Friday, September 16, 2011

The Brewing Revolution. . . . .

If history is any indication of future events I suspect that Europe is headed toward revolution.

In the years leading up to the French Revolution, as France inched toward bankruptcy, one of the few growth industries was found in the luxury carriage market. It seems that while much of the country was slowly starving to death and the government of Louis IX was nearing financial ruin, the rich in France were buying ever larger and more luxurious carriages and each aristocrat tried to out do their peers with more elaborate and expensive models. The rich of France were largely oblivious to the growing storm and would universally claim that the peasantry and the working-class were enjoying the most that the system could afford and that they were lucky to have what they did. Meanwhile the rich were richer than ever and being transported in the most elaborate carriages you could imagine. Sound familiar?

Today the international car show in Frankfort opened. In spite of the looming crisis in Europe, and the ever more difficult position in which the working people of Europe (and elsewhere) find themselves, the luxury car market has never been better. Porsche, Ferrari,  Maserati, Lamborghini, Jaguar, and other luxury makers are all introducing more expensive and elaborate models and all are enjoying growth in sales and expecting sales to increase by up to 20% this year.

How'about this 1.7 Million Dollar Bugatti

Remember chapter seven of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities in which the carriage of the aristocrat Monseigneur runs over a peasant boy and then he throws a couple of coins in the street at the lad's father as compensation for having taken the boy's life?

The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the rightwing is telling us that the workers are lucky to have what they have and the system can't afford decent wages and pensions for most people. Meanwhile the new horseless carriages are getting more and more expensive.

Trouble is coming, and when workers start chopping off the heads of the rich, they shouldn't say they haven't been warned. History has been warning them all along.


Anonymous said...

We need to hope for an American-style revolution rather than a French or Russian one. La Terreur tends to be a bad thing all around, and why did the Bolsheviks think it was a great idea to accept millions from international bankers anyways. We could only be so lucky to be without the evil of central banking for a century or so before they manage to sneak back in.

Owen Gray said...

The lessons should be pretty clear. But there appears to be a myth abroad that wealth inoculates one from history.

The truth is that wealth encourages ignorance.