The Arab Spring "J Curve"

So, what the heck is going on in the Middle East right now? I submit for your consideration that what we're seeing is actually the logical continuation of revolutions against poverty and dictatorship that we've been calling the "Arab Spring." And it's going to continue - and get worse - until one very specific thing happens. Here's why and how. In a brilliant paper that explains revolutions far better than Marx & Engles, back in 1962 James C. Davies wrote for the American Sociological Review an article titled, "Toward a Theory of Revolution." In it, he proposed that revolutions don't happen because life is intolerable for people, which was basically Marx's theory. He points out correctly that there are countries all over the world and all through history where life was and is terrible, but people don't revolt. Keep in mind that of the 7 billion people on earth right now, about 5 and a half billion of them live on less than $5 a day, and about 3 billion of them live on less than $2 a day. Over a billion of them don't even have access to sanitation or safe drinking water. But they're not revolting. Why is that? Davies proposed that it's not life being terrible that provokes revolutions. Instead, it's all about the gap between what people expect life to be like and what it's actually like. When that gap is small - people live in squalor, but just figure that's the hand life has dealt them - then you don't have revolution. But when that gap is large, when people expect that ...