Guest Post: How's This For Social Unrest?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Black

How's This For Social Unrest?

In his seminal work The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer recounts how the struggling Weimar Republic printed its way out of reparation debt from World War I. Out-of-control printing caused the German mark to fall from 75 per dollar in 1921, to more than 4 billion just 3-years later.

Talk about chaos. After a brief period of credit-fueled economic respite, the onset of the global depression in 1929 had people in the streets clamoring for change. Hitler's National Socialism promised the world... and under such economic distress, people believed him.

There are two important lessons here. First is that hyperinflation comes very quickly. Confidence languishes for months, even years... until one day the currency begins to slide, slowly at first, then exponentially.

The second is what followed. Economic disaster begets social unrest, the two are inextricably linked. Populist rebellions and roving gangs became a constant presence in the republic.

It's at this point, when people are really hurting, they're the most impressionable. They're looking for somebody, anybody, to lead them out of the turmoil. What they got was a charismatic leader with a grand plan.

Here in Cambodia, a similar story unfolded in the 1970s.

Years of constant American B-52 bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War took its toll on the country. Over 500,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Cambodia during the war.  By the time the last US forces withdrew from Vietnam in 1975, nearly three-quarters of Cambodia's agrarian economy was destroyed. 

Malnourishment and starvation were rampant, and Cambodians were ready to follow anyone with a plan.

Pol Pot's agrarian socialism struck a chord. After years of civil war, Cambodia's economic ruin opened the door for his communist forces to take over the country.

Just like Germany in 1930, economic hardship swayed just enough people to allow a criminal madman's rise to power. Neither case required a popular majority, but merely a critical mass of vocal activists. The rest of the country either fell in line or was exterminated.

Under both regimes, people never got what they expected. Pol Pot waged mass genocide on his own people, murdering as much as a third of Cambodia's population. Teachers, doctors, students, artists... anyone who could possibly pose a threat was neutralized.

I've had the opportunity to learn first hand about many of these cases during my times here. And not far from Phnom Penh, the infamous killing fields are still littered with human remains. 

History is full of examples of governments taking draconian action in times of economic-fueled social turmoil. Faced with terrible circumstances, people cry out for their governments to 'do something'. Politicians happily oblige.

It's concerning right now to see the early stages of economic decline spawning populist uprisings; most are being met with unconscionable force by the police state.

Mark Twain used to say that while history may not repeat itself, it certainly rhymes. I'd encourage you to think clearly about what's really happening in the world, and not simply write off such events as temporary aberrations.

Let me be even more clear: it's not crazy to have a plan. You're not a lunatic for considering your international options. In a world fraught with so much uncertainty, it's the only sane choice.

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jdelano's picture

for a good laugh, take a look at the bot work in today's IBM chart.  the little engines that could.  

DaBernank's picture

If I were a gold bug, ya da da da da da da da da da da da da da da....

AGuy's picture

Not really. I think you missed the point: Return to totalitarianism and another global war (WW III).


Billions will die, all because of one man's force of will on the global economy. To think that one silly man with coke bottle glass could bring total distruction of civilization: Greenspan!

 "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

--Alan Greenspan 2004

I am more equal than others's picture

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Fish Gone Bad's picture

And that is exactly why democracies fail.  People are promised more and more until there just is no more ...

AldousHuxley's picture

US is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic which includes forms of oligarchy.

fonestar's picture

I'm wondering what happened to silver and gold coins during the Weimar years?  My understanding is Germany switched to a cupro-nickel base coinage before WWI.  I am guessing the coins were hoarded and dissapeared quickly?  Did a seperate market evolve for transacting in silver coin?

trembo slice's picture

I'm not certain of the concretes of the Weimar situation, but if they did switch to copper or nickel backed money... you can be sure that Gresham's Law came into play.

Gresham's Law simply states that an artificially overvalued money chases an artificially undervalued money out of circulation.  So I would assume any gold or silver backed coins disappeared rather quickly from circulation.  

If, like the US, Weimar had legal tender laws or their equivalent people may have used silver/gold in black market transactions.  While reserving "state sanctioned money" for use in a more public light. 

fonestar's picture

That is my understanding of many asian countries right now.  Spend the government paper and save in gold and silver bullion.

dugorama's picture

Sanity was restored in 1924/1925 when gold backed paper appeared in circulation.  Then farmers would sell their crops and starvation began to recede.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

fonestar... Gold, silver, edible commodities (farmers inside Germany became very wealthy), inedible commodities, and stable foreign currencies like the dollar and pound maintained great purchasing power inside Germany during the Weimar hyper inflation event. Hitler and the Nazis held economics and materialism (except for themselves of course) in low esteem.

