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Governments Fall Apart
A String of Ruling Parties Have Collapsed, What Does it Portend?
“After an excellent prince it is possible to maintain a weak prince, but after a weak prince, it is impossible to maintain any kingdom with another weak prince, unless it were like France, where the kingdom’s ancient institutions would maintain the state.” - Machiavelli [Discourses, I.19]
Introduction: Fear and Loathing in the Halls of Power
You’ve probably seen the incredible footage of Sri Lankans storming their presidential palace. Forget the January 6th nonsense, this is what a real insurrection looks like! The President, and Finance Minister- his brother- not unsensibly fled the country. As Caitlin Johnstone pointed out:
Just about everything any ruling class does to keep power has the specific purpose of preventing exactly what happened in Sri Lanka. Every government seeks to program its youth from childhood to not do that exact thing. Though Sri Lanka was far and away the most dramatic, in one form or another, besides Sri Lanka, governments have recently fallen in the UK, Italy, Israel, and Estonia. Though circumstances vary, the crux is the same: the economic well-being of the public has been greatly harmed by brutal and counterproductive covid policies followed by counterproductive sanctions on Russia which have led to economic devastation in the US and around the world. [And indeed, it is only our form of government which has saved the abysmally unpopular Biden Administration- in a parliamentary system he would be long gone.] The media wants to downplay both of these angles, as if the inflation and economic hardship came out of nowhere, but it is pretty obvious that the Western public is [accurately] blaming these bad policies of the political establishment for their personal hardships and they aren’t pulling the wool over the eyes of enough of the public for this to continue. For now, some have been able to maintain weaker global establishment Ukraine-hawk type governments, but does not seem as if those will last for long and its not clear who, then, will garner the support to govern.
The UK: Personal Scandals or Bad Government?
Boris Johnson resigned as UK Prime Minister early in July. Once upon a time, I greatly liked Johnson. The truth is I love picaresque figures who shake establishment mores with their unconventional behavior. He was also once a sort of proto-libertarian, at least so far as being anti-busybody. His time as Mayor of London wasn’t bad, especially compared to his leftist successor Sadiq Khan. However, once he became the Foreign Secretary he proved reflexively hawkish in support of NATO’s foreign misadventures and was unable to cope with or understand the UK’s now reduced place in global affairs [the Independent generously called his foreign policy “wishful thinking”, which is a profoundly dangerous thing in foreign policy.]
However, for a while Boris was back in my good graces, when he switched to supporting the implementation of “Brexit” and became PM to accomplish that specific thing. As a long time EU hater I was excited that worked out, but then after initially resisting covid lockdowns for a herd-immunity “strategy” [herd immunity, of course, being a biological fact, not a public policy] he did an about-face [as if someone “got to him,” so to speak] and implemented brutal, long-lasting, nationwide lockdowns. Needless to say, I grew to hate him a great deal over the course of two years.
Then came Ukraine, where Johnson again tried to impotently flex his country’s erstwhile muscle. He rapidly became a leading obstacle to peace, dutifully traveling to Ukraine for photo-shoots, supporting increasingly ridiculous and harmful [to the UK] Ukraine sanctions, and outright opposing peace talks. For all of this, the UK doesn’t have all that much to provide, besides this key infantry training:
[I have no idea if this is real, but Western leaders are sufficiently stupid I definitely believe it could be.]
