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Captcha
03-19-2012, 05:29 PM
I am NOT an historian or a student of political movements. But I've somehow decided to write a Romance trilogy with the backdrop of a futuristic revolution. It's a Romance, so the revolution isn't the FOCUS of the story, but it would be nice if things at least made sense...

I've got a thread open in the Sandbox, but it's not getting much (any) love so I'm back to trying to figure this out on my own, and I was hoping to find an historical model or models for inspiration/research. Maybe you guys can help me with that?

In my story, the pre-revolutionary society is a totalitarian oligarchy - an entrenched upper class controls the vast lower class through constant surveillance and gathering/analyzing/storing lots of information. The revolutionaries are able to plant a virus (go with it) that steals the data, then erases the gov't data banks and disables the cameras. This is coordinated with a military coup. My problem is, what comes next?

There are some factors that will make it a challenge to have a strong corellation with any previous revolutions (the country covers the entire continent of NA, so there really are no neighbours to be concerned; there are space colonies that I'd like to get involved, as my society has, in the past, brutally repressed an uprising at one of the colonies; the technology is obviously a wild card). But is there anything that comes to mind as basically similar, or that has similar features, that I could learn about for inspiration?

Thanks for any suggestions - I know this is pretty vague...

ETA: Possibly I'm looking for a coup rather than a revolution? I'd like there to be at least some degree of post-coup struggle, though... Ideally, it would fall short of a full-on civil war, but I need at least a little messiness, somewhere. One of my MCs is the leader of the revolutionary forces, and I need to keep him busy!

GeorgeK
03-19-2012, 05:41 PM
It reminds me of the breakup of the Soviet Union, only if computers had been widely available.

All revolutions pretty much involve espionage and counter espionage, including altering and destroying data, so on the surface I don't see a problem with your plot line. Ther've been criminals who burned down banks not to steal money but to destroy deed documents. I say go with it.

MeretSeger
03-19-2012, 05:42 PM
The intense electronic surveillance is a relatively new phenomenon, but you might look at the fall of the Soviet Union for a start. Totalitarian, close control of the population, fear, the population rose when it sensed weakness, surveillance broke down, and the military made the final decision.

eta: ^ what George said :)

thothguard51
03-19-2012, 05:58 PM
From what I have read and observed about revolutions that brought down long term regimes, they only work when the military finally backs the revolutionaries...

You could say the Arab spring is a good model, but it does not seem to be working in Syria or Iran. I also don't think the same style of revolution would work in N. Korea or China because the military is too tied to the regimes.

Captcha
03-19-2012, 07:34 PM
Yeah, the Soviet Union makes sense (I feel stupid for not thinking of it).

I will investigate further! Thanks!

robjvargas
03-19-2012, 08:27 PM
Look at the country that precipitated the Arab Spring series of popular revolts. Tunisia.

Short story: corrupt government. One person has enough, commit suicide in spectacular fashion, revolution is the result.

Stlight
03-20-2012, 01:39 AM
Tsarist Russia. Instead of the electronic surveillance the priests had to report to the government any anti-government that was confessed to them. This was Peter the Great's idea.

Richard White
03-20-2012, 02:25 AM
Remember too, most revolutions tend to get out of hand once the immediate target falls.

Look at the French Revolution and the Terror. A revolution may start out with high and mighty ideas, but jealousy, paranoia, and a desire for power means you trade one ruler (Louis XVI) for another (Napoleon) and really, what have you gained but a different master, a disrupted society, and a lot of dead people.

Captcha
03-20-2012, 03:38 AM
Remember too, most revolutions tend to get out of hand once the immediate target falls.

Look at the French Revolution and the Terror. A revolution may start out with high and mighty ideas, but jealousy, paranoia, and a desire for power means you trade one ruler (Louis XVI) for another (Napoleon) and really, what have you gained but a different master, a disrupted society, and a lot of dead people.

THAT'S where the love story comes in, Mr. Cynical! The leader feels the temptation to become autocratic, he begins to be corrupted - but he is dragged back from the abyss by his pure-hearted lover! *Happy Sigh*

Richard White
03-20-2012, 07:11 AM
Of course, I'm cynical. I'm a history major.

We've proven our ability to screw things up over and over the past 8,000 years. Why stop now?

dirtsider
03-20-2012, 03:30 PM
I was also going to suggest the Russian Communist Revolution.

You might also want to take a look at the American Revolution as well. The American Colonists got fed up at all the taxation and the economic controls on manufacturing, among other things.

RemusShepherd
03-21-2012, 12:14 AM
The Russian Communist revolution is a good example because of the constant surveillance. But I think the most unusual aspect of current government control is the overwhelming firepower they can turn upon rebels. If the rebels do not subvert the military, they will be facing tanks and airpower with little more than hunting rifles.

For that reason I think the best historical analog might be the Indian independence movement. The British had overwhelming military superiority, although some Indians tried to challenge them still. It took over a century but India finally won its independence through Gandhi's policy of civil resistance. No real violence, just a determined and prolonged shaming of the ruling class. Unfortunately it took generations before their resistance bore fruit. Still, it's better than being gunned down in a riot.