USA 2017 Vs. France 1789 - "The Third Estate Has Been 'Handled'"

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Lee Travis via Defiant Thinking blog,

Most people are familiar with the story of the French Revolution: When the poor revolted against the unfairness and wealth inequality imposed by the aristocrats, they overthrew the monarchy and beheaded more than 40,000 people, mostly clergy and noblemen, as punishment for their crimes and injustices.

The days of using a guillotine may be behind us – but the anger that led to that revolution is similar to the growing anger at economic inequality in the US today, and could lead to the same kind of unrest.

In France, there were three classes: The First Estate, made up of clergy; The Second Estate, made up of the nobility; and the Third Estate, made up of everyone else. Even though the first two Estates were made up of just 3% of the population, they owned 35% of the land, paid almost no taxes, and held virtually all the political power in the country.

Where are we in America today?

Wealth distribution

If they were around today, heads still attached, French aristocrats would be mightily impressed with the wealth accumulation of America’s rich. The top 1% of the country owns 35% of the wealth; the top 10% owns 77% of the wealth. The bottom 40% owns 0% (here).

Perhaps the best summary of where we are on wealth inequality can be found in the video below:

Tax burden

Certainly, the American rich are paying more in taxes than did their pre-revolutionary French Counterparts. But as a share of income, the American poor are carrying a much heavier burden.

When most people talk about taxes, they think of income taxes, and on that front the rich do pay quite a bit more: According to the Tax Foundation, in 2015, “The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a higher effective income tax rate than any other group, at 27.1 percent, which is over 8 times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (3.3 percent).”

But income taxes are just one of the dozens of kinds of taxes we’re subjected to. As A World of Possible Futures notes, we’re also paying:

  • State & local income taxes
  • Sales tax
  • Social security & Medicare
  • Property tax
  • Fuel/gasoline tax
  • Other taxes such as estate tax, fees, and licenses.

I have yet to find an authoritative analysis showing total tax burden on people by income level in the US. But I expect that, as a percentage of income, the poor are paying a far higher share of their income into tax coffers than are the rich

This was borne out in England at least, where The Independent found that the wealthy are paying more in direct taxes, but far less in indirect taxes, resulting in a situation where “the poorest fifth of households paid 38.2 per cent of their income to the taxman, with the richest fifth paid just 33.6 per cent.”

Political representation

We’ve all known intuitively for some time that politicians listen to their donors, and not to their constituents. We’ve since had confirmation, both anecdotally through narratives like “The Confessions of Congressman X” and statistically through research performed by professors from Princeton and Northwestern Universities in a 2014 paper titled “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.” In this paper, the authors reviewed 1,800 Congressional votes in which the interests of the rich were different from those of the public, and as a rule the rich won out on a consistent basis.

Marie Antoinette, before her head and body went their separate ways

So where’s my revolution?

If the rich are so exponentially better off than the poor in this country – why do the poor take it? Why do they passively grumble and let it continue?

I think today’s leaders have learned some lessons from the past, which explains the following:

  • Welfare state – In the France of 1789, there was no welfare state. If you were sick, you would get no doctor; if you were hungry, you starved. Today, more than half of the US population receives some kind of government benefit, including 21.3% who receive direct assistance related to poverty. Why bite the hand that feeds you?
  • Drugs – Our country is awash in drugs that keep us numb. In 2014, there were 245 million prescriptions filled for opioid pain relievers. In 2015, 17.9% of adults held a diagnosis for a mental disorder, while a 2010 study found that 46.3% of children ages 13-18 had a mental disorder at some point in their young lives, and the majority of those adults and children are given prescriptions. And don’t forget the legal and illegal drugs, ranging from alcohol to heroin, that we use to self-medicate.
  • Distractions – In the 1980s, marketers Al Reis and Jack Trout identified America as the world’s first overcommunicated society; that was in the days of a handful of television channels and no internet. Today we are completely enveloped in media, and continue our fascination with other distractions like sports.

I think there will be a disruption in the future, but I can’t see it coming from a domestic mass movement. Today’s Third Estate has been handled; the rich have clearly learned their lessons from the past.

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hedgeless_horseman's picture


Today’s Third Estate has been handled; the rich have clearly learned their lessons from the past.

I, too, frequently think this way. 

