It’s pretty ironic that I have two visitors right now in my home– one from Ukraine and the other from Thailand.
Both of their countries are in the midst of chaotic turmoil right now, characterized by riots and violent clashes between protestors and police.
It reminds me of the old quote from Louis XVI upon being informed in 1789 that the French people had stormed the Bastille. The King asked, “Is it a revolt?”
“No, sire,” the duke replied, “It is a revolution.”
People in both of these countries have reached their breaking points. In Ukraine especially, economic conditions have deteriorated in almost spectacular form.
History is packed with examples of how people rise up in the streets whenever economic conditions deteriorate.
The French Revolution in 1789 is one famous example; the French people finally reached their breaking points after nearly starving to death.
The 2011 Egyptian Revolution and entire Arab Spring movement is a similar example.
In fact, a 2011 study from the New England Complex Systems Institute showed a clear statistical correlation between social unrest and (specifically) food prices. The higher food prices get, the greater the chances of riots and revolution.
This is not a condition exclusive to the developing world; it is a fundamental human trait to provide for one’s family.
And while human beings will take a lot of crap from their governments– stupid regulations, higher taxes, erosion of freedom, and even inflation– the moment that a man is no longer able to put food on the table for his family, revolution foments.
Europe and the US are not immune to this. And with deteriorating wealth gaps, 50%+ youth unemployment, unchecked government power, and a system that disproportionately favors the elite, the conditions are ripe.
The main difference is that Westerners have been brainwashed into believing that the civilized people voice their grievances in a voting booth rather than doing battle in the streets.
It’s a false premise. Unfortunately, so is violent revolution.
As my dictionary so perfectly defines, “revolution” has two meanings.
First, it can denote an overthrow of a sitting government, whether violent or ‘bloodless’.
But in celestial terms, ‘revolution’ denotes a complete orbit around a fixed axis. In other words, after one revolution, you end up right back where you started.
So whether violent or non-violent, or whether in a voting booth or on the streets, revolutions put a country right back where it started.
In the French revolution, people traded an absolute monarch in Louis the XVI for a genocidal dictator in Robespierre for a military dictator in Napoleon.
In 1917, the Russians traded Tsarist autocracy for Communist autocracy.
In 2011, Egyptians traded Hosni Mubarak for Mohamad Hussein Tantawi (who subsequently suspended the Constitution), for Mohamed Morsi (who as President awarded himself unlimited powers), for yet another coup d’etat.
All of this is because of a knee-jerk reaction– ‘if our country is having major problems, we should throw the bums out and let the man on the white horse take over.’
This creates a never-ending cycle in which the fundamental problems perpetuate.
It’s not about any single person or group of people. It is the system itself that needs changing.
In our system we award a tiny elite with the power to kill, steal, wage war, educate our children, and conjure unlimited quantities of paper money out of thin air.
This is just plain silly. And antiquated. We’re not living in the Middle Ages anymore where we need kings to tell us what to do, knights to keep the peace, and serfs to do all the work (and enrich the nobles).
Yet this is not too far from the system we have today.
This idea is beginning to resonate with more and more people who are increasingly disgusted with the system… and all parties.
With our modern technology, transportation, and access to information, we have all the tools available to do this.