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Single Idea 19837

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 7. Changing the State / c. Revolution]

Full Idea

The greater the area occupied by the same number of inhabitants, the more difficult it becomes to revolt, since concerted action cannot be taken promptly and secretly.

Gist of Idea

If inhabitants are widely dispersed, organising a revolt is much more difficult

Source

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract (tr Cress) [1743], III.09)

A Reaction

Revolutions since then have all occurred in large cities, which have become huge. The dispersal of the rest of the population (as in Russia) doesn't matter.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.190