I have seen there is some specification of the requisites for organizational change.

I wonder if there is something similar for political change, I guess this can be extrapolated, or maybe political change is some kind of organisational change.

I would also like to know how trustworthy these theories are, or whether someone simply made it up and it should not be trusted or taken seriously at all.

Thank you.

  • 2
    In order to answer this better, you should specify more. E.g. Marxism has different ideas on this from Toynbee and from other thinkers and from Rahm Emmanuel.
    – user4012
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 13:40
  • I am looking for something general to any change. Marxism has some ideas, the French revolution has different ideas and the revolutions that are to come in the future will have different ideas. I'm looking for the common characteristics (and not specific ones) because those are more likely to be present in future events. If there are several theories then we will need to do some differential analysis or diagnosis. Hopefully someone did that already and published it (with open access) ;)
    – Trylks
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 14:18
  • Too poorly specified to answer: too general. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 22:08
  • @SamuelRussell I'm sorry but I have already had my own share of "too general" labelings, so here is the reply. Also remember there is an example of a similar answer in a link, with a diagram that is actually a list with 6 items. Thank you for your feedback.
    – Trylks
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 2:06
  • 1) You're asking for a theory of everything. 2) Your theoretical basis for asking the question is massively underread. 3) Your theory of science is appalling (all human endeavour is "made up" and this doesn't differentiate valid sociological from invalid sociological knowledge). The question as put is unanswerable. Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 3:29

2 Answers 2


For the basis of this answer it is assumed that a politicians greatest desire is to stay in office.

Political change is derived from the reorganization of political priorities following the wake of mass grievances. How much these priorities are changed depends on the degree of preceding societal change that establishes this new grievance.

For example, Womens Rights were established because Post WW1 society got a chance to see their value after women had to step into the void left by men who went to fight. Without this social change in perceptions, the existing calls for greater suffrage would continue to be ignored. Social Change = Widespread Demand = Political Change As a factor that did not reach critical mass, environmentalism has not (yet?) crossed over to become sufficiently potent a political issue to cause priorities to shift (as much as Universal suffrage, Civil Rights etc.).


SHORT ANSWER: *You need to have a "critical mass" of your supporters (depends on many factors: poverty, oppression, injustice) and then it is like snowball and it's 50% chance you succeed, at least in the short run.*

Creating a revolution is a tough thing if you don't have the media, war machinery and money. Many books were written on that topic.

And where would the revolution start first?

Probably where you wouldn't expect it at all.

I would say something like the USA. E.g. Karl Marx thought that the revolution should begin in the UK or France.

Guess what... he was wrong and it started in "Russia" ;)

But back to why I would say the US is my tip for the next "revolution".

People in the USA are accustomed to a quite big living standard when it comes to the World.

And now they are loosing it for various reasons.

You got the privacy issues including guns, monitoring internet, drones and these things are increasing intensively everyday.

People in the EU are accustomed to such government policy (even we have more demonstrations etc.) but for the US this is something "new".

So, the question is: Could they adapt to lower living standard or not? Probably yes, but the revolution is the other option.

Btw. Most of the revolutions were orchestrated in the past by influential groups and entities. Only a few were "from the bottom". So, if you are thinking about becoming an author of an revolution, your chances are very very very low (but not zero ;), of corse). Instead I would suggest to make some "evolutionary" kind of revolution by changing things you could change (influence other people by your thoughts, things you do, create new things, show what is done wrong and offer alternative etc.). But remember, thoughts are the most dangerous weapon, so be careful).

  • A critical mass of desperate people is not enough, that only makes for "incentives". I'd say ideas are an important part, which may correspond to "vision" and "action plan" in the link I shared. Also "resources" are needed, that's why this rarely happens from the bottom. I was planning to share some ideas, but I would like to start the blog by saying where do the ideas fit in the big puzzle, why they are useless without resources, for instance. About the next revolution, I'd bet on China. Revolutions are harder with a delusion of democracy (point 9).
    – Trylks
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 12:56
  • Yeah, I agree that ideas are important, of course, you need to get the critical mass somehow, oviously ;). You need resources too, that's right (money, people, guns, etc.). A few years ago I would say China too, but they are getting better every year, so I don't see why somebody wants to cahnge that. Chinese are accustomed to censorship. And to be honest it's nothing so bad like in North Korea or Iran or Saudi Arabia. I would stick to countries where the people see that they are beeing controlled every year more and more and are poorer every year more and more. In China they are getting better
    – Derfder
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 13:15
  • I downvoted this answer because it is just a wild guess about the political future of the US in particular and doesn't address the question in a generalized, theoretical way like it was asked.
    – Philipp
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 14:15

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