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The Conservative Counterrevolution

The termĀ counterrevolution was always used by Lenin and his associates in a pejorative sense.

The term counterrevolution was always used by Lenin and his associates in a pejorative sense. In the Marxist view, since "progress" is irreversible, any gains made by the left are to be considered permanent, while any gains made by the right are to be considered temporary setbacks. The contemporary treatment of revolution and counterrevolu tion in academic writing is a good indication of the degree to which Lenin has triumphed. In what is now called "comparative revolutions," a leftist dominance reflects both the usurpation of literature by the academy and the usurpation of history by Marxist professors and their sympathizers. Crane Brinton, for instance, is an authority on what he calls "great" revolutions. These, he says, "start as internal crises in the old regime, proceeding to a government of moderate revolutionaries, then to a radical reign of terror, which leads to a Thermidor in which order is restored but some gains of the revolution are maintained.” This familiar analysis is based on the conviction that revolutions are the results of minority discontent. But suppose that is not the case. Suppose that it is the majority that is discontented—or, more accurately, suppose enough in the majority are discontented to tip the balance of the core population against the government. If even 30 percent of a group is discontented, they may...

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