Revolutions are Difficult
[ May 5, 2021 ] - Nulla Crux, Nulla Corona - Such was the motto supposedly of Florian Geyer, the wealthy German Knight who led the German "Peasant's Revolt" in the early 1520's. Nowadays, we might say: "F*ck the State!" or maybe just "Hang'em high!" Or like the 1960's: (way before my time): "Burn, Baby, Burn!" as rioters in US cities burned their own neighbourhoods.
Geyer and his "Black Army" of Peasants was eventually defeated, and Florian himself was murdered by people he trusted - stabbed to death while travelling.
No matter how you try to organize things, it is futile. In elections, the Government always wins. Nothing can be changed at the level of the Nation State. The Wheel just turns.
Much later, in the violent blood-letting that is European history, the French Revolution began - typically dated to this date - May 5th - in 1789, when a great "parliament" was assembled to attempt to create a new French National Constitution. This was done because the French State was completely bankrupt, and everyone productive - noblemen and peasants alike - was suffering under taxation which had simply hit all the economic limits. Everything was taxed, and when Necker, the King's Finance Minister, suggested that the noble aristos and even the King himself should try to live within a fixed budget - the aristos were horrified at the thought (like Americans are now?), and Necker was fired.
No financial reform was even possible - even with extreme political change. Had I been there - I might have been a huge supporter of Robespierre and the new Revolutionary State. Heads on pikes seems to me at times, a fine and necessary idea.
But in reality - it does little to change things.
If you get the Economics right - and that means building and maintaining a working civil structure with rule-of-law and private property that is reasonable and supported by the population involved - then everything can work well, and prosperity is possible.
But if you mess up and damage the Economics - then folks will starve, and spoons will be filed into daggers, and the machinery of commercial production will be re-tooled into the machinery of war-machines and weapons. Weapons are neither good or bad - they are simply sometimes necessary, like food and air and water. This is what history teaches us most clearly. All else is opinion or documentation of physical-natural scientific characteristics.
The French Revolution was really just a political-failure event to create Napolean, exactly like the crushingly stupid economics imposed on Germany in the 1920's was key to the creation of the German National Socialist Party and Adolf Hitler. This is also much the scenario for the Russian Revolution of 1917-18, which ultimately created Stalin and the horrors of his campaigns of mass-murder and social/civil destruction.
Most political "leaders" are little more than lab-mice. Except they become giant lab-mice on steroids - huge political monsters with nuclear weapons and armies and prisons at their disposal. Our job as humans is to keep these large, dangerous murder-mice from blowing up the lab, and burning down the whole building.
[ May 4, 2021 ] - The Peasants are Revolting - And They Have Artillery... - It was the the best/worst of times, as Mr. Dickens assured us. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the start of the French Revolution, in 1789, which ushered in the 10-year Time of Terror for the French aristos. (It was not all net negative - I think the mobs hung some bishops from their bishoprics, so the Terror was maybe not a complete loss.) I wonder if the Chinese Communist Elite read any French Euro-history? I wonder if they teach about arrogant gangster psycho killers, like Robespierre?
History teaches us that once mass-murder becomes a political tool (like it now is again in the Murder-State of Myanmar, for example, or was under the vicious psychopathic scum-thuggery of ISIS in Syria) the domain and range of Death can grow very quickly, in a curious and nasty non-linear manner.
Kill a few folks, and the authorities and their agents might feel some remorse. But once the killing goes into the exponential-growth phase - as it did under the French Murder Regime - and typically does in most Terror State action-plans - then it all becomes so routine and standard-average behaviour, that no one really cares. You just go on with your knitting, and watch the heads fill up the baskets - or the killing fields - or Idi Amin's freezer, or the ovens when it moves to the industrial scale - as it did under Hitler in Poland, or Stalin in Ukraine. Government criminals can kill *millions*.
