessful counterrevolution in itself – a failed attempt to restore absolute monarchy. The
constitutional monarchy was unable to reverse most of the major political changes and radical
social reforms – implemented by the French Revolution and subsequently by Napoleon,
fundamentally transforming and restructuring French society between 1789 and 1815.
The War of 1812 (1812-1815) was an ultimately unsuccessful counterrevolution against
the young and still developing independent nation of the United States – a failed attempt by the
British Empire to reverse the American Revolution and reestablish colonial rule on their former
colonies in North America. The British were defeated, but not before they burnt down the White
House, the Capitol, and the Library of Congress, in the new capital, Washington D.C., in 1814.
I. 3. The First Global Interregnum (1815-1848)
After the Napoleonic Wars (and even before Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo), the
Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), the Holy Alliance (1815), the Concert of Europe (1815-1823),
and various peace treaties symbolized the first global movement to the center of the political
spectrum, in order to create a temporary balance of power, a short-lived equilibrium.
While the congress, the alliance, and the concert as well as the treaties resulted in relative
peace in Europe until World War I, there were major political and military conflicts and wars on
other continents during this period, including the Latin American Revolutions (1810-1828) in
Central and South America; the Siege of Algiers (1830) and the subsequent establishment of
French Algeria in North Africa. About a decade later, in Asia, the major conflict was the First
Opium War (1839-1842) between the British Empire and Imperial China ruled by the Qing
Dynasty. The decisive British victory – based on military and naval superiority as well as
successful “gunboat diplomacy” – effectively ended the Canton system (1757-1842) and resulted
in unequal treaties for China, major economic concessions and extraterritorial rights for the
British, in addition to five major treaty ports, and Hong Kong became part of the British Empire,
according to the Treaty of Nanking (1842). Gunboat diplomacy – “protecting” economic rights
by military means, especially by naval power – was also used later by the United States.
Another major conflict in Asia in the same period was the First Anglo-Afghan War
(1839-1842), which was part of the so-called “Great Game” (1830-1895) – a geopolitical power
game between the British Empire and the Tsarist Russian Empire for territorial gains in Central
Asia. A few years later, in North America, the major armed conflict was the U.S.-Mexican War
(1846-1847) and the subsequent Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) which greatly expanded
the territory of the United Sates.
The Origin of the American Political Left
In the arena of political contestation, we can trace the origin of the American political left
back to this period. The original Democratic Party of the United States was established in 1828
by Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) and his supporters, laying down the foundation of Jacksonian
democracy – rooted in the political character, nature, and mission of Jeffersonian democracy.
Jackson’s original democratic party has evolved into a completely different political party in the
last two centuries. The political orientation of the current Democratic Party is center-left to
moderate left, and sometimes radical left. Generally, its voter base consists of (but not limited to)
the American middle and working class. Based on a progressive platform, the political ideology
of the Democratic Party is characterized by social liberalism, socioeconomic equality, greater
government intervention, economic and financial regulation, welfare state, social justice, social
programs, stronger labor unions, higher wages, universal health care (currently front and center),
affordable college tuition, equal opportunity, consumer protection, environmental protection,
immigration rights (currently front and center), equal rights for minorities, civil rights, women’s
rights and reproductive (abortion) rights, LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage, as well as
first and second amendment rights or gun laws (currently front and center of constant political
debates as a result of the increasing number of hate speeches, hate groups, and mass shootings).
Also during this period, after the July Revolution (1830) in Paris, France, the new King
Louis-Philippe and his supporters, the Orleanists, made a political compromise with the radicals
and the revolutionaries – establishing a more liberal and more progressive constitutional
monarchy, known as the July Monarchy (1830-1848) – marking the shift from royal to national
sovereignty. In this political atmosphere and social system, a new social science emerged in
France – Sociology – a term coined by Auguste Comte (1798-1857), who was mentored by the
influential political and economic theorist and utopian socialist, Saint-Simon. Comte, the
“Father of Sociology,” was part of the counterrevolution in Paris, France after the July Revolution (1830) – as a born aristocrat and a conservative young bourgeois (Rightist) thinker, philosopher, and social scientist – the first sociologist.
The Origin of the British Political Right
Meanwhile, the British political right was born in the United Kingdom – the British
Conservative Party was established (also known as the Tories) in London, England, in 1834.
After countless historic transformation, the current political orientation of the British
Conservative Party is center-right to moderate right. Historically, its voter base consists of the
British aristocracy, the nobility, as well as the British middle and upper class, based on a
conservative platform. The political ideology of the British Conservative Party is primarily
characterized by social conservatism, traditionalism, economic liberalism, and British unionism.
We also need to mention several different social experiments, more specifically, utopian
socialist communities in Europe and the United States during this period – inspired by the
innovative ideas and new social concepts of the utopian socialists of the early 19th century,
including the French political philosopher and economic theorist (Comte’s mentor) Henri de
Saint-Simon (1760-1825), his fellow French philosopher and radical socialist thinker, Charles
Fourier (1772-1837), and the Welsh social reformer, one of the founders of the co-operative
movement, Robert Owen (1771-1858). The ideas, concepts, and theories of these utopian
socialists had a significant impact on the evolution of political, economic, and social thought,
and greatly influenced the subsequent development of scientific socialism and modern
communism by Marx and Engels.
II. 1. The Second Global Wave of Revolutions (1848-1871)
The European Revolutions of 1848
Less than a year before the revolutions swept across Europe, the first major international political
party was established in London, England, in June 1847. The Communist League (1847-1852)
was created from the merger of the League of the Just, headed by Karl Schapper, and the
Communist Correspondence Committee, led by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, among others.
The Communist League was the first Marxist political party; as such, positioned at the far left
or the extreme left on the political spectrum, and adopted the red-color flag for the first time.
The Communist League was formally dissolved after the Cologne Communist Trial in 1852.
Marx and Engels wrote their famous manuscript on the request of the Communist League in
1847, and the first edition of the Communist Manifesto was published in February 1848, just
before the Revolution broke out in Paris, France – ushering in perhaps the most extensive and
most feverish wave of revolutions in Europe, known as the “Spring of Nations” in 1848.
Tragically, most of these revolutions had failed or had been brutally crushed by various
coalitions of counterrevolutionary forces, including the subsequent Revolutionary War in
Hungary (1848-1849) for national independence from the Habsburg Empire, dominated by
Austria, and centered in Vienna.
In the same year of the European revolutions of the Spring of Nations and the publication
of the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels, the British philosopher and political economist
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) also published his famous and greatly influential classic textbook
Principles of Political Economy (1848) in London, during the early Victorian era in England.
The publication of Mill’s book was basically an academic and intellectual counterrevolution
against Marx and Engels’ radical and revolutionary political pamphlet. The Principles of
Political Economy constructed a theoretical bridge between Adam Smith and Ricardo’ classical
economics and the neoclassical ideas of Alfred Marshall, followed by John Maynard Keynes’
concepts of modern economics called Keynesianism.
Meanwhile, in the United States, there was a feverish wave of, not political revolutions,
but an upsurge of religious revival movements (mostly new Christian groups), especially on the
East Coast, more specifically, in Upper State New York. We can also find the origin of the first
wave of feminist movement in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848.
The Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) was a massive pseudo-Christian rebellion turned into
a long, full-scale civil war in the southern provinces of Confucian-Daoist-Buddhist China –
fought between the Heavenly Kingdom Movement (led by Hong Xiuquan, who believed that he
was Jesus Christ’s younger brother) and the Manchu-led Ching dynasty. During the enormous
conflict, an estimated 20 to 30 million people died.
The First International, also known as the International Workingmen’s Association
(1864-1876) was the first major coordinated effort by the Old Left – promoting internationalism.
During this period, the first volume of Marx’s Das Kapital was published in 1867.
Following France’s defeat by the newly united, rapidly rising Germany in the Franco-
Prussian War (1870-1871), the Paris Commune (1871) was a failed attempt to create a more just,
more egalitarian, and more democratic society in France; however, it did succeed politically by
establishing the Third French Republic (1870-1940).
II. 2. The Second Global Wave of Counterrevolutions (1851-1871)
After the short-lived Second Republic, Napoleon III came to power via military coup d’état
in 1851 – a successful counterrevolution in France – which subsequently established the Second
French Empire (1852-1870).
The Origin of the American Political Right
The Republican Party of the United States, also known as the Grand Old Party (GOP) was
established in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854. After going through several major changes and
reincarnations, the current political orientation of Lincoln’s Party is center-right to moderate
right, and most recently, far right with extreme right elements – built on a conservative to
moderate, and currently, a radical political platform. The voter base of the GOP is generally
composed of the American middle and upper class; however, it has a growing working class
profile, especially since the 2016 presidential election cycle. The current political ideology of the
Republican Party is characterized by American conservatism, traditional values, Judeo-Christian
ethics, small government with minimal intervention, strong national defense, free market
capitalism, free enterprise, financial deregulation, and restrictions on labor unions. The GOP
dominated U.S. politics between 1861 and 1933 (with the exception of the Wilson
administration from 1913 to 1921.
This period was marked by major wars in Eastern Europe, Asia, and North America.
The Crimean War (1853-1856), was part of the “Great Game” between the Victorian British
Empire and the Tsarist Russian Empire in the 19th century, and resulted in an Allied victory, led
by the British, against Russia. The Second Opium War (1856-1860) ended in a humiliating
defeat of Qing China by the superior British and French military forces – gaining ten more treaty
ports and more economic concessions in the process, as well as the establishment of diplomatic
legations, according to the Treaty of Tientsin (1858), in addition to a substantial indemnity of
millions of taels of silver. The international (and intercontinental) conflict culminated in the
Convention of Peking (1860), which completely reconfigured and reestablished the balance of
power between the East and the West, including the political, economic, and social relations
between China and the major European powers; even Tsarist Russia got a piece of the action by
establishing the major port city of Vladivostok in 1860. During the same period, British colonial
rule in India was challenged by the Sepoy Rebellion (1857-1858), which ultimately failed, and
was brutally crushed. About the same time, the Siege of Tourane, or present day Da Nang (1858)
and Saigon (1859) marked the beginning of French colonial rule in Indo-China. Shortly after,
thousands of miles away, there was another major political and military conflict in North
America; the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) between the rapidly industrializing northern states and
the overwhelmingly agricultural southern states, based on the plantation-system and the
institution of slavery, which was abolished by President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation
(1863). The American Civil War ended in 1865 (according to a current wave of popular opinion,
it never did) with the final defeat of the “rebel states” in the South by the ultimately victorious
(militarily and politically, as well as economically, socially, and culturally superior?) North. This
particular separation painfully resembles – especially in the much larger context of globalization
– the Global North - Global South division.
II. 3. The Second Global Interregnum (1871-1914)
This particular period is characterized by the slow decline of the British Empire (but still much
faster than the current decline of the American Empire), and the rapid rise of the new European
power, Germany, as well as the first appearance of the United States as a future global power.
The decline of the British Empire was characterized by the dissolution of the British East India
Company (1600-1874) as well as imperial over-reach, including the Second Anglo-Afghan War
(1878-1880) and the Boer Wars (1899-1902) in South Africa, during which the long reigning
Queen Victoria died in 1901 – marking the end of the Victorian era as well as the undisputed
global domination of the British Empire.
The rise of modern Germany had begun with the German unification process between
1815 and 1871 (which coincided with the unification process of Italy – the prerequisite and the
primary foundation of the subsequent establishments of both fascist Italy in 1922 and Nazi
Germany in 1933, respectively). Following the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), which
culminated in a humiliating defeat of France by the militarily superior Germany (largely based
on Prussian military tradition and power), the German Empire (1871-1918) was established,
where else, at the Palace of Versailles, near occupied Paris in defeated France, during a lavish
ceremony in January 1871. The dominant driving force of this period in German history was
Prussian power politics, characterized by a major player of the Old Right – being a conservative
Prussian statesman – Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) “the Father of Modern Germany” who
dominated German and European affairs, based on his forceful realpolitik. Quite simply, the
rapidly rising German Empire wanted a piece of the global pie. Consequently, Bismarck presided
over the Berlin Conference (1884-1885) – a notorious gathering of the major colonial powers for
the “Scramble for Africa” – ushering in the era of “New Imperialism.” As a result of the
conference (during which the automobile was invented – a symbol of German engineering
and industrial power), Germany got its colonies, and the German Empire became the German
Colonial Empire. Belgium (which was only recently established as a nation-state in 1830) and
ruled by Leopold II, also got its colony – Congo – in 1890.
The United States Gets a Piece of the Global Pie (1898)
After the Civil War, the United Sates experienced a process of rapid industrialization, especially
in manufacturing and mining, fueled by coal, steel, and later oil, and the subsequent rise in
productivity and industrial output. The new prosperity was made possible by building thousands
of factories, an extensive transcontinental railway system, banking and financing, as well as the
new American inventions of long-distance communication devices, such as the telegraph (1844),
the Transatlantic Cable (1858) and the telephone (1876). By the 1880s, the United States became
a major industrial power – in order to celebrate and show off the new America which had arrived
on the global stage – a World Fair and Exhibition was held in Chicago, in 1893. In the same
year, the monarchy was overthrown in the Kingdom of Hawaii by American (and European)
landholders and capitalist business interests, including sugar and other monopolies. Five years
later, finally, the United States got a few (small) pieces of the global pie. The “magic year” was
1898, when Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam and Samoa, as well as Hawaii, officially
became U.S. possessions, and subsequently, U.S. territories. Cuba and the Philippines gained
their independence; however, Puerto Rico and Guam are still U.S. territories, and Hawaii became
the 50th state of the U.S. in 1959. President Theodore Roosevelt adopted from the British and
successfully used “gunboat diplomacy” to enforce his Big Stick Policy…paraphrasing him,
“Speak softly, but always carry a big stick!” Meanwhile, in Europe, the Second International
(1889-1916) was the next major gathering and coordinating effort by the Old Left – further
promoting and emphasizing the international character of socialism and communism.
The Origin of the British Political Left
The British Labour Party of the United Kingdom was established in London, England, in 1900.
After going through a long evolution, marked by major changes, coalitions, and reincarnations,
the current political orientation of the Labour Party is center-left with radical left elements, built
on a social-democratic, socialist, and trade-unionist platform. Its voter base is historically and
traditionally the British working class. The current political ideology of the British Labour Party
is characterized by greater state intervention and government control, social justice, worker’s
rights, affordable health care, higher wages, salaries, and pensions, and the reduction of
Another major political and military conflict during this period was the Boxer Rebellion
(1899-1901), culminating (again) in the humiliating defeat of Imperial China – still ruled by the
Manchu-led Qing dynasty – by a military coalition of eight different empires and nations.
Meanwhile, back in Europe, Vladimir Lenin (still in exile) published his radical action program
in a political pamphlet What Is To Be Done? (1902) in which he argued that in order to prepare,
foment, and execute a successful revolution, the leaders cannot be ordinary members of the
peasantry or the working class, but only “the vanguard party of professional revolutionaries.”
Following the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) which ended with the surprising defeat of the
Russian Empire by the rapidly rising, new military power of Imperial Japan, a revolution broke
out in Russia in 1905. Subsequently, in order to ease the political tension, Tsar Nicholas II
established the Duma in 1906, which he suspended shortly after.