This is an excellent little article. 

What if we CAN just print MOAR wealth and bomb MOAR peace?

The revolution will not be tweeted.

Budnacho's picture

Entirely dependent on everyone else playing the game. At some point the game will end and not everyone will get a chair. That's just history....

Future Jim's picture

France sucks, so does that mean they didn't get the right 40,000, or that they needed to get more than 40,000, or did outsiders come in and take over?

UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

The French Revolution may have been the first "Color Revolution" staged by British Intelligence - call it the Tricolor Revolution.

The ground work was laid with John Law's canny paper money scam a few decades earlier, probably also a British plot,which destroyed the French people's trust in government

risk.averse's picture

the first "Color Revolution" staged by British Intelligence 

no doubt,many in Britain saw the turmoil in France as an opportunity and a chance to surpass the French (the "old enemy" as many referred to France back then). Britons like Law were involved but I don't think Britain fomented the revolution directly. Perhaps the British mercantile classes welcomed it. French power was competing with Brtain just about everywhere in the world -- until the revolution. British pleasure at the fact of their enemies being destroyed by the peasant revolt in France was short-lived, however. Revolution always brings unintended consequences. The Terror was followed by the rise of Napoleon, who scared the British witless for a dozen years or more, until Waterloo

The British aristocracy, on the other hand, were horrified by the Revolution. They identified with their fellow aristos in France. They saw the revolution as a threat to aristocrats everywhere. There was tremendous fear it would be imported into Britain.

Jubal Early's picture

The yids had already gotten England to take their bit and reigns in 1692 with the forming of the bank of England.

Trying to discuss the French Revolution without mentioning freemasons and their jew fellow travellers (Weishaupt) is as absurd as discussing the third reich without mentioning what happened at Versailles.  But jews always make sure to impose their deceptions in a frame of lies.  It is a shame so many stupid goyim eat them up hook, line and sinker.  All this North Korea/Kim propaganda is a another good case in point.  So many goyim will accept that the government is constantly lying to them, but will blindly accept their lies about "North Korea's provocative actions". 

Oracle 911's picture

I disagree with the article. Not because the 3rd estate wasn't handled but because the elites are less competent then before. Simply put, while they dumbed down themselves alongside with the general population the technological advancement alongside with the fast information transfer have caused a huge disruption. About 5-10% of the population is figuring out what is going on and either falls into nihilism (like the author of this article) or searching for ways to deal with the problems (and eventually to finding it).

meditate_vigorously's picture

At that point the British were already under the control of the Jew Bankers operating out of The City of London (aka london financial district).

jmack's picture

 The tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants from time to time...


Oh regional Indian's picture

Fucked you are, seven ways to Tuesday, and not even very nicely.

Huxley, deep insider, told the tale in 1930. Or well, deep insider, told it again in 1948....

Rage? Hah, MMS (Melting Milenial Snowflakes).... 

People offing people, cops offing people, rape infested military and college campuses....

The third estate has not been handled, it's been castrated.

TruthHunter's picture

The "third estate" has an ace up their sleeve. It's declining mental health and nearly unlimited guns.

Stuck on Zero's picture

It's total bullshit to say that the rich pay a lot of taxes.  The rich pay their taxes with other people's money. The poor and middle class pay taxes with the sweat of their labor.

Oldwood's picture

consumers pay taxes and when possible the producer will push all of their tax expense onto those consumers. Corporate tax and income tax are a means for hiding actual tax expenditure. All tax should be a point of sale, a line item that even the slowest individual can understand and the richest will be exposed to equally. Allow basic necessities, basic clothing and housing and ALL healthcare. Everything taxed equally at a rate set by local governments, and those governments paying taxes to states and states paying tax to the feds. We should NOT be paying taxes directly to the feds and then hiring criminal "representatives" to go to Washington to steal it back. Fuck that. Make the Feds come begging to the states.

techpriest's picture

I agree. Taxes affect behavior, and savings and investment should not be impeded. If there must be taxes, it should come when you spend money on yourself.

Also agreed on how the money is distributed. A lot of unconstitutional action happens this way.

GRDguy's picture

We’ve all known intuitively for some time that politicians listen to their donors, and not to their constituents. 

