Billmon wonders why political and business elites aren't afraid of a populist, violent revolution in the US. He posits:
The answer, I suppose is either that they have lived so long in the bubble of power and privilege that they no longer realize that moments like July 1789 or October 1917 can happen, or that they are supremely confident that populist rage can always be channeled to the right, where it can be easily controlled.
Either way, it amounts to the same thing: A total unawareness that at the end of the day, the only thing standing between them and the guillotine is sheer social inertia.
There's also the very important point that people have to be extremely downtrodden before they consider violent revolution. Give us bread and circuses and there isn't much that will make us revolt.