• discontent that affects nearly all social classes
  • widespread feelings of entrapment and despair
  • unfulfilled expectations
  • a unified solidarity in opposition to a tiny power elite
  • a refusal by scholars and thinkers to continue to defend the actions of the ruling class
  • an inability of government to respond to the basic needs of citizens
  • a steady loss of will within the power elite itself, together with defections from the inner circle
  • a financial crisis

But it is Crane Brinton’s next observation that is most worth remembering. Revolutions always begin, he wrote, by making impossible demands that, if met, would mean the end of the old power configurations.