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How To Spot Potential Upheaval
William R Collier Jr
There is increasing talk about the potential for civil ways and revolutions in multiple nations, including even the United States of America, and all across the U.S. we are seeing people build shelters for emergencies, and some of them are not worried about Moscow, as in the Cold war era, so much as they are worried about what Washington DC is doing.
Amidst all the hype and fear it is wise to keep your head on and examine the facts and the potential meaning of those facts in a dispassionate and objective manner, but before we can do that we need to at least have some idea of the “laws of cause and effect” which we should know and use in interpreting whatever facts we find.
How does one determine whether or not a given nation is on the path to upheaval, as opposed to a more minor and limited form of unrest or just a political shake-up?
While we do not attempt to give any specific answer for any specific nation or society, our readers come from many nations, we thought it would be useful to circle back to a theory of “revolution” espoused by Crane Brinton in 1938 which we think is useful as a starting point for asking and potentially answering this question.
|While inspired by Crane Brinton’s “Anatomy of Revolution”, the following is a review of the potential signs of a revolution without the 20th century terminology and bias towards “class” antagonisms.
1. People from almost, if not all, interest groups (social, ethnic, religious, or economic) are discontented2. People feel restless and held down by unacceptable restrictions to their own choices or wishes and believe that national institutions are a hindrance to their wishes coming to pass3. People believe they COULD have a better future, but they are being forced to accept less than they COULD have by decisions and entities beyond their control
4. People are beginning to think of themselves as belonging to a distinct socio-cultural or economic-political group that is separate from other groups
5. The political, ethnic, cultural or other interest groups that are closest to one another are the most hostile towards one another
6. The scholars and thinkers give up on the way their society operates and become cheerleaders against their nation and its interests, which disgusts the masses
7. The government does not respond to the needs of its society but pursues its own agenda for the interests of its chief supporter
8. The leaders of the government and the ruling class begin to doubt themselves even as they maintain views that are almost opposite of the views of the masses
9. Some former leaders who embraced the old regime join with the opposition groups, whether out of sincerity or out of self-preservation
10. The regime is unable to get enough support from the people and groups who make things work
11. The regime cannot organize its finances correctly and is either going bankrupt or trying to tax heavily and, as many see it, unjustly and the economic consequences threaten the livelihood of the top producers in society who begin to fear that their assets will be lost and their future will be forfeited to the regime’s avarice
12. The system CAN SUPPORT, through perhaps arcane and un-used powers and structures, competing decision-making bodies with some stamp of legal standing
While any society can have ALL 12 characteristics to some degree at any given time, or just a few characteristics to a great degree, in any society where more than half of these characteristics are observed to a large degree and many or all to some degree over a period of a few years, following a long period of simply having many of these characteristics to some degree over a decade or longer, is statistically likely to experience an upheaval on the order of a coupe, a civil war, a break-up, a revolution, secession by some parts of the affected nations, or even foreign invasion which takes advantage of the weakness of the society.
A key factor in assessing the likelihood of a revolution is the disparity between the ruling classes (largely Godless values) and the producing classes (still holding on to Godly values). The fact that the ruling classes might neither consist of nor rely upon the support of producing classes in their majority is in itself a red flag that trouble is brewing. The middle class to the wealthy, as opposed to recipients of corporate and government largesse on one hand the super-rich (especially those whose wealth and assets are sheltered from taxation policies) on the other hand, are the producing classes in any society, the prime engine of innovation and economic development and the primary guardians and adherents to a nation’s traditional way of life.
Another key factor is the apparent difference between the masses, the majority of people, and the key leaders in the nation’s institutions- when the nation’s institutions shun the common sense or values of the majority of the people in the education and media establishments and in public and corporate policy while pursuing ideas and programs and policies that run counter to the sentiment of the People (Godless values forced on Godly-led people), then a show-down is bound to occur that will, the longer and more severe this stands, end in a conflict.
When the sentiments and interests of those upon whose backs the nation depends for its very existence are obviously disregarded and even ridiculed and maligned it is not likely that those people, who are used to “making things happen”, will accept or submit to a scenario where they have no possible peaceful or “legal” means of influencing the nation’s institutions. It is far more likely that if legal or other means are used to suppress and sidetrack the wishes of the producing classes that these people, especially if the majority of the general populace support them (but not necessarily), will begin to resist by non-compliance, civil disobedience, or outright rebellion in increasing measures until a critical point is reached where the producing classes coalesce around a few key leaders and a simple program with the idea that the “powers that be” are their enemy.
Once the producing classes believe, or are led to believe, that compliance with “the law” or regulations is a clear and present danger to their lives, their liberties, and their property and that no possible pathway that would be deemed “legal” by the ruling classes is safe for them, then things can unravel quickly and violently.
It is the hubris and lack of insight of the ruling classes that is the single greatest cause of upheaval in any given nation: failing to respect the sentiments of the People in general and the Producing classes in particular in pursuit of self-interest or a religious or ideological agenda that is alien to the People and the Producing classes always leads to upheaval as soon as the ruling classes close off all “legal” or peaceful avenues by which the People and the Producing classes in particular can hope to change things, redress their grievances, or opt out of the onerous laws, rules, regulations, or requirements.
The best way to prevent such an upheaval is for the ruling classes to be warned that their efforts to get to the finish line and shut off all opposition from having the means of peacefully opposing them will not in fact work. Unless the ruling classes see that their efforts to get everything, control over all wealth and power to set up the socio-cultural-political-economic program or agenda of their choice WILL NOT WORK and will end up costing THEM everything, there can be no way to avoid either an upheaval or a form of tyranny.