Sources of Instability in Developing Countries.

by Guy J. Pauker

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Transcribed text of an unwritten National War College lecture, suggesting that we stop looking for quantifiable indicators of potential revolution or insurgency, because govenments topple when the people feel that the rulers have lost their legitimate authority, and the reasons for this feeling are not quantifiable. Even governments that rule by violent repression depend on at least the passive acceptance of the masses, and are in trouble when they lose the confidence of the people constituting the power mechanism. Revolutions occur when the people withdraw their acceptance, a process akin to falling out of love. We have no indicators and no theories to explain when the breaking point will occur in any particular case; Pakistan lasted for 20 years in an obviously unstable form. What we regard as heartless exploitation may be accepted quietly for generations, until the landlords or the rulers overstep some invisible boundary. It is hard to see how the United States can or should exert a stabilizing influence. 13 pp.

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