Premonition of storm

Two things can accelerate the world's plummet to catastrophe - the sense that civilisation's resources are depleting and a weakening will for joint survival

Expectedly, the mass and radical protests in Europe somewhat died down ahead of the Christmas and New Year's Eve holidays. Naturally, this is not the end of it all but rather the quiet before the storm and a premonition of looming trouble, this time of the real variety. New radical protests are surely coming because the demands voiced during the previous ones were never met.

And how could they have been when they were so contradictory? Some even verged on the comical, like the French “yellow vest” movement's call for the speed limit cameras to be removed so they can comfortably drive their old diesel cars at whatever speed they want. The list of demands also included lower taxes and higher wages. They might as well have asked for more money to be printed, which is what will happen in reality anyway. At some point money will present no issue, the problem is that there will be nothing left to buy with it. Now is the time to remind you that France is among the pioneers of printing paper money without real value, going back to the 19th century.

The French are so proud of the French Revolution, the one of 1789-1799 to be exact, since they have had other revolutions as well. The national holiday is on 14 July and it celebrates the fall of the Bastille, where there were hardly any prisoners or guards left at that time. Besides, the capture of the structure (if we can even call it that) took exactly… one victim! Of course, the events that followed led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands.

Many observers and historians note that this particular French revolution and the ensuing civil war were horrific bloodbaths even for those days' bloodthirsty standards. The remark about eating cake when there is shortage of bread, which is attributed to the then Queen of France, the Austrian Marie-Antoinette (originally of the von Habsburg family) has become emblematic of that period. It no longer matters whether she really uttered those words or said something completely different. What matters is the moral of the story and it is that one cannot afford to say or do nonsensical things in a time of revolution. Unfortunately, this lesson has either been forgotten or just disregarded.

With all the consequences that it entails - like the physical destruction of the French aristocracy, which for a period of time did not quite grasp the gravity of the situation, and when it finally did, it was already too late and heads started rolling off the guillotine in bunches.

Some 128 years after those instructive events in France, two revolutions - the February and the October ones - happened in Russia. The October 1917 one was initially referred to by the Russians as a coup, before they gave it the grand title of the Great October Socialist Revolution, or GOSR. Of course, that name is totally off the mark because the event was none of those four things. What it did was unleash hell on earth, causing the world's most vicious civil war. The record was broken much later in communist China. For many years, the Russians and the other nationalities on the territory of the former Russian Empire were proud of the GOSR. Even today, half of the Russians feel that way, to the horror of the Russian liberals and anti-communists.

Similarly to the Bastille farce, the October coup began with the capturing of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg protected by a half-drunk auxiliary unit of women. This attack also took all of one precious victim, after an iron gate fell on top of a drunk seaman and brought a heroic end to his life while he was no doubt trying to get first to the booze and women inside the palace. The Aurora cruiser was in the graving dock at the time, but it did not have real ammunition on board because they were removed for safety reasons while repair works with blow-torches were being done.

The floating ship fired a blank shot, to the great joy of the attackers and the protectors of the Winter Palace alike. However, these otherwise ridiculous actions soon escalated into real tragedy, which took millions to an early grave. The Russian aristocracy, which did not comprehend what was happening for a long time, was eventually physically wiped out. By the time it finally did come to see it, the firing squad executions had become an everyday occurrence. It is obvious that the events that started in 1789 and 1917 have a lot in common. When the ruling elite are stupid and short-sighted, they get decimated.

Can the stupidity of the modern political elite of the West lead to such terrifying atrocities? It seems highly unlikely. And yet, it is good to remember the old adage that everything that does not defy the laws of physics is possible. Bloody coups and their ensuing horrific social upheavals certainly do not defy these types of laws. In the US, President Donald Trump already warned that if an impeachment procedure is started against him, his supporters will pick up their guns to defend him. I am not that familiar with American political history, but I should think that such a statement is absolutely unprecedented for a US president. It did not seem to garner the necessary attention and maybe it should have, considering that Trump's voters do not lack for arms or anger.

It is easy for us, having the benefit of hindsight, to talk about the fatal mistakes of the French and the Russian aristocracies, which led to their virtual annihilation. But what did the leaders of the aristocracy underestimate at the time? People are wired to strive for stability and are therefore prone to overestimate the sturdiness of the social structure created by them and serving to protect them. What actually protects them physically are the security forces (mainly the police and the gendarmerie) and to only a certain extent the army. But the ordinary policemen, gendarmerie officers and soldiers are people of the lower classes, not of the filthy rich stratum of society. In the cases of mass public clashes,

if and when they break out, there usually comes a turning point, in which even a small armed group points their guns at their commander, the embodiment of the ruling class. From that moment on, things can develop with lightning speed, the power structure of the state can collapse like a house of cards and the heads of the hitherto masters can roll. There is a less extreme version - if those in power have their will to fight broken, for one reason or another, before the protest escalates into civil war, a relatively peaceful change at the top is possible. Then, the previous government will be left at the mercy of the new winners.

Will we live to see such radical political events in the near future? The fate of the Christian civilisation, and civilisation itself, might hinge on the answer to this question. There are two main factors that can accelerate the negative development of the situation, launching us unprepared into the future. The first is the sense of depletion of civilisation's resources, which have a tangible as well as a mental component.

The second factor is weakening of the will for a joint survival of all people, in the case of a serious clash of social and natural origin. In such circumstances the ruling class's sense of responsibility and wisdom are of crucial importance for the survival of their own kind and of society as a whole. We have seen the result of bad decisions made at a bad time and place. Alas, those we have chosen to lead us do not look like people who would make the right decision at the right time and place. The good news is that we probably underestimate the incredible adaptability and survival skills of humankind, and more specifically its ability to solve the problems it so stubbornly creates for itself.

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