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Social upheaval is a foregone conclusion. What are you doing about it?

August 18, 2011
Zell am See, Austria

Let’s be honest– most history books are crap. They have a terrible way of oversimplifying major cultural shifts, as if someone flips a light switch and society turns on a dime.

Take Martin Luther, for example. In 1517, Luther publicly posted a list of 95 grievances against the Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and history credits him with sparking the great ‘reformation’ that eventually created the Church of England and protestant movement.

This is mere historical convenience. There were hundreds, even thousands of people who came before Luther. Average, everyday people were just as fed up with the church selling indulgences and putting its blessings up to the highest bidder. Society was ready for a major shift and already moving in that direction. Luther gets credit for the spark.

Similarly, the history books of the future may look back on Tunisian fruit merchant Mohammed Bouazizi as the spark of the next ‘global reformation’. If you recall, Bouazizi lit himself ablaze in protest of Tunisia’s pitifully repressive economic conditions, and revolution ensued across the region.

Tunisia fell. Egypt fell. Libya was invaded by a peace-prize winning US president. Civil uprisings spread to Syria, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, etc. We would be fools to think this was all due to a fruit vendor.

Like Martin Luther, Bouazizi is a symbol… a metaphor for society’s pent up frustration that had been building for years.

0 63 040109 protest18 300x225 Social upheaval is a foregone conclusion. What are you doing about it?This frustration is worldwide. The entire world, which cheered the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, has been watching in complete shock as riots spread across Europe. Riots in London, riots in France, riots in Greece, riots in Spain.

Whatever excuse is laid to explain the upheaval, it’s just a superficial trigger. People are frustrated. They’re angry. They feel like they’ve been wronged, left behind to rot without any chance of a decent livelihood. And they’re so angry they’re willing to get violent and destroy property.

These are the same sorts of conditions that breed today’s terrorists. Someone who’s willing to strap a bomb to his chest has no economic prospects. He’s desperate… and much more easily influenced to do things that are destructive. You don’t see too many successful people making six-figures strapping any bombs to their chests.

london riots 13 300x200 Social upheaval is a foregone conclusion. What are you doing about it?Bottom line, when someone’s livelihood is taken away, all bets are off, and that’s precisely what’s happening right now. Deteriorating economic conditions are driving so much social unrest around the world, and the trend is definitely not our friend.

World governments recognize this, and they essentially have two responses from their canned playbook.

The first response is to “do something.” In the US, for example, Barack Obama recently announced a new wave of fiscal stimulus… because, hey, it worked out so well the first few times they dumped a bunch of money into the economy.

This is exactly the WRONG thing they should be doing. It puts the country deeper into debt and generates marginal return on investment. Even the Congressional Budget Office’s own analysis indicated that Obama’s first stimulus plan cost the American taxpayer between $225,000 and $631,000 for every job that it ‘saved’ or created after 18-months.

Even a complete moron can see that this is a waste of money, and ruinous for the economy. Hang on for round two, folks.

The second thing that governments are doing is curtailing freedoms. These people will take ANY STEPS NECESSARY to keep the party going. Sure, everyone cheered when Egyptians used Facebook and Twitter to launch a revolution… but when people do it in the London or San Francisco, they take immediate steps to shut off access.

San Francisco’s BART transit system spokesman Linton Johnson summed it up best in an interview with KRON-4 news when he said that transit passengers have “no right to free speech…” So much for the Constitution.

These two things– economic deterioration and the increasingly heavy hand of Big Brother– are the essential ingredients in revolution. When combined, widespread social upheaval is nearly a foregone conclusion.

Thinking people need to recognize the risks and consequences at stake, and formulate a plan to prepare for them. My ultimate recommendation is to set up a safe haven location outside of your home country– a crash pad in a stable place where you can feel secure in your family’s safety and watch the turmoil on television instead of from your front porch.

I’d like to hear from you about this– what do you think is going to happen, and how are you protecting yourself?

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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  • VoxFox

    The ruling class in every country, in every age needs to be small & aggressive.  Small so that the stolen wealth of the many is magnified amongst the few.  Aggressive so that they can put down all threats to their privileged position.
    Now apply this analysis to the world today.

