During Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972, the Chinese premier, Zhou Enlai, was asked about the impact of the French Revolution. He famously replied that he thought it was too early to say. Although it appears that Zhou may have misunderstood the question, it was as one diplomat remarked, a misunderstanding that was ‘too delicious to invite correction’.
As is well known, the French revolution, like the Chinese revolution in which Zhou played a leading role, resulted in a prolonged period of death and destruction. Here are 8 reasons why revolutions often fail. Continue reading