This will begin a series of inquiries into the natural law of popular revolutions and what happens to the losers? How does all that work out?
I’ve written long and often here about the various “firsts” the American experience has offered to the world, especially how we were designed as a “from-the-bottom-up” government, invoking laws and recommendations ranging from Moses’ tablets handed to the Children of Israel, dictated by the Almighty Himself, to a few men, some elected, others, just concerned citizens such as Thomas Paine, who took the mission to encourage citizens to make that undertaking themselves.
Jesus never sought out and preached His message to Management. Nor Government. Nor to the wealthy. He did mention that a rich man had about as good a chance to enter the kingdom of God as did a camel to pass through the eye of the needle. (Mt 19:24). But that was a little tongue in cheek, since “the Eye of the Needle” was a very narrow gate in Jerusalem and not a metaphor. So Christ did not say “Never” to rich men, and America has proven over and over again that very wealthy men and women, especially those who gained their wealth by merit, still could live virtuous lives in the eyes of God.
Throughout history there have been revolutions, sometimes palace revolts, as often as not led by a second son who thought himself more deserving than the older spoiled heir. Often it was merely a Smothers Brothers “Mom always like you better” rivalry.
But most dynasties fell by their own internal decay, simply growing fat and sassy, living the good life, paying less and less attention to their borders, until they became easy targets for some nearby potentate who was leaner and meaner. From the ancient Egyptians, to the Roman and Greek kings, then the Persians, then the spreading of Islam, to the kings of Europe and the Feudal System it was a familiar pattern.
And every time a kingdom was conquered by a new prince, the old princes and their flunkies had to leave. But the 80%, the people who lived under those kings in those territories, had no say, and generally had to stay, praying they’d get a good prince, which historically, was about one-in-five. For the farmers and workers it was just a crap shoot.
The Feudal System that managed Europe’s for over 500 years, was killed off by the Black (Bubonic) Plague in the 14th Century, but it did not kill off the “divine right of kings”, mainly because the the upper 10% still owned most of the land and the income gained from the land.
It took several hundred years for capital wealth (by business: trade, manufacturing, and lending) to overtake the wealth gained by the royal families from the Middle Ages. That all ended when World War I, (1918) ended the divine right clause to the social formula. But the private market path to great wealth meant gaining the same status and privileges as the old nobility.
So the impact of change-at-the-top mattered little to the people at the bottom.
In the 19th Century it was this sort of display of wealth and privilege that so angered Karl Marx, only not because of the raw deal the common people of Europe was receiving, but the manner by which university professors were treated who were paid to teach those first generation capitalists.
It’s not that Karl Marx wasn’t a genius, he was, but one who was eaten up with envy and bitterness about what he saw in the way “his sort” were treated by men he and his contemporaries believed were less smart, yet hired his class mainly to teach and train their privileged children.
But underneath the learned classes’ nose, including Marx, the United States had been known to the world for over three generations, its founding documents available in virtually every European university library.
But never studied or taught. So it dawned on his very narrow mind that maybe he’d come up with a better plan…if the idea of bettering Mankind was ever his real objective. (I’ve always argued it wasn’t.)
America was, as you all know, created by revolution; force of arms and not by intellectual manifesto. You know our story, but what you may not have considered is: what happens to the losers?
After America’s Revolution in 1782, the losers shoved off to Canada and England to make new homes among the people who shared their views about a top-down society and government that had defined world institutions for about a thousand years.
Canada itself had only recently been acquired by England’s mercantile royals, which was infinitely more fun to live under than the French mercantile system, where almost all the profits from their fur trade, for instance, went into the pockets of the merchant class in Montreal and Paris. In what we called “the French and Indian War” (1754-1763) England won Canada with a lot of help from those American colonials, gaining the King’s treasury millions, and handing the country over to an English-designed infrastructure which was more efficient that France’s. (But then again, what isn’t?)
In the 1980s, I took my family and visited Nova Scotia, where my brother was stationed in a Navy liaison office. They had a single port named St. John which has been established by ex-patriot English-Americans from 1782. The city still flew the English Union Jack instead of the Canadian Maple Leaf. (I’m told that’s all changed now.)
But after the Revolution there were classes of American colonials who simply could not remain in this “new” United States, in part out of concern they might be mistreated, but of even greater significance, as college teaches, government officials and trade merchants, they simply could not abide having to live in a society where the majority of the people had a say in how they were to be governed. My God, they were even welcoming in Scotch-Irish and Huguenots from France.
And they lost. Though not “evil” as we might define it today, their loyal North American Tories confronted a Good they could neither abide nor coexist with, never knowing they were seeing a devolution of power and prerogatives from a royal class system to a brand new way of self-governance that elevated the common man and woman to a status they could not bear.
Study notes: This European economic model was called “mercantilism” at the time, and it was Adam Smith, the father of free-market capitalism who first squared off against it with his book “Wealth of Nations”. And yes, mercantislism was originally a French model, which drags us into an even deeper study of Natural Law. But it was the 13 American colonies, not England, who placed a competitive economic model against Mercantilism on the table.
Now that struggle has been restated since the 1990s, employing post-modern models of high tech management to oversee what on paper appears to be little more than the old 14th Century Feudal System, just waiting for a new bubonic plague to come along and smite the already dwindling petit bourgeoisie of the world these New Age Planners and Managers had assumed would die of attrition within three generations on their own, without any additional help by their front office.
It would be in those North American colonies that the value of commoners’ labor would carve out its own proofs of Adam Smith’s adages about free markets and competition without benefit of permission by royal houses. And while failing to win over those nations’ governments, it radically changed them, for just in order to placate their people once whispers came to their shores about the miracles Americans were performing wafted ashore in Asian and European ports, the leaders had to throw their people a bone or two.
I don’t know about you, but when I see Bill Gates, Klaus Schwab and that whole WEF parade, not to mention the modern Democratic Party, and consider all the things they do not know, or probably ever could ever digest, I see stupid vanity on parade, more than I see a quixotic dream of returning to the royal system.
For over 125 years now, a kind of spiritual civil war has existed between those who saw themselves as the best and the brightest and therefore, according to Nature’s balance sheet, most fit to lead. I doubt if any, or many, ever paused to think what it might mean that ordinary men and women (eventually) could manage the affairs of their towns, schools, and codification of their laws, without the necessary intervention by their self-proclaimed betters.
With these things in mind, we can consider just how a “civil war” might play out, and what will happen to the losing side, knowing the 80% of freedom-loving can’t just up and move.