"Early in his political career, Adolf Hitler regarded economic issues as relatively unimportant. In 1922, Hitler proclaimed that "world history teaches us that no people has become great through its economy but that a people can very well perish thereby", and later concluded that "the economy is something of secondary importance".[4] Hitler and the Nazis held a very strong idealist conception of history, which held that human events are guided by small numbers of exceptional individuals following a higher ideal. They believed that all economic concerns, being purely material, were unworthy of their consideration. Hitler went as far as to blame all previous German governments since Bismarck of having "subjugated the nation to materialism" by relying more on peaceful economic development instead of expansion through war."

It cannot be stressed too much that hyper inflation is a loss of confidence in the currency and very unlike a 'normal' but stable rate of inflation that is usually below the interest rates paid on most investments.

It's impossible to reccommend Shirer's book, 'The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich', too highly. But, here is a bit of information about the lack of a solid, well supported (by Hitler) economic program in Nazi Germany, and the brilliance of Hjalmar Schacht, economics minister, of running very large deficits while completeing very large infrastructure projects at the same time war rearmament was in full swing...imo, Schacht was a bull shit artist extrodinaire and would put even Alan Greenspan in the shade.

"the spending rate of Hitler was far greater than the growth of the economy. In 1934 Hjalmar Schacht, the Reich Minister of Economics, introduced the Mefo bills, allowing Hitler to spend money on rearming without giving the big businesses money, therefore gradually getting Germany into more and more debt. Between 1933 and 1939, the total revenue was 62 billion marks whereas expenditure (at times made up to 60 % by rearmament costs) exceeded 101 billion, thus creating a huge deficit and national debt (reaching 38 billion mark in 1939)"



caconhma's picture

"Hitler's National Socialism promised the world... and under such economic distress, people believed him."

Hitler has promises and delivered the Germany economic recovery. Germany got out its economic depression in less than 12 months.

Hitler was not a mad man. Granted, he was a brutal dictator. Napoleon Bonaparte has also lost the Napoleonic wars but nobody calls him a mad man.

And finally, the WWII has been imposed on Germany by FDR, the British Empire, and the Stalin's USSR the same way it took place with the WWI.

It is about time to start telling the truth instead of repeating the US/British/Israeli propaganda lies. The war crimes committed by NAZI during the WWII were not much worse than war crimes committed by Americans, British, and Soviets (deliberate bombing of German civilian population, slaughtering German POWs, using nuclear weapons against Japanese civilian population in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, American concentration camps for it own citizens, etc.,).

I do not even mention the slaughtering of Native American Indians or the black slavery under the American Constitution promising Equality, Freedom, and Democracy to all. After all, it is not a secret of the existence of US secret prisons all over world and wide-spread torture of prisoners.





Panic Panic Panic's picture

I think somebody needs a hug.

Paul Bogdanich's picture

       Great book everyone should read it.  As to the post above had you read the book you would have not made the statements that you just did.  In particular your claim that, "The war crimes committed by NAZI during the WWII were not much worse than war crimes committed by Americans, British, and Soviets" is hogwash.  We captured their plans for what they were going to do once they occupied Britian.  It included deporting virtually all males over 17 years old to the East which was a euphamisim for extermination at the camps.  In Poland, Checkslovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine they systematically murdered all scholars, priests, community and civic leaders, artists, and anyone else they though could inspire independent thought amongst the non-german population who were slated to be slaves to German needs and to be exterminated once the German population became sufficient to take over the duties.  That type of systematic, targeted, annihilation was far different that anything done by the Western allies and even the Soviets murdered on the bais of geography not personality type. 

    As to the way we treated the American Indians we wee certainly as bad as the Germans but we don't discuss such things in America as we were victorious and they were not.    

DosZap's picture


A little more wood for your fire...............

The Jewish exterminations were horrible enough, we hear the 6 Million figure all our lives, but precious few know Hitlers regime  ALSO murdered over 10 Million Christians.

Hitler was an avowed believer in the Occult, and practiced it's rituals.It is widely believed he was even demon possessed.

Before we jump all over Truman's decision to bomb Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, we need to remember WE WARNED THEM prior to doing so.

The ego,narcissism of the Japanese military leaders, was SO pathetic, they even did not surrender until the second bomb  was dropped.

That  is one that did not have to be dropped, and but for their ego's cost them a city, and thousands more dead.

Anyone who  thinks Truman wanted to kill hundreds of thousands of innocents for the hell of it is loonie tunes,  he felt it would save lives on both sides unless it was done.

