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First the Statues, Then Things Go Crazy

Revolution is rarely fun, and never safe...
 
LAST Saturday was Independence Day. After so many years...we couldn't help but reflect on the good times we've had since the Republic was founded on July 4, 1776, writes Bill Bonner in his Diary of a Rogue Economist, reporting from the wilds of Argentina.
 
But news comes from Baltimore and Richmond that the mobs are on the march. CNN on the story:
"While much of the country celebrated Independence Day Saturday, protesters in Baltimore toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it into the Inner Harbor, CNN affiliate WBAL reported.
 
"Louis Krauss, who shared video of the toppling, said there were at least 300 people gathered at the scene. 'After it toppled over the statue broke into several pieces, which were then dragged across the plaza and dumped into the Inner Harbor,' Krauss told CNN.
 
"On Wednesday, the mayor of Richmond, Virginia, invoked his emergency powers to remove multiple Confederate monuments throughout the city, including a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson."
"You're lucky," writes a friend from the Homeland. "I wouldn't be in a hurry to come back to the US now. Things have gotten crazy here."
 
Poor America. On its anniversary, no less. Stonewall is gone. Columbus, too.
 
Back in 1968, during the riots, "Lil' It'ly" was the safest neighborhood in Baltimore. It was Nancy Pelosi's neighborhood. Her father, Tommy D'Alesandro, knew how to keep order. Rioters dared not enter.
 
But countries go crazy from time to time. People lose faith in the "social contract" that binds them together.
 
Then, they take sides...Catholic vs. Protestant...Liberal vs. Conservative...the Proletariat vs. the Bourgeoisie...Hutus vs. Tutsi...
 
And like giant millstones, between them they grind down liberty, safety, and civil society.
 
On the Left today is a push for a Cultural Revolution, washing history clean of the "olds"...and putting up a new regime, with special rules for special groups...
 
...whilst the Right digs in its heels, determined to defend its way of life with more troops, more designated enemies, more Patriot Acts...more surveillance...more control...
 
...and especially more fake money. That's the only thing that both sides can agree on. More money to pay off the insiders on both Left and Right.
 
Alas, the fake money makes the elite richer.
 
But it undermines the social contract...driving more and more people from the center...towards the big-mouth messiahs on the extremes.
 
Then things go crazy.
 
Newsweek:
"About 1,000 heavily armed militia, all of whom were Black, marched through Georgia's Stone Mountain Park on Independence Day, challenging white nationalist groups in the area to either come out and fight or join them in demonstrating against the government...
 
"Videos posted to social media show the group, the 'Not F**king Around Coalition' (NFAC)...not affiliated with Black Lives Matter. 'We are a black militia, we aren't protesters, we aren't demonstrators, we don't come to sing, we don't come to chant, that's not what we do,' he [NFAC's founder] said."
The US won't be the first to go nuts...or the last.
 
Here, we turn to Europe and Asia for a glimpse at what may come next...
 
The "United Kingdom" went crazy in the 17th century. The Civil Wars in England, Ireland, and Scotland left about a million people dead.
 
The population of Ireland declined by more than 40% as Cromwell's armies laid waste to crops and killed men, women, and children – many of whom starved to death. They also destroyed Catholic monasteries, convents, and churches.
 
France was considered a paragon of civilization before the 1789 Revolution. Then, in less than 10 years, it sank into a hellish chaos, with 40,000 dead in the Revolution and as many as 6 million in the Napoleonic Wars that followed.
 
Again, the old icons of the past – the church, the aristocracy, and civil society – were ground to powder. Priests were forced to swear allegiance to the new revolutionary government.
 
In Nantes, those who refused were chained together and dumped into the Loire.
 
Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution – same story, but on a much larger scale, with as many as 60 million total dead in the revolution, civil war, purges, and "re-education camps".
 
The revolutionaries also sought to eliminate all traces of the culture that preceded them – including palaces, icons, churches, art treasures, and documents...famously tearing down the statue of Tsar Alexander III.
 
And China's Cultural Revolution, mentioned last week, claimed 20 million lives. It also destroyed millions of reminders of the past – statues, manuscripts, scrolls, antique furniture, books, and whole libraries. Hermann Rohr at Vision Times:
"One of the most painful acts of vandalism toward priceless cultural relics was the destruction, looting, and burning of an over 2,000-year-old temple of Confucius in Shandong in 1966, when more than 200 students from Beijing Normal University traveled to the sacred site with the aim of completely demolishing it."
Different mob. Same effect.
 
Stay tuned.

Bill Bonner has co-authored a number of New York Times Bestsellers including Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Markets and Messiahs. In his own opinion, Bill's most recent title, A Modest Theory of Civilization: Win-Win or Lose, is his best work yet. Bill also founded The Agora, a worldwide community for private researchers and publishers, in 1979. Financial analysts within the group have exposed and predicted some of the world's biggest shifts since that time, starting with the fall of the Soviet Union back in the late 1980s, to the collapse of the Dot Com (2000) and then mortgage finance (2008) bubbles, and more recently the election of President Trump.

See full archive of Bill Bonner articles

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