The idea of revolution was the great invention of the West in its second phase. Societies of the past did not have real revolutions; they had changes of mandate and dynasty. Apart from these changes, they experienced profound transformations: births, deaths, and resurrections of religions. In this respect, too, our era is unique: no other society has ever made revolution its central idea. If this second phase of Western civilization comes to an end, as many people believe and as the reality that we all live tells us, the clearest sign that the end is approaching will be what Ortega y Gasset prophetically called “the twilight of revolutions.” It is true that we have never had so many; it is also true that none of them fits the...
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $35 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.