What Causes Revolutions?
And how close are we to having one? Those questions were addressed in a thoughtful post by "Cultural Husbandry" on X over the weekend. I've excerpted his post below. Before we get to it, a quick trade update.
Trade Update: That Biotech Stock
In a previous post, I mentioned a biotech stock we bought calls on in our trading Substack.
Sometimes asymmetric bets make sense. https://t.co/YqPKALmJrr— Portfolio Armor (@PortfolioArmor) August 19, 2023
The week before last, we exited half of those calls for a 350% gain. The company had an FDA approval decision scheduled for last week, and the news broke last Monday: they got that approval. That turned into a sell-the-news situation, so we sold the other half of the calls for no gain, ending up with a 175% gain on the position as a whole.
We've got another trade teed up for today; if you'd like a heads up when we place it, feel free to subscribe to our trading Substack/occasional email list below.
Now onto Cultural Husbandry's X post. (I've added section headings taken from the text.).
The Last Exit
What causes revolutions? When does the violence start? To find the answer, study one group: Dissatisfied, angry young men. Nearly every revolution in human history was started by this cohort, and if you want to know how likely you are to have a revolution, ignore everything else and study the angry young men in your society. Why are they angry? How many of them are there? Do they communicate regularly? Do they have weapons? Are there political movements that address their grievances and defuse their anger, or are they mocked and shamed and at the point of boiling? Do they have a stake in society, and do they have incentives to maintain stability and keep things as they are or are they wholly disincentivized? These are the questions you have to ask to know if landlords are about to get dragged out of their houses and shot. These are the questions you have to ask if you want to know if aristocrats, celebrities, academics, journalists, and politicians are about to be beaten, killed, and paraded through the streets. These are the questions you have to ask if you want to know when the next genocide is going to occur. It's happened hundreds of times, dozens in the 20th century alone, and it could be about to happen again, in the USA. We are coming up on the final chance for a political solution to the USA's problems before we could enter a full-blown, violent revolution. We have had multiple missed exits to political solutions to violence, which I will describe below.
Missed Exit #1
Missed Exit 1: the 99% and Occupy Wall Street The first missed exit was in 2008-10, in the form of Occupy Wall Street. Young millennials protested the banking system and their exclusion from the normal avenues of building wealth and buying property. The OWS protesters didn't want handouts. They weren't calling for UBI or more welfare. They didn't want Latin American Venezo-socialism. They simply wanted wages commensurate to the value of their labor, and a chance to buy and own a share of America: A slice of American land and a stake in American businesses. Millennials were the first American generation in living memory to have little hope whatsoever to own land and build wealth, and they knew it, and they protested. They wanted dignity. They wanted those responsible for the financial collapse to be held accountable. Instead, the banks got bailed out, the already broke 99% were saddled with the bill, and one of the largest wealth transfers from the middle class to the hyper-wealthy took place. OWS was not identitarian: It cut across lines of race, gender, etc., and it dissolved along these lines, as identity politics emerged to dismantle the movement. Current Progressivism, social justice, restorative justice, and white guilt were introduced: the 99% died immediately after, and actual class politics have never come back to mainstream discourse here in the US.
Missed Exit #2
Missed Exit 2: #MeToo The next large left-wing movement was #MeToo, borne from GamerGate. Angry, dissatisfied young men of the millennial and zoomer generation, sick of being perpetually demonized as the villains of identity politics in their heretofore male spheres of gaming, as well as mainstream culture and (for zoomers) in classrooms and colleges started voicing their anger. #MeToo was the elite response, a broadside of thinly veiled managerial supremacism under the guise of feminism. #MeToo was exclusively bourgeois, exclusively moneyed, and incredibly politically influential. From 2015-2018, #MeToo accelerated the reconfiguration of American politics, journalism, media, culture, and the Overton window of mainstream discourse. Identity politics was no longer just an obscure instrument to destroy class solidarity in OWS: It was now the official civil religion of the USA, a replacement for Christianity. No aspect of #MeToo addressed any kind of material inequality, wealth inequality, property ownership, land ownership, or other traditional popular concerns. Around this time, the word 'populist' became a pejorative: a perfect summation of the total capture of leftwing politics by wealthy, white collar, sanctimonious, and overwhelmingly female managers.