Duh, and they ONLY way to fix this is to vote against every incumbent you can, every primary and general election. Enforce your own term-limits.


opport.knocks's picture

...and how is that working out for you so far? I think you missed the entire premise of the article, that the masses have been handled. Though it only scratches the surface on how this is done, the illusion of democracy being just one.

techpriest's picture

I remember exactly one time when "the masses" actually succeeded on this front in a very public way. The governor of that state (Iowa) got a personal call from the Deep State (GOP National) and he in turn was in the phone bank imploring people to vote out the patriots. Short term they voted particular people out, but long term the patriots are still making gains in the state. I learned a lot about Deep State tactics, including pre-written press releases and extra voters that seemed to appear from nowhere.

The main thing I learned being in the middle of it, is that the real votes are internal party votes, esp. votes by party committees like the platform and rules committees. Everything else, esp. the general election, is a bunch of grandstanding. It is possible to get people into these votes, but it requires organization, about a decade of time, and several million in funds because you have to have key people working full time.

Also, fun fact: the Democrat and Republican parties, in the sense of people who actually go to party meetings and vote in the internal elections, make up only about 0.6% of the population (0.3% each). Most of them are not rich. In the Iowa case, 0.5% of the population decided to show up and back pro-liberty candidates, that's all it took to cause a lot of ruckus.

The politicians in the capital city are counting on you to get bored and never attend the local meetings. You would find out that you are up against something like 10 old ladies swooning over an even older politician, and 1 or 2 hotshots looking to make 200k as political consultants. Show up with 15-20 of your friends and you can turn things upside down.

armageddon addahere's picture

"Voting" used to work, back when they counted the votes manually. Voting machines can be adjusted to produce any desired result, so they don't give a damn about voters anymore.

risk.averse's picture

No need for revolution and turmoil. Three seemingly small reforms that would change the face of (so-called) democratic governments everywhere:-

1. end or dramatically limit donations to political parties

2. introduce term limits

3.introduce a "quarantine"period of 3-5 years before recently retired politicians could seek private employment, especially in areas related to their former portfolios or ministries. Increase politicians salaries to compensate for this loss of potential earnings

With these changes, many of the abuses by our political masters currently bedevilling us would disappear.

meditate_vigorously's picture


1. End the Fed

2. Exile the Jews

3. Repeal all Amendments after the 10th

TruthHunter's picture

Until you end corporate and government media control,  nothing can change.

paint it red call it hell's picture

I dunno, guillotine sounds like it might still work.

Xando's picture

Was the French Revolution caused by economic inequality? Not so sure. Yes France features it, so has every other empire. More persuasive are the arguments that the French ancien regime faced new Enlightenment ideas about political liberties, unmanageable public debt, and public exhaustion and disenchantment after decades of failed foreign wars.

techpriest's picture

Inequality is a part of nature. The Pareto principle predicts an 80/20 rule, in which

20% own 80% of the wealth
4% (20% of 20%) own 64% (80% of 80%) of the wealth
0.8% own 51.2% of the wealth
0.16% own ~41% of the wealth

Also, when you look at the net worth distribution, isn't it the case that the "top 10%" have about the equivalent of a paid-for house and some retirement savings? Would it not be the case that if you look at older Americans, most of that 10% would be guys who just put away 10% in a 401k and paid a 30-year mortgage off? Compare yourself now to yourself 10/20 years ago, or to guys today who are 10/20 years younger than you.

I agree on the reasons you give for the French Revolution. Inequality can be used to build anger, but anger isn't enough without some kind of direction. Directionless anger leads to depression.

TruthHunter's picture

The French revolution was a perfect storm of negative influences. The suppression of the Huguenots had ended religious reform and severely harmed the producer classes. The protestants, wjo were generally better eduacated and productive, were destroyed or driven out. Even the rejection of the potato by French farmers intensified the famines 1780's . 

SanJoseMutza's picture

With the militarized police forces nationwide resistance would be suicidal, regardless of drugs, distractions, and welfare. Face it: The United States is a de-facto military dictatorship.

max2205's picture

Zirp my money, zip your head.....

shamus001's picture

With such a "whipped dog" comment, I take it you've never beat the $hit out of anyone in your life?  It's been 10 long years, and part of me longs to take a few good hits in the face while pulverizing an opponant.  - Don't be such a chicken $shit.  Get yourself 2 or 3 heavy 30 cal rifles with some good ol' mil surplus AP rounds and grow a pair!  If the stazi comes rollin up to your neighborhood your guaranteed to drop more than your share.