The two major revolutions during this period were the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920),
led by Pancho Villa in the north and Emilio Zapata in the south; and the Chinese Revolution
(1911), led by Sun Yat-sen, resulting in the end of the Qing dynasty and imperial rule in China,
and culminating in the subsequent establishment of the Republic of China (1912-1949).
The First Global Conflict
World War I (1914-1918) was the first truly global political and military conflict – a failed
attempt by the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Turkish Ottoman Empire,
with their allies, to reconfigure and restructure the global balance of power. It was an ultimate
failure to create a new world order. The victorious Allied Powers of the declining British
Empire, France, the United States, and their allies were able to hold on to their global power,
including their colonies, possessions, and territories…for a while.
III. 1. The Third Global Wave of Revolutions (1910-1922)
The World Revolution of 1917
Theoretically, in retrospect, from a historical, political, and social perspective, the Mexican
Revolution (1910-1920) and the Chinese Revolution (1911) were part of the larger context of the
World Revolution of 1917, which consisted of a major wave of political revolutions in numerous
different countries on several different continents. The February Revolution in Russia (1917)
resulted in the abdication of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, ending centuries of Tsarist rule in Russia,
marking the end of the Russian Empire. However, the provisional government, led by Kerensky,
could not ease the increasing political tension, and was unable to solve the persisting economic
and social problems, in addition to continuing the fighting in World War I, which already had a
terrible impact and a demoralizing effect as well as disastrous consequences for both the military
at the front and the civilian population at home. A few months later, in the same year, the
Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution (1917), led by Lenin, was the first successful communist
revolution – the first major victory of the Old Left. For the first time, the pendulum had swung to
the far left, or the extreme left, on the global political spectrum. Lenin delivered on his promise
of “Bread, Peace, and Land” (at least temporarily) by distributing free food for the hungry
workers and free land to the peasants as well as pulling out the Russian troops from World War I
after signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918. However, soon after the revolution,
Soviet-Russia descended into a long and bloody Civil War (1918-1922) – a failed counter-
revolutionary attempt – alternating between the retaliatory cycle of White Terror and Red Terror.
During this period, the German (Communist) Revolution (1918-1919) also failed, led by Rosa
Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht; both of them were assassinated in January 1919. The
Hungarian (Communist) Revolution (1919), led by Bela Kun and Tibor Samuely, established a
short-lived Soviet-type republic, existed only for a “glorious 133 days.” In the same year, the
Third (Communist) International, the COMINTERN (1919-1943) was established in Moscow –
openly and actively promoting as well as emphasizing and advancing the international character
of socialism and communism, culminating in the ultimate goal of a world revolution. Meanwhile,
in Mongolia, following a successful communist revolution, a long-term, Soviet-type republic was
established in 1921. After the Civil War in Soviet-Russia, the Soviet Union was established in
1922 by Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and others. Subsequently, the USSR implemented a rapid
modernization project, including the ambitious plan of an extensive electrification process
(GOELRO). However, following Lenin’s early death in 1924, a political power struggle ensued –
ultimately resulting in Stalin’s victory over his comrades in the Kremlin, Moscow, and more than
a decade later, in the assassination of his arch rival, Trotsky, in Mexico City, in 1940.
III. 2. The Third Global Wave of Counterrevolutions (1922-1939)
This particular period was characterized by the March on Rome (1922) led by Mussolini, and the
subsequent establishment of fascist Italy (1922-1943); the crash of the New York Stock
Exchange (1929) followed by the Great Depression in the 1930s; the military invasion of
Manchuria (1931) and the occupation of China (1931-1945), including the “Rape of Nanking”
(1937), in addition to the invasion of Korea, and later French Indochina (Vietnam), the
Philippines, Guam, as well as several other islands in the Pacific by Imperial Japan, ruled by
Hirohito (seems like the Japanese Empire also wanted a piece of the global pie and they were
not done yet). Meanwhile, in Europe, Hitler came to power in 1933 as chancellor, marking the
establishment of Nazi Germany (1933-1945). Following his victory in the Spanish Civil War
(1936-1939), General Franco became the fascist dictator of Spain in 1939. For the first time, the
pendulum of the global political spectrum had swung all the way to the far right or extreme right.
The Keynesian Revolution – The Last Great Stand of the Old Global Left
During the Great Depression, the British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)
challenged the concepts and theories of classical and neoclassical economics, since those were
unable to solve the immense economic and financial problems of the 1930s, including massive
unemployment, high inflation, and low demand, as well as extreme poverty. Consequently, he
published his classic book The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936),
revolutionizing economic thought and 20th century economics. Keynes’ modern theory of
macroeconomics, known as Keynesianism, played an essential role in saving the capitalist global
economy between the 1930s and the 1970s. According to Keynesian principles, during severe
economic downturns, such as depressions and recessions, the public sector, especially the
government, needs to intervene and play a bigger role in order to stabilize the economy and
achieve a relative equilibrium, by overhauling fiscal and monetary policy, implementing various
rules and regulations, as well as creating higher aggregate demand, federal jobs, mass
employment, and public projects, in addition to providing some kind of financial safety net or
social security. This particular formula of Keynesian macroeconomic principles turned out to be
a winning formula – successfully pulling out the capitalist world economy from the Great
Depression by the end of the 1930s. During World War II, the United States got a big boost from
the high volume of production by the booming war economy. Keynes and his fellow economists
met at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, and established several key global financial
institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as the
General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which later evolved into the World Trade
Organization (WTO). Keynesian economic principles were widely implemented and used by the
governments of the capitalist world economy until the 1970s; they were gradually replaced by
neoliberalism. However, during the Global Financial Crisis and the Great Recession (2008-?),
Keynesianism returned and enjoyed a renaissance; there were massive interventions by the
federal governments to bail out major banks and corporations, especially in the United States, in
order to save the capitalist global economy…again, for the second time…thanks to John
Maynard Keynes and his resurrected economic principles, this time, neo-Keynesianism.
The Second Global Conflict
World War II (1939-1945) was the second truly global political and military conflict – a failed
attempt by Germany (again), Italy, and Japan, with their allies to reconfigure and restructure the
global balance of power. It was an ultimate failure to create a new world order…for the second
time in the 20th century. The victorious Allied Powers (again) of the United States, the Soviet
Union, the rapidly declining British Empire, France, and their allies, were able to hold on to their
global power – including their colonies, possessions, and territories – for the moment, but not for
too long, only until the second wave of global decolonization in the subsequent decades. World
War II had produced two superpowers – the United States and the Soviet Union – as well as
created a bipolar world order, based on their global balance of power, respectively, during the
Cold War (1945-1991).
We need to make a few honorable mentions here about global political leaders on both
sides of the political spectrum. Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was the last global leader of
the Old Right, and the leader of the British Conservative Party during the second global conflict.
He was the longest-serving member of the British Parliament (1900-1964) as well as a life-long
defender and supporter of the British Empire. Churchill served as British Prime Minister during
World War II (1940-1945) and again (1951-1955). He survived both of his fellow global leaders,
U.S. President F.D. Roosevelt (who died in 1945) as well as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin (died
in 1953) who was Churchill’s counterpart on the opposite side of the global political spectrum as
the global leader of the Old Left. Winston Churchill died in 1965 at the age of 90.
III. 3. The Third Global Interregnum (1945-1963)
The Cold War (1945-1991) established a bipolar world order and a bipolar global structure –
based on a relative global political and military equilibrium between the two superpowers, the
United States and the Soviet Union. This delicate balance of global power was checked and
reinforced by the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), after both superpowers
developed nuclear weapons – the United Sates, atomic bomb (1945) and hydrogen bomb (1952);
the Soviet Union, atomic bomb (1949) and hydrogen bomb (1953) – as well as Intercontinental
Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s) in the subsequent decades. The Cold War was also characterized by
the opposing political ideologies, as well as the different economic systems and social structures
of the democratic and capitalist United States (center-left to center-right) versus the totalitarian
and communist Soviet Union (far left to extreme left on the global political spectrum).
The Second Wave of Global Decolonization (1945-1980)
Following World War II, dozens of former colonies gained their national and political
independence from their former colonizers – Indonesia from the Dutch (1945); the Philippines
(1946, although U.S. military bases and installations remaining on the islands up to this day);
India as the former crown jewel of the British Empire (1947); as well as several former colonies
in Asia and Africa, became independent from the rapidly declining Dutch, British, French,
Belgian, Spanish, and Portuguese colonial empires, respectively, who lost practically all of their
colonies during the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s.
The Post-War Triumph of the Old Global Left
Immediately after World War II, the Red Army “liberated” Eastern Europe; however, the
liberation quickly became military occupation, and later political domination as well.
Subsequently, the Soviet Union installed communist regimes in Poland, Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, and East Germany between 1945 and 1949 – led by
puppet dictators, who were directed, controlled, and closely monitored by the Kremlin from
Moscow. Yugoslavia, led by Tito (the only communist leader who dared to oppose Stalin and get
away with it) was an exceptional case – the only country expelled from the Soviet bloc, in 1948.
The Chinese (Communist) Revolution (1949) was another major triumph of the Old Left with a
long-lasting and global significance, culminating in the establishment of the People’s Republic
of China or PRC (1949–), declared by Mao Zedong in Beijing, on October 1, 1949.
The major political and military conflicts of this particular period were the Korean War
(1950-1953), ending in a stalemate and resulting in the division of the Korean Peninsula between
the totalitarian and communist North Korea and the democratic and capitalist South Korea up to
this day; the Egyptian Revolution (1952) led by Nasser; and the humiliating defeat of the French
at Dien Bien Phu (1954) in North Vietnam, led by Ho Chi Minh and General Giap, marking the
end of French colonial rule in Indo-China. This period was also characterized by covert political
operations orchestrated by the CIA, more specifically, the removal of two legitimate and popular,
democratically elected leaders – Mossadegh in Iran (1953) and Arbenz in Guatemala (1954).
The Bandung Conference (1955) was a major political conference, held in Indonesia, which
symbolized the second wave of global decolonization (it was well underway for ten years since
1945) as well as signaled the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement, and marked the rise of the
Third World countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
New Left – Europe
The Hungarian Revolution (1956) was officially a counterrevolution in the Soviet Union, the
Eastern European countries of the Soviet Bloc, and in China until 1989. It was an early, failed
attempt to cut the ideological and political ties with the Soviet Union and break away from its
sphere of influence. The uprising, which broke out on October 23, lasted only for twelve days; it
was brutally crushed by the Red Army on November 4, 1956. However, the Hungarian
Revolution was a major turning point in the history and evolution of the Global Left – leading to
the generational, ideological, and political transition from the Old Left to the New Left.
The influential thinkers and philosophers of French Existentialism – especially Jean-Paul Sartre
(1905-1980) and Albert Camus (1913-1960) at the peak of their fame and popularity – harshly
criticized the brutal crushing of the Hungarian Revolution by the Soviet Union, and publicly
spoke up against political domination by military means, as well as published papers and articles
(mostly Camus) about the retaliation and the quick reestablishment, as well as the powerful
reinforcement of Soviet-type communist rule in Hungary.
The Frankfurt School (established in 1923) was (and still is to a certain extent) a
significant and influential school of political and social thought, as well as cultural and critical
theory and philosophy. The Frankfurt School had been originally associated with the Institute for
Social Research at the Goethe University, in Frankfurt, Germany. The F.S. was influenced by
Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Weber, Simmel, Lukacs, among others, respectively – more
specifically, a synthesis of their major theoretical concepts, including critical philosophy,
dialectical and historical materialism, scientific socialism, comparative historical analysis,
psychoanalysis, existentialism, antipositivism, and cultural criticism. The notable theorists of the
Frankfurt School were Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) the “Father of the New Left” as well as
Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm, and Jürgen Habermas.
The Frankfurt School had a major influence on the intellectual development of the New Left.
New Left – Great Britain (UK)
We can trace the origins of the British New Left back to the first wave of anti-nuclear
demonstrations in the 1950s. During one of these protests, in 1958, the iconic peace-symbol was
created, which became the universal sign of peace in subsequent decades – primarily used by the
anti-establishment groups of students and young people, including the anti-Vietnam war
movement, especially the hippies, and the counterculture of the 1960s and ‘70s. The British New
Left also had some roots in the literary movement of the “Angry Young Men” – led by the
playwright John Osborne – whose influential plays Look Back in Anger (1956) and The
Entertainer (1957) dealt with working-class themes, expressing anger and frustration as well as
disillusionment with post-war British society. The fresh, distinctive style of British art, film, and
literature in the late 1950s and early 1960s was characterized by a new catchphrase which
became a sociocultural buzzword: “kitchen sink realism.” The New Left Review – established in
London in 1960, originally edited by Perry Anderson (1938-) and still active today – was
another originator of the British New Left. The NLR had a substantial influence on the academic,
intellectual, and political development of the American as well as the New Global Left.
New Left – United States
C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) – the “Father of the American New Left” – was a radical thinker
and a political sociologist, as well as a social critic. A short list of his most influential works:
White Collar: The American Middle Classes (1951); Character and Social Structure (1953); The
Power Elite (1956); The Causes of World War Three (1958); The Sociological Imagination
(1959); Listen, Yankee (1960); and “Letter to the New Left” – published by the New Left Review
in 1960. Mills had a major impact and a significant influence on the intellectual development and
political evolution of the post-war generation, especially the emerging Marxist and neo-Marxist
groups, as well as other left-leaning students and young academics in the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s.
Left-Wing Student Activism and Student Movements in the United States
The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was established in 1960 and existed in different
forms and incarnations until 1974. Its first major achievement was the Port Huron Statement –
written and published by Tom Hayden and his fellow student activists in 1962. The group’s
radical wing was the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM) in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
The militant wing of the SDS – the Weather Underground Organization, also known as the
“Weathermen” – carried out violent attacks, including bombings, between 1969 and 1977.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was also established in 1960, and
existed until 1976. In addition to the student movements of the 1960s and ‘70s, including the
anti-Vietnam War movement, the SNCC also played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement.
However, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (as its name implies) had not always
been entirely a nonviolent movement; inspired by Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party,
SNCC had adopted an increasingly violent rhetoric as well as violent methods and violent
strategies by 1966, especially under the leadership of Stokely Carmichael.
Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968)
The underlying strategy of the CRM was civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance, as well as
boycott and other peaceful methods – inspired by Gandhi. The movement had begun in the 1950s
with the historically significant legal case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and its
landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court – overturning the controversial and divisive legal
concept of “separate but equal” by the infamous case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and ruling
that segregated schools are unconstitutional. The Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956) in
Alabama – initiated by Rosa Parks and organized by Martin Luther King Jr. – was a successful
economic and financial boycott by the local black community against the white business
establishment and white business owners, more specifically, against the local bus company.
The Little Rock Nine (1957) was a physical manifestation and a major milestone of school
desegregation – ruled by Brown v. Board of Education three years earlier – integrating nine black
students into the exclusively white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, under the
protection of the National Guard and federal troops, ordered by president Eisenhower.
The Cuban Revolution (1959) was a political revolution, led by Fidel Castro (1926-2016)
and Che Guevara (1928-1967) among others which removed the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio
Batista, and his regime – backed by the United States – from power. According to our
sociopolitical and socioeconomic micro-analysis, the Cuban Revolution underwent an
ideological and political as well as an economic and social evolution in the subsequent years, by
rapidly shifting from the center of the political spectrum to the left – first from moderate left to
radical left; later to the far left; and ultimately, to the extreme left. Again, this is a micro-anatomy
of a political revolution, more specifically, the rapid and radical movement from the center to the
extreme left on the political spectrum, in other words, a short-term evolution of a revolution.