#MeToo was exclusively concerned with superstructural minutiae, tone-policing, editorial decisions of fantasy novels, micro-aggressions, and policing the grey zones of human sexuality. Perhaps because of its astonishing vacuity and pettiness, it didn't last long. Leftwing politics soon pivoted to #BLM. Proof that #MeToo is entirely dead can be found everywhere: The 'Karen' meme is clearly a sexist disparagement of women, and is totally acceptable dinner table conversation. Jeffrey Epstein's client list was never revealed and his pattern, Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking minors to “No One” -- because to reveal the truth would have been to reveal the game. There were no protests, and there was no vociferous objection. The "feminists" were silent, partly because they had nothing to say about the material world. Biden sexually harassed Tara Reade and had inappropriate sexual showers with his daughter, and his son is a known John who bought foreign prostitutes, slept with his dead brothers sister, and had a laptop detailing sex with minors: nobody cared. #MeToo was more successful in reducing the breast size of Japanese videogame characters than it was in creating any tangible improvement to the lives of Americans, male or female. And now, #MeToo, like OWS before it, is dead.
Missed Exit #3
#BLM BLM is the largest social movement in postwar American history and THE largest “charity drive” in American history - although the billions of dollars raised went to ACT Blue, numerous mansions for its leadership, and interracial trust is at a historic low since the Civil Rights era. If #MeToo approximated a civil religion, BLM codified its doctrines in Critical Race Theory, complete with foreign missions (European football players kneeling to the new American God), prophets (Robin DiAngelo, Ibram Kendi, etc.), martyr saints (George Floyd, whose image is painted on the walls of every American city) and had a funeral which brought together world leaders who bowed before a golden casket, castes (blacks at the top, whites and Asians at the bottom), and a motivated political party (the Biden administration, the DOJ/FBI, and the Bureaucratic State). BLM's sister doctrine, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a tithe that every organization, public and private, pays to the new religion. As with #MeToo before it, BLM is only nominally leftist, and as with #MeToo, it's overwhelmingly bourgeois, openly disdainful of the productive classes such as manual laborers, farmers, etc., who it openly mocks and despises. Cultural workers, teachers, and government or corporate bureaucrats are the heroes of BLM: farmers, oil field workers, and bricklayers are its deadly enemies.
BLM has no plan whatsoever for fixing the wealth gap, land ownership, or public stakes in businesses: it's primarily concerned with openly anti-empirical police and educational policies, which dramatically fail every time they're implemented. Conveniently, BLM is also strictly opposed to objective measurement and accountability, a sensible orientation that may allow it to endure for a year or two more than it would otherwise. Critical Race Theory is fundamentally a faith-based doctrine: facts don't matter, only spiritual virtue, admissions of guilt, and celebrations of the religion itself. Unsurprisingly, the old Atheist intelligentsia that castrated Christianity for young millennials -Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, et al - absolutely loathe CRT. Presumably once people start realizing that defunding the police massively increases rape and murder rates and that abolishing standardized testing doesn't improve black literacy, there will be a backlash, and we are starting to see this in small forms in various cities and locales. From the public perspective, the best aspect of BLM is a typical Latin-American style socialism based on demanding a vastly expanded government bureaucracy to give welfare and handouts to an elect class of professional victims. Even in this regard, it appears to have partially failed: Blacks are no better off than before #BLM, likely due to the extremely corrupt grifters in charge of the treasury of the organization - Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Melina Abdullah. BLM has, however, successfully increased the proportion of white-collar managers and nonproductive workers in every institution, and in this regard is a resounding triumph for the useless managerial elite. Back in 2000, boomers used to joke: "You'll never get a job with your degree in comparative African lesbian basket weaving". The average DEI officer earns $122,000, around four times more than what an average worker earns. Is the joke funny now? Are you laughing?
Sex And Stable Societies
Sex and stable societies: Stable societies have to find a way to pacify young men, for the above mentioned reason that young men are THE only known cause of violent revolutions. If you piss off enough young men, your civilization doesn't survive. Throughout history, countries have found different ways of doing this: empires typically send their young men off to conquer foreign land - this is what the British did, and what the Japanese did after the Rice Riots of the early 20th century. Send the angry young guys to kill foreigners and take some land for themselves. Modern, non-colonial nation states don't usually have this option. They have to calm the guys down another way. One traditional way is marriage. Get the guys married, ideally in a 1:1 ratio, and things calm down a lot. Polygamy typically creates unstable societies: look at the constant strife in the middle east as an example. If 3 guys out of 4 can't get a wife, expect constant violence, suicide bombings, etc. Similarly, noncommittal relationships tend to be associated with very high rates of violence. Look at the West African matriarchal societies, where men don't stay with their pregnant partners, and instead form rotating circus of bandits, rapists, and murderers. These societies never invented the wheel, the plough, the sail, or a written script, and today enjoy the highest rape and murder rates on the planet. This is almost certainly because of the constant havoc caused by angry, unanchored, deracinated, alienated men, few of whom knew their fathers. Tragically, this pattern that has been nearly-identically reproduced in black communities in major US metro areas, see: Baltimore, East St. Louis, Detroit, etc.; communities that BLM is conspicuously silent about, because BLM is a managerial project for increasing the number of white-collar administrators in public and private institutions, NOT a project to improve the lives of black people.
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