  • jerry

    I’ll tell you where all of this came from AND where it is going. The mastermind behind all of this violence, unrest, and feeling of worthlessness conceived this plan about 6000 years ago as recorded in a certain end-time book in chapters 14-18 where everyone will experience an inexorable worldwide depression where a loaf of bread  will cost one day’s wages.  The solution will be that everyone who wants to buy or sell must put a “Mark” (a chip?) on his head or hand-and lose his soul in the doingof it

  • Fchambers8

    Actuall, I am not sure what will happen here in disney land.  It seems that the current trend is that there are more people who want the government to take care of them vs people who are capable enough to create their own destinys.  I am in the latter group, but my vote goes to the former.

    Forrest Chambers

  • Jazznaldo

    Simon, I do believe you are using unrelated incidents to prove your doomsday

    hypothesis. Any review of
    events if chosen selectively will prove practically anything. Religious nuts
    have been doing that since records began. Interpreting omens, attempting to
    point out patterns in unrelated events prove nothing. The riots in Egypt
    have nothing to do with the riots in Britain other than they were
    reported on fox News by the same breathless TV anchors.
     The middle class in America
    is being squeezed, the rich are getting richer the poor will always be with us.
    The more things change the more they stay the same.
     The Idea that Americans should
    go to live in Chile
    as a protection against poor Rioters/ an overbearing government and social
    upheaval is risable. Can I tell you a secret? People who actually live in Chile keep their money in the US despite the currency devaluation
    and the wasteful Quantitive easing.(In the US) A history of hyperinflation military dictatorship endemic corruption, systemic failure, terrorism, murder squads, gangststerism. are only some of the reasons the middle class/ wealthy look to the US as a safe haven. please dont send your people to Chile the Chileans will die laughing. Any cohort of people who are to afraid to live in the land of the free certaily are not brave enough to live in the home of Augusto Pinachet.
     Do you really think any number of Americans
    would similarly like to live in Andorra?
    How many would fit? Its very small and is really only a part of Spain with
    different tax rules.
     Frightening Americans has become something of a national
    pastime. I would remind you that we are living in the most peaceful decade in
    the last 100 years despite American adventures overseas and the current wars in
    east Africa. People who don’t know their
    history are often doomed to repeat it. Similarly people who willingly allow
    themselves to be scare mongered by unrelated events and cyclical economic
    downturns  into moving to Chile could soon find themselves genuinely on the receiving end of South American
    style justice/ democracy/ economic reversals and perhaps that would be karma.

    • Diogenese_

      Jazznaldo, to ears older than a certain age who follow Latin American history what your saying makes sense-> but only if those ears have not yet heard the following:

      -The riots in Egypt and the UK would not have happened as they did without the current global recession. Both the middle east high food prices and the UK austerity came directly from global government debt, money printing and a resulting malinvest in the business cycle.

      -The riots in Egypt and the UK would not have happened as they did without Internet and cell network social media. Technology does change things in history, and it just has again.

      -The US middle class just shrunk for 10 straight years in a row, and that was after 25 years of declining real wages. 10 years of a shrinking middle class has happened only one other time in history, and 35 years of declining real wages has Never happened.
      Up until about the early 1970′s, a husband could support a wife and several kids very well on his wages alone. Now even both spouses working isn’t enough, and that’s with fewer kids.

      -The US government is forcing ritualistic submissive molestation on the population, quickly spreading everywhere, and beaming them with xrays, including in their cars and probably soon in their homes. The government has legalized wiretapping without limit, the police routinely kill people who pose no threat whatsoever, and the DHS is expanding a nationwide snitch on your neighbor program. And they are only getting started. There is every sign that Americans will soon not be able to take their money outside of the country.  Are you saying today’s Chile has a more oppressive government than that?

      -The smart money in Chile, and around the world, is buying Gold, that’s why it hit a high of $1875 today.

      -The US is running 6 wars right now and caused the deaths of over 1 million Iraqi’s in the past 10 years. How many of those 6 countries attacked the US first? Zero. That’s not peaceful, and it will be astounding if there’s not blowback.