Originally, it was an anti-imperialist revolution against U.S. imperialism – primarily against
American capitalism and American business interests. However, Castro, his brother, Raul, and
Che didn’t stop there; they soon turned against global capitalism, and their political, economic,
and social “experiment” became a socialist revolution by 1960. Consequently, the United States
severed its diplomatic relations with Cuba, and the Eisenhower administration implemented a
complete economic embargo against the island nation, only ninety miles from the shores of
Florida. Ultimately, the Cuban Revolution evolved into a full-fledged communist revolution –
establishing a close and powerful relationship with the Soviet Union as well as its Eastern
European satellites and China during the Cold War, in the spirit of communist internationalism.
After winning the election in November 1960, and being inaugurated in January 1961,
President Kennedy gave the orders to overthrow Castro and his regime. The covert operation –
orchestrated by the CIA and known as the Bay of Pigs (1961) – was a failed attempt of
counterrevolution against the Cuban Revolution. In the subsequent decades, there were literally
hundreds of unsuccessful attempts by the CIA and others to assassinate Castro and overthrow the
Cuban Government; all of them failed. Fidel Castro died in 2016, at the age of 90.
Meanwhile, there was a different kind of revolution going on just a few hundred miles
north of Cuba; the “revolution at the counter” took place in the southern states of America.
College students, organized by the SNCC as part of the Civil Rights Movement, protested
against racial discrimination by direct actions – lunch counter sit-ins – between 1960 and 1963.
The Freedom Riders, inspired by Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, also protested
against racial discrimination during the CRM by using a different method; showing solidarity,
black and white students rode buses together from the north to the south in the early 1960s.
At the same time in Europe, more specifically in East Germany, the Berlin Wall was
erected in August 1961, which quickly became the divisive and hated symbol of the Cold War.
In October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy and Khrushchev came to the brink
of a possible nuclear war, and just barely avoided World War III. The March on Washington –
led by Martin Luther King Jr. and culminated in his “I have a dream…” speech – was a massive
protest against racial hatred and racial discrimination, as well as a massive demonstration for
racial equality, jobs, housing, and equal opportunities for the black community in general. The
March on Washington, which took place on August 28, 1963, was the high point of the Civil
Rights Movement, and a peak experience in American society – the defining moment and moral
culmination of nonviolent strategy, civil disobedience, and other peaceful methods – inspired by
Gandhi and successfully used by the CRM to achieve its social, economic, and political goals.
Tragically, from this point on, American political and social history in general, and the
Civil Rights Movement in particular, took an increasingly violent and deadly turn, starting with a
white supremacist – a characteristically extreme right-wing – act of terror against the black
community (not the first one, and not the last one either, as we shall see). The Baptist church
bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 15, 1963, claimed the lives of four black
school girls. The assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963,
marked a low point; political violence reached the highest level of the U.S. Government – this
time from the extreme left.
IV. 1. The Fourth Global Wave of Revolutions (1964-1976)
Prelude to the World Revolution of 1968
After the assassination of JFK, his former Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in as the
new President of the United States. (Originally, the next passage was only a footnote; but
ultimately, it made its way up here.) Shortly after, during the mourning period as part of the
healing process of the American national psyche, especially for the young generation of baby
boomers who were still only teenagers, the timing was excellent: the Beatles departed from
England, crossed the Atlantic, and landed in America on February 7, 1964 – leading the
subsequent British Invasion – not military, of course, but cultural, more specifically, musical in
nature. Led by the Beatles and fueled by the unique socio-psychological phenomenon of the mid
‘60s, called Beatlemania – which had reached its fever pitch during the final stages of the Civil
Rights Movement and the early stages of the Vietnam War – the British Invasion was a powerful
British response and popular feedback to American Rock & Roll. Pop and rock music was even
more essential and more important than any military invasion or any political ideology (left or
right) for the teenagers, students, and young intellectuals in the 1960s – who would lead the
World Revolution of 1968, and two decades later, as middle-aged adults, the Eastern European
anti-communist and pro-democratic revolutions of 1989 – directly leading to the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1991, and subsequently, to the end of the Cold War.
On March 26, 1964, a pivotal meeting took place on Capitol Hill, in Washington D.C.,
between the two most influential black leaders of the 1960s – Martin Luther King Jr. and
Malcolm X met briefly (for the first and last time) during an open debate of the U.S. Senate on
the Civil Rights bill, which was on the top of the domestic agenda. King represented the
Gandhian tradition of civil disobedience, nonviolent resistance, and other peaceful methods,
adopted by the Civil Rights Movement; Malcolm X advocated the polar opposite of MLK’s
and the CRM’s approach – passionately expressed in his speech “The Ballot or the Bullet.”
The Civil Rights Act (1964) was a major victory for black America in the White House –
as well as the legal culmination of the Civil Rights Movement – while the Freedom Summer
claimed three innocent lives in Mississippi. In August 1964, the U.S. Congress passed the
Tonkin Resolution, effectively marking the beginning of the Vietnam War for the United States.
In Moscow, Khrushchev was replaced by Leonid Brezhnev as the Premier of the Soviet Union in
October 1964. Johnson was elected president in November. The Free Speech Movement, led by
Mario Savio, and other college students returning from the Freedom Summer, had begun at the
UC Berkeley campus, and gained momentum by December 1964. President Johnson was
inaugurated in January 1965; during his inaugural speech, he actually declared War on Poverty,
waged by his administration, as well as laid out the “utopian master plan” and “grand vision” of
his cherished Great Society – which would be completely swallowed up by the Vietnam War.
Black Nationalism – Black Separatism – Black Supremacy – Pan-Africanism
Meanwhile, a different, violent movement grew out of the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement.
At its core, there was a fundamentally different vision and a far more radical message: rejection
of integration into American society dominated by white people; rejection of the Gandhian
concepts of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance; and rejection of the Civil Rights
Movement’s nonviolent strategy and peaceful methods; among other violent and radical ideas.
Malcolm X – who was assassinated in February 1965 – was trying to justify political violence
“by any means necessary!” As a charismatic minister and spokesman of the Nation of Islam, he
preached racial separation versus racial segregation, which was a hallmark of black nationalism
and a slogan of black separatism as well as a powerful concept of black supremacy. Toward the
end of his life, Malcolm X devoted himself to the international concept of Pan-Africanism –
especially to the Organization of Afro-American Unity – based on his global perspective.
According to Malcolm X’s vision, there was a direct connection between the black people’s
struggle against white power for racial equality in America, and the black people’s struggle
against European colonial power for national and political independence in Africa.
By March 1965, as a result of the systematic bombing of North Vietnam, ordered by
Johnson and orchestrated by McNamara – codename Operation Rolling Thunder – the Vietnam
War escalated into a full-scale war, as it was justified by the Domino Theory of Southeast Asia.
The Voting Rights Act (1965) was another major victory for black America – the political
culmination of the Civil Rights Movement – while the Watts Riots in Los Angeles resulted in 34
deaths, in addition to more than 1,000 injured and more than 3,000 arrested, in August 1965.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act and the Higher Education Act were both passed by
Congress in the same year, as well as the federal healthcare agency, the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services, was also established by the Johnson administration in 1965; all of these
pieces of federal legislation were achievements of the Great Society.
The Black Power Movement
In the mid 1960s, the civil rights and the student movements experienced a radical shift
from nonviolent to violent strategy, from peaceful to increasingly violent methods by 1966.
The Black Power Movement was responsible for the radicalization and militarization of the
Civil Rights Movement. After the assassination of Malcolm X, the political activist Stokely
Carmichael (1941-1998) became the new face and the new voice of the violent wing of the
CRM in 1966 as the new leader of SNCC; he was also associated with the Black Panther Party
and later with the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party. Here are two of his quotes:
“There is a higher law than the law of government…the law of conscience.”
“Black power can be clearly defined for those who do not attach the fears of white America to
their questions about it.”
The Black Panther Party was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in
Oakland, CA, on October 15, 1966. The BPP represented a major change and a significant shift
from the nonviolent strategy and peaceful methods of the Civil Rights Movement toward a more
violent, militaristic approach. The Black Panthers were a radical, far-left paramilitary group,
inspired by anarchism and black nationalism, as well as Marxist-Leninist and Maoist political
ideology, i.e. revolutionary socialism and communism. They provided protection for the black
community against police brutality by the Oakland Police Department (“policing the police”).
The BPP fought against “white power” and racial discrimination – seeking revolutionary change,
especially for the black population of American society dominated by white people. By 1969,
their core activities shifted to organizing social programs and providing basic social services;
party membership reached its peak in 1970. After “surviving” (not all of them) the controversial,
drug-fueled and increasingly violent decade of the 1970s with only 27 members remaining by
1980, the Black Panther Party dissolved in 1982.
The Counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s
The counterculture was a revolution against the mainstream culture of American society – led by
the young generation of the 1960s and ‘70s. The basic ideology of the movement was
characterized by the overall rejection of the political, economic, and social power-structure of the
“Establishment.” The counterculture had an underlying and shared philosophy, which permeated
the youth movements; it was a powerful sociopolitical, sociocultural, and socio-psychological
“glue” that held these movements together in the ‘60s and ‘70s – including the last phase of the
Civil Rights Movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, and the hippie movement – fueled by
“sex, drugs, and rock & roll” while wearing jeans, beads, and, of course, long hair.
The San Francisco Diggers (1966-1968) were basically a theater group of street
performers who turned into radical left-wing political activists. They were inspired by the
original English Diggers (hence their name) and took some of their ideas and concepts as well.
The Diggers symbolically “buried” the concept of money during a publically staged symbolic
funeral (a conceptual street performance) called ‘The Death of Money” in December 1966.
They also opened and operated “Free Stores” in California and New York; providing free food
and free clothing as well as free music and free concert tickets. The San Francisco Diggers were
trying to establish a horizontal and egalitarian community – a “micro-society” without social
hierarchy and capitalism as well as without private property and money.
Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) FBI – J. Edgar Hoover (1956-1971)
Meanwhile, there was a counterrevolution against the political and social movements of the New
Left, as well as against the counterculture in the United States between the mid-fifties and
early seventies, culminating in the late 1960s. The leaders and primary activists of the New Left
and the countercultural movements (perceived as major threats to national security) were under
surveillance by the U.S. Government, more specifically, by a special counter-intelligence
program. COINTELPRO – the brainchild of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover – had opened and
maintained thousands of top secret files between 1956 and 1971 (recently declassified) and
closely monitored the political and social activities of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X,
Stokely Carmichael, the Black Panthers, the Weathermen, the Chicago Seven (originally
Chicago Eight) including social activist Tom Hayden (1939-2016) and political anarchists
Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) and Jerry Rubin (1938-1994), as well as radical intellectuals and
young professors, like Angela Davis (1944-) and many others. The COINTELPRO had also
maintained top secret files on influential artists and popular musicians, such as Elvis Presley,
Bob Dylan, and the Beatles – especially John Lennon – who wrote the song Revolution and
recorded it with his famous band in 1968. The point was that the short and soft naïve love songs
were replaced by longer and more complex protest songs and hard rock compositions, containing
meaningful lyrics with left-wing political messages, often expressing harsh social criticism.
The World Revolution of 1968
1968, in retrospect, to put that particular year in historical context, turned out to be the
sociopolitical climax and the sociocultural culmination of the Civil Rights Movement and the
anti-Vietnam War movement, as well as the counterculture – coupled with the artistic, musical,
and sexual revolutions of the 1960s – not only in the United States and Europe, but across the
globe. That year was the temporal center of a global political, social, and cultural movement; its
impact and influence, as well as its aftermath and consequences, are still felt today.
The World Revolution of 1968 was a global revolution from the Left – initiated by the
New Left and led by radical political and social activists, some anarchists, as well as young
intellectuals, especially college and university students. The Cultural Revolution in China
(1966-1976) was launched and led by Mao; however, it was carried out by radical students, more
specifically, by the overzealous, violent Red Guard, in order to purge the communist society of
“capitalist roaders” in the PRC. Meanwhile, in Europe, the first major student demonstrations
took place in Rome and Milan, Italy, in 1967. The Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia was another
failed, early attempt (just like the Hungarian Revolution in 1956) to cut the political ties with
Moscow and break away from the Soviet sphere of influence, as well as “to put a human face on
socialism,” according to Alexander Dubcek. Tragically, the Prague Spring was over by the
summer; the uprising was brutally crushed by a military coalition of the Soviet bloc – justified by
the Brezhnev Doctrine – on August 20, 1968. The originally peaceful student demonstrations and
protests turned into violent riots in major cities all across the globe, including Paris in May;
Chicago (Democratic National Convention) in August; and Mexico City, where the student riots
tragically culminated in the massacre of hundreds of protesting students on October 2, 1968.
In the United States, politically, that turbulent year ended with the election of President
Nixon in November; followed by his subsequent inauguration in January 1969. Shortly after his
plan of “Vietnamization,” Nixon talked about the “silent majority,” which was not so silent, and
not exactly a majority; in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, there were not only massive
demonstrations and protests against the Vietnam War, but also a growing number of
counterdemonstrations and counterprotests by the so-called silent majority against the students
and the hippies, supporting Nixon and the Vietnam War. Just like the revolution reached its peak
in a sociopolitical and sociocultural fever pitch by 1968 – according to the concept of cyclically
delayed mirror waves – there was a counterrevolution underway by 1969. The greatest gathering
of the counterculture took place at Woodstock in August 1969, where approximately half a
million young people (mostly hippies under thirty) got together to listen to rock music for three
days. By 1970, the anti-Vietnam War movement took a deadly turn on a college campus during a
demonstration; four protesting students were shot and killed at Kent State, Ohio. By 1971, an
increasing number of returning veterans actively protested against the war. John Kerry (who later
ran for president against George W. Bush in 2004) testified on Capitol Hill; after his powerful
testimony, hundreds of veterans threw their medals over the fence of the White House.
Following the Christmas bombing of North Vietnam (Operation Linebacker II) in December
1972, arguably, according to some military historians, the U.S. Air Force bombed Hanoi, North
Vietnam, and the Viet Cong into submission. Finally, an agreement was reached at the Paris
Peace Conference in January 1973; subsequently, the U.S. troops were withdrawn from Vietnam,
starting with more than 500 POWs. However, the war was not over yet for the Vietnamese; it
was still going on between the North and the South. Vietnam was still divided ideologically and
militarily, just like the United States politically and culturally; the American society was the
most divided since the Civil War, more than hundred years earlier. The American people were
more united during World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II, than they were during
the Vietnam War – due to its extremely powerful polarizing effect on the American society.
The World Revolution of 1968 gave birth to several political, social, and cultural
movements, in addition to the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, and the
counterculture. The Women’s Rights Movement (second wave of feminism); the Gay Rights
Movement (currently known as the LGBTQ Rights Movement) which started with the Stonewall
Riot in New York (1969); the Environmental Movement (the first Earth Day in 1970), the Clean
Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also in 1970, and the Green Peace,
established in 1971; as well as the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (lowering the voting
age from 21 to 18) also in 1971; and Roe v. Wade (a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme
Court on abortion) in 1973 – were all originated and produced by the World Revolution of 1968.