Humans can be very bad creatures. But the real take-away from the lessons of the Historical Record, are that although individual humans can do bad crime - it is when the Government gets into the business of mass-killing, that true crime then really gets rolling. The scale and extent of extreme crime that a State and it's organized murderous Agents can inflict, is pretty much without limit.
For this simple reason alone, it is probably a good idea to ensure that a working democratic system exists, and be supported by all the methodology necessary, to ensure that people can trust the outcome of democratic process.
Without a democratic method of removing a breaking-bad, neo-criminal State Collective, that is beginning the process of using murder to achieve it's political objectives - there is no other alternative other than open revolt, civil war, and then probably, trans-national big war.
Never mind Alexis de Toqueville. The necessity of Democratic organization falls right out of the most basic observations of the human Historical Record. If you can't remove a neo-criminal gangster group from Government - using the election process - then you need a "Forian Geyer" and some heavy artillery and a Revolutionary War. And since it is always better to die on your feet, fighting for freedom, than to die as a defeated slave in prison, the human condition will dictate that without democratic machinery to regularly cleanse the filth and corruption from State Agencies, violent uprisings will have to occur on a pretty much regular basis.
This is also what has to happen with markets. The hard *crashes* are needed to clean the cruft and corruption from the system. This is an observed fact, not a political assertion.
Democracy is a good system, however, which allows a nation State to evolve and self-correct - without civil warfare. Major course-changes are difficult even at the best of times - but it is always better to fix an ugly problem when it is small, rather than wait for it to become big, awful, and lethal. Democratic change lets the State change course, without it has to rip itself to shreds, and blow itself up in a bloody, cruel and wasteful revolution, which always gives the very worst people the very best set of opportunities.
One may detest the result of a democratic election. But the alternative (as is so perfectly demostrated in Myanmar - right about now), is *always* going to be worse. One of the armed groups in Myanmar - yesterday - shot down (successfully!) a "Junta-government" helicopter (ie. not a warcraft of the real, true elected Government, which is now essentially in exile, just a killship of gangsters. The legal distinction is important. ) The Myanmar Tragedy is actually really a perfect textbook study of what *NOT* to do, if you are "Government". The military Junta of the place, in it's boot-licking of Chinese gangsters, has decided it will try a neo-Fascist economic/political model, and crush their own elected State.
We are pretty sure this will all end badly. It is such a curiously unwise course of action, that we expect it to cause both the economic and political destruction of the existing Myanmar State. It might take 20 years of fighting - or maybe 20 weeks or 20 days. But the key - is to be able to shoot down and destroy the "Junta-government" criminal gunships and murder-projection machinery. Whoever the "Florian Geyer" figure becomes - he (or she) can succeed if he - or she - can obtain sufficient access to some viable weapons technology. And that is not difficult, in these modern times.
But using Democracy and basic democratic methods, would have been so much better and easier - for everyone - even for the "military" gangsters, who will now become simply another group of isolated, decaying global pariahs, like the failing North Koreans. They could have become respected old rich men instead. Now, they just join the ugly league of red-handed murder-monkeys - a big and awful historical group of criminals.
Curious. Democracy was a *much* better idea for all concerned. But the Asians are just not quite there yet, I guess. They may need another 100 years of social and civil-society development and cultural evolution. Sad. The Junta-fake-government leaders of Myanmar should look at Robespierre's severed head Death Mask. It gives them a picture of their own future.
Robespierre was a lawyer, who became a Government revolutionary. Florian Geyer was a wealthy Knight who led the German "Peasants Revolt". They both died violent deaths. The true story of Florian Geyer is interesting. There is a reason why we call violent political civil conflict and the resulting change: "revolution", since that great Wheel of Fortune will *always* keep turning, as long as humans exist anywhere in the universe. The Wheel of Fortune is lubricated with human blood.
Florian Geyer was ultimately betrayed by people he trusted, and stabbed to death while travelling, much like Caesar was.
Revolutions are difficult.