Revolutionary Fervo(u)r

With apologies for my English English…

A very interesting recent post exploring how we might think about the “contagious” nature of “revolutionary fervor” in what have sometimes been called “domino” processes of revolutionary outbreak.

At some levels, as a commenter points out, this is a well-studied phenomenon. It’s also one which poses important questions for us as scholars of revolution: how far does emotional enthusiasm and inspiration help to create situations in which novel actions become possible? Is such fervour a component of new self-beliefs among mobilised populations that helps explain “leaderless” revolutionary activism? By the same token, and with an eye to recent tragic events, do processes of dissemination of fervent belief lead to over-confidence, to spontaneous understandings that, for all their popular coloration, can simply be factually wrong, and sometime suicidally dangerous?

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