Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The economics of revolution

Gerard O'Neill at the Turbulence Ahead blog writes,
Has the price of revolution fallen? Gary North thinks so. In a brilliant analysis of the current situation in Tunisia and Egypt he observes that:
When the cost of political mobilization falls, more is demanded. When people can mobilize thousands of protesters without any centrally directed agency and without any organization that can be infiltrated and subverted, they are in a position to impose enormous political damage on any existing regime, as long as the regime really is corrupt, tyrannical, and hated.
So demand curves do slope downwards, even for revolutions!

Technology has lowered transaction costs so much that we seem to be at the point where revolutions can be a decentralised "market" transaction. There is no need any more for central control or leadership, revolutions have taken on a spontaneous order of their own.

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