Zelensky’s sadness notwithstanding, Johnson’s exit matters little, though this didn’t stop people from assuming this was some sort of great victory for Putin:
The reality is that the public was getting tired of sending all their money to Ukraine while their own economic status was collapsing. And thus, some personal scandals that a competent and successful leader could have weathered were the end of him. So after a scandal involving “lockdown parties” at 10 Downing Street [the Prime Minister’s residence] which showed for the billionth time that the elites don’t believe in any of this shit nor do they think they have to follow their own rules, followed by a cabinet minister’s groping scandal [about whom Johnson once hilariously said “Pincher by name, Pincher by nature”], the man sometimes known as BoJo was done. It certainly didn’t help him that he lied about all of these things, but under good leadership people would not have minded nearly so much. So he said “Thems the Breaks” and the sometimes lovable Johnson was out the door. However, for the time being this is just a new Tory leadership contest, so this won’t lead to any meaningful changes, but their government is weakened as they approach a new general election which will surely see the Ukraine narrative and economy in even worse shape than they are now, and from there, anything could happen. For now, don’t get your hopes up for change in the UK. To again cite Caitlin Johnstone:
Italy: A Unity Government Runs Out of Unity
In mid-July Italy’s Movement 5 Stars [M5S] boycotted a confidence vote for Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s “unity government”; M5S had been a key part of the ruling coalition. Before continuing, I need to give you some background on this unusual political group. They were founded by a popular comedian named Beppo Grillo who had been banned from Italian TV for decades for making a pretty mild joke about politicians stealing. [He has an excellent Netflix standup special where he tells his life story, including his rise in politics, called Grillo vs Grillo.] In short, M5S is a sort of populist movement based on the “five stars” of “common good,” “integral ecology,” social justice, technological innovation, and a green economy. Unconventional Grillo has never ran for political office, though he was previously the leader of the party [which denies that it is a political party.] No one ever expected M5S to actually govern, but they ended up a major part of the last two ruling coalitions.
The problems started when M5S’s current leader, Guisseppe Conte, turned against sending weapons to Ukraine, a policy which he had previously hesitantly supported. This caused Foreign Minisiter Luigi Di Maio to leave M5S, saying they were “undermining government efforts to support Ukraine.” Former PM Matteo Renzi of the centrist party Italia Viva claimed that “Today the story of the 5 Star Movement ends.” In my experience, however, those who oppose involvement in wars are commonly vindicated in the end, especially given that only 47% of Italians support sanctions on Russia. [It should be noted, that Italy has famously unstable governments, and the Communist Party had a good deal of public support during the Cold War.] That Italy’s government is falling apart over a position with minority public support which it holds is a circumstance I expect to see all over Europe. Anyway, when it came time for a confidence vote, M5S did not participate, citing the need to show more concern about domestic economic issues. On top of this, the right-populist anti-immigration party La Lega, a major member of the ruling coalition, also opposes continuing aid to Ukraine. This is a very clear situation where the political establishment is focused on Ukraine aid but losing support due to a relative lack of concern with domestic economic issues. With these problems, though Draghi survived a confidence vote on July 14th, he offered his resignation, which the President, Sergio Mattarella rejected, sending him back to Parliament to try and form a new coalition.
On July 20th the government held another confidence vote, which Draghi again survived, but without the support necessary to govern; he resigned July 21st, and an election will be held. Of course, some are saying that this “Plays into Putin’s hands,” because to question anything the government does could only help our own Emmanuel Goldstein. Nevermind that Ukraine policy is simply unpopular, as Italian political historian Annibale explains:
The real question is if that alliance can actually form a new government. As it stands, it appears there will be new election and right-wing parties could perform well enough to get a majority. However, with La Lega, one of the largest parties, opposing Ukraine policy, it is unclear how strong the government would be on aid to Ukraine. Will the Italian government prioritize dealing with serious economic problems, or risk being the next Sri Lanka by sending all their money to Ukraine?
Italy is in a near constant state of political crisis, so none of this would be unusual, if not for the fact that it the same political struggle going on all over Europe.
Israel: The Strangest of Political Bedfellows
In the summer of 2021, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government fell apart. Far-right politician Naftali Bennett, the leader of a small pro-settler anti-Palestinian party who had previously served as a sort of kingmaker in Israel’s unstable politics, found himself in the position to build a new coalition. In and of itself, this was enough to greatly alarm anti-war and pro-Palestinian types, as Bennett has a history of extremist views as the Education and then Defense Minister. However, the situation was also strange as Bennett’s party, Yamina, holds only 7 of the Knesset’s 120 seats. Due to his party’s weakness, the initial agreement was for him to lead for 2 years if the government lasted [which it didn’t, clearly.] The coalition of 8 parties from across the spectrum even includes the small Arab Islamist party Raam, [whom Netanyahu referred to as “terror supporters”] the first time an Arab party has been in a right wing ruling coalition in Israel; this is especially absurd as Bennett is the most radically anti-Palestine Prime Minister in Israel’s history.