In the United States, perhaps the lowest point of American politics was Watergate – a
major political scandal from 1972 to 1974 – culminating in the resignation of President Nixon (in
order to avoid impeachment) in August 1974. His successor, Gerald Ford presided over the Fall
of Saigon; finally, the Vietnam War was over on April 30, 1975. The World Revolution of 1968
ended, arguably, with the Cultural Revolution in China – marked by the death of Mao Zedong on
September 9, 1976 – who was not only the first chairman of the PRC, but also the last global
leader of the Old Left.
Organized Labor Unions Preventing Revolutions? – The “Winnebago Effect”
A Micro-Analysis from the World-Systems Perspective
According to my research, I came to the conclusion that organized labor unions have been
successfully preventing major political revolutions in the core of the modern world-system in the
Global North (Western Europe, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc.)
since the American Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution (1789), respectively. For more
than two centuries, most of the major revolutions took place in the semiperiphery and the
periphery, including the Haitian Revolution (1791); the Latin American revolutions (1810s and
1820s); the European revolutions (1848), most of which were crushed; the Russian Revolution
(1917); the Communist Revolution in China (1949); the Cuban Revolution (1959); and the anti-
communist and pro-democratic revolutions in Eastern Europe (1989), most of which were
peaceful; as well as the former colonies of Asia and Africa in the Global South (periphery),
gaining independence from their former colonizers (core) between 1945 and 1980. All other
revolutions were crushed. Why there were no major (successful) political revolutions in the core
powers of Western Europe or in the United States, since the French Revolution?
One possible explanation is the evolution of labor movements since the Industrial
Revolution, more specifically, the gradual achievements of organized labor unions since the 19th
century. These labor unions were weak, isolated, and insignificant in the beginning, but they
became well-organized, united, and powerful by the 20th century – amassing a considerable
amount of collective bargaining power during their evolutionary process – eventually gaining
their historic momentum in the long, often violent conflict between management and labor. They
had to fight, step by step, for every single labor law, right, and benefit (originally, they had
none); there were no labor laws, no rights, no benefits. Smells like revolution, right? Not in the
capitalist societies of the West. This preexisting socioeconomic condition, in itself, should be
enough for a major political revolution; however, it never happened in the core powers of
Western Europe and the United States since the French Revolution (1789). Why not? Let's take a
closer look at the turbulent dynamics of this historic cause-and-effect relationship, or
sociopolitical and socioeconomic dance, if you will, between management and labor, presumably
preventing those revolutions in the leading capitalist societies of the Western Hemisphere for
over two centuries.
First of all, in addition to abolishing slavery and child labor, unions had to fight for better
working conditions; eight-hour workday; higher wages; paid sick days; family leave; health
insurance; unemployment benefit; social security; pension; etc. (just to mention a few from a
long list). By achieving these major goals and significant milestones – as opposed to
fundamentally changing their capitalist societies by socialist or communist revolutions – the
labor movement in general, organized labor unions in particular, drastically altered and
substantially reformed, as well as historically reinforced capitalism in the West...ultimately
rendering revolutions obsolete or unnecessary, especially in the core of the modern world-system
in the Global North. Consequently, the workers' wages have been (slowly but steadily)
increasing since the late 19th century; creating a robust and powerful middle class ("the 90%")
in the process, which is the central engine and primary driving force of each and every healthy
society. Furthermore, climbing up the ladder of social hierarchy, the managers' and professionals'
salaries have been rapidly increasing since the early 20th century – creating a specialized
subclass ("the 9%") on the top of the middle class – the political, academic, business, and
technological elite – the leaders, the inventors and innovators, the movers and shakers, the
cutting edge of modern (and postmodern) societies. Finally, reaching the top of social hierarchy,
the owners' and bankers' as well as the investors' and CEOs' of multinational and global
corporations super-salaries, incomes and dividends have been exponentially increasing since the
late 20th century – creating a tiny super-class ("the 1%") on the very top of the pyramid of social
hierarchy – the millionaires and billionaires, the financial elite of modern capitalist (or super-
capitalist) societies. The long-term cumulative effect and major socioeconomic impact of the
interactions and interdependence of these classes, groups, and individual players, resulted in a
rapidly increasing social imbalance, more specifically, a constantly growing economic and
financial inequality at the personal, national and international, as well as global level. In other
words, the income gap between the wealthiest top "1%" and the less fortunate bottom "99%" of
the global society is steadily widening in recent decades, despite the Global Financial Crisis
(2008?), leading to the so-called Great Recession.
This particular process, more specifically, this very long and still ongoing fight by the
organized labor unions, had begun more than 250 years ago in England (birthplace of the
Industrial Revolution); more than 200 years ago in France, after the French Revolution (1789);
more than 160 years ago in Germany and other Western and Central European countries, after
the European revolutions (1848); and more than 150 years ago in the United States, after the
Civil War (1861-65), including the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln, freeing the
slaves in 1863. Sadly, after Lincoln's assassination, subsequent U.S. Presidents became
increasingly corrupt, including Andrew Johnson (1865-69) and the former general and hero of
the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77). Corruption at the highest levels of the U.S.
government led to widespread corruption at all levels of American society, which in turn,
resulted in political turmoil, economic instability, and social upheaval, including demonstrations
and protests, as well as violent strikes and riots.
Some major milestones of the American labor movement: the Railway Strike (1877); the
Haymarket Riot in Chicago (1886) achieved the eight-hour workday and other benefits; although
child labor was still legal in the U.S. in the early 20th century, and it was not abolished officially
until 1910; the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City (1911) galvanized the first
wave of the women's rights (suffragette) movement, ultimately resulting, only nine years later, in
the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1920), granting women the right to vote; the
"Wobblies" in Seattle during the First Red Scare (1919); the federal bombing of the Miner Strike
(1921) led to several miners' rights and benefits, including higher wages, as well as new mining
laws, regulations, and mining safety procedures; a major counterexample is that the auto workers
at the Ford Plant were not organized into unions, because Henry Ford (1869-1947) paid his
employees an unprecedented $5 a day, which was a very high wage in the 1920s and '30s; GM
workers, however, staged a major strike in 1937; arguably, President Roosevelt almost single-
handedly prevented a socialist (or communist) revolution by implementing his comprehensive
government program, the New Deal, during the Great Depression – including major public
projects, most notably the Civil Conservation Cor. (CCC), the Tennessee Valley Authority, and
the Hoover Dam – putting millions of people to work, especially young men (who were able and
willing, and most likely capable of riots and rebellions, as well as revolutions); FDR also
established social security benefits in 1935. Many more goals, such as labor laws, rights,
benefits, work safety procedures, etc., were achieved by the American labor movement during
the peak period of organized labor unions between the 1930s and the 1960s in the United States,
including a major strike by the United Auto Workers (UAW) in 1962 (mediated by President
Kennedy himself), and a historic strike by the United Farm Workers (UFW) in California, led by
Cesar Chavez in 1965/66 (again, just to mention a few highlights from a long list).
Unfortunately, widespread corruption and mismanagement, as well as connection to organized
crime and other illegal activities put an end to the heyday of U.S. organized labor, led by corrupt
union leaders (Hoffa, Williams, Presser, etc.) in the 1970s and '80s. The long decay and gradual
decrease of labor unions' power and influence coincided with the rise of neoliberalism during the
Reagan administration and beyond, for decades to come.
In retrospect, from a historical perspective, we can see clearly that the poor workers and
soldiers in Russia, who stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd during the Russian Revolution
(1917), organized and led by Lenin, were so poor, they had nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing.
The poor peasants in China, who marched with Mao and followed him for decades, as well as
supported him in Beijing during the Communist Revolution (1949), were so poor, they had
nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing. The poor workers and farmers in Cuba, who fought with
Castro and Che Guevara in the mountains for years and entered Havana to remove Batista from
power during the Cuban Revolution (1959), were so poor, they had nothing to lose. Absolutely
nothing. However, even the poorest peasant, farmer, or worker in Western Europe and the United
States had (and still has) something to lose (and possibly nothing to gain) by a major political
revolution. Unlike their Russian, Chinese, or Cuban counterparts, they had accumulated (over
many generations) a small fortune, or at least some property of economic or financial value: a
small farm, a few animals, a house, some furniture, a tractor, a truck, a car, or a Winnebago
(sitting in the backyard with flat tires). Indeed, they had (and still have) something to lose, and
arguably nothing to gain by a revolution.
Consequently, according to my research, I argue that various labor movements, more
specifically, organized labor unions, have been successfully preventing major political
revolutions in the core of the modern world-system in the Global North (Western Europe, United
States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc.) for more than 200 years, since the American
Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution (1789), respectively. These labor unions became
united, well-organized, and powerful by the 20th century; amassing a considerable amount of
collective bargaining power. Using different methods to fight for their specific demands, such as
work-stoppage, picket-lines, and major strikes (sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent), the
unions were increasingly more successful in resolving their conflicts between management and
labor. Through long but often productive negotiations and mediations, they were able to
achieve their goals, including comprehensive labor laws, rights, and regulations; better working
conditions; safer working environments and safety procedures; eight-hour workday; higher
wages; paid sick days; family leave; health insurance; unemployment benefits; social security;
pensions; etc. (just to mention a few from a long list). Ultimately, by achieving these goals in the
long-term – as opposed to fundamentally changing their capitalist societies by socialist or
communist revolutions – organized labor unions in the core of the modern world-system
substantially reformed and historically reinforced capitalism. However, this particular choice of
sociopolitical and socioeconomic “evolution” has a tragic impact and a dangerous unintended
consequence: the current result of this long process and still ongoing struggle is the rapidly
growing income gap between the wealthiest and the most powerful "top 1%" (the global elite)
and the less fortunate and much less powerful "bottom 99%" of the emerging super-capitalist
global society in the 21st century.
As we pointed out earlier, the gradual decline and long decay of organized labor unions
had begun in the 1970s and accelerated in the '80s and '90s. This period (and still ongoing
process) coincided with the rise of the neoliberal project during the Reagan administration in the
U.S. and under Thatcher in the U.K. By the end of the 20th century, this core capitalist agenda
became a global project – led by the United States and financed by the World Bank and the IMF
– creating a super-capitalist global society by the early 21st century. This global phenomenon, in
turn, coincided with the rapid rise of the World Wide Web, the Internet; forming a global super-
network, based on super-connectivity. Manfred B. Steger calls this process "the quantum leap of
globalization." (Anyway, it was a digital leap in my opinion.) Yes, the power and influence of
organized labor unions are greatly diminished in recent decades. Consequently, organized labor
is very weak today, and the welfare state is under attack. The income gap is dangerously
widening between "the top 1%" and "the bottom 99%" of the global society. Smells like a global
revolution…more exactly, a global counterrevolution.
IV. 2. The Fourth Global Wave of Counterrevolutions (1976-1985)
In the former Soviet bloc, more specifically, in Poland, the first strikes were organized by not-yet
unionized workers in the summer of 1976, four years before the Solidarity Movement had begun.
In November 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected, and subsequently inaugurated in January 1977, as
the next president of the United States. In the former Czechoslovakia, Charter 77 – a radical
political pamphlet – was signed, printed, and published by various artists, writers, and
intellectuals, including the playwright Vaclav Havel (1936-2011) who later became the last
president of Czechoslovakia after the anti-communist and pro-democratic Velvet Revolution in
1989; and the first president of the Czech Republic in 1993. In 1978, Karol Wojtyla, the Bishop
of Krakow was elected (the first non-Italian) Pope John Paul II, and subsequently visited his
native Poland in 1979, where he was greeted and cheered by millions of his fellow Poles, who
never abandoned their Christian religion and Roman Catholic faith – deeply rooted in history –
not even during the Cold War. The successful visit by John Paul II was a major sign of the
enduring power of religion, more specifically, Christianity, behind the Iron Curtain, despite the
violent political repression by the communist governments of the Soviet bloc. No, God and
religion were not dead at all; in fact, exactly the opposite was happening…“godless”
communism was dying.
Meanwhile, in 1979, the conservative Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) was elected the
first female British Prime Minister; there was a successful Islamic Revolution in Iran; and the
Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan (another example of imperial over-reach, which turned out to
be their Vietnam, and ultimately bankrupted the Soviet Empire). The Polish Pope’s popularity in
Poland, during his visit in 1979, greatly contributed to the acceleration of the sociopolitical and
sociocultural process that finally toppled the communist regimes of Eastern Europe. There was a
young electrician in the crowd listening to the Pope – Lech Walesa (1943-) – who never
abandoned his Christian roots and Roman Catholic faith, not even during the darkest days of
communism. Walesa would launch the Solidarity Movement – the first independent trade union
in the former Soviet bloc – at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, in August 1980. He would
lead the movement all through the 1980s, until the collapse of the Polish government, controlled
by the Soviet Union. Following the anti-communist and pro-democratic revolution in 1989,
Walesa was the first democratically elected president of Poland in 1990.
The Origins of the New Right and the Roots of Neoliberalism – The Vienna-Chicago Axis
The origins of the New Right, as well as the academic and intellectual roots of neoliberalism can
be traced back to a group of political economists of the Austrian School – associated with the
University of Vienna and the University of Chicago – the Vienna-Chicago Axis. Ludwig von
Mises (1881-1973) played an important role in bridging classical economics with modern liberal
economics and inspired the libertarian movement in the United States. His major contributions
were the quantitative theory of money, the (Austrian) theory of business cycles, and praxeology
(the study of individual choice and human action). The most influential works by Mises – The
Theory of Money and Credit (1912), Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (1949), Theory
and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution (1957) among other books,
papers, and articles, as well as his extensive lectures, had a major impact on his student,
Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992) – a key economist, political philosopher, and social
theorist of the 20th century. Hayek’s classic books The Road to Serfdom (1944), Individualism
and Economic Order (1948), and his tribute “The Transmission of the Ideals of Economic
Freedom” (1951) to his mentor Ludwig von Mises, served as blueprints for the political
movements of the New Right, as well as intellectual sources of economic neoliberalism in
subsequent decades. F.A. Hayek and his works as well as his international think tank and
research group, the Mont Pelerin Society (established in 1947 and still active), had a major
impact on the early development of the New Right and the subsequent evolution of neoliberalism
in the United States, especially on the Chicago School of Economics – the originator of
monetarism and consumption theory as well as an early advocate of supply-side economics.
Perhaps the most influential proponent of the CSE was the American monetary economist Milton
Friedman (1912-2006) – influenced by Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Mises, Hayek, and
Simon Kuznets, among others. Specializing in monetary history and theory, consumption
analysis, price theory, as well as economic and financial stabilization, Friedman directly
influenced U.S. and British economic policy, more specifically, fiscal and monetary policy.
The New Global Right and the Neoliberal Counterrevolution
As an equally powerful reaction against the Keynesian Revolution (which lasted from the 1930s
to the 1970s), the rising New Right had launched a “neoliberal counterrevolution” in the late ‘70s
and early ‘80s, which, arguably, still lasts today. By the 1970s, the New Right had gained its
global momentum, especially after the first major oil crisis in 1973 and 1974. By the late ‘70s
and early ‘80s, advocates of the new wave of economic liberalism had made a significant
political, economic, and social impact. Wordsmiths coined the controversial term neoliberalism
to describe the ideas and concepts of their movement (according to some scholars, it was an ill-
conceived phrase, a misnomer from the beginning; there was nothing new or liberal about it,
whatsoever). The so-called neoliberals’ philosophy was simple but very attractive, and not so
original – heavily borrowing from classical liberalism (Locke, Malthus); classical economics
(Smith, Ricardo, Say); utilitarianism and social liberalism (John Stuart Mill); neoclassical
economics (Alfred Marshall) and the laissez-faire principles of pure capitalism, among other
concepts. These fundamental building blocks and basic characteristics have changed little
throughout the evolutionary sequence of liberalism in the last few centuries. The high priests of
neoliberalism have been advocating free market economy, free trade, privatization, small
government with minimal intervention, massive military budget, economic and financial
deregulation, as well as substantial tax cuts (especially for the wealthy).
