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To echo how we were talking about this seven or eight years ago on this site - the question isn't feasibility, it's can we continue to provide bread and circus vacations to Hawaii and Italy for the middle class before they turn to political unrest instead?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Sep 26th, 2014 at 06:26:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the middle class seems to be disappearing, but not turning to political unrest in outstanding numbers so far.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2014 at 09:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OWS was pretty impressive. The current and former middle class felt it still had something left to lose, so it ended. I don't think that will last another 10 years.

I also think that the Arab Spring being the food riot that it was is a harbinger of the resource wars to come for humanity as a whole.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sun Sep 28th, 2014 at 03:55:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MillMan:
can we continue to provide bread and circus vacations to Hawaii and Italy for the middle class before they turn to political unrest instead?

Interesting choice of countries as examples! ;)

People are turning to political unrest, it's just for the moment mostly polite and inadequate in the first world, (and pretty easily squelched through mass digi-surveillance knowing protestor plans in advance).

In other parts of the world it is so far equally inadequate, if much less polite.

ISIS notwithstanding... Their protests (and Boku Haram's) are scary and have grabbed headlines, but the idea of a Caliphate is far from new, and will probably not fly long term unless one or two things happen. One, the levels of social collapse exceed Egypt's or Palectine's (or Yemen's, or Somalia's), or seconfly the first world violently over-reacts (again) and continues the kind of of dumb-brute, collateral damage-rich campaigns to reduce Muslim population willy-nilly through attrition and superior firepower.

Tony Blair's solution (to pretty much everything.)

Or, we could draw silly lines on a map and watch the consequences unfold as Islam goes through its tortuous schisms while we engage, enable and enrich corrupt elites in order to plunder their territories' fossil fuels.

Oh, wait...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2014 at 01:36:49 AM EST
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melo:
(and pretty easily squelched through mass digi-surveillance knowing protestor plans in advance)

I have been wondering about the fall of DDR. It looks like Stasi failed its core objective, but why and how? Was the discontent overwhelming? Were the analysts stuck in the wrong frame? Were the agents just phoning it in?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Sep 27th, 2014 at 04:16:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The people themselves were not permitted to know too much about the outside world, a cultivated ignorance, so to speak.
The secret police have a stronger cog-diss because they do know how many lies it takes to keep folks out of the know.

I am just finishing the unknown history of Mao, and back then it was calculated to take 500 armed 'security' thugs to suppress 30,000 peasants. Perhaps it was even less thugs in Stasi days.

The success of a totalitarian state in staying in power always rocks on the fulcrum of the ability of the secret police's willingness to go along with the program.
In a way it is the weakest link in the chain. Lose them and it's game over, so there is a vested interest in keeping them sweet. Favours and perks...

Eventually you have Pakistan/Egypt situations, where the military arm attains near-absolute power, swathes of prime land, etc.

When the costs of repression come too high, then change will come, willy nilly.

This is why America is so busy building up a criminally fascistic element in its domestic forces, to prepare for mass riots if the dollar crashes with such a high proportion of the populace armed.

They backed off with Bundy, but if he had been black and/or religious, it would have gone differently.

Bundy was really one of them, so...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2014 at 08:17:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am just finishing the unknown history of Mao, and back then it was calculated to take 500 armed 'security' thugs to suppress 30,000 peasants.
That is not an unusual ratio of  management. Some factories in Shenzhen today are probably more effective. The secret of any leadership is to work on submissive, crowd following instincts.
by das monde on Sun Sep 28th, 2014 at 03:05:04 AM EST
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Yeah, Stasi and KGB failed completely, without any kicking apart from a weak August putsch in Moscow.

This all be less mysterious if the genuine top objective of these secret services (and Gorbachev government) would had been exactly what what happened.

by das monde on Sun Sep 28th, 2014 at 02:45:01 AM EST
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