But all good (?) things must come to an end, and this coalition collapsed over the ever-controversial status of settlers. Basically, every five years settlers are given temporary legal protections allowing them to participate in Israeli society [as they don’t live in Israel.] Bennett didn’t have the votes to renew the protections, though seemingly less because of disagreement and more due to a lack of faith in his government, which caused Bennett to resign. Due to a previous agreement, centrist Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will take over as PM until new elections can be held in a few months- it is the case that the protections don’t expire unless there is a “normal” government, so by his resignation he saved them for the time being. Interestingly, Bennett retired from politics outright, which is unusual for someone who has gone down simply from an unstable coalition collapsing and not any sort of major scandal [Bennett is only 50, quite young for politics, so I doubt this is the last we hear from him.]
Bennett’s absurd governing coalition is part of a growing pattern where a country is so split that there is no “mainstream” to hold power and instead very disparate groups need to try and work together to rule. In European-style parliamentary systems this isn’t that uncommon, but it is hard to get more done than simply paying the bills unless the coalition has some overarching purpose [which in Bennett’s case was perhaps simply to get a break from Netanyahu.] Bennett’s government failed for a lot of reasons, but more than anything seemingly a failure to set a clear foreign policy in an increasingly turbulent world and the economy making incumbents unpopular. Ukraine doesn’t appear to be a major factor here, as Israel has taken a balanced approach, both due to its large Russian population and need to coordinate with Russia in Syria.
Israel may go back to Netanyahu and relatively more normal governments, but it doesn’t appear for the time being that political stability is attainable. The truth is its more incredible that Bennett’s government ever existed than that it fell, but I am sure we will be seeing ever more implausible governments as an incompetent political class seeks to rule people who have bigger problems than they can fix.
Estonia: An Anti-Russian Coalition Rises
I recently wrote a piece about Estonia and NATO, right as PM Kaja Kallas’ ruling coalition was crumbling. From 6/29/22:
“This “Putin Critic’s” coalition just fell apart. She had been allied with the Center Party, a political party presumably from Estonia’s large ethnic Russian minority [almost a quarter of the country] which was in a formal alliance with Putin’s United Russia until it broke off relations when the war began. It is alleged that the split had to do with “education and welfare reforms,” but it seems clear that Ukraine policy had a large impact, though I cannot find this referenced in English language media, which clearly wants to promote the idea of European solidarity on Ukraine [requests to the Twittersphere for information using the #Estonia hashtag produced no results.]”
A couple of weeks after my article was published, the government of Estonia resigned. However, Kallas did so to form a new coalition. Her new coalition consists of her Reform Party, the Social Democrats, and a small conservative party known as Isamaa, meaning “Fatherland.” They have a narrow but healthy 56 out of 102 seats. Though they are still promoting the idea that the previous government fell due to differences in spending and welfare policy, the new government’s priorities make the lie of that claim clear. Euractiv describes the new government as “Security Focused.” The following is from their official platform:
“The government coalition that will be created will focus on strengthening comprehensive security, transitioning to Estonian-language education, and increasing the economic security of Estonian people.
We acknowledge that the war in Ukraine will exacerbate the social, economic and social tensions caused by the coronavirus and price increases. In order to reduce the above-mentioned effects, we aim to mitigate the rise in the price of energy carriers and to ensure a better coping of Estonian families.”
