Brains that Make Revolutions

43 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2010

See all articles by Fernando Estrada

Fernando Estrada

Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Finanzas, Gobierno y Relaciones Internacionales

Boris Salazar

Universidad del Valle

Date Written: October 14, 2010


This paper work assesses the key aspects of a framework for research on revolutions. Our approach includes a heuristic based on an idea suggested by Marx in the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte: "The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living." From this maxim of Marx advance on conventional interpretations by postulating that the language and metaphors are a challenge in several respects: (1) The brain is a physical basis for understanding key political revolutions, (2) advances in neuroscience and language (Lakoff/Johnson/Narayanan) have allowed the reconstruction of conceptual frameworks in various fields, including philosophy, mathematics and politics (3) The language expressed in songs, text, flags, emblems, illustrations, slogans, speeches and rumors is key to represent and demonstrate loyalty to the idea of revolution and, more crucially, to "make" the revolution, (4) Metaphors are a powerful rational action in revolutionary processes. One interpretation of these can contribute to decipher, for example, how the brain are activated in neural systems that link past and present, how to operate the symbolic frameworks of language to influence political opinion, how metaphors interact with processes artificial simulation or how metaphors evolve in a revolution from simple metaphors.

Keywords: Revolutions, French Revolution, Iran Revolution, Russian Revolutions, Language, Neural Theory

JEL Classification: B00, B50, B51, Z00, Z10, B00, A00, A10, P00, P20, D00, D70, D74

Suggested Citation

Estrada, Fernando and Salazar, Boris, Brains that Make Revolutions (October 14, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Fernando Estrada (Contact Author)

Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Finanzas, Gobierno y Relaciones Internacionales ( email )

Calle 12 # 0 - 85 Este, Barrio La Candelaria
Bogota, DC Cundinamarca 1267
05-71 - 3419900 - ext. 1202 (Phone)


Boris Salazar

Universidad del Valle ( email )

Calle 13 No
Cali, 100-00

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