World Economic Forum
The European Management Forum, established by founder and executive chairman Klaus
Schwab in 1971, became the World Economic Forum in 1987 – a Swiss nonprofit organization
which evolved into a global foundation – “committed to improving the state of the world”
according to its motto. The World Economic Forum (WEF) holds its exclusive, invitation-only
annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland – attended by the global financial elite, including
investors, bankers, venture capitalists, selected political leaders, business professionals of
Fortune 500 companies, CEOs and CFOs of transnational, multinational, and global
corporations, as well as distinguished members of academia, especially economists,
political scientists, global studies scholars, and selected journalists of the world press and global
media. Although the World Economic Forum is a nonprofit, nonpolitical, and nonpartisan
organization, unaffiliated with any political party, it is an exclusive club of the New Global
Right, advocating neoliberalism, free trade, and global capitalism.
The Political Leaders of the New Global Right and Global Neoliberalism
Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013), a right-wing, conservative politician, was the first female
British Prime Minister, who served from 1979 to 1990. She was the first major head of state who
actively promoted neoliberal economic policies; her political philosophy was influenced by
Smith, Hayek, and Friedman, among others. The primary characteristics of Thatcherism were
privatization of public companies, financial deregulation, increased military budget, minimal
government intervention, free enterprise and free trade, as well as anti-union policies – all of
them straight from the neoliberal playbook. The Iron Lady’s American counterpart was Ronald
Reagan (1911-2004) – also a right-wing, conservative (Republican Party) politician. As the
governor of California from 1967 to 1975, Reagan led the counterrevolution against the student
revolution, and cracked down on college campuses during the Vietnam War, especially the
University of California, most notoriously, UC Berkeley. He was elected in November 1980, and
served as U.S. President from 1981 to 1989. Reagan’s political philosophy was influenced by
Hayek and Friedman, as well as Margaret Thatcher, among others. The hallmark of his economic
policy was supply-side economics with a “trickle-down effect” (a controversial concept called
“Reaganomics” which was dubbed “voodoo economics” by his vice president George H. W.
Bush). The fundamental building blocks of Reaganism were small government, minimal
government intervention, economic and financial deregulation, free enterprise and free trade,
massive military budget, anti-union policies, as well as substantial tax cuts (for the wealthy) –
also straight from the neoliberal playbook.
The Perfect Storm of Global Capitalism – Neo-Colonialism and Neo-Imperialism
Following the second wave of global decolonization after World War II (circa 1945-1980), the
victorious Allied nations, led by the United States, embarked on a different mission; this time it
was not military but economic in nature. The global financial institutions established during the
Bretton Woods Conference in July 1944 – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World
Bank – as well as the U.S. Treasury Department (all of their headquarters are located in
Washington D.C.) have been taking advantage of the so-called least developed countries and
exploiting the (LDCs), formerly known as the Third World, basically the poorest countries in
Africa and Asia, as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Washington Consensus – by
loaning the LDCs billions of dollars they can never pay back fully – creating a never-ending
cycle of indebtedness to the most developed countries and a vicious cycle of dependence on the
MDCs. This global operation is led, controlled, and managed by the United States, as well as
financed by its global banks and financial institutions, headquartered in its capital. This is a
classic example of a core power’s hegemony over the periphery (according to Wallerstein’s
world systems theory); as well as a prime example of the “development of underdevelopment”
(according to Gunder Frank). The Washington Consensus, however, does not stop here; by
implementing a strategy of “poverty reduction” via carefully drafted Poverty Reduction Strategy
Papers (PRSPs), including incredibly tough requirements, conditions, and sanctions, formerly
known as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), the WC creates not only economic and
financial dependency, but also creates political dependency in the long run. This is exactly how
the former colonies, which are also the LDCs and the poorest countries in the world – although
became politically independent during the first or second wave of global decolonization – they
are still dependent economically and financially on their former colonizers (according to the
Five hundred years after the beginning of global colonization, we are still living in the
age of neo-colonization; just like hundred years after the end of imperialism, we are still living in
the age of neo-imperialism. Where is the progress? It looks like regress…or more like re-dress.
The question remains unanswered: Is this the beginning, the peak, or the end of the golden age of
global capitalism? Or global supercapitalism? Or global hypercapitalism?
IV. 3. The Fourth Global Interregnum (1985-1989)
Meanwhile, in Moscow, following the passing of the old guards in a rapid succession – Brezhnev
(1982), Andropov (1984), and Chernenko (1985) – a young, energetic, and reform-minded
politician, Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-) was selected as the new leader of the Soviet Union.
He was desperately trying to “save” his struggling nation by implementing his ambitious
political, economic, and social programs – perestroika (restructuring), glasnost (openness),
demokratizatsiya (democratization), and uskoreniye (acceleration). However, Gorbachev’s bold
reforms initiated a powerful response by the people of the Soviet Union as well as by the people
of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe. This popular movement rapidly gained a historic
momentum; by the late 1980s, it became painfully clear that the communist political system
(based on a highly centralized power structure) and the socialist economy (based on central
planning) could not be reformed. Gorbachev met the leaders of the neoliberal agenda, Thatcher
and Reagan, several times in the 1980s. These historic meetings established a fresh relationship
between the communist East and the capitalist West by starting a new dialogue between the
Global Left and the Global Right. These talks resulted in a substantial reduction of the nuclear
arsenals on both sides, including Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). Gorbachev’s
widespread reforms in the Soviet Union which could not be stopped after gaining a powerful
momentum, Thatcher’s friendly gestures and sympathy toward him, as well as Reagan’s historic
speech at the Berlin Wall in 1987 – “Mr. Gorbachev…Open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev…Tear
down this wall!” – also inspired and emboldened the people of the Soviet bloc, just like millions
of students in China. These events culminated in the revolutions of 1989, directly leading to the
end of the Cold War.
V. 1. The Fifth Global Wave of Revolutions (1989-1991)
The World Revolution of 1989
The Chinese and Eastern European anti-communist and pro-democratic revolutions in 1989
represented a paradigm shift in 20th century history (just like the earlier world revolutions of
1917 and 1968), significantly changing the global political landscape. However, from the Old
Left’s point of view, these revolutions were counterrevolutions. Most of them were peaceful,
including in Warsaw, Poland; Prague, Czechoslovakia; Budapest, Hungary; Sofia, Bulgaria, and
Tirana, Albania. The initially peaceful student demonstrations turned violent and tragic on
Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, when the hard-line leaders of the communist government
cracked down on the protesting students on June 4, 1989. In Romania, the long-time communist
dictator Ceausescu and his wife were captured by the armed forces (after switching sides),
convicted by a makeshift military tribunal, and subsequently executed on December 25, 1989.
The Berlin Wall was breached on November 9, 1989; East and West Germany reunited in 1990.
After a failed attempt of coup d’état in Moscow in August 1991, Gorbachev signed the historic
document about the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and transferred his political authority to
Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007), the first president of the newly born Russian Federation, on
December 25, 1991. The Soviet Union, one of the two superpowers, collapsed. The Cold War
was officially over – creating a short-lived unipolar global structure in the process.
V. 2. The Fifth Global Wave of Counterrevolutions (1991-2001)
The Theory of “Tegration” – Geopolitical Dynamics of Integrations and Disintegrations
A Twin Theory of the Global Pulsation Theory
Even before the collapse of the Soviet Union – the greatest political, economic, and social
disintegration, marking the end of the Cold War – there were other historically significant
integrations as well as disintegrations in the 1990s. The first major example is the reunification
of East and West Germany in 1990, followed by the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.
We all know from history they were arch enemies during World War II (seems like the Soviet
Union won the war in the short-run, but Germany won the peace in the long-run). To analyze
these processes at the most basic level, we just need to point out a natural tendency in world
history. Artificially (or unnaturally) divided nations, separated by wars, civil wars, or world wars
– which are linguistically, ethnically, and culturally homogeneous – sooner or later reunite, like
Germany and Vietnam. Arguably, North and South Korea will reunite as well, it’s just a
question of time. The unifying forces of the same language, the same ethnicity, and the same
culture, as well as the shared history and traditions for centuries and millennia are much more
powerful than (temporary) divisions based on different sociopolitical and socioeconomic
ideologies, such as communism versus capitalism. Similarly, in the opposite direction,
unnaturally (or artificially) created nations – put together from linguistically, ethnically, and
culturally different (or heterogeneous) people, based on the same political ideology – sooner or
later disintegrate, like the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. The Soviet Union was
apparently not “too big to fail,” having been put together from fifteen different republics. The
peaceful Velvet Revolution (1989) in Prague was followed by the similarly nonviolent “Velvet
Divorce” when Czechoslovakia was divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. The
disintegration of Yugoslavia, however, was exactly the opposite – extremely violent, bloody
and tragic – which started when a civil war broke out in the former nation in 1991. Yugoslavia
was created after World War I by cobbling together six different ethnic groups, which spoke
different languages, had different religions, different traditions, and different culture. In
retrospect, it seems like, only the communist dictator, Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980) was able to
hold Yugoslavia together. Tragically, the decade-long civil war (1991-2001) was characterized
by ethnic cleansing, massacres, and genocide…on a scale Europe had not experienced since
World War II.
Pain in Spain – Independence Movements in the Basque Region and Catalonia
The two most distinctive ethnic regions of Spain have been inflicting political and economic as
well as social and cultural pain on Spain “proper” centered in Madrid are the Basque region and
Catalonia, both of which are possessing limited political autonomy and severely curtailed
rights of self-determination. The Spanish Basque community – part of the greater Basque
Country, located in Northern Spain and Southwestern France – is genetically and ethnically as
well as linguistically and culturally distinctive from both their fellow Spanish and French
citizens, respectively. Although the Basque independence movement in Spain had begun in the
early 19th century (after the French invasion and occupation during the Napoleonic Wars), it was
relatively peaceful and harmless to the Spanish government in Madrid. However, the movement
gained some political and cultural momentum during the revolutionary upheaval and
nationalistic fervor in Europe decades later, but still remained largely nonviolent until the
Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) followed by the Franco regime (1939-1975). The Basque
separatist group (ETA) was established in 1959, quickly shifting to the left on the political
spectrum and rapidly evolving into an increasingly radical and violent neo-Marxist and leftist
paramilitary organization throughout the 1960s. ETA had carried out its first violent act of
political terrorism during the radical fervor and revolutionary upheaval of the late 1960s, more
specifically, 1968. In the following years and decades, ETA had committed hundreds of terrorist
acts – killing or seriously injuring thousands – all in the name of Basque national independence
and political freedom, as well as for the promise of living in the future Basque homeland. After
several temporary and broken ceasefires, ETA declared a permanent (and seemingly successful)
ceasefire in 2010, which was ratified by the Spanish and the French governments, as well as by
foreign political authorities and other official observers in 2011…followed by a complete
disarmament in 2017.
It seems like their fellow Spanish citizens, the people of Catalonia, picked up where the
Basques left off. After centuries of struggle with the Spanish government centered in Madrid for
political independence, Catalonia was granted its first Statute of Autonomy in 1932 by the
Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939), including the Civil War, Barcelona being the center
of the Republican resistance movement. During the transition to democracy, a new Statute of
Autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1979, which was modified in 2006. Most recently,
following a controversial referendum, the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain
in 2017. However, according to the Spanish government, based on the Spanish Constitution, the
referendum and the voting process were illegal and the declaration of independence was
unconstitutional. Consequently, the Catalan Republic has not been recognized officially by the
Spanish or any other government, so far. Nevertheless, the torch and spirit of the increasingly
popular movements of political self-determination to achieve national (and sub-national)
independence have been passed to a new generation of Catalans – troubling the Spanish
government in Madrid and causing more pain in Spain.
This particular dynamic and historical process of tegration (geopolitical pulsation)
is driven by the powerful centralizing forces of integration as well as the equally powerful
decentralizing forces of disintegration – the identical driving mechanisms and the similar
primary characteristics of its twin Global Pulsation Theory.
The Third Way – Clinton, Blair, and the Great Extension of Neoliberalism
Bill Clinton was elected in November 1992 (beating Bush 41 and preventing his re-election) and
subsequently inaugurated as President of the United States in January 1993. Clinton was running
on the traditional platform and historic ideology of his political party; however, his two-term
presidency (1993-2001) was essentially a “Democratic extension” of the Republican agenda
– based on the neoliberal Washington consensus – established by Reagan in the 1980s and
continued by George H. W. Bush in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Clinton was not a radical
politician at all; his administration was characterized by a moderate center-left political agenda.
Tony Blair, who served as British Prime Minister (1997-2007), was just as controversial
as his American counterparts, Clinton and Bush (43). Initially running on a promising campaign
and increasingly popular platform of “New Labour” – supposedly transforming the British
Labour Party – his administration gradually became the extension of Margaret Thatcher’s
conservative neoliberal agenda. Blair was labeled “Thatcher in trousers” by his political enemies.
New Global Left
The origins of the New Global Left can be traced back to the New Left of the 1960s – deeply
rooted in the ideological, intellectual, and strategic traditions of the World Revolution of 1968.
The New Global Left came into existence as the result of a cyclically delayed global integration
of political and social movements of a new generation. Perhaps the first major examples of
global action by the NGL were the anti-IMF and anti-World Bank riots of the 1980s and 1990s,
including West Berlin (1988), a year after Reagan’s speech and a year before the Berlin Wall
came down; Paris (July 1989), the first major demonstration against the G7, coinciding with
the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution; and Madrid (1994), the first major anti-
globalization protest in Europe, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the
IMF and the World Bank at Bretton Woods. The Zapatista Revolt (1994) in the Chiapas region
of Southern Mexico, against the implementation of the notorious neoliberal project by the
Washington Consensus – North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – which was about to be
enforced by the Mexican Government, was the first major rebellion to name neoliberalism as
public enemy number one. The Battle of Seattle (1999) was the first major protest of the anti-
globalization movement in the United States, specifically organized to disrupt an international
conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The protesters clashed with the Seattle riot
police; hundreds of them were arrested and thousands were injured, including police officers.
The World Social Forum (WSF) was organized and held its first meeting in Porto Alegre,
Brazil, in 2001. The WSF was basically a counter-movement or “counterrevolution” against the
World Economic Forum (WEF); an annual gathering of the global business and financial elite
in Davos, Switzerland, since 1971. To counter-balance the considerable global impact and
influence of the WEF, which became a formal organization of the New Global Right, the World
Social Forum evolved into an informal organization of the New Global Left. The WSF also holds
annual meetings (although not at the posh and very expensive Alpine resort of Davos), but in
different cities and countries on different continents every year, usually in convention centers,
assembly halls, or stadiums, in order to make attendance possible for students and professors, as
well as low-income workers and intellectuals. Sometimes called the “movement of movements,”
the slogan of the World Social Forum is “Another World is Possible.”
