The Rise of Civil Unrest & the Dawn of Authoritarianism
The Rise of Civil Unrest & the Dawn of Authoritarianism by Martin Armstrong for Armstrong Economics
There are reports of riots beginning in China. In Thailand, one of the most peaceful communities, there was an armed robbery of a 7/11. You cannot shut down the world economy like this. People will begin to riot after 10 days and we will see a sharp rise in property crimes. People are being deprived of employment and no level of government hand-outs will suffice.
The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) is best known for his political thought, where he argued that society has a drive towards chaos and destruction. His vision of the world in his Leviathan (1651) was strikingly original and it is perhaps even very relevant to contemporary politics. Hobbes’ main concern was the problem of social and political order. This was the time of the English Civil War which concluded with beheading the King. His opponent was Oliver Cromwell which promptly replaced the king’s portrait on the coins with his own. He called himself – Lord Protector while pretending he was not a king.
Hobbes argued that human beings can live together in peace and avoid the danger and fear of civil conflict. He argued that we should give our obedience to an unaccountable sovereign (a person or group empowered to decide every social and political issue). Otherwise what awaits us is a “state of nature” that closely resembles civil war – a situation of universal insecurity, where all have reason to fear violent death and where rewarding human cooperation is all but impossible.
Those in power cannot contemplate a world where they have lost all power. Yet they refuse to reform and honor the Social Contract of which Hobbes saw as their part of the bargain. The condition in which people give up some individual liberty in exchange for some common security is the Social Contract. Hobbes defines a contract as “the mutual transferring of right.” In the state of nature, everyone has the right to everything – there are no limits to the right of natural liberty.