Its notable that they mention directly the problems that are making it near impossible to govern, and their solution to it is…getting rid of Russian-language public schools. So in June, the ethnic Russian are sharing power, and in July an anti-Russian coalition is beginning the process of cracking down on their language. Meanwhile, they still want us to believe the previous coalition collapsed over welfare spending. The chances of this causing future instability are enormous, as tensions between ethnic Estonian and ethnic Russian Estonian citizens can only possibly rise. They would not see the impact of removing Russian language education for over a decade, which makes it an incredibly questionable decision in the middle of a crisis. It’s especially bizarre to keep antagonizing Russia about this when as I previously explained NATO has no plan to defend Estonia and Estonia cannot defend itself. One wonders how long the Center Party will be allowed to operate at all, though Estonia has massively stronger democratic institutions than Ukraine and with their pride in their liberalism they may respond worse to banning political parties than the Ukrainian public [its worth noting that Estonia has been sufficiently well-governed- on domestic affairs at least- that Russian control would be a substantial blow to human liberty whereas Ukraine has been governed essentially the same as Russia but with less competence.] One wonders, though, how well a hawk cabinet designed to counter Russia can handle the economic turmoil of of global inflation and recession while simultaneously not trading with their largest neighbor. On top of that, the economic connections between the now-powerless Russian speaking population and Russia must be incredible, meaning sanctions are sure to generate a lot of anger. One thing the “security focused” government has going for it is that Russia presents an immediate conventional military threat to Estonia, with a war that would be fought by the citizenry and around their homes and children. Alternately, the wealthy Western countries have to sell antagonism towards Russia on abstract principles and any war with Russia would be fought by professional troops on a distant frontier. This makes it likely that Estonians will accept a much greater economic cost for perceived security from Russia [which they definitely aren’t getting from NATO, making this policy of antagonism utter madness.]
It’s hard to imagine Estonia’s new government doing anything different than passing a series of provocative measures aimed at the Russia population while the ethnic Russians feel less and less like stakeholders in the Estonian state. There is an off-ramp of sorts here, which is that Russia has a serious birthrate problem, and doesn’t actually have anyone to populate lands it conquered in Ukraine or really make proper use of the vast land in Russia. This means that, as with Ukraine, Russia could make it easy for Estonians to get citizenship and on top of that grant them houses/land. However, presumably there would be years of deterioration in ethnic relations within Estonia until that would happen, meaning we’re likely to see years of growing antagonism between Russia and Estonia as well as the ethnic groups within Estonia.
Sri Lanka: The Real Uprising
I’ve saved the best for last. I wish I would have written about this sooner and had more time, in part because I actually have a specialized knowledge about organic agriculture, which is a major component of this story. However, my other articles about domestic turbulence in peripheral areas have performed poorly, so when I saw that Sri Lanka ran out of gas, despite my own interest, I decided to focus on other things [also, as I’ve mentioned, my toddler is at an age where she makes it extremely difficult for me to find time to write.] Then, of course, this happened:
The “crisis phase” of Sri Lanka’s breakdown began on April 1st when the President implemented a state of emergency. Here is a good timeline of the crisis. But, why were they in the streets, causing the president to declare a state of emergency? Because Sri Lanka’s economy is in the tank, and it was completely caused by going along with the incompetent global health bureaucrats, the World Economic Forum, and basically all the other things the powerful nations want to impose on the global population.
As ever, the mainstream media will try to tell you the economic hardship was caused by “the pandemic,” but a pandemic has not occurred. Further, in and of itself covid had a minimal ability to impact the economy- mostly absenteeism due to sickness and perhaps putting off some spending by particularly vulnerable or scared people. In fact, it’s grisly to say this and shouldn’t impact public policy, but the very elderly cost a ton to take care of and don’t produce anything, so their deaths increasing would probably be a net economic positive. Instead, of course, what actually caused these economic problems, is that these idiots shut off the engine of the world. In the article above Toby Green explains that these problems are sweeping the world:
Reports are growing of similar patterns on every continent. Outside Sri Lanka, in Asia there were the worst food riots seen in Iran for more than a decade earlier this year. In the UK, Martin Lewis warned of riots caused by the cost-of-living crisis in May, and similar fears have been raised for Europe. In Latin America, Ecuador endured weeks of protests at the end of June, with protesters demanding price controls for agricultural products. Then last Thursday, reports came from Panama of a call for a general strike owing to the cost of living.”