As was the mindset of the Japanese in those days, no heed was given.

The reason for the bombings, was ONLY to save an estimated half million  more America soldiers taking over the islands, to get to the mainland of Japan.And dragging out the war another at least 2 years.

Then after the surrender, WE go in and basically  rebuild Japan,sounds like some vicious murderers there huh?.

At the death camps in Germany,etc,Gen Eisenhower ordered NOT one thing be moved nor changed until film footage and newspaper reporters were on the scenes to SEE the carnage, and record it.

He KNEW that someday, someone would deny that it ever happened,so he was determined that proof of the atrocities were done.

SPONGE's picture

The US could have bombed a sparsely populated area of the country or a nearby island with the same effect. Genocide is never justifiable.

Hephasteus's picture

25 million Russian citizens died during world war II. Let's get over all this microcap sainthood. Those sons of bitches paid and paid hard. They also took the brunt of the swine flu outbreak before becoming so much chopped liver.

And the villianizing of the japanese is too much too. Are the japanese imperial yes. Are they monopolistic yes. But that was only a problem from being surrounded by imperial monopolistic regimes.

American banks funneled billions to germany to build schools and parks and gymnasiums. And trotted him out like a caged psycho whenever anyone told them no.  The entire hitler thing just stinks to high heaven of rewritten history. Rothchilds were basically centered at german branch, english branch and american branch. Amercias portrayal of isolationism and reluctant to enter world war II is about as accurate as calling the fucking shipping department of amazon isolationist.

blunderdog's picture

No one ever said Americans were reluctant to make some money during WWII.  It was just business.

mophead's picture

"Anyone who  thinks Truman wanted to kill hundreds of thousands of innocents for the hell of it is loonie tunes,  he felt it would save lives on both sides unless it was done."


All wars are planned. All "dictators" are bought and paid for. Winners and losers are decide years, even decades in advanced.

Hephasteus's picture

It's a very simple model. Provide enough goods and services to the planned loser to make them think they have a chance and then dry up support after they've already declared war gone leroy jenkins.

Works every time as long as you don't count those sneaky vietnamese building tunnels everywhere and keeping you mired in a shit storm for years.

theXman's picture

Hmm, what about annexation of Czechoslovakia and invasion of Poland? Were those also imposed by Great Britain and FDR?

caconhma's picture

What about Vietnam and Libya just to name few?

blunderdog's picture

Great Britain and FDR didn't invade either place.

caconhma's picture

It is correct Great Britain and FDR didn't invade Czechoslovakia or Poland.  But do you know

The sequence of events following the Munich Agreement (From Wikipedia):

1. Germany occupies the Sudetenland (October 1938).
2. Poland annexes Zaolzie, an area with a Polish majority (October 1938).
3. Hungary occupies border areas (southern third of Slovakia and southern Carpathian Ruthenia) with Hungarian minorities in accordance with the First Vienna Award (November 1938).
4. In March 1939, Hungary annexes Carpathian Ruthenia (which had been autonomous since October 1938).
5. The remaining Czech territories become the German satellite Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
6. The remainder of Czechoslovakia becomes Slovakia, another German satellite.


Looks like Poland was not a very peaceful country. Furthermore, in 1939 Poland was planning to invade Germany under a secret agreement with England and France. No wonder British do not intend to declassify their archives for at least 100 years after the end of the WWII.


The bottom line: Under the unjust Treaty of Versailles, following the WWI, Germany was raped. This could not go forever. Germany was fully justified to return back their land stolen from them by England, France, Czechoslovakia or Poland.


So, stop blaming Nazi Germany for all possible crimes. Just look at the Nuremberg War Crime Trials.  It was disgusting travesty of justice. Nazis were convicted among other with slaughtering of Polish officers in 1942. Now, we know and Soviets admitted that Polish POWs were slaughtered by the Soviet secret police.


Unfortunately, only recently, the truth about the WWII started to come out. In many EU countries, even a request to investigate certain Nazi crimes can land someone in a jail. So much for freedom in the “free & democratic” Europe.  Oh well, most of Americans think there are no reasons to investigate the 9/11 completely putting our trust into hands of the Bush and Obama administrations.


blunderdog's picture

Eh?  I thought you'd asked about Vietnam and Libya.

Roy Bush's picture

The Jewish population forced the Germans hands into WW2.

Germany would have gone broke with a boycott on all their exports and imports.  

tmosley's picture

Hitler "revived" their economy via pure ponzi.  It would have collapsed within a decade if left alone.

