Galbraith’s Law

From The Age of Uncertainty (1977) by John Kenneth Galbraith:

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged feel also that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich. So it was in the Ancien Régime. When reform from the top became impossible, revolution from the bottom became inevitable.

From The Spanish Civil War (2006) by Paul Preston:

Accordingly, the Civil War of 1936-9 represented the ultimate expression of the attempts by reactionary elements in Spanish politics to crush any reform which might threaten their privileged position.

From The Empire Must Die: Russia’s Revolutionary Collapse, 1900 – 1917 (2017) by Mikhail Zygar:

The colossal difference in wealth and education made the country extremely unstable, as indeed is any system based on segregation. Sooner or later, the prosperous minority becomes unable to withstand the pressure of the dispossessed majority pushing up from below.

The imperial family, the court, members of the government, the Black Hundreds – thousands of people were unable to renounce their belief in the medieval dogma of the divine origin of tsarist power. Their archaic conviction and stubborn resistance to the bitter end prevented reform and the country’s political development. Time and again they brushed aside all moderate evolutionary scenarios.

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