Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unrest Is Spreading

The day before things went to hell in London, I had a conversation with my sister Marie in the UK. We predicated that the unrest in North Africa, the Middle East, and some European countries like Greece, would continue to spread around the world. Why? The underlying cause of the unrest is economic, not political.

A dictator's power depends on keeping the population content. Dictators make sure the trains are always on time. They keep the cost of food low, because once the people are going hungry, they have nothing left to lose. That is a breeding ground for revolution.

Democratic governments keep the population content by spending money on it. Government belt-tightening always affects the population negatively. If you cut enough social programs, you will eventually have a lot of bored youth. If you have high unemployment, you have a lot of bored youth with no money. This is not a good combination.

The conditions that created these hooligans, are only going to get worse, so I do not see the unrest in the UK magically resolving itself any time soon, just as it continues in Egypt and elsewhere. And as it has happened elsewhere, eventually the military will be sent in. Even in the UK.

Because, once the population is no longer content, suppression is the final option for all governments.

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