It was obvious to anyone with a bit of intelligence and integrity that lockdowns would drastically harm the poor; its nice to see that at least some people are kind of paying for it for these brutal anti-human policies [to the extent that moving to the Maldives constitutes “paying.”]
Why, though, was Sri Lanka first when there are many poor countries heavily reliant on tourism? Well, it turns out that Sri Lanka followed the advice of the villains at the World Economic Forum and their climate scam, and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050. This started the country on a path to doing all sorts of things to make fuel more expensive. But something even more drastic happened, which is that the president made the lunatic decision to ban the import of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides all at once, essentially forcing the nation’s farmers to go organic. Though the decision was later reversed, the damage to crop yields and thus food prices had already been done.
Organic farming is a big issue, too large to go into depth here, but though it is possible for organic farming to produce comparable yields, it requires a great deal of education, hard work, and time- and even so still generally results in food being more expensive. “Conventional” agriculture is really bad for soil, and once the soil has been degraded by those practices, it is a years’ long process to make organic viable. In the US I believe the transition period for organic certification is three years, and that isn’t just to let chemicals leave the soil. The soil has to be rebuilt through different farming practices, because conventional soil is practically a lifeless medium for plants which live on chemicals. Further, it takes some time to change the weed control situation, as the fields end up holding a ton of long-living seeds which would usually get sprayed regularly. What’s more, modern seeds are predominantly designed for being grown in this fashion, and are bred and tested under these conditions. If someone has the ability, education, desire, and financing to go through all of this it is possible for organic farming to produce a comparably amount of food that is healthier, better tasting, and more environmentally friendly [as a point of interest, the mass produced organic food you buy at Wal-Mart etc is barely better for you or the environment its just grown in a more difficult and tedious fashion to mee the requirements- of course, because of regulatory capture, agribusiness wrote the organic farming certification laws.]
Good results from organic agriculture absolutely cannot be achieved by banning chemical fertilizers one day, and hopefully people will learn from what happened in Sri Lanka that on a national scale going organic perhaps not viable at all, especially in poorer areas. It caused food riots awful quickly.
Now, the Sri Lankans are getting an all-party “Unity Government” led by six time PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. It is pretty incredible that somehow storming the palace seemingly got them a more establishmentarian leader, but I don’t see how Sri Lanka’s problems- such as 9 out of 10 families skipping at least one meal daily- are solvable by some group of technocrats, and I doubt his government holds. What I’m quite confident of, though, is that food riots will ultimately spread through the developing and then most likely developed world.
Conclusion: The Era of Uncertainty
Though the circumstances of all of these government collapses are quite different, the theme is that they have been led by the Western globalist cabal into oblivion. I still don’t know what caused people to follow the covid madness, or think the Russia-Ukraine war could be solved by ceding our own economic interests and harming our own economies, but people went along. Now, weak governments are being followed by weaker governments, some of whom have no real task but to “keep the lights on,” and it is pretty clear they will fail at that as well. How are coalitions who don’t agree on economic policy going to govern during a global economic meltdown? Is there anyone credible to replace them? What will it take for our divided societies to find some sort of consensus?
Bob Dylan famously wrote, in The Times They Are A-Changing,
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'
Indeed, this is where we are again, 60 years later. I think anyone would be a fool to make too concrete of predictions in times as unstable as these- really instability and uncertainty are the only things that can be safely predicted. However, we should all watch closely and keep an open mind. Scary times are ahead, and a hungry public is an unpredictable and vicious public, as Thucydides wrote, “War takes away the easy supply of daily wants and so proves a rough master than brings most men’s characters to a level with their fortunes.” [3.82.2] It is a scary time to be a political leader- especially one who prioritizes things like Ukraine, disease mania, or climate change over the immediate economic needs of your desperate citizens who are rapidly slipping into poverty. The real question, though, is if the public will reach some sort of consensus about how to move forward and give political parties mandates to credibly try and solve these problems, or if impotent governments, each weaker than the last, come and go until the political class itself is torn to shreds. Time will tell, but great pain is coming either way, it is just a matter of how well it is managed, and there are few reasons to be optimistic, because our era has the dumbest rulers ever.
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