      This isn’t a cyclic downturn, it’s the end of the heart of American power, the world reserve fiat US currency. And the American economy has directly relied on that power for the past 10 years at the very least. What that means for America is a combination of Russia in the early 90′s and Argentina in the early 2000′s. And that is happening in a country where 95% + of the people have never raised chickens, dug their own outhouse or thought much beyond the mass media. Russians and Argentinians had some familiarity with how to get by in a world of empty shelves and none functioning utilities. How do you think the vast majority of none farm familiar Americans will do in that situation? Even big brother isn’t big enough to handle that. A government doesn’t build a debt 10 GDP years high and get out of it without either a collapse or hyperinflation.

  • samnjoeysgrama

    A very liberal friend of my adult son made the comment (with a snarky smirk): “Well, if you don’t want to be groped, you don’t have to fly”. I think you need to look at the logical progression of that line of thought:
    Take a train instead…oh, well, now DHS ‘must’ protect travelers at the train stations, so strip searches there as well. Buses would be the same.
    OK, drive your car…wait, most of the deadly bombings have been by car bombs, so DHS ‘must’ stop and search citizens’ cars with no probable cause.
    And, really, who would drive around actually building a bomb in their car? They wouldn’t. They would build it in their garage or basement. So, clearly, DHS needs to have gestapo kicking in our doors at home without warrants or probable cause. I am picturing Redcoats with rifles and bayonets, but of course it would be SWAT teams in black.  Much cooler looking.
    We have laws against unreasonable search and seizure for a reason. Once we allow it at airports, what is the argument to stop it from being done at your home? Think America! It may hurt your brain at first, but thinking does eventually happen painlessly.

    • Dboy

      “”Well, if you don’t want to be groped, you don’t have to fly”"

      Well he is right, but I’ll do one better. If you you don’t want to live in a declining country which has made so many enemies due to years of resource-stealing and terrorism that is now has to grope it’s citizens in airports…buy that one-way ticket out, take that one groping, and don’t look back. I’m in the process of doing this. I should be fully out by Dec 2011.


    BUNKER.                        OLD AND GOING NOWHERE

  • Abgasse

    I think it’s time to become Amish.

    • jblowers

      Tongue in cheeck response obviously…obviously?  I live with Amish Neighbors:  polluters of the environment, scrappy and disingenous to say the least…they’ll do anything to make a buck, watch your back!, tribal, i.e. absolutely not open to others outside their tribe.

    • Dlewis120

      Actually, the Amish/Mennonites do very well.
      They are left alone and not killed for being “Anti-Semites.”
      Besides, they are “off the grid”. End of OIL, no problem.

      Also, the area where they live is not destroyed by Yellowstone’s volcanic eruption–as I describe below: (3/18/13).

      Those who posit “911 Truth” are to be hunted down and killed by the 50,000 Israeli Mossad agents that now infest US malls selling “handcream”. Returning US troops will not kill “911 Twoofers”, but Joos will. (Google: Nikolai Kaganovich) the Joo killer of 40 million White Christian Russian landowners between 1918 and 1922. Remember, that was BEFORE Stalin came to power.
      GOYIM:  Welcome to the Jew World Order.

      Please read my 2 replies to “Bub”–about 7/8 of the way down the right hand slider.  I was a participant in Operation Pegasus.

      Now I’m near 70. I will die shortly. I don’t care if I’m on the Kill List. (The first military on the KL was Adm. Forrestal, then JFK, then Martha Mitchell (the wife of the sitting Atty. General!!!).
      That’s how powerful they are !!

      Go to: to see how where you live turns out.

  • Life is good

    Love your work, man, but I disagree that people strap bombs on their chest and kill innocents because they are not making enough money. They do it because they bought into a totalitarian ideology and believe they are cleansing themselves and the world by doing so.

