While we’re speaking about revolutions and such, Hilzoy on the ongoing violence in Gaza:
I imagine what people on both sides are thinking is something more like: do you expect us to just sit here and take it? Do you expect us to do nothing? To which my answer is: no, I expect you to try to figure out what has some prospect of actually making things better. Killing people out of anger, frustration, and the sense that you have to do something is just wrong. For both sides.
I’m inclined to think there are generalizable lessons here.
And, that the same responses to bad stuff lead to more bad stuff does not mean that doing nothing is an acceptable option (in the hopes that at least maybe the amount of bad stuff will level off rather than increasing).
What it does mean is that people need to shift out of auto-pilot and imagine different options. They need to be ready to put effort into responding differently. They need to be able to peer down more links of the causal chains they are getting ready to set in motion. And they need to muster their empathy for the others on the verge of setting other causal chains in motion.
Empathy may be the toughest piece of this, but I reckon its the one that will make the most difference in the end, whatever the struggle.