A Tale of Three Revolutions

By: James Anthony

We are in revolutionary times. Given an adequate understanding of economics and behavior, we can learn from the history of past revolutions.

The French Revolution

In France in 1789, the government had long built up debts. The elites resisted reforming themselves.

The people hadn’t been helped by their churches to pursue personal Bible study and personal salvation. The people didn’t effectively press for reforms.

The people accumulated 25,000 complaints before a legislative session, which was rare, was called. Heated rhetoric in a French analog to Common Sense sold well. Following a spring drought, a July hailstorm, and one of the coldest winters in French history, it suddenly became common for bread to require 80 percent of income.

Soon came activists with guillotines.

The American Revolution

In the American Colonies in 1776, the colony governments had not built up debts. Total taxes had long been 1 percent to 2 percent of GDP. The standard of living had steadily improved to where incomes in the colonies exceeded those in Great Britain by 68 percent.

The people had been helped by their churches to pursue personal Bible study and personal salvation. The elites had innovated with colony governments.

Whenever the king tried to raise taxes even modestly, activists revolted, heated rhetoric sold well, and colony legislatures knew they had strong support so they also pushed back hard.

Soon came efficient, largely-guerilla revolutionary war.

The Current Revolution

In the USA in 2022, the governments have built up total debts (to 138 percent of GDP), and the people have built up total debts (to 235 percent of GDP). Total government spending is 38 percent of GDP. The elites have started flexing the administrative state in all jurisdictions, and flexing government-crony organizations.

The people helped by their churches to pursue personal Bible study and personal salvation make up a stable, significant minority totaling at least 28 percent of people.

Overall, people’s resistance has been decentralized and slow to gather, but their resistance is increasing. Sporadic local-government resistance is effective—for example from Florida’s governor and Louisiana’s attorney general. The most widespread resistance media is hosted by a Progressive, Joe Rogan.

How bad will various government jurisdictions’ tyranny get? How costly will this revolution be? Why don’t modern people learn from history and respond to tyranny with broken-windows policing like the American revolutionaries did? What made those revolutionaries different?

  • Debts matter. When living standards are much higher, debts don’t imminently threaten most lives with starvation, as in times past. But when debts plus cronyism substantial worsen healthcare, debts can still threaten many lives.
  • Institutions matter. Institutions that support personal faith change the world for the better. Institutions that undermine personal faith change the world for the worse.

All revolutions are hyperlocal. They’re shaped by individuals’ debt burdens and incomes, and ultimately they mirror individuals’ hearts.

Powered by WPeMatico