  • Jdhjimbo

    While the situation in the world from a carnal mind point of view is pretty bleak, it is important to realize that all of us – regardless of circumstances – can choose to align with freedom and that which we desire to experience.    We are whole and fully capable of expressing the highest and best within us, and the Creator has always desired this for each and every one.   It is indeed sad that after 100 years of progressive poisoning, coupled with necon nitwitism, America has devolved from the greatest experiment on Earth . . . to just another totalitarian police state mess.   The idiot in SF typifies the typical progressive jerk who thinks the State is almighty and gets to coerce and steal to their heart’s content.  They are wrong, and with a fool like Obama at the helm, the government of the UPSA (United Police State of Amerika) will continue to get more desperate.   The State has two fundamentals – coerce and steal, and then lie while you are doing it, so the days of the nation-state model are numbered.   YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Once thinking people realize that no one owns another or has the right to tell him what to do, we can evolve into a liberty-loving world that respects all, understands that we are all different and do not need to agree, and gives no power to the tyrant politicians and their international bankster financiers (Rothschild & Co.).    I am choosing to spend part of the year in a Free State (NH), and then the rest of the year in the Southern Hemisphere (Argentina/Chile/Uruguay & New Zealand), far from the encroachment of IRS pigs, worldwide terrorists, imperial power-mongers (like the U.S. military-industrial complex), and where the reverse seasons affords great weather, while most of North America endures the long, bleak winter.   Every person needs to make their own decisions, but anyone who thinks the politician whores will act in their best interest is sadly mistaken.   A moral one like Ron Paul is one in a million (the only moral politician in the U.S. in my 61 years!!), and he will be out-maneuvered by the crooks who run the District of Criminals in the U.S., and all the western European socialist countries have it even worse.   That being said, it is not time to give up, affirm doom and gloom . . . but rather to assert your own individual divinity and be a beacon of light in the world.   Ignorance, evil, fear, and all the rest only have temporal power.   Real power has been endowed from the Creator.   Listen to your heart, recognize your power, and never let the illusions of the external determine your attitude.   It is not what happens to us, or around us, but rather what happens within us that counts.   Commit to non-aggression in all situations, do not give away your power to the politicians or other “authorities”, and keep aligning with all that you desire.   We can always choose.   The present system is a complete failure, but one CAN find freedom in an unfree world (as the Harry Browne book stated 35 years ago).   Don’t give up, and nullify State coercion whenever you can!!

  • Don

    Gereld Celente coined an aphorism that sums this up in one laconic New York-style sentence:

    “When people lose everything, they lose it!”

  • SeekingUnderstanding

    If Ron Paul wins the 2012 Presidential election, and we have a house and Senate majority of ‘action’ oriented Tea Party minded Constitutional Republic representatives, there may be a glimmer of hope to turn things around.

    Simon, I have one question that infuriates me to no end and is a serious problem: How do I get the ‘majority’ of my IRA/401k assets, held hostage by the feds, withdrawn in reasonable tact.

    Tax deferred retirement accounts are the most incidious middle class scam ever perpetrated by government! Roths, or similar pay tax as you go investment holdings, are far better, but still monitored and controlled by the Feds.

    • Don

      >How do I get the ‘majority’ of my IRA/401k assets,
      >held hostage by the feds, withdrawn in reasonable tact

      You have to face the fact that you’re going to take a serious tax hit if you want your tax-deferred account money out to do as you want with it.  What you need is advice on how best to minimize the tax hit.

      Do it with the help of a tax lawyer.  Note I said lawyer, not CPA or other type of accountant, not with someone who bills themself as a tax planner, but isn’t a lawyer.

      The reason is, you need someone who can assert attorney client priviledge if some IRA guy starts sniffing around looking to call one of your tax-mitigation techniques an ‘abusive tax shelter’ or decides to lauch a fishing expedition.

      • SeekingUnderstanding

        Thanks Don. I will contact a tax lawyer.


    The problem for the entire world is that it is caught in the ”WEB” of an international counterfeiting racket posing as ”bankers”. The current world monetary system is based on wealth EXTRACTION and not on true wealth creation.

    These criminals and their Debt-is-Money system must be rooted out and hurled into the trashcan of human history.

