By the spring of 47 BC, Cleopatra’s rivals to the Egyptian throne, her brothers, Ptolemy XIII, Pothimus, and Achillas were all dead. Roman legions commanded by the Emperor, Julius Caesar, successfully intervened in the civil war occasioned by Cleopatra’s father’s death and defeated her brothers’ armies. With his usual efficiency, Caesar celebrated his victories by summarily making Cleopatra the sole heir to the throne, Egypt a vassal state of Roman Empire and her his willing concubine. In so doing, he discovered that she was in many respects similar to her country: a shame to lose, a risk to conquer and a headache to govern.
Last week, Egypt lurched closer to yet another full-blown civil war. As a crowd of Morsi supporters finished their dawn-time prayers, gathered near the building where their newly deposed leader was living under house arrest, the Egyptian Army opened fire, killing 53 and wounding over 400.
Thoughts over the July 4th Holiday
With the Declaration of Independence, 237 years ago, our founders made it abundantly clear that they would constitute a new nation where its citizens would obtain the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that those rights were unalienable, that is, not granted by the state but by God. Moreover, if at any time their government became destructive of those rights, it was not their right but their obligation to abolish it.
As young Americans watch the majority party now in control of Washington diligently undermining the constitution it swore an oath to defend, might the modern Egyptians, who have deposed two rulers in the space of two years, be demonstrating the formula for the abolition of our own destructive government?
Are We Becoming Greece or Egypt?
Earlier in this the decade of an Obama-led western decline, we were witness to the financial unraveling of the insolvent Euro PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain).
Euro Our Marxist media mavens could not avoid showing us rioting outraged pensioners burning businesses and throwing rocks at police on Europe’s capital city streets. They could not avoid reporting that Europeans were rioting against their governments because they could not meet their promised pension obligations and because the German taxpayers were threatening to cut them off. With this reportage came their unwitting vindication of Margaret Thatcher’s famous aphorism, the problem for socialists is that eventually they run out of other peoples’ money.
Sadly for the Greeks, the people who invented the system of governance in which the many rule the few, it became a cliché among those of us alarmists who looked at Obama’s soaring debt and America’s potential financial collapse and asked, “Are we Greece?” For the Greeks, whose ancestors built a brilliant civilization around the freely-governed independent city state which still stands as the ultimate expression of self-reliance, they sadly had become the poster children for the desperate and dependent.
Now we are witnessing massive on-going uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, and Brazil but of a wholly different nature. Francis Fukuyama writes in his recent column, The Middle Class Revolution:
…political protest has been led not by the poor but by young people with higher-than-average education and income. They are tech savvy and use social media to broadcast information and organize demonstrations. Even though they live in countries that hold regular democratic elections, they feel alienated from the ruling elite.
In what we could call the Egyptian model, massive marches, demonstrations, civil disobedience, and the tacit approval of their military, the Egyptians have remarkably now deposed of their second dictator in the space of a little over two years. Perhaps an even bigger story is that the Egyptians are hardly alone. The model is spreading. Insurrections are brewing all over the world. Granted, some of these are conventional armed rebellions. The Sunnis are attacking the ruling Shiite majority in Iraq. The civil war in Syria which has claimed over 100,000 lives has grown into a proxy war between Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime on one side and Syrian rebels backed by Saudi Arabia, other Sunni Emirates, and belatedly, the US on the other.
But other insurrections are following more closely the Egyptian model. Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed marches numbering into the hundreds of thousands, spontaneously occurring in Turkey, Tunisia, and most notably, Brazil.
And while these latter three rebellions have some unique defining aspects, they have a common central theme. They are populated by mostly young, middle class workers or students who are fed up with lousy government that imposes massive and coercive regulations, confiscatory taxation, poor services, and that presides over general economic misery. These marches are massive and growing in size. In Brazil and Egypt, they number in the millions. But they are profoundly different and new because they are not primarily made up of a government and unionized workers afraid of losing their pensions but are made up of the young, middle class, workers who can’t find gainful employment and or who just hate their corrupt, inept governments.
When Obamacare is Implemented, Why Might America’s Youth follow Egypt?
Since the inauguration of President Obama in January of 2009, so much has been added to their economic burden, that if the majority of the young, aspiring-to-be-middle class Americans knew what this government has done to them, we might already be seeing them shutting down the avenues of political power in Washington DC. (Think of hundreds of protesters pouring into Chuck Schumer’s, Nancy Pelosi’s, and Harry Reid’s offices shouting, “Go home now!”) But because our mainstream media and education establishment are largely propaganda arms for the American Left, the majority of 20 to 35 year-olds don’t yet know:
- American real family income has fallen by $1,200 since Obama took office.
- Due to massive new indebtedness resulting from governmental deficit spending of $85 billion a month over the last six years, the average per capita net worth has fallen from $240,790 in 2007 to $62,322 in 2012.
- The government is always out of money because, for example, the number of people who get free food from the tax payers has nearly doubled since Obama has been president, rising to 46 million, or one in seven Americans.
- The cost of the Regulatory State is now governed by 134,000 pages of federal regulations and has had the effect of reducing the GDP from what could have been a $50 trillion dollar economy to $15 trillion, thus reducing Americans’ standard of living by a factor of about two/thirds.
- The IRS operates as if the constitution does not exist, specifically the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the government from seizing our property without the due process of law. The IRS is now judge, jury, and jailer.
But when Obamacare gets fully implemented, the 20- to 30-something Americans will wake up to the folly of voting for the “cool guy” and will wake up to the fact that socialism is always tyranny. And their awakening will be the result of two phenomena they will simply be unable to avoid seeing:
- The law will force young, uninsured healthy people to subsidize older, less-than-wealthy peoples’ healthcare, forcing the young to buy government healthcare policies for on average $2,400 annually when they on average only consume $850 worth of healthcare services annually.
- The law which forces all businesses that employ over 50 employees to provide government-sanctioned health insurance will cause those businesses not to hire new employees or to move many of their employees to part-time status. The law has already wreaked havoc on the unemployment rate among recent college graduates and it hasn’t yet been fully implemented.
Wait until there are millions of 20- to 30-something Americans who went to college, thought they were playing by all the rules set out by society but can’t find gainful employment. And add to those ill-contents the millions who find out that just earning $33,000 a year, will allow the IRS to force them to buy a $2,400-a-year health insurance policy. It would seem that this might be a recipe for America going Egypt.
Fukuyama makes the case that insurrection is going to become common as corrupt, poorly managed governments fail to meet the expectations of the newly prosperous, technologically equipped, young middle class. And he issues this warning—”No politician in the US or Europe should think it can’t happen here.” In the face of an over-reaching, corrupt, inept, burdensome government, perhaps young Americans will also prove a “headache to govern.” One can only hope.
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With his unique historical perspective and laser-targeted focus on militant Islam and the dangers of western complacency, Larry Kelley ignites insightful and thought-provoking conversations for US citizens who are concerned about America’s future.
Throughout his career as a political commentary writer, Larry Kelley’s work has been featured on the cover of Townhall Magazine and has also been published in the Piedmont Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Human Events.
Larry Kelley regularly presents his political perspectives on various talk show radio programs, publishes his own political column titled, News From the Front and authored the book, Lessons From Fallen Civilizations.