Militarized occupation force = 1/10 total population at the highest?  Likely more like 1/100!

occupiers come a knockin on my countries door, there will be bodies hitting the floor!

meditate_vigorously's picture

I spent 2 years fighting in Iraq. After the first several days most of the police would abandon their posts.

seek's picture

I think there will be a disruption in the future, but I can’t see it coming from a domestic mass movement. Today’s Third Estate has been handled; the rich have clearly learned their lessons from the past.

The system is already well underway in eating itself -- e.g. it's not sustainable as the spending exceeds real production by a wide margin, magic fed money notwithstanding. The disruption will occur when the inability to maintain the status quo becomes obvious -- it might take stores emptied of goods to sell, no internet, or some other form before it's really noticed, but I have little doubt it will happen. Once the scarcity is unmistakable, the disruption will take place.

It should be noted the scarcity will almost certainly be artificial, e.g. a problem of distribution and not one of production, and the failure of TPTB with respect to this is completely self-inflicted. The distribution of wealth in France would seem as idylic and nostalgic as the US in the 1950s today, but because TPTB are so drunk on their own power and greed they can never settle for good enough, and have to have it all -- and in doing so doom their own system to fail, which it is doing at this very moment.

besnook's picture

the bottom half of the class rules the world becaue they can be so easily manipulated by the .1%. the cunt campaign put them all on display and soros uses them like a cheap whore. intellectualism is dead in the usa. ignorance is king.

it is all kind of ironic to me having grown up with the stereotype that the raised nail gets hammered down. the usa has turned into a dystopia of conformity.

OCnStiggs's picture

Get the bottom half of the country off the dole and working again and therefore paying some tax. Create incentives for people to work. Businesses are created by wealthy people. Ever get a job from a poor guy?

Why does our society value fame and sports acumen so much? When a MLB pitcher gets a $24 million, three year contract, the fans pay that salary. Why do they do this? They can't afford season tickets much less two or three home games every year. Same with movies. Why do they pay these guys so much? Because Americans tolerate it and support these business models. STOP IT IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT!

Yes, a doctor who has gone way into debt and has huge overhead deserves a higher salary than a Barista. His (her) talents are far more rare -and necessary. Baseball is fun, but not necessary. Surgery, when your life is on the line, is necessary.

How about the guy who risks everything for a business he alone believes in? A friend of mine started a computer business. After years of risking everything he owned, he sold it for $350 million to a company that willingly paid for it. Is he a bad man? What would you do in his case? Equal opportunity does not mean equal success.

That said, don't get me started on attorneys or the Moneychangers who have built the debter system... In both profession criminality abounds.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

You forgot DOOM PORN!


It's found here on a near-daily basis and definitely serves to distract, numb, and blind!

shamus001's picture

Anything that gets your "thinking" and pulls your head out of your *ss (or out of the damn kardashian tv) and opens your eyes to the changing world around you is a +

so I respectfully disagree.  If the result is that you bought 3 gallons of rice at Walmart (with a 25 year shelf life) and then your house was seperated in the Jersey flood, you just saved your family from digging through the mansion dumpsters (as we all watched on tv) ---must've been one seriously hungry CEO

any_mouse's picture

Weird convergence this article and the article about how society will end.

Somebody trying tell us something?

Or just "entertainment" to occupy the suave sophisticates of ZeroHedgeVille?

lester1's picture

Fake news like CNN exist back in 1789?

Peterman333's picture

The author's knowledge of what caused the French revolution is false and is the typical bs they've taught in US public schools for ages, that's where I first learned it before I learned the real history.. The freemasons manipulated grain prices and guess what happened? People went hungry. When people go hungry they get pretty pissed off even though there was ample grain to feed them and in fact France had the highest standard of living of any European nation at the start of the revolution. The market manipulation caused a populace to be easily and irrationally stirred up (lesson here for our times).

Not all the population by the way. In the Vendee region they blasted the hell out of the best French continental army who marched out from Paris to show em' who's boss and ended up getting routed. Nothing could be done to get control of the Vendee, they tried burning them out, starving them out, drowning and killing all their priests and religous, finally the Republicans  had to sue for peace and the French got their religious rights back.