    Until the criminal counterfeiters and their scam Debt-Money system is completely destroyed, no person anywhere on this Earth will have ANY wealth left to show themselves.

  • Paul_Repstock

    My point of view is somewhat different.
    In my arrogance I think that there should be some purpose to our existence in this World. I think that my physical existence is important only to myself, and that to be worthy of my birth, I should try to make things a tiny bit better for future generations.

    People should be proud of their nations and should try to improve them. To that end, runnin away and hiding, while leaving your fellow citizens to face the coming upheavals is cowardice and abdication. It means that you have taken the benefits of citizenship, but refuse to fight for the rights. Do not be deluded to think that you can avoid the consequences if the Control Elite should win this fight, simply by running to some far-off island. You personally may be able to hide. Your children and grandchildren cannot.

    What we need to do is re-establish our citizenship by building communities. And these communities need to band together to restructure governance so that it is representative of the people. Governments are made up of people who have decided that they are morally and intellectually superior to the rest of us and that they therefore have the right to pursue their own agendas. Such self-serving attitudes do little for the rest of us. Obviously communities need structure and managers, but those should be answerable to the stakeholders.

    Don’t let fear rule your lives.

  • Fchambers8

    Actually, I am not sure what is going to happen.  Out here in Wyoming, not much is happening except our inept congress people continue to show their utter stupidity when they vote on anyting.  We have not had a housing decline here, nor have we had any major unemployment ( we never had any employment to speak of anyway), so it is difficult to see actually what will happen. 

    I am terribly afraid that the government will take more and more of our rights and freedoms even as I write this.  For the most part, I think that the american people are not smart enough to figure out what is happening and if they did, they would want the government to bail them out.  This is the most frightening thing of all.

  • Karl Johnson

    If they are to be believed, President Obama and his advisers instituted the stimulus plan to save the American banking system, GM, Chrysler, and others.  A significant amount of the money was skimmed off the top, and never reached its intended recipients.  You and other financial analysts think the weaker banks and companies should have been allowed to fail.  

    If that had happened, is it not possible that the ensuing economic collapse would have sparked violence here in the US?  Is it not possible that the collapse of the American financial system might have caused worldwide financial problems that would have been worse than those we now see?

    Karl Johnson

  • Mustardseed_2012

    Ok so excuse me for writing a second time, but I come with reason.
    Simon is thought provoking.  Yes, think people.  The world is on fire and getting hotter.  Get off the grid (like the Amish) but make sure you get a network that will protect your back with force if necessary…. wherever it may be.  Give the old a gun and the young a plow.  God help us if the ‘government’ declares a national emergency… by FEMA law they will be able to do whatever they want to whom ever they want… via satellite.  Until that day, we have a fighting chance to still be a people of freedom, honor and courage.
    I would like to thank one and all for coming here.  It has become a source of information, encouragement and camaraderie.  A wise man will gain from every situation.  All perspectives add value… here I find many.  Thank you Simon for providing this venue and  ‘provoking’ our thoughts to action.  Thank you ladies and gentlemen for adding grounded, non-petty input to our oncoming situation.  Survival is one part attitude, one part preparation and one part action… so is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  • Madini71

    I agree with the general idea.  In the U.S. we will see a period of social unrest as entitlements are cut and unemployment remains high…and the standard of living is lowered. 

    But please keep in mind the following:
    1.  People dont riot and loot forever.  Throwing bricks thru Walmart windows gets tiring.  Be prepared to protect your family and your property in the short run.
    2.  A lower standard of living in the U.S. will still far exceed the standard of living anywhere else in the world.
    3.  All this talk of looking for a house outside of the U.S. is amusing to me.  What happens, as the U.S. cuts its military spending and thus its military presence in the oceans of the world and in places like SE Asia and S. America?  Some might argue it will be welcomed in those countries.  However, wasnt it the U.S. Navy, a couple centuries ago, that rid the seas of piracy?  I could argue just the opposite, that the outside world will fall into the hands of thugs.  I that case, I want want to be in the U.S. as our Navy turns to patrolling our shores, and our shores only.  Canada should benefit from this policy as well.

