From Arab Spring to Global Revolution: Entering the age of upheaval

The potential for revolution is spreading around the world due to the financial crisis and the ability to transmit social information over the internet. There is talk of revolution in the US, Europe, Russia, China and other countries. That doesn’t mean it will happen this year, but who knows what will happen in the next 5 to 10 years. We have entered the age of upheaval.

“The international system—as constructed following the Second World War—will be almost unrecognizable by 2025 owing to the rise of emerging powers, a globalizing economy, an historic transfer of relative wealth and economic power from West to East, and the growing influence of nonstate actors”

From Arab Spring to global revolution | Paul Mason | World news | The Guardian

Two years on from the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the new Egyptian president is from the Muslim Brotherhood; on the streets of Cairo, the same kind of people who died in droves in 2011 are still getting killed. On the streets of Athens, the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn is staging anti-migrant pogroms. In Russia, Pussy Riot are in jail and the leaders of the democracy movement facing criminal indictments. The war in Syria is killing 200 people a day. It’s an easy step from all this to the conclusion that 2011, the year it all kicked off, was a flash in the pan. But wrong. Something real and important was unleashed in 2011, and it has not yet gone away. I am confident enough now to call it a revolution. Some of its processes conform to the templates laid down in the revolutionary wave that swept Europe in 1848, but many do not: above all, the relationship between the physical and the mental, the political and the cultural, seem inverted.

From Arab Spring to global revolution | Paul Mason | World news | The Guardian

German Finance Minister Schaeuble Warns of Revolution | StratRisks

Let the austerity backlash begin. Who knew that an excel error could cause so much social strife. Granted common sense would have got you there, but this is politics. German Finance Minister Schaeuble warned on Tuesday that unless Europe wins the battle against youth unemployment, revolution is a distinct possibility.

The dreaded r-word came about as some corners push to reform the welfare standards to closely correlate with American standards. This would be a monumental mistake according the German finance minister. Youth unemployment as it stands now across the EU is at 25%, double the rate of older citizens.

Eu countries such as Germany, Italy and France are backing urgent action to tackle the issue before it becomes even more systemic than it already is. Anecdotes out of Spain have college graduates turning 30 without ever having a job. The problem is definitely have a social spillover as evidenced by the riots in Stockholm.

German Finance Minister Schaeuble Warns of Revolution | StratRisks

Revolution in France: Is it 1789, or the 1930s? | 1913 Intel

A [US] revolution in the works? Column

Americans are out of sorts, and increasingly they’re unhappy with the government. According to a Pew poll released last week, more than half of Americans view government as a threat to their freedom.

And it’s not just Republicans unhappy with Obama, or gun owners afraid that the government will take their guns: 38% of Democrats, and 45% of non-gun owners, see the government as a threat.

Add this to another recent poll in which only 22% of likely voters feel America’s government has the “consent of the governed,” and you’ve got a pretty depressing picture — and a recipe for potential trouble. Governments operate, to a degree, by force, but ultimately they depend on legitimacy. A government that a majority views as a threat, and that only a small minority sees as enjoying the consent of the governed, is a government with legitimacy problems.

A revolution in the works? Column

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Revolution in the US: Republicans say U.S. headed toward ‘armed revolution’ – Poll | Washington Times | 1913 Intel

China’s revolution likely to come from economic crisis – The Japan Daily Press

As the ongoing territorial row between Japan and China continues with no end in sight, the nations’ joint economy is often said to be the greatest victim. With many Japanese companies, most notably in the auto industry, pulling their manufacturing operations out of China and moving to other locations in Asia, so as not to get caught up in political tensions, many say that China still holds too many of the economic cards, what with its lockdown on producing so many of the world’s goods. But one analyst believes China may see a revolution in the next 10 years, triggered not with violence and weapons, but rather an economic deterioration.

China’s revolution likely to come from economic crisis – The Japan Daily Press

More on China revolution here.

Revolution in Russia: Putin’s Popularity Wanes as Russia’s Boom Ends

Cracks are showing in Russia’s leadership as a slowdown in the economy is beginning to cause rifts at the heart of the government, with one academic telling CNBC on Thursday that the economy poses the biggest threat to the country’s leadership.

Putin Out?

Richard Edgar Pipes, professor of Russian History at Harvard University, told CNBC that there was a danger that prolonged weakness in the economy could harm Putin, whose popularity among the Russian electorate has been waning for some time.

Putin’s Popularity Wanes as Russia’s Boom Ends

Blacklists and the Threat of Revolution in Russia

The prominent pro-democracy and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny is currently standing trial on trumped-up charges. In a recent interview, Navalny recognized that he will be tried in a kangaroo court, found guilty and most likely imprisoned, as will many other regime opponents: “Ether they will imprison us, or we will overthrow them. Or, most likely, they will first imprison us, and later we will overthrow them anyway. We will go into prison and then out. The system can hardly survive more than two years (http://www.gazeta.ru/politics/2013/04/15_a_5256529.shtml). While Obama is trying without much success to placate Putin, a revolution in Russia—due to growing discontent, bureaucratic squabbles and economic stagnation—is increasingly becoming accepted as inevitable (http://borisakunin.livejournal.com/97577.html).

The Jamestown Foundation: Moscow and Washington Exchange Blacklists of Undesirables

It appears that Japan is on an unstoppable path to financial Armageddon

Japan’s rescue attempt is already self-destructing their economy. The battle to raise inflation is killing what little appeal Japanese Government Bonds once had, while Japan’s dependency on debt means it has little choice but to pay the higher cost. Over 55% of the Japanese government’s expenditures goes to service debt or pay for social security. With a debt dependency ratio close to 50%, Japan essentially must borrow just to pay for these non-discretionary expenses. As rates rise and the population ages these non-discretionary expenses are expected to rise, thereby increasing the amount of debt required.

Accelerating inflation expectations, rising debt costs, growing social expenditures, declining investor appetite and high dependency on borrowed money could lead to a spiral in which Japanese bond yields rise very quickly, borrowing rises dramatically and the Yen falls precipitously. This situation would be financial Armageddon for Japan as it would no longer be able to pay for its basic obligations without fully monetizing its debt. The country would default on its debt and obligations to its citizens, either outright or by way of hyperinflation. The country’s economy would implode and massive financial institutions would likely collapse.

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