“We Will Bury You”
In 1956, Soviet Premiere Nikita Krushchev gave a speech in Moscow to Western ambassadors and famously said, “We will bury you.”
A more complete version of his statement was, “"About the capitalist states, it doesn't depend on you whether or not we exist. If you don't like us, don't accept our invitations, and don't invite us to come to see you. Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you!" As a consequence of his speech, the representatives of twelve NATO nations and Israel walked out of the room.
At the time, many Americans saw the statement as a nuclear threat, but it’s unlikely that this was the intent. In 1963 in Yugoslavia, Mister Krushchev referred to his 1956 statement, saying, “I once said, ‘We will bury you,’ and I got into a lot of trouble with it. Of course, we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you.”
How’s that workin’ for ya?
It’s a truism that governments tend to be both arrogant and presumptuous. They come up with changes that will benefit them, then concoct flimsy excuses as to why the changes are good for all concerned. The public swallow the pill, so the government assumes that the public believed the flimsy excuse. Over time, the government becomes convinced that their powers of persuasion are greater than they are, since they continue to get away with changes that do not benefit all.
Eventually, though, the public are stripped of their freedoms to such a degree that they lose patience with the flimsy excuses. It turns out that a significant percentage of them never fully believed them, but swallowed each pill in order to get along. In addition, eventually the public’s standard of living and quality of life are also stripped away to a great enough degree that they lose patience.
Each of these is an important factor in an underlying disaffection that grows until it becomes a major force that may well be unstoppable if it blows. Amongst the people, it tends to be felt rather than seen and, of course, is felt less by those who created it, due to their ever-increasing arrogance and presumptuousness.
This is the stuff that makes revolutions. Whether they be armed conflicts or simply a refusal to vote for the status quo, as has been observed recently in the UK (Brexit), the US (the presidential election), and Italy (the referendum), governments tend to scratch their heads in disbelief when an outcome that they thought was assured, proves incorrect.
Historically, when this happens, most leaders fail to see the warning signs for what they are. They instead double-down their efforts to push through their program of freedom and wealth removal, under the assumption that the warning signs were an anomaly – a one-off glitch that won’t be repeated.
When the wheels start to come off
This is the point at which divergence between a government and its people becomes manifest. In the early stages, the symptoms that the public demonstrate are not dramatic. Although there may be violent outbursts by small groups (either spontaneous or organized) the real danger is demonstrated less obviously. The average person – the housewife, the gas station attendant, the hair stylist – begins to perform small acts of civil disobedience. Whilst they may continue to pay lip service to “God and country” and “the powers that be”, they increasingly disobey laws in small ways, which increases contempt for government that may eventually turn to hatred.
We’re witnessing this development in its formative stages in both the EU and the US. Each government is charging ahead at full steam with its manipulative programs, even as the people themselves have begun to dig in their heels and are voting for a reversal of events. Typically, in such instances, governments regard their people as gnats to be swatted – again going under the assumption that they are once again observing an anomaly. The people then dig in harder. In the next stage, the government redoubles its controls over those who protest and the divide increases.
The question then becomes dependent upon whether major events occur. If the government backs off a bit, the majority of people tend to do the same, but if there are major events in play, such as warfare, economic instability, food shortages, etc., they may well be the spark point that sets off the already warm powder.
In the present-day situation, we can observe the EU and US governments trying to force situations regarding loss of freedoms, diminished income, unwanted immigration and warfare upon peoples whose objections have been growing louder. It would be at this point that Mister Krushchev’s prediction that, “Your own working class will bury you,” may begin to come to pass. If so, we can anticipate that, once the EU and US have provided the shovel, Russia and China will assist in the burial.
Most of us have not personally lived through a revolution (violent or otherwise). We tend to imagine revolution as an entire nation of people leaving their homes and workplaces and taking up arms against their government. We understandably say to ourselves, “That couldn’t possibly happen here,” and we’d be correct. However, historically, that’s not the way revolutions manifest themselves. In actual fact, those who are active in any revolution tend to be small in number, often less than 5% of the population. Predictably, they tend to be young, with little to lose.
So, how has revolution been successful in so many cases where the government was better armed, better organized and had control of the supply chain?
They key lies, again, in Mister Krushchev’s statement.
In 1917, the Russians that joined the riots in Petrograd were only a tiny minority of the Russian population. Their success would not have been possible, except that they had the advantage of public support, including many in the military. The average Russian believed that the rioters were right and quietly provided assistance as needed.
In 1958, a ragtag group of Cuban guerillas marched from the Sierra Maestra to Havana. On their way, they met government resistance, but, due to the support they received from the average Cuban (and some in the military), they overcame any opposition as they proceeded to the Capital. By the time they reached Santa Clara, President Batista realized that the jig was up and hightailed it out of Cuba. The small group of rebels came into Havana unopposed, to the cheers of the populace.
Twas ever thus
Of course, there are other revolutions that take far longer to resolve, such as the American revolution, but again, In each case the success of the revolution would have been highly unlikely were it not for the quiet support from the average person whose only motivation was that he was fed up with the repeated removals of freedom and wealth. (The minuteman, on his own, could achieve little, but he gained power through the backup support provided by his neighbours.)
We cannot say what the fate will be for the EU and US – whether their respective governments will find the means to ride out the building storm of disaffection by their peoples, or whether they will ultimately crumble. But, if the latter, it is likely that they will do so as a result of disaffection from within, rather than attack from without.
Jeff Thomas is British and resides in the Caribbean. The son of an economist and historian, he learned early to be distrustful of governments as a general principle. Although he spent his career creating and developing businesses, for eight years, he penned a weekly newspaper column on the theme of limiting government. He began his study of economics around 1990, learning initially from Sir John Templeton, then Harry Schulz and Doug Casey and later others of an Austrian persuasion. He is now a regular feature writer for Casey Research’s International Man, Strategic Wealth Preservation in the Cayman Islands and 321Gold.