V. 3. The Fifth Global Interregnum (2001-2011)
New Global Right – United States – Neoconservatives (Neocons)
Following the highly controversial and contested presidential election in 2000, which led to a
constitutional crisis after two inconclusive recounts in Florida, George W. Bush (43) was not
elected, he was actually selected by the U.S. Supreme Court (by a 5 to 4 decision) as U.S.
president. This election crisis shows the mathematical paradox and logistical limit (or the
mathematical limit and logistical paradox) of democracy, especially American democracy.
Bush was subsequently inaugurated in January 2001. Less than eight months into his presidency,
terrorists hijacked four jets on September 11, 2001; two of them flew into the twin towers of the
World Trade Center in New York City (both towers collapsed), one crashed into the Pentagon in
Washington D.C., and one crashed in Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people died tragically that
day – the worst enemy attack on American soil, on the U.S. mainland (only the bombing of Pearl
Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, comes close). The terrorist attacks were carried out by
Al Qaeda – led by Osama bin Laden. All of the terrorists died on impact; however, bin Laden
lived almost ten more years before he was finally captured and killed in Pakistan by a special
unit in 2011. In order to retaliate against the terrorist attacks, President Bush, Vice President
Dick Cheney, and the leading neoconservative (neocon) cabinet members in the White House,
Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, among others, had launched the War in
Afghanistan (2001-?), the longest war in U.S. history, as well as the Iraq War (2003-2011),
which was based on faulty and misleading intelligence, since weapons of mass destruction had
never been found in Iraq. These two highly controversial wars cost countless of Afghan and Iraqi
casualties (including innocent men, women, and children), thousands of American lives, and, not
to mention, billions of dollars. The neoconservative philosophy can be described by its primary
characteristics – overextended executive privilege, militant patriotism, political, financial, and
corporate elitism, and war on terror, as well as counterterrorism against global terrorism.
Countering U.S. Hegemony – BRICS – Multi-Polar Global Structure
After recovering from the Asian Financial Crisis (1997-1998), Brazil, Russia, India, and China
(BRIC) established an economic alliance and trading bloc in 2001, in order to counter-balance
the global impact and influence of the economies of the United States and the European Union.
South Africa was inducted in 2010, and the organization became BRICS – creating a multi-polar
global structure in the process.
Bad Globalization – Is the United States too Big to Fail? – Global Financial Crisis (2008-?)
The bursting housing bubble in 2007 and the subsequent crash of the New York Stock Exchange
in 2008, followed by a substantial credit crunch in 2009, created a perfect storm for a major
financial crisis. Originating on Wall Street, New York, the shocking news was dispatched
to the White House in Washington D.C., and quickly spread around the world – triggering a
global financial crisis known as the Great Recession – the worst global economic recession
since the Great Depression in the 1930s. This was a prime example of bad globalization, more
specifically, the worst example of the negative impact of the increasingly interconnected and
interrelated global economy, as well as the increasingly interdependent world in the 21st century,
so far. When Barack Obama was elected U.S. president in November 2008, and inaugurated in
January 2009, he inherited from George W. Bush two major wars, a global financial crisis, a high
unemployment rate, inflation, a ballooning federal deficit, and, the Tea Party (2009-?).
VI. 1. The Sixth Global Wave of Revolutions (2010-2014)
Arab Spring (2011) in North Africa and the Middle East
The Arab Spring was a series of revolutions against long-term dictatorships in the Arab World,
North Africa, and the Middle East, in 2010 and 2011, including Tunis, Tunisia; Cairo, Egypt;
Tripoli, Libya, Damascus, Syria; and Sana’a, Yemen. During the revolutions, long-time
dictators, who ruled for decades, were removed from power, most notably Hosni Mubarak
(1981-2011) in Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi (1969-2011) in Libya. Another significance of the
Arab Spring was the role of digital technology, more specifically, smart phones and laptop
computers as well as social networks and social media on the Internet, successfully used by
college students and young intellectuals for instant communication as well as for organizing and
recording the revolutions.
Anti-Austerity Summer in Europe (2011)
The Anti-Austerity Summer was a series of protests in Europe, including Greece, Spain,
Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Cyprus, against drastic austerity measures – implemented by their
governments, and enforced by the European Central Bank (ECB), headquartered in Frankfurt,
Germany, the European Commission, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
These once wealthy and prosperous nations (although integrated into the European Union and
the Eurozone) became both the perpetrators and the victims of the European debt crisis.
Occupy Movement (2011) from Wall Street to Main Street against Global Capitalism
The Occupy Movement originally started as “Occupy Wall Street (OWS)” in New York City on
September 17, 2011. It was a sociopolitical, socioeconomic, and social justice movement against
U.S. and global capitalism, extreme inequality, major financial institutions, corporations, and
banks – demanding social justice and equality as well as direct or participatory democracy.
The slogan of the Occupy Movement was “We are the 99%.” Three years after the beginning of
the global financial crisis and well into the Great Recession, thousands protested against the
extremely powerful economic impact and the overwhelming political influence of these financial
institutions on Wall Street, by temporarily occupying the surrounding blocks in the area,
including city streets and public parks, primarily Zucotti Park. The Occupy Movement quickly
spread from New York to all the major cities and several towns in the Unites States, to the
capitals of Europe, and less than a month later, it became a global movement. On October 15,
2011, reportedly, there were organized protests in hundreds of cities worldwide. Inspired by the
success of the revolutions of the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, similarly, utilized digital
technology, including smart phones and laptop computers, as well as social networks and social
media on the Internet – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – for instant communication to organize as
well as to record the demonstrations and the protests. Although initially peaceful, the Occupy
Movement occasionally turned into violent confrontations with special units of the riot police.
Ukrainian Revolution (2014) in the Context of the Geopolitical Sandwich in Eastern Europe
Following the collapse and the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the
transition proved to be difficult and painful in the newly independent republics. Less than ten
years after the Orange Revolution (2004), which was part of the so-called “color” or “flower”
revolutions, the political situation had reached a boiling point again in Kiev. Sandwiched
between the European Union and the Russian Federation, Ukraine has become an extremely
sensitive and increasingly volatile geopolitical wedge. Accordingly, Western and Central
Ukraine, including Kiev (overwhelmingly Ukrainian-speaking regions) are much closer to the
EU with a Western political and economic as well as social and cultural orientation; however,
Eastern Ukraine, including the Donetsk Basin which is rich in natural resources and raw
materials, as well as Southern Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula (overwhelmingly
Russian-speaking regions) are much closer to Russia with a dominant Eastern orientation.
Consequently, Ukraine is basically torn between and polarized by its powerful “neighbors.”
Not surprisingly, there were two revolutions in Ukraine within ten years. Most recently, the mass
protests of “Euromaidan” were followed by the Ukrainian Revolution (2014), during which the
pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych was removed from power, and a more democratic,
pro-European Union government was installed. However, Russia subsequently annexed Crimea
and war broke out in Eastern Ukraine – resulting in the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
VI. 2. The Sixth Global Wave of Counterrevolutions (2011-2017)
Civil War in Syria and the Rise (and Fall?) of the Islamic State (ISIS)
Following the revolutions of the Arab Spring in 2011, later in the same year, a civil war broke
out in Syria. It is a still ongoing, complex armed conflict, which spilled over to other countries in
the region, and became sort of a proxy war between the United States and Russia. The major
players are the government forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (backed by Syria’s
primary ally Russia) and the opposition of insurgent rebels (backed by the U.S.). To further
complicate an already complicated political and military situation, there is a conflict in the
conflict between the Turkish military and the paramilitary forces of the ethnic Kurdish minority
– the PKK in Turkey, the Peshmerga in Iraq, and the YPG in Syria. Finally, the common enemy
of all the players mentioned above: the extremist and militant global terrorist organization of the
self-proclaimed caliphate of all Muslims worldwide, the Islamic State (IS, ISIS or ISIL).
Established in 1999, ISIS actively participated in the insurgency as an affiliate of Al-Qaeda
during the Iraq War. Rapidly growing in the political and military vacuum after the U.S. troops
pulled out of Iraq in 2011, and gaining considerable momentum in subsequent years, ISIS
reached its peak in 2015, by invading, occupying, and controlling large areas in the region.
After retaking Mosul, Iraq was liberated from ISIS in 2017; however, remnants of the terrorist
organization are still operating in Syria, even after the fall of their self-declared capital, Raqqa.
Arab Winter (2013–?)
Two and a half years after the Egyptian Revolution on Tahrir Square, Cairo, the Arab Spring
turned into the so-called Arab Winter. On July 3, 2013, the democratically elected President of
Egypt, Mohamed Morsi (backed by the Muslim Brotherhood) was removed from power by a
military coup d’état, led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the current President of Egypt. The Arab Winter
has been a series of counterrevolutions against the revolutions of the Arab Spring, including in
Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, and most recently, in Yemen. The primary characteristics of the
Arab Winter are the “freezing” of democratic political processes, by removing democratically
elected presidents and political leaders from power, and replacing democratic governments by
military dictatorships and other authoritarian regimes, as well as the resurgence of Islamic
extremism and global terrorism.
European Migration and Refugee Crisis (2015-?)
As a direct result of the Syrian Civil War, millions of people fled from Syria. One of their main
routes is on land, across the border to neighboring Turkey (more than half of the refugees stayed
there) then to Greece, and through Macedonia and Serbia, into the European Union, including
Hungary, Austria, and Germany (one of the final destinations). The other, more dangerous route
is on sea, usually from the politically destabilized region of North Africa, more specifically from
Libya, across the stormy and treacherous waters of the central passage of the Mediterranean Sea
(thousands perished) to Italy, and through France, to England and the U.K. (another final
destination). Consequently, as a result of the mass migration, there has been a refugee crisis in
Europe since the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, reaching its peak in 2015.
BREXIT – A British Counterrevolution against the European Union (2016-?)
During a special election in June 23, 2016, more than half of the people (about 52%) of the
United Kingdom voted in favor of leaving the European Union. BREXIT (British exit) form the
EU has been a controversial issue, not only in the U.K., but also in Europe and the United States,
as well as across the globe. Following the surprising result of the special election, conservative
PM David Cameron had resigned from office, replaced by Theresa May, the current British
Prime Minister. In any case, BREXIT is not going to happen overnight; the British exit from the
European Union is going to be a long and painful procedure, as well as a complex political, economic,
social, and cultural process.
VI. 3. The Sixth Global Interregnum (2017-?)
Alt-Left – An American Alternative – A New Political Strategy
The Alternative Left or Alt-Left in the United States came into existence in the 2000s and 2010s
as a radical response to the now defunct Old Left, as well as to the still existing, but more
traditional and rapidly aging New Left. Among many other political and social movements,
groups, and organizations, the American Alt-Left consists of the LGBTQ Rights Movement
(inspired by the civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights movements, respectively) and Black
Lives Matter (BLM) since 2013 (inspired by the black power and civil rights movements as well
as by the New Left). Following the murder of unarmed black men, including Trayvon Martin,
Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and many others, by white police officers in Ferguson, Baltimore,
Baton Rouge, and several other places all across the United States, the activists of Black Lives
Matter organized mass protests against police brutality and excessive force used by several
police departments. Another example of the American Alt-Left is ANTIFA (antifascist
movement) inspired by the violent groups following the radical traditions of the Old Left as well
as the New Left. Recently, the protesters of ANTIFA often clash with their counterparts, the
equally violent counterprotesters of the Alt-Right.
Alt-Right – Another American Alternative – A New Political Counter-Strategy
Trump – “Trumpism” – “Trumpocracy”
After a long, non-traditional, and controversial presidential campaign, Donald Trump was
elected as the 45th U.S. President on November 8, 2016, and subsequently inaugurated on
January 20, 2017. The next day, millions of women were marching and protesting in front of the
White House and all along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. – as well as in hundreds of
major cities around the world – during the Women’s March on Washington (historically inspired
by the civil rights and women’s rights movements, as well as by the New Global Left).
Trump was not a politician; he had zero political experience. He was a businessman and an
investor, as well as a real-estate developer and the former host of his reality TV show,
The Apprentice. The title of the book he co-wrote and co-published previously is…The Art of the
Deal. Trump is not a traditional president; he is definitely redefining the presidency.
The primary characteristics of his own political agenda – “Trumpism” – are politics as
business (not as usual), corporate elitism, populist (white) nationalism, in addition to being
(allegedly) anti-science, anti-feminist, and anti-immigration, as well as Islamophobic and racist.
Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” and his presidential slogan “America
First” certainly express his not-so-hidden populist, nationalist, and anti-globalist agenda – a
unique juxtaposition indeed – culminating in his “keynote” closing speech delivered to an
overwhelmingly globalist audience at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in
Davos, in January 2018.
The Alt-Right movement had a major impact on Trump’s campaign, and it still has a
major influence on his presidency, especially the leading Alt-Right figures, including Richard
Spencer, Andrew Breitbart, and most recently Steve Bannon, his former chief political strategist.
Trump and his campaign, as well as his presidency and his administration, directly or indirectly
influenced the recent resurgence of white supremacy and white nationalism, as well as racism
and anti-Semitism, including neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), and many other hate groups.
The most disturbing signs of this alarming trend are new waves of political activism, more
specifically, violent clashes between various Alt-Left and Alt-Right groups. During Trump’s first
year as president, we have experienced the increasing frequency of demonstrations against
counterdemonstrations in major cities, like Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and many
others; as well as protests against counterprotests in usually peaceful college towns like
Charlottesville, Virginia, where the “Unite the Right!” political rally turned extremely violent,
and ultimately, tragic and deadly, on August 11, 2017.
Democracy versus “Hackocracy” – Russian Meddling in the American Political Process
On February 16, 2018, former FBI director and currently a special counsel of the U.S.
Department of Justice, Robert Mueller, indicted 13 Russian individuals and three Russian
companies for alleged interference and meddling in the U.S. political process, more specifically,
in the 2016 presidential election. According to the DOJ, the extensive and sophisticated Russian
cyber group “Internet Research Agency” (IRA) had begun their operation in 2014. During the
2015-2016 election cycle, they bought hundreds of advertisement spaces on social media sites,
such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, using fake names and false identifications, appearing
to be politically and socially active American citizens. According to Mueller and his team, as of
the summer of 2016, the Internet Research Agency specifically targeted Hillary Clinton by
disparaging her campaign, as well as helped Trump by supporting his campaign at the same time.
Apparently, this particular operation was incredibly successful, given Trump’s surprise election
in November 2016. The primary moral lesson of this extremely dangerous meddling in the
American political process, more specifically, in the U.S. presidential election by the Russian
Internet Research Agency is that extensive, sophisticated, and well-coordinated computer
hackers can “hijack” any democratic process, including elections anywhere in the world, by
sowing discord and successfully swaying political opinions, therefore influencing the official
outcomes and consequently determining election results all across the globe. This is the dark side
of the World Wide Web, and probably the most dangerous threat to the democratic political
process using computers on the Internet in the 21st century.
North Korea – Existential Threat from the Last Surviving Stronghold of the Extreme Left
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was established in 1948 by its first
communist dictator, Kim Il-sung, and his Stalinist regime. Since the Korean War (1950-1953),
the Korean Peninsula has been divided by the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the 38th parallel.
