An Inconvenient Revolution

It’s inconvenient when those whose sacrifices are essential to the system get fed up and find some other way to live.

Convenience isn’t just about small appliances. It’s also about ruling nations. Let’s start with the semantics of ruling nations. Some labels might be viewed as somewhat inflammatory (Kleptocracy, anyone?), so let’s stick with the neutral Ruling Order.

Some things have been extraordinarily convenient for the Ruling Order. Take the life and death of one Jeffrey Epstein, an intel “asset” who assembled a veritable goldmine of dirt on an astounding collection of bigwigs, and then became, well, inconvenient.

Very conveniently, the security camera in his cell failed, the guards dozed off and he hung himself in this fortuitous interlude. This was the acme of convenience.

Extending the Surveillance State into Big Tech’s planetary-wide social media networks was also convenient, and a bargain to boot. Instead of all that expensive stuff the Communist State in China had to pay for, America’s Ruling Order just put the squeeze on Big Tech and saved a bundle.

The Surveillance State assumes that any revolt / revolution can either be nipped in the bud by identifying foreign influences / domestic extremists, or crushed by foreknowledge of the storming of the barricades.

In conventional times, these are pretty safe assumptions. But the times are no longer conventional, and so the Ruling Order is in effect investing its treasure and confidence in fighting the last war.

It’s convenient if rebelling citizens organize themselves in visible networks and concentrate into groups that can be crushed by force. It’s inconvenient if the revolution is not neatly organized and crushable but an invisible revolution of not showing up.

In other words, a revolution of getting fed up and opting out, of finding some other way to live rather than spending 10 years paying down the student loans and another 30 years paying down the mortgage and the last few years of one’s life watching the tides of financial excess erode the sand castles of pensions and retirement.

There’s a consequential asymmetry to the inconvenience caused by people getting fed up and opting out. The average worker not showing up is consequential but not catastrophic. But when the managerial class thins out, and those doing the dirty work thin out, there are no replacements, and the system breaks down.

Few are willing to make the beds, empty the bedpans and work in slaughterhouses. When those willing to do the work nobody else wants to do quit, the system collapses. Those with higher expectations will not volunteer to do the dirty work, and many are unable to do the work even if they are willing. It’s too hard and too physically punishing. (Says a guy who’s carried stupid amounts of lumber up hillsides where no forklift could go.)

Despite what many of us may think, the majority of workers lack the experience and tools to manage complex operations. (Those of us who try soon reach our limits.) Many lack a deep enough knowledge to fix major breakdowns. When the critical operational and managerial people retire, quit, or find some other way to live, the system breaks down.

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