Tag Archives: Revolutions

President Biden’s New Plan to Tackle Rising Food Prices, by MN Gordon

Rising food prices and a depreciating currency have brought down more than one regime. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Watch it slip
Watch it slide
I bet $10 on the losing horse
Feel the grip
Of my bride
Watch me do it again

Where’s my dinner?!

Short Lip Fuser, Rocket from the Crypt

Empty Stomachs

Evergrande’s going down.  And it’s taking the life savings of countless good people down with it.

But while Evergrande’s going down.  Food prices are going up.  Moreover, they’re going up a lot.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global food prices were up nearly 33 percent year over year in August.  Vegetable oil, grains, and meat all cost more.  Unfortunately, rising food prices – and empty stomachs – often presage social chaos and revolution.

If you recall, a decade ago food inflation triggered the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa.  And food shortages were commonplace in Communist Romania in the 1980s.  That was before the country’s dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown, tried by a kangaroo court, lined up against a wall, and executed by firing squad on Christmas Day in 1989.

Rare is the revolution ignited by a populace with a full stomach.  Historically, surges against an oppressive regime are sparked by a steep and extended rise in food prices.

Leading up to the French Revolution, for example, famines were frequent.  In one instance, when Louis XVI’s clueless wife, Marie Antoinette, learned the peasants had no bread, she remarked, “let them eat cake.”

What followed were the Flour War riots.  Not long after that, Louis XVI’s head rolled off the guillotine chopping block.  Then things really got bad.

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The Populist American Powder Keg Is Primed but Will It Be Lit? by Tim Kirby

Many people don’t become “revolutionaries” until they’ve got nothing left to lose. From Tim Kirby at strategic-culture.org:

There are countless alarmist articles from the past rotting away on the forgotten side of the internet, warning us that “this time it’ll be different” and that the given crisis of the moment was “the one” that would lead to big change. Flawed humans are often too eager to over inflate information that suits them to build the exciting revolutionary narrative of their fantasies. We should always be wary of falling into the trap of this alarmism, but as 2020 comes to an end there are some truly unique events happening in the West, especially America that cannot be ignored. The Covid-19 Pandemic, or should I say governments’ strange measures to fight it, have eroded one of the major pillars of Western stability, that is rarely acknowledged. Life in the West is finally becoming uncomfortable and whether this is “good news” is up for debate, but it is certainly good for creating major political change.

The most unseen form of repression is perhaps the most effective

If we look at the late 20th and now the 21st century it is critical to acknowledge that the main means of coercion of the population of a given nation is comfort. Throughout all of human history from the point when we first started to slap together farm implements there has had to be some form of repression/coercion to keep the system, that we call society, on its feet. The serfs needed to toil, the knights needed to defend, the traders to trade and the elite to oversee it all. This is one of the paradoxes of Democracy, we created a system that tells us the people are in charge and free to do whatever they want when in reality society exists as it does, exactly because people cannot do what they want and do not have the power to topple the system.

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The Fanatic’s Ball, by The Zman

Fanatics are dangerous, especially when they get a hold of a government. From The Zman at theburningplatform.com:

The great British evolutionary biologist, J. B. S. Haldane, famously said that fanaticism is man’s greatest invention. The obsessive, uncritical belief in an idea or cause is the opposite of the sober-minded and rational. The fanatic is intolerant of anything that contradicts his views, while the rational man is willing to update or even abandon his views when presented contradictory information. The fanatic sees only that which confirms his fanaticism and refuses to yield in his opinions.

The fanatic, of course, has been in the middle of every man-made social disaster since the French Revolution. It was fanatics who brought on the Reign of Terror and it was fanatics who brought on The Great Terror. Fanatics let loose by Mao in the Cultural Revolution terrorized the Chinese population. Man’s greatest invention turns out to be man’s most terrible invention. Once it is let loose, it is not easily put back on the leash, at least not until it runs out of things to smash.

This year has seen the fanatic set free to run wild in our streets. They were deliberately agitated and let loose by the petty men of the ruling class, frustrated that the people’s champion had not been vanquished. It’s hard for modern people to understand how the French radicals, for example, could have killed so many in the name of the revolution, but current events make this much easier to comprehend, even if we have not reached the bloodbath stage yet.

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All (Political) Roads Lead To Massively Higher Government Spending, by John Rubino

All of the revolutions, quasi-revolutions, and proposed revolutions out there are pushing for higher spending and less taxes. That’s problematic when the overthrown governments are deeply in debt. From John Rubino at dollarcollapse.com:

The past few years have seen more than the usual amount of political upheaval. But, interestingly, most regime changes have resulted in pretty much the same thing: Higher government spending and bigger deficits.

Apparently the only “reforms” today’s voters will accept – which is to say the only actions that don’t get a leader kicked out of office – involve spending rather than saving money.

Three recent examples:

The US
Republicans – the party of smaller government – gained control of the White House and Congress in 2016, and proceeded to take a meat ax to bloated entitlements, lowering the government’s share of the economy to levels not seen since the Reagan years.

Just kidding. They tried to eliminate the newest entitlement, Obamacare, but failed to produce even a coherent proposal. So instead they cut taxes, expanded the military and left everything else on autopilot. Now, nine years into a recovery with official unemployment below 4% — and with the small-government party in charge:

U.S. budget deficit approaches $1 trillion

(MarketWatch) – The Treasury Department says that adjusted for timing-related transactions, the deficit would have been $270 billion over the last two months compared to $250 billion during the same period the prior year, with tax revenue up by 1% but spending up by 4%.

The budget picture is deteriorating as the U.S. taxes individuals and companies less and spends more, mostly on defense and benefit payments to an aging population. Though a growing economy is softening the blow, it’s possible that the annual deficit will top $1 trillion this year.

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