Kim Il-sung died in 1994, and his oldest son, Kim Jong-il became the next ruler of the rogue
state – presiding over a widespread famine in the 1990s, exacerbated by economic sanctions –
who conducted the first nuclear missile test in 2006. Kim Jong-il passed away in 2011, and his
youngest son, Kim Jong-un succeeded him as the current supreme leader of North Korea.
Initially, the Obama administration implemented a special foreign policy toward Pyongyang,
known as “strategic patience.” However, this particular policy had failed and was ultimately
rejected by the subsequent Trump administration, due to the continuous development of their
nuclear weapons program, despite repeated warnings and condemnation by the Security Council
of the United Nations. Alarmingly, after several initial failures, the increasingly longer range
nuclear missile tests culminated in the successful launch of Hwasong-14 – North Korea’s first
intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) – capable of reaching not only Guam and the
Philippines, but supposedly the West Coast of the United States as well. The carefully selected
date of the long-anticipated launch (perhaps not accidentally but rather intentionally) coincided
with the American Independence Day – July 4, 2017.
Centrist Revolution in France – Night of Ideas in Paris – Time’s Up!
Finally, in order to counterbalance these increasingly dangerous trends – coming from the
extreme left as well as from the extreme right – there are good news and positive developments
from the center of the global political spectrum. There is a new revolution in France; this time, a
“centrist revolution.” Flanked by his contemporary political leaders, China’s Xi Jinping and
India’s Narendra Modi on the left, as well as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Germany’s Angela
Merkel on the right, Emmanuel Macron, a centrist politician, was elected President of France in
May 2017. Perhaps he’s going to be instrumental to reconcile the New Global Left with the New
Global Right, especially the extreme left with the extreme right, and eliminate (or at least
minimize) the extremes by de-escalating the growing tension between the increasingly polarized
and sharply divided social movements across the global political spectrum. Another positive
development and a major step in the right direction is the counter-meeting of the “Night of
Ideas” in Paris – specifically organized to coincide with the annual meeting of the World
Economic Forum in Davos, in January 2018. On the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration,
the second Women’s March on Washington attracted even more marchers; millions of women
were protesting in the U.S. capital and major cities worldwide – embracing and celebrating their
new #MeToo Movement while wearing pink hats and chanting their slogan “Time’s Up!”
Momentum – Counter-Momentum – Co-Momentum
According to my Triple Movement Theory – action from the left, reaction from the right,
and interaction in the center – it seems like there is a similar sequence of global political and
social movements. In response to a powerful momentum initiated by the New Global Left,
an equally powerful counter-momentum is being generated currently by the New Global Right.
Finally, in order to balance this global political process and achieve a (temporary) equilibrium,
a (peaceful or violent) co-momentum is building simultaneously in the center of the global
VII. 1. The Seventh Global Wave of Revolutions (20XX)
VII. 2. The Seventh Global Wave of Counterrevolutions (20YY)
VII. 3. The Seventh Global Interregnum (20ZZ)
A Special Conclusion
World Revolution, Permanent Revolution, and the “Quantum Leap of Globalization”
What is the ultimate goal of social movements? What is the ultimate goal of social change?
After a seemingly endless cycle and counter-cycle of revolutions and counterrevolutions in
human history and sociocultural evolution, what are the ultimate answers to these questions?
One (theoretical) solution is an ideal global society in the future, when revolutions and
counterrevolutions become obsolete, unnecessary, and finally are eliminated (again, purely
theoretical and highly idealistic). This particular idea is similar to the concept of world
revolution (a term coined by Lenin after the Russian Revolution in 1917) as well as to the
concept of permanent revolution (a term coined by Trotsky after Lenin’s death in 1924); both of
them hoping, theorizing, and planning that capitalism would be destroyed, and socialism,
ultimately communism, would triumph after a successful global revolution. We know that
already, based on historical evidence, their plans, respectively, had failed; they did not come to
pass. After the anti-communist and pro-democratic revolutions (or counterrevolutions) in Eastern
Europe and China in 1989, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The Cold War was finally over –
coinciding (surprisingly) with the birth of the World Wide Web, the Internet. The communist and
socialist experiments came to an end (except in China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, and North Korea).
By the end of the 20th century, capitalism came back swinging – igniting the so-called “quantum
leap of globalization” according to Global Studies scholar Manfred B. Steger. However, this
particular global process slowed down after September 11, 2001; almost came to a screeching
halt during the Global Financial Crisis (2008-?) and the subsequent Great Recession; and took
the back seat following the World Revolution of 2011, including the Arab Spring, the Anti-
Austerity Summer, and the Occupy (Wall Street) Movement, which went viral and global.
A Brief Summary of Relevant Social Concepts and Counter-Concepts
Individualism versus Collectivism
This is the crux, the focus, and the central concept of the success or failure of political and social
movements in the long-term. Countless examples from world history shows that extremely
individualistic as well as extremely collectivistic systems fail sooner or later. Absolute monarchy
(France under Louis XIV) and imperial over-reach (the Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, and
British Empire, and currently, the American Empire) on the Right; as well as dictatorships and
totalitarian regimes characterized by personal cult (Soviet Union under Stalin and China under
Mao) on the Extreme Left; and (Mussolini’s fascist Italy and Hitler’s Nazi Germany) on the
Extreme Right of the global political spectrum, are great examples to prove our point. Arguably,
these political, economic, and social systems failed because they overemphasized, overstretched,
and rewarded either the concept of individualism or collectivism; while underemphasized,
oppressed, and punished its counter-concept at the same time. Consequently, the solution is
located in the center (or near the center) of the political spectrum – expressed, manifested, and
realized as the healthy combination of individualism and collectivism.
Proletariat versus Precariat
By the early 21st century, Marx’s political, economic, and social concept of the proletariat has
been replaced (at least in the current literature of western social sciences) by the socioeconomic
concept of the precariat – a term coined by British economist Guy Standing. In other words, the
“old dangerous class” of the proletariat (the classical working class in the Marxian sense) has
been replaced by the “new dangerous class” of the precariat, according to Standing. While their
parents (baby boomers) and grandparents (the great generation) worked on the same job for the
same company at the same factory, manufacturing plant, or in the same office building for
decades in the 20th century, the younger members of Generation X and the older members of the
Millennials work only a series of part-time jobs (limited engagement employment opportunities,
according to the official term) or “gigs” in short, in the increasingly significant “gig economy.”
Unlike the proletariat, the precariat hasn’t developed sufficient class-consciousness yet, therefore
they are not ready for a political revolution to achieve significant social change…at least not yet.
Mindful Verticalism and Configuration versus Mindless Horizontalism and Prefiguration
Throughout world history and human sociocultural evolution, the overwhelming majority of
political and social movements as well as major revolutions were hierarchically structured and
vertically organized and led by at least one charismatic leader or leaders on the top. The French
Revolution, led by Robespierre, Danton, Marat, and Saint-Just; the Bolshevik Revolution in
Russia, led by Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin; the Communist Revolution in China, led by Mao; and
the Cuban Revolution, led by Castro and Che Guevara, are historic examples to prove my point.
In order to execute a political revolution successfully – resulting in fundamental social change –
there must be a vertically organized hierarchical structure in place, operating by the historically
proven organizing principle of sequential order and precise configuration. A major counter-
example is the World Social Forum (WSF) which organizes itself horizontally, based on
prefiguration. Their spirited effort and ultimate goal to carry out a peaceful global revolution
against the capitalist neoliberal world-order (without mindful verticalism and configuration) will
result in mindless horizontalism and prefiguration…even if they put their heart and soul in it.
Symbolic Interactionism versus Interactive Symbolism
The sociological perspective of symbolic interactionism is based on the American philosopher,
sociologist, and psychologist, George Herbert Meade’s core concept of symbolic interaction –
developed by his student, Herbert Blumer in the mid 20th century, and most recently, contributed
to by sociologist David A. Snow and other social scientists, especially in the study of political
and social movements as well as collective behavior and collective action. Since the 1960s,
symbolic interactionism has been an important and influential theoretical framework in
sociology, more specifically, microsociology; it is also helpful and useful in social psychology.
Therefore, building on this rich academic scholarship and intellectual foundation, it is logical and
necessary to bring this theoretical perspective into the 21st century, especially, since we are
currently experiencing a paradigm shift (Kuhn) in social interaction and communication – from
the natural and physical face-to-face and eye-to-eye (off-line) individual and social contact to the
(unnatural) digital and electronic online contact – via emails, text messages, as well as via social
networking sites and social media on the Internet, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,
Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, etc. (the list is getting longer and longer every year).
Consequently, the very nature of the conceptual perspective and theoretical framework of
symbolic interactionism (developed in the mid 20th century) has shifted to interactive symbolism
by the early 21st century. The most recent examples are (hashtag) #MeToo and “Time’s Up!”
The Theoretical Concept of “Volution” and the Future of the Political Spectrum
This particular global stage is only temporary; it is going to last only until the next revolution,
which, in turn, will last only until the next counterrevolution. This endless cycle and counter-
cycle of historical “progress” and sociocultural evolution can be broken by only a higher stage
called – volution – a purely theoretical and highly idealistic stage; supposedly the highest stage
of political evolution. Transposing this particular vision on the political spectrum, the global
swings produced by the mirror waves of revolutions and counterrevolutions would simply flat-
line (as in the medical term) in the center – automatically eliminating the political concepts of the
Left as well as the Right – resulting in the death of the political process and the end of politics as
we know it, in the classical, traditional, and historical sense.
A Theoretical Sequence of Global Social Movements and Political Singularity
According to the predicted theoretical model of our classification – characterized by the future
global wave of revolutions in the 21st century (20XX) followed by the equally powerful global
wave of counterrevolutions (20YY) – there would be a (hopefully) peaceful, ultimate global
“interregnum” (20ZZ) by 2100. The best result and preferred outcome as well as the final phase
in the sequence of global social movements would be the establishment of a democratic,
collectively rational global commonwealth (Chase-Dunn), presupposing the complete
abolishment of all existing dictatorships, autocratic and totalitarian regimes, as well as the global
redistribution of wealth. Arguably, this particular ideal phase and higher stage of human
sociocultural and political evolution could be realized only after achieving political singularity
(Nagy) requiring a higher level of political consciousness, based on the concept of global
governance by a single global government, built on the foundation of global democracy; before
reaching technological singularity (von Neumann); and way before arriving to the maximum
level of complexity, in other words, the ultimate singularity of the Omega Point (de Chardin).
Theoretically, in a cyclically delayed fashion, this highly idealistic outcome would also result in
the end of (extreme) global inequality between the Global North and the Global South – as well
as on every level of the geopolitical, geoeconomic, and geosocial structure, including the
international, national, regional, local, and individual level, regarding economic and financial as
well as social inequality – but that would be the topic of another paper or book chapter, or the
subject matter of a different book. However, we, as a species, given our human nature, basic
instincts, and primary characteristics, will never get there…because despite scientifically
sophisticated and technologically advanced, we are still politically primitive social animals.
Consequently, we will have to deal with global waves of revolutions and equally powerful global
waves of counterrevolutions in the future, interrupted by violent or peaceful global interregna,
for decades and centuries, or millennia to come.
Sources, References, and Bibliography
Arendt, Hannah. 1963. On Revolution. London: Faber and Faber.
Arrighi, Giovanni, Terence K. Hopkins and Immanuel Wallerstein. (1989) 
Anti-systemic Movements. London and New York: Verso.
Beck, Colin J. 2011. “The world cultural origins of revolutionary waves: five centuries of European
contestation. Social Science History 35, 2: 167-207.
Blackey, Robert, ed. 1982. Revolutions and Revolutionists: A Comprehensive Guide to the Literature,
2nd ed. Oxford and Santa Barbara, California: Clio Press.
Blum, Christopher Olaf, ed. and trans. 2004. Critics of the Enlightenment: Readings in the French
Counter-Revolutionary Tradition. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books.
Boswell, Terry and Christopher Chase-Dunn. 2000. The Spiral of Capitalism and Socialism: Toward
Global Democracy. Boulder, CO.: Lynne Rienner.
Brinton, Crane. 1965. The Anatomy of Revolution. New York: Vintage Books.
Burke, Edmund (1790)  Reflections on the Revolution in France.
Harmsworth, U.K.: Penguin Books.
Castro, Daniel, ed. 2006. Revolutions and Revolutionaries: Guerilla Movements in Latin America.
Castro, Fidel. 1968. History Will Absolve Me. London: Jonathan Cape (primary source).
Chase-Dunn, C. and Bruce Lerro. 2014. Social Change: Globalization from the Stone Age
to the Present. Boulder, CO: Paradigm.
Chase-Dunn, C. and R.E. Niemeyer. 2009. “The world revolution of 20xx” Pp. 35-57 in Mathias Albert,
Gera Bloom, Han Helmig, Andreas Leutzsch, Jochen Walter (eds.) Transnational Political Spaces.
Campus Verlag: Frankfurt/New York.
Chase-Dunn, C. and Sandor Nagy. 2018. “The Piketty Challenge: Global Inequality and
World Revolutions” Pp. 255-278 in Lauren Langman and David A. Smith (eds.)
Twenty-First Century Inequality and Capitalism: Piketty, Marx, and Beyond.
Leiden and Boston: Brill.
Chase-Dunn, C. and Sandor Nagy. 2019. “Global Social Movements and World Revolutions
in the Twenty-First Century” Pp. 427-446 in Berch Berberoglu (ed.)
The Palgrave Handbook of Social Movements, Revolution, and Social Transformation.
Palgrave Macmillan, an imprint of Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Defronzo, James. 2011. Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Donald, Moira, and Tim Rees, eds. 2001. Reinterpreting Revolution in Twentieth-Century Europe.
Draper, Hal. 1978. Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution. 2 vols. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Dubois, Laurent. 2004. Avengers of the New World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Dunn, John, 1989. Modern Revolutions: An Introduction to the Analysis of a Political Phenomenon.
Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press.
Fehér, Ferenc, ed. 1990. The French Revolution and the Birth of Modernity. Berkeley:
University of California Press.
Foran, John, ed. 1997. Theorizing Revolutions. New York: Routledge.
Goldstone, Jack. 1991. Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World. Berkeley:
University of California Press.
Goldstone, Jack, ed. 1999. Who’s Who in Political Revolutions: Seventy-three Men and Women
Who Changed the World. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Goldstone, Jack, ed. 2003. Revolutions: Theoretical, Comparative, and Historical Studies.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Goldstone, Jack. 2014. Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction.
New York: Oxford University Press.
Halliday, Fred. 1999. Revolution and World Politics: The Rise and Fall of the Sixth Great Power.
Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Hobsbawm, E. J. 1990. Echoes of the Marseillaise: Two Centuries Look Back on the French Revolution.
New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
Keddie, Nikki R., ed. 1995. Debating Revolutions. New York: New York University Press.
Klooster, Wim. 2015. Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History.
New York: Routledge.
Kumar, Krishnan. 2001. 1989: Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals.
Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press.
Lasky, Melvin. 1985. Utopia and Revolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lenin, V.I. (1902)  What Is To Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement.
Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House (primary source;
originally published as a political pamphlet; translated by Joe Fineberg and George Hanna).
Lenin, V. I. (1917)  State and Revolution. Chicago: Haymarket Books
(primary source; annotated and introduced by Todd Chretien; printed in Canada by union labor).
Lenin, V. I. (1920)  “Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder.
Moscow: Progress Publishers (primary source; originally published as a
political pamphlet; translated by Julius Katzer).
