DYNAMICS OF POLITICAL CHANGE July 15, 2009Posted by wmmbb in European Politics, Natural Environment.
So what causes fundamental political change, and are revolutions, such as the French Revolution fundamental political change, or merely changes in the holders of political power?
The proposition, otherwise stated, is that the structural violence, or the embedded violence in political institutions, such as corporations, is changed rather than abolished. Despite the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, it is a striking legal fact that legal persons have rights as much as natural persons, and because they have greater financial resources to use the legal system, and influence by public relations and political donations, they have greater rights than do individuals. Still it has to remembered that the statement of human rights was important, and it has changed behavior. The principles of human rights might not be fully realized in the modern world, but they are part of the social consensus and consciousness, perhaps more so for some than others.
Political change is not on the minds of most people every day of the week. Given our present circumstances and the predictions made for widespread violence in the wake of the impact of climate change, that the French Revolution may being significantly and substantially influence by climate change. So passively handcuffed to the juggernaut of violence are we as human beings, as distinct from our political and social institutions that the assumption is that we know no other way.
Nonetheless, in the past nonviolence was not the modus operandi. The Wikipedia article on the French Revolution notices, something among many that I was not aware of, that there was a political climate connection:
A contributing factor to the Revolution was the considerable increases in poverty in the preceding years. Some scholars trace this to several years of recurrent weather aberrations, caused by the Laki eruption of 1783 and the severe El Niño effects that were to follow. Historian François Furet in his work, Le Passé d’une illusion (1995) (The Passing of An Illusion (1999) in English translation) explores in detail the similarities between the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution of 1917 more than a century later, arguing that the former was taken as a model by Russian revolutionaries. 
Climate change has the potential to tip the balance to produce fundamental political change, unlike, for example, a financial crisis that might lead to the consolidation and reconfiguration of political power (via Public Opinion).
To produce the change that is ecological and socially sustainable, and universally just we have to engage in cultural change. To engage in cultural change is to work on the bedrock of every human society and every person. Revolutions occur when the clock stops ticking for the existing order, but whereas human beings may have set the clock running, they may not be able to stop it. We may wake up to find our deal is cooked.