Napoleon it is said even lost at Waterloo because he had to peel off troops to put down yet another royalist uprising in the Vendee.

The revolution brought HELL to France in the form of slaughter, the terror and finally Napoleon who got got a whole generation of young French men killed.

Yes, France certainly paid the price for their Liberté, égalité, fraternité , a price they're still paying until this day and the world ALSO pays because all the ideas and ideals of Marx and Lenin started right there in the effete salons of Paris.

Also, Marie Antoinette was a great woman as was the king, and a humanitarian, she regularly spent royal funds to feed the poor. One time they told her all that was available for the poor was brioche so she said very well then, let them have it. This was then twisted by the freemasonic CNN of the day to the heartless evil woman said "let them eat cake!." It was all 100% well crafted bs designed to smear the woman's reputation and rile up the peasants.

Knew this B.A in history would pay off one day.

veritas semper vinces's picture

WHAT HAPPENED WAS JOHN LAW AN ENGLISH BANKER who convinced the king to accept the first QE(usuary fiat printing).

HRH Feant's picture
HRH Feant (not verified) Apr 18, 2017 8:42 PM

Eventually people do one of two things: they go Galt and opt out of the system until they consider the system to have been rehabilitated enough to make it worth their time to attempt to re-enter or the masses haul out guillotines or machetes or guns and go bat shit fucking cray cray killing as many people as possible.

The last time this happened, in Ruwanda, people used cheap AKs and Chinese machetes to hack each other to death. By the 100s of thousands. The Reign of Terror resulted in blood flowing like water in the streets of Paris. How long until that kind of blood flows through the streets of DC? For some people it can't happen soon enough. Is that a threat? No. An historical observation.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

"Off with their heads!"

Deep Snorkeler's picture

Deep Thoughts About History

1. French Revolution: a fight against feudalism.

2. American Civil War: bourgeois capitalism North vs. feudalism South

3. WWI: a fight against feudalism.

4. WWII: fight against an extreme form of feudalism called fascism.

5. War on Terror: global capitalism vs. feudalism.

5. Federal Government vs Americans: it's about feudalism.


Steroid's picture

And socialism just got erased from history!

Falcon49's picture

Socialism is BS....It still leaves the real control, power, and wealth in the hands of a few.  The history equivalent of a so called  benevolent he pits one class of peasants against another to increase power and control.  Socialism eventually impoverishes all but a few down to the equivalent status of a peasant.

Falcon49's picture

I would exchange the words "bourgeois capitalism" and "Global capitalism" with the term Neo-Feudalism.  Just another form of Feudalsim that makes the people think they are free...but, in reality they serve those in power, just as they did in the age of the divine rights of kings.

SirBarksAlot's picture

This is an excellent documentary showing how King Louis XVI inherited a bankrupt nation from his father and his grandfather. There were wars between the noblemen in his grandfather's era. So, his father built Versailles and moved all the noblemen there, so they wouldn't fight with each other. The expense of their extravagance was left to King Louis XVI who tried to tax them. They refused any of his ideas to remedy the situation and ultimately paid with their lives. I do believe Trump is today's Louis XVI and Congress are today's noblemen. Very frightening.

Duc888's picture



All the producers have to do is sit the fuck home for a few weeks.  It's that easy.

Gallumhrasha's picture

Ignorance is bliss. I rather deal with reality head on than numb myself with the vast amount of drugs from Big Pharma, or listen to bull shat media. There maybe a correlation between the abuse of prescription drugs and the mental state of American society.

mendigo's picture

Ive spent only a few hours learning about the french revolution but enough to know this article is bullshit. Twist the facts to suit your desired outcome.

Firstly, the third estate was not "everyone else" it was everyone else who mattered - it was the merchants and other working people of means.

It was about the kindom was broke and the king was a boob who thought that if they just put thier heads together they could find a way to hug thier way to solvency.

The frrnch being french tried to create a new social structure simply by willing it. When that didnt work so well the thing went all animal farm and there was much chopping of heads.

Basicaaly the clergy and royalty were the figurehead rulers but the rising merchant class had the money and hence the real power.