Linebaugh, Peter and Marcus Rediker. 2000. The Many–Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves,
Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. Boston: Beacon.
Linett, Andrew. 1982. Violence, Civil Strife and Revolution in the Classical City.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Malia, Martin. 2006. History’s Locomotives. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Martin, William G. et al 2008. Making Waves: Worldwide Social Movements, 1750-2005.
Boulder, CO: Paradigm.
Marx, Karl. (1896)  Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany.
New York: Capricorn Books (originally published as a series of articles
in the New York Daily Tribune in 1851 and 1852; the real author of the first edition was
Engels, edited by Marx’s youngest daughter, Eleanor Marx Aveling).
Mason, Paul. 2013. Why It Is Still Kicking off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions.
Molnar, Thomas. 1969. The Counter-Revolution. New York: Funk and Wagnall’s Co.
Oliveira, Plinio Correa de (1959)  Revolution and Counter-Revolution.
Spring Grove: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family,
Palmer, R. R. 1970. The Age of the Democratic Revolutions. 2 vols. Princeton, N.J.:
Princeton University Press.
Parker, David, ed. 2000. Revolutions and the Revolutionary Traditions in the West, 1560-1991.
New York: Routledge.
Parker, Noel. 2000. Revolutions and History: An Essay in Interpretation. Cambridge,
U.K.: Polity Press.
Poe, Marshall T. 2011. A History of Communications: Media and Society from the Evolution
of Speech to the Internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Polasky, Janet. 2015. Revolutions without Borders: The Call to Liberty in the Atlantic World.
New York: Routledge.
Porter, Roy, and Mikulés Teich, eds. 1986. Revolution in History.
Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press.
Rice, E. E., ed. 1991. Revolution and Counter-Revolution.
Oxford and Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.
Richards, Michael D. 2004. Revolutions in World History. New York: Routledge.
Santiago-Valles, Kelvin. 2005. “World historical ties among ‘spontaneous’ slave
rebellions in the Atlantic” Review 28, 1: 51-84.
Skocpol, Theda. 1979. States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France,
Russia, and China. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press.
Skocpol, Theda. 1994. Social Revolutions in the Modern World.
Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press.
Standage, Tom. 1998. The Victorian Internet. New York: Walker and Company.
Tilly, Charles. 1978. From Mobilization to Revolution. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.
Tilly, Charles. 1986. The Contentious French: Four Centuries of Popular Struggle.
Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Tilly, Charles. 1993. European Revolutions, 1492–1992.
Oxford and Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.
Tilly, Charles. 2004. Social Movements, 1768-2004. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.
Tilly, Charles and Sidney Tarrow. 2006. Contentious Politics.
New York: Oxford University Press.
Tocqueville, Alexis de (1856)  The Old Régime and the French Revolution.
Translated by Alan S. Kahan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Wheatcroft, Andrew. 1983. The World Atlas of Revolutions. London: H. Hamilton.
Zizek, Slavoj. 2002. Revolution at the Gates: Zizek on Lenin, the 1917 Writings. London: Verso.
 Pope Francis, the current leader of the Roman Catholic Church, who was elected in 2013, is the first Jesuit pope.
 The underlying concept here is political independence, which may or may not result in economic and social, as well as cultural and religious independence in the former colonies. In the case of the United States it did, but it’s a major counter-example. The overwhelming majority of former colonies are still dependent on their former colonizers, especially economically and financially, according to the dependence theory. Gaining political independence has been essential, and the first major step in the process of the establishment and subsequent development of nation-states since the Peace of Westphalia (1648), first in Europe, later in America, followed by Australia and Asia, and most recently, in Africa. Nation building is a still ongoing, complex political, economic, and social process, further complicated by ethnic and racial conflicts, as well as different cultural aspects and religious characteristics. In the 17th century, there were only a few nation-states, most of them in Europe; today, there are more than 200 exist all across the globe (the latest example is South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011). Nation-states are playing an essential role in the global political process, more specifically, in the current process of anti-globalization or de-globalization. This powerful global counter-movement is significantly impeding and slowing down, and sometimes effectively blocking the process of globalization.
 George Washington was the undisputed and nonpartisan presidential candidate (the democratic and republican parties not yet existed). Washington was unanimously elected, receiving 69 of 69 electoral votes by the newly established Electoral College (only 35 votes needed to win); he carried 10 states and got 43,782 popular votes.
 Rousseau was the third political philosopher in the sequence of the evolution of social contract theory after Thomas
Hobbs and John Locke. More than any other thinker of the Enlightenment, he advocated and defended the
natural and absolute right, dignity, and sovereignty of the individual over society, monarchy, government, or any
political authority. Rousseau had a great impact and significant influence on revolutionary leaders, thinkers, and
writers since the 18th century, including Jefferson, Robespierre, L’Ouverture, de Lamartine, Marx, Lenin, Mao, etc.
 During this extremely violent period, not only the King of France, Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette were beheaded, but the leaders of the Revolution (and heads of the Committee of Public Safety) as well; Robespierre, Danton, Saint-Just, and Desmoulins also lost their heads, literally (Marat was stabbed to death in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday). More than 17,000 people were executed by the guillotine in France during the Reign of Terror phase of the French Revolution. However, this number is much smaller than the number of victims during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century; and this figure is only a fraction of the victims as a result of political violence, as well as wars, civil wars, world wars, famine (both natural and man-made), ethnic cleansing, and genocide in the 20th century. Yes, politics is a numbers game; it is a deadly serious game of political power as well as political ideology…and numbers…often played out violently on the global political spectrum.
 The Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794) was one of the preeminent thinkers and philosophers of the French
Enlightenment, who served as a leading official during the French Revolution. He is also known for his Condorcet
voting method and Condorcet’s paradox, as well as advocating human rights, including women’s rights and the
abolition of slavery. He was instrumental in popularizing and “adopting” several democratic principles and political
ideas from the American Revolution, already implemented in the new United States. Condorcet was one of the first
political scientist and a “proto-sociologist” who systematically applied mathematics in the social sciences.
 While the Girondins and later the Jacobins represented the political power, the sans-culottes provided the physical
muscle and some military power for the French Revolution; they were also vigilantes against counter-revolutionary
forces. According to Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012), the sans-culottes represented the “little man”
and provided the main striking-force of the revolution by frequently using violence and erecting street barricades.
The sans-culottes were an emerging “proto-working class” – a sort of “proto-proletariat” – and played a central role
in the French Revolution (Albert Soboul).
 Napoleon’s lavish and extravagant coronation ceremony in the Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris (December 2, 1804) which cost an estimated 8.5 million francs, was financed by the proceeds from the Louisiana Purchase (1803), when Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory (it was much bigger than the present day State of Louisiana) and Thomas Jefferson bought it for 68 million francs (about 15 million dollars; approximately 250 million USD today) tripling the size of the United States. The implementation of his Napoleonic Code (1804) in France and in his new empire, as well as his subsequent Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) all across Europe were also partially financed by the proceeds from the Louisiana Purchase. Ultimately, it took seven different coalitions of various multinational armies to defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
 Francis Scott Key wrote his poem Star Spangled Banner in the same year, in 1814, which became the national anthem of the United Sates in 1931.
 Jackson, just like earlier U.S. presidents Washington and Jefferson, was a slave-owner and a wealthy planter. He was also, similarly to Washington, a general in the U.S. Army, who commanded his troops and successfully defended New Orleans, and subsequently defeated the British in 1815. After his decisive victory in the final battle of the War of 1812, Jackson became a national hero, enjoying immense popularity. He was later elected as the 7th President and Commander-In-Chief of the United States and served two terms in office from 1829-1837. Jackson was a popular political strongman and a powerful architect of early American democracy who was trying to hold the Union together at any cost. He was an anti-elitist champion of the common man who fought against political and financial corruption. Jackson was the first U.S. President who managed to pay off the national debt and balance the federal budget in 1835. At the same time, however, he was also a pro-slavery president who hated the growing abolitionist movement and vehemently opposed the abolition of slavery. Jackson also signed the Indian Removal Act (1830) authorizing the forced removal, relocation, and resettlement of Native American tribes, culminating in the Trail of Tears (1838-1839). Consequently, Andrew Jackson – based on his mixed political, moral, and ethical legacy – remains one of the most controversial presidents in U.S. history.
 The Democratic Party dominated U.S. politics – both domestic and foreign policy – between 1933 and 1953 during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations (excluding a period of Republican majority rule in the House and the Senate after President Roosevelt’s death and following World War II); from 1961 to 1969 (Kennedy and Johnson); from 1977 to 1981 (Carter); from 1993 to 2001 (Clinton – although there was a so-called “Republican Revolution” or “counterrevolution” in Congress, led by House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1994); and from 2009 to 2017 during the Obama administration (including a similar political “coup” by the Republican Party in 2010).
 “…sociology was born in the aftermath of the French Revolution of 1789 and in response to the changes
associated with the…Industrial Revolution. Europe was experiencing a dramatic alteration of the social
order…sociology did not emerge as a radical doctrine supporting change or encouraging revolution.
On the contrary, sociology developed as a reaction to the social turmoil and chaos of the times…the ‘science of
society’ was born as a reaction to the turmoil of the most unstable European society, France. The French Revolution,
coupled with the changes wrought with industrialization and urbanization, had left France in a state of
instability…Drawing from the renowned socialist, Saint-Simon, Comte was concerned with restoring social
equilibrium in France, but he argued that limited and patchwork social reforms would not be successful. Rather, a
complete reorganization of society was necessary. Such reorganization, however, could only occur with increased
understanding of society. We should remember that Comte was not a radical revolutionary, but a conservative who
wished to develop a stable basis for the organization of society” (Turner 1979).
 John Stuart Mill was a utilitarian philosopher who greatly contributed to political theory and social theory, as well
as political economy and social liberalism. He was the first member of British Parliament (1865-1868) to advocate
women’s suffrage, in addition to his concept of individual freedom over unlimited state power and government
control. Mill remains one of the most influential British philosophers and political economists of the 19th century.
 President Wilson led the United States during World War I, (entering into the global conflict in 1917) and subsequently represented the U.S. at the Paris Peace Conference, as well as signed the Versailles Treaty in 1919. His ambitious global political program, laid out in his Fourteen Points, was instrumental in the establishment, concept, and mission of the League of Nations (strangely enough, the United States did not sign its charter, therefore it was not an official member of) the precursor and predecessor of the United Nations.
 Other publications by Keynes: The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919); A Treatise on Probability
(1921); A Tract on Monetary Reform (1923); Am I a Liberal? (1925); The End of Laissez-Faire (1926); Laissez-
Faire and Communism (1926); A Treatise on Money (1930); Essays in Persuasion (1931); The Great Slump of 1930
(1931); The Means to Prosperity (1933); How to Pay for the War (1940); Two Memoirs (1949) [posthumously].
Quotes by Keynes: “In the long run we are all dead.”
“The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”
“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”
 Sartre was a communist at heart, although he was never an official member of the French Communist Party. After
Stalin died, he visited the Soviet Union in 1954. Following the brutal crushing of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956,
Sartre hesitated and was not as outspoken against the Soviet Union as his fellow existentialist, Camus.
 For his political writings and literary efforts, following the publication of his influential essays about the Hungarian Revolution and its tragic ending, as well as the subsequent crackdown and retaliation by the Kadar government, Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (1957).
 Perry Anderson (pen name Richard Merton) was the editor-in-chief of the New Left Review (1962-1982) and again (2000-2003). He was associated with the New School for Social Research in the 1980s and 1990s; currently a Distinguished Professor of History and Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Anderson, as an intellectual historian and political essayist, had a major impact on the post-1956 Western Marxism of the New Left – greatly influenced by his wide-ranging analysis, more specifically, his unique synthesis of history, philosophy, and political theory. A short selection of his published works: Considerations on Western Marxism (1976); The Origins of Postmodernity (1998); Spectrum: From Right to Left in the World of Ideas (2005); American Foreign Policy and Its Thinkers (2014); The H-Word: The Peripeteia of Hegemony (2017); The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci (2017).
 Although Castro and Che got most of the credit for leading the Cuban Revolution, there were other earlier and important revolutionary leaders who also deserve credit for the development and evolution of the Cuban Revolution, which had its roots in the first major national independence movement, led by the poet, political activist, and national hero, Jose Marti (1853-1895). The Cuban Revolution also had its origins in the July 26 Movement (M 26-7) which had begun with a failed uprising in 1953, when young rebels, led by Fidel Castro, attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The uprising was brutally crushed by Batista’s regime. Castro was arrested, tried, and convicted as a political prisoner. He was released in 1955 and moved to Mexico, before returning to Cuba in 1956. Jose Antonio Echeverria (1932-1957) gave a three-minute speech after briefly taking over the National Radio Station of Cuba, in Havana, on March 13, 1957. He managed to leave the radio station alive; however, Echeverria was shot and killed shortly after, only a few blocks from the University of Havana. Frank Pais (1934-1957) participated in the July 26 Movement as an urban organizer of students and young workers. He collaborated with Castro and his guerilla forces in the Sierra Maestra mountains, and coordinated his revolutionary activities with M 26-7. Pais was shot and killed by the local police in Santiago de Cuba, on July 30, 1957 – a date which would be commemorated by the Cuban Government as the Day of the Martyrs of the Revolution.
 A short list of Stokely Carmichael’s books and publications: “Toward Black Liberation,” published in The Massachusetts Review in 1966; Black Power: The Politics of Liberation with Charles V. Hamilton (1967); Stokely Speaks: Black Power Back to Pan-Africanism (1971); Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) with Ekwueme Michael Thelwell (2003) posthumously published.
 A famous quote by Mises: “If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.”
 Some other influential works by Hayek are The Counter-Revolution of Science (1952) republished in the United States (1980) including Part I: Scientism and the Study of Society, Part II: The Problem and the Method of the Natural Sciences, and Part III: The Subjective Character of the Data of the Social Sciences; The Constitution of Liberty (1960) definitive edition (2011); Law, Legislation and Liberty (in three volumes) including Volume I: Rules and Order (1973), Volume II: The Mirage of Social Justice (1976), Volume III: The Political Order of a Free People (1979); as well as Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (1980) and The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (1988).
 A short list of Milton Friedman’s most influential works: A Theory of the Consumption Function (1957); A Program for Monetary Stability (1959); Capitalism and Freedom (1962); Price Theory (1962); A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960 (1963); The Optimum Quantity of Money (1969); Free to Choose (1980); Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History (1992). Famous quotes by Friedman: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” “Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
 Famous quotes by Margaret Thatcher: “There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.” “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
 According to one of his outspoken critics: “Ronald Reagan was an A-list television pitchman; a B-list movie actor; and a C-list politician.” Quotes by Reagan: “…there is no such thing as left or right; there is only up or down.” “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” “The most terrifying nine words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” “The government’s role in the economy can be summed up in a few short phrases: if it moves, tax it; if it keeps moving, regulate it; and if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
 Perhaps marching together as a unified team during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in
Pyeongchang, South Korea, is a positive sign and a great step in the right direction towards unification in the future.
 Located in the extremely volatile region of the Balkans in Southeastern Europe, this powder keg provided the spark for the breakout of World War I; the Archduke of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo, in 1914; this region became part of Yugoslavia in 1918.
 Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who founded the Jesuit Order, was a priest from the Spanish Basque region.
 After Franco’s death in 1975, there was a long transition to democracy in Spain, which lasted until 1982.