With hindsight it is possible to see in the course of the Ethiopian revolution a process of radicalization and post-revolutionary consolidation through which the Provisional Military Administration Committee (PMAC, or the Derg) established a stable new order on the ruins of the old. The direction of political and social change was by no means this clear during the first years after 1974. The pattern of revolutionary transformation involved a deep paradox, namely the conflict between the military leadership at the top and the various radical civilian forces below. At each stage of the revolution, the PMAC, aware of its own political weaknesses, sought to establish alliances with these civilian forces. Indeed it put into practice much of what the civilians were themselves demanding.