WWII was not imposed on Germany.  They made the first move.  And the second, and the third.  It was an obvious and clear signal that they were planning on taking the Roman rout and stealing all the capital from surrounding nations to fuel their economy.  Such strategies inevitably lead to collapse, especially in the ultra-centralized Third Reich (where the Romans only real expenses were payments to soldiers, welfare for citizens, and monument/infrastructure building--ie not much in the way of control over the menas of production or the lives of freemen).

Black slavery is indeed a terribly dark mark on American history, but the slaughter of the Natives was instigated by the Natives themselves.  They failed to recognize the rights of setlers, specifically, their right to their lives and their property, and took both from them.  Had they recognized such rights, they would have integrated into the culture as the Aztecs and Maya did, only moreso, as the English and American settlers weren't nearly as brutish as the Spanish were.

And of course, today the government is absolutely out of control.  But our bad government and insane policies doesn't excuse Hitler's worse government and "insaner" policies.

Vergeltung's picture

wrong on Hitler, correct re USA/Native Americans. so, I neither green'd or red'd ya.  ;-)


LasVegasDave's picture

Of course, what should not be lost in this discussion is that once Hitler conquered France and the low countries he had access to their printing presses and did a fine imitation of Ben Bernanke.

Pretty easy to keep the Reich going when you can print Francs, Guilders and DMs.

Just sayin.....

SilverDOG's picture


Nice Rockefeller history lesson, you moron.


Gulf of Tonkin


USS Maine

New World free land

Aztec/Mayan disease extermination & integration 

Put your coloring book away, 'tard.

mophead's picture

"but the slaughter of the Natives was instigated by the Natives themselves."

haha! They did it to themselves! Good one! ASS.

Monedas's picture

When Socialists, like Hitler, really want to get their economies moving (for other nefarious purposes).....they resort to lower taxes and sound money ! Obammy doesn't want an economic recovery....he wants to destroy Capitalism ! Monedas 2011 Comedy Jihad Welt Reise

SilverRhino's picture

Indeed.  Outstanding.

Confidence languishes for months, even years... until one day the currency begins to slide, slowly at first, then exponentially.

Won't happen that way this time.  The velocity of money is MUCH faster.   With electronic funds and banking / investment at processor speeds and transmission at light speed, the collapse will happen in days;  the electronic monetary collapse will happen in hours


jdelano's picture

Something brewing.  VIX sneaking up and up.  Either it's about to pop or the market is.  Think maybe there's a script flip in the works today--afternoon NEGATIVE rumor?  

trav7777's picture

Hitler promised and delivered.

The hyperinflation was very good to a particular group of people who used it and their connections in banking to come out the other side owning 100% of the country.  Even after years of Hitler's divestitute of their ownership back to Germans, they still held a third of Germany.

People look at Hitler as some kind of monstrous phenomenon, but WTF alternative was there?  An antagonistic group had just destroyed Germany and taken ownership of the country.

chumbawamba's picture

Well, he didn't have to be such a dick.  I blame it on the meth.


Abiotic Oil's picture

It is true that the Nazis invented amphetamines to keep going in battle.  I'm sure Hitler was constantly involved in testing "for purity".

blunderdog's picture

It is true that the Nazis invented amphetamines to keep going in battle.

No it isn't.

AldousHuxley's picture

Nazis were the original "shovel-ready" stimulous project makers.


The idea for the construction of the autobahn was first conceived during the days of the Weimar Republic, but apart from the AVUS in Berlin, construction was slow, and most projected sections did not progress much beyond the planning stage due to economic problems and a lack of political support.

Just days after the 1933 Nazi takeover, Adolf Hitler enthusiastically embraced an ambitious autobahn construction project and appointed Fritz Todt the Inspector General of German Road Construction. Soon, over 100,000 labourers worked at construction sites all over Germany. As well as providing employment and improved infrastructure, necessary for economic recovery efforts, the project was also a great success for propaganda purposes.

Freddie's picture

Obama's shovel ready jobs are money looted from the treasury going to his cronies.  No shovels are ever lifted.  At least hitler built something versus hiring more govt workers and doling out money to Solyndra con men.

SPONGE's picture

I think you're thinking of methadone

blunderdog's picture

But get serious: ice cream has no bones.

Bob's picture

Very white of you to defend Hitler, trav, but I believe the "monstrous" epithet attached to poor Adolf is the product of his genocide and, perhaps even more so, his methods thereof. 

Sure, you could say he was merely the Henry Ford of murderous tyranny, but somehow that doesn't quite capture the full reality of the matter.

aerojet's picture

Even before the genocide, the Brownshirts were despicable thugs.

Vergeltung's picture

Die Fahne Hoch!


No way Aero. they were battling it out in the streets against the reds. and won.