Patriotic Incentive

The social deal all societies have with their ruling class and what happens when one party defaults

In June 1930, a German teacher ordered coffee at a local restaurant; he wanted two cups but felt he should take one now and then the other later if he still had the urge; also, this way, he would have both freshly made. He took one and then another, and when his bills arrived, he was shocked that both cups of coffee had different prices! "What's this?" he bellowed, "I ordered exactly the same content twice; why does one seem to be more expensive?"

"Well, sir," replied the gentle waiter, "the prices changed between the time of the cups of coffee consumption." The Wall Street Crash, or The Great Depression as it is popularly known, was in full effect. In 1929, a series of unfortunate socioeconomic occurrences landed the biggest economy in the world into the hot soup of a massive recession. Not only was this detrimental to the home country, but since the conclusion of WW1 and the dilapidation of the old European powers, the new power had been the world chief economic police, providing aid to cantankerous and unstable countries like the defeated Germany.

The effect of the above-stated economic tragedy was widespread and is still felt today, in the works of John Steinbeck and in the subsequent years that followed it, the rise of extreme nationalism and with it fascism and dictatorial authorities, first in Mussolini's Italy but more regrettably in Nazi Germany, so in some sense, everything that would happen in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Hitler's rise to power, his power grab, the second world war and it's massive atrocities can all be linked back to that fateful year 1929.

Economic meltdowns are no ordinary matter; they can make or mar a state; it has undermined empires and shaken unshakable dynasties. Even the North Korean dictator would know this; even Vladimir Putin, with all his street finesse and Machiavellian wisdom, understands the implications of a massive economic hardship. As Thomas Hobbes stated, the government (either singular or plural), while obviously not ordained by God, performs a salient role for humanity, which, if left with the state of nature, would become a brutal, Savage society. A legitimate government is empowered by its citizens to reduce to its barest minimum the tendencies of savagery, which is probably the natural state of humanity.

However, whenever a state starts failing in this deal, then the incentive of the citizens to remain loyal and, to some extent, obedient to this government vanishes, as we have seen happen over and over throughout the landscape of history, from the French Revolution to the Russian revolution, from Mao Zedong's Chinese upheaval to the solemn pledge of President Washington's to defend the new country against its greedy forefather, all have been more or less tied to the breaking of this sacred deal with the ruled class.

The steep increase in the cost of living for Nigerians is no joke, too; no matter how comedic it might seem, people can only endure so much, especially if they clearly see that the hardship isn't general. It's exactly as Marx would have wanted his revolution, as the middle class disappears little by little, as the steps of equalization, especially education, become a little higher every four market days, the majority of the people feel their sacred deal is becoming worthless, the more it becomes worthless, the less they have to lose and a man that is down fears no fall.

Historians would always say Hitler lost the second world war immediately; it turned from a blitzkrieg to a war of materials and attrition; Long before Stalingrad and the desert waste of el-Almanin, he had already lost after he failed to finish the war conclusively despite all his early dazzling successes. The economy is the single most important factor in retaining popularity by any government that has ever existed. Once the pain becomes unbearable, the sacred deal collapses, and the government usually follows.

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