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In 2014, the price of oil halved. It has stubbornly remained at about $50 a barrel; many analysts think that the price will never recover. Global demand is stagnating due to the sluggish economy and huge improvements in sustainable technology.
90% of Saudi Arabia's GDP comes from petroleum and petrochemicals. Fundamentalist Islam coupled with profligate public spending was an effective means of controlling an oil-dependent society, but the oil wealth that underpinned that regime is in terminal decline. The country's entire future depends on transitioning away from an oil-based economy, which effectively entails building a functioning economy from scratch.
According to official figures, only 12% of Saudis are employed. Of that 12%, the vast majority have pointless grace-and-favour jobs in the public sector. The actual running of the country is done by immigrants, as is anything vaguely resembling hard work. The Saudi people don't really know how to do anything, nor are they particularly inclined to work. Unless there are drastic reforms, Saudi Arabia will collapse totally as soon as the oil money runs out.
The social reforms are largely a bribe to young people - we'll let you indulge in all these depraved western activities if you'll just get off your fucking arses and do a job of work. Young women play a crucial role in this, because their desire for independence might motivate them to join the workforce. Social reforms are also a necessary precursor to economic modernisation; women who can drive can drive to work.
The revolution has already taken place. Mohammad bin Nayef has been ousted as crown prince in favour of Mohammad bin Salman. King Salman is rapidly declining due to Alzheimer's, so the transition of power to bin Salman is well underway. If the conservatives decide to fight back, it will end very badly for them. Bin Salman has the loyalty of the military and broad international support. At this point, he's pretty much unstoppable.