Software Nerd

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Protestant Reformation

"The Reformation" spread across Germany and Scandinavia around 1530. In the 1530's, Henry VIII had famously broken with the Catholic Church. Though he do so partly because he wanted a divorce, he probably could not have done so without the numerous English noblemen and clergy who agreed with the ideas of the Reformation, and wanted change for their own reasons. About 30 years later, Mary Queen of Scots abdicated her throne in the face of the Scottish Reformation.

Super-fast revolution: What amazes me is this: Martin Luther nailed his "95 Treatises" to a church door in 1517. Just 20 years, saw change across many countries. How did it spread so fast? Were people so angry about the existing corruption and the status-quo? Many noblemen saw the reformation as a way to increase their local political power: was role did this play compared to the intellectual argument? I need to get a good book about the history of the Reformation.

Marx and Russia: Karl Marx published the "Communist Manifesto" in 1848. The Russian revolution took place 70 years later, in 1917. Since Communism wanted to overthrow the church, the rulers, and the middle class, it is not surprising that it took longer than the Reformation, even though it occurred in a time when ideas travelled more quickly.

A picture: Here are time lines for Luther and Marx, with Rand thrown in as a bonus.

Notice how rapidly Luther's ideas took hold.

Also, when a young Objectivist is pessimistic, tell him that we've got till 2026 if we go at the pace of the Communist revolution!