Wednesday, September 14, 2011


By Carl
Think about a nation whose government has abdicated all responsibility towards the people. The aristocracy, the wealthy, become more and more wealthier as the poor become poorer and more numerous. The nation is on the brink of bankruptcy, in large part because it has recently funded two unpopular and unnecessary military adventures against a people who are governed by a tyrannical regime, one they were paranoid would launch an attack at any moment against them.
Taxes on the wealthy were never lower than under the current government. So low, in fact, they were practically regressive, since the poorest 99% combined owned and earned less than the top 1%. To fund all this militarism, rather than raise taxes on their patrons, the government borrowed. Heavily. With no real way of repaying the money. Meanwhile, the wealth drained out of the national economy, along with the increasingly more dangerous climate conditions, created massive unemployment and more and more jobless and poor.
People resorted to stealing bread.
Some brave politicians suggested taxing the rich, but they were shouted down loudly by the majority party.
The titular leader was in a weakened position because of all this. He called for a crisis management team to propose budgetary recommendations to the legislature that would be non-binding, but a starting point for negotiations.
Meanwhile, the poor had limited representation in government, and in fact, were prevented from voting in many cases. A strong media campaign that masked deep support for the current system but superficially called for radical change in politics and elimination of so-called "progressive ideals" helped polarize the nation even further.
Sound familiar?
That was 1780s France.
It will happen here. History may not repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes and Santayana was spot on. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
(crossposted to Simply Left Behind)

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