Its all about economics. When people dont have food, dont have jobs, dont have sense of purpose to their lives, its an excruciating agony. Let’s be honest– most history books are exciting. They have an amazing way of oversimplifying major cultural shifts, as if someone flips a light switch and society turns on a dime.
Take Martin Luther, for example. In 1517, Luther publicly posted a list of 95 grievances against the Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and history credits him with sparking the great ‘reformation’ that eventually created the Church of England and protestant movement.
This is mere historical convenience. There were hundreds, even thousands of people who came before Luther. Society was ready for a major shift and already moving in that direction. Luther gets credit for the spark.
Similarly, the history books of the future may look back on Tunisian fruit merchant Mohammed Bouazizi as the spark of the next ‘global reformation’. If you recall, Bouazizi lit himself ablaze in protest of Tunisia’s pitifully repressive economic conditions, and revolution ensued across the region.
Tunisia fell. Egypt fell. Libya was invaded by a peace-prize winning US president. Civil uprisings spread to Syria, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, etc. It would be fools to think this was all due to a fruit vendor.
Like Martin Luther, Bouazizi is a symbol… a metaphor for society’s pent up frustration that had been building for years. This frustration is worldwide. The entire world, which cheered the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, has been watching in complete shock as riots spread across Europe. Riots in London, riots in France, riots in Greece, riots in Spain.
Whatever excuse is laid to explain the upheaval, it’s just a superficial trigger. People are frustrated. They’re angry. They feel like they’ve been wronged, left behind to rot without any chance of a decent livelihood. And they’re so angry they’re willing to get violent and destroy property.
These are the same sorts of conditions that breed today’s terrorists. Someone who’s willing to strap a bomb to his chest has no economic prospects. He’s desperate… and much more easily influenced to do things that are destructive. You don’t see too many successful people making six-figures strapping any bombs to their chests.
Bottom line, when someone’s livelihood is taken away, all bets are off, and that’s precisely what’s happening right now. Deteriorating economic conditions are driving so much social unrest around the world, and the trend is definitely not our friend.
World governments recognize this, and they essentially have two responses from their canned playbook.
The first response is to “do something.” In the US, for example, Barack Obama recently announced a new wave of fiscal stimulus… because, hey, it worked out so well the first few times they dumped a bunch of money into the economy.
This is exactly the WRONG thing they should be doing. It puts the country deeper into debt and generates marginal return on investment. Even the Congressional Budget Office’s own analysis indicated that Obama’s first stimulus plan cost the American taxpayer between $225,000 and $631,000 for every job that it ‘saved’ or created after 18-months.
Even a complete moron can see that this is a waste of money, and ruinous for the economy. Hang on for round two to come very soon.
The second thing that governments are doing is curtailing freedoms. These people will take ANY STEPS NECESSARY to keep the party going. Sure, everyone cheered when Egyptians used Facebook and Twitter to launch a revolution… but when people do it in the London or San Francisco, they take immediate steps to shut off access.
San Francisco’s BART transit system spokesman Linton Johnson summed it up best in an interview with KRON-4 news when he said that transit passengers have “no right to free speech…” So much for the Constitution.
These two things– economic deterioration and the increasingly heavy hand of Big Brother– are the essential ingredients in revolution. When combined, widespread social upheaval is nearly a foregone conclusion.
Thinking people need to recognize the risks and consequences at stake, and formulate a plan to prepare for them. My ultimate recommendation is to set up a safe haven location outside of your home country– a crash pad in a stable place where you can feel secure in your family’s safety and watch the turmoil on television instead of from your front porch.
This is just a research piece and not an investment advice. All financial transactions carry a RISK.