    Unfortunately, as the U.S. slows, the rest of the world will suffer more than we will at home; and the unrest around the globe, greater than here at home.

    I have family outside of the country in second world countries.  The lawlessness is horrible.  I will never own property in 90% of these countries because of the inconsistent history of contract law and property rights.  Case and point…if you bought a house today in the U.S., England, Mexico, Ecuador, Singapore, and South Korea; which two countries would you be more likely to still OWN your property 50 years from now?

  • Paul_Repstock

    That is what I find so horrible about the general lack of concern about the state of our civilization. In direct response to a degradation of morality, caused by a “me first” attitude, everything is shrinking. If this continues there will be no glorious future for mankind. Our ‘golden age’ lasted a couple of hundred, or perhaps only 50? years. Then our ‘dog in the manger’ animal nature got the best of us..:(

    Truly we should not reach for the stars while half our people are forced to live in constant hunger. I really don’t believe in Socialism. but I have a lot less respect for the current system. People refuse to accept that much of Western wealth and comfort is dependant on artificial denials and shortages. I can provide plenty of evidence. And to top it all, environmentalists would deny a modern lifestyle to the poorer nations in pursuit of their own pollution based luxury. A small bit of hypocricy……no? We don’t have to send everything we own to those who have less, we just have to stop screwing them!

    If there are readers who are worried about the coming shake-up but cannot afford or justify to kit out from the advertisments, check the little page I finally managed to post at freecanada.

  • Paul_Repstock

    I know it is necessary for a lot of people right now, but this is not the way to a Democracy! A nation which builds the citizens dependance on the government by allowing the corporate and regulatory structure to sqweeze people is going to get increasingly despotic and unequal. In a big hurry!

  • Miv

    fuck off moderator

  • sil

    It is sad to see how far we thumbled down.Thw earth has given us eveything yet our greed in the usa will soon teach us the great lesson. We all aw this coming and our representative failed us,yet we keep voting them in.Put your faith in God, because you already know men has failed.I dont have Gold, but I have God.I am protected.Our freedom is taken. our children dont know the difference between right or wrong anymore. sad indeed

  • Paul_Repstock

    The Maestro’s empty hat.
    Monday may be a very bleak day in the United States of America. Time will tell.
    From appearances, one would suspect that the real rabbits are long gone, and that Eddie’s virtual rabbits have passed through the pot as well. The amount of emphasis placed on the Maestro’s appearance in Jackson Hole, demonstrate the need for an economic miracle. We need to be cautious about buying into this expectation.
    There are many possible reasons why the Maestro might, with doleful face, show the audience the empty inside of the hat, after trying with all his might to conjure one more rabbit for the pot. Perhaps the producers, annoyed by the restive audience, have decided to close the doors. Perhaps the show is over….?  Probably not. As they say, “the show must go on.” Preferring, as we do, happy endings, we will be overjoyed, on the morrow, to find that there will be a show. The quibbling details of higher ticket prices, and cheaper, smaller seats, further from the stage, won’t bother us too much. The show must go on.

  • Jan Hershberger

    While this is off the subject I needed to remark on it.  It concerns your previous question on people panhandling.  I worked all my life to include working for the government only to find my pension which I paid into may be taken away for lack of funding. I personally may have to resort to this panhandling myself to get by as I’m not fit enough to work efficiently anymore due to age and acquired health problems.  Will you hold it against me as well as you have nonchalantly decided to do to these young people with your excuse they don’t want to work as the reasoning?   And just where might there be work available today for them?  The correct response from you should have been to offer them some kind of work for you in return for this money and then if they turned you down I believe you know the correct answer then.  This would show their true intentions concerning illicit monetary gains from another!

  • Paul Repstock

    Ahh! As I thought. He found a rabbit after all. Hidden in the very bottom corner. Now perhaps this was not your grandfather’s rabbit, it was quite dark in colour and had two white stipes on its back, but declared a “Rabbit” none the less. Did I mention…social security may need to go to pay for the rabbits’ upkeep? OH WELL.

    We don’t have inflation, so a little bit won’t hurt…so much.

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