We have seen a civilization so great, so long-lived, and so strong that it couldn’t die – do exactly that.
The concept of too big to fail does not necessarily apply to nation states.
We don’t have to go back very far in history to observe such a catastrophic event. It isn’t necessary to go back to the great pre-Christian civilization of Egypt to find parallels with our own current destructive patterns, nor do we need to compare our country to ancient Rome, and that greatest of civilization’s centuries’ long world reign and subsequent downfall. In much more recent times, we can look at what happened when our first and oldest ally, the ancient regime of the great nation of France, in the late 18th Century, self destructed in large part due to nation-destroying financial practices.
Though France was a country that had been at war with various European countries, most especially its greatest foe, England, ‘le perfide albion,’ for its entire existence, it is indeed ironic that it took being conquered from within for the nation as it had existed for centuries to be brought to an end forever.
France had been one of the greatest nations of Europe for many years, despite the inequitability of the system of taxation that had been in place for most of its existence. At the time, peasants and, to a lesser extent, the bourgeoisie, were burdened with ruinously high taxes levied to support wealthy aristocrats and their sumptuous lifestyles, most visably in the Versailles of Louis XIV, (the Sun King), Louis XV (‘après moi, le deluge’), and Louis XVI, (husband of ‘let them eat cake,’ Marie Antoinette). The working people of France, i.e., the peasants, (aka in the 21st Century, the small people), were required to pay a tenth of their income or produce to the church (tithe), a land tax to the state (taille), a 5% property tax (vingtième), and a tax on the number of people in the family (capitation). Further royal and seigneurial obligations might be paid in several ways: in labor (corvée), in kind, or in coin, and they were obligated to their landlords for: rent in cash (cens), a payment related to their amount of annual production (champart), and taxes on the use of the nobles’ mills, wine-presses, and bakeries (banalitées). Additional taxes, and the ostensible reasons for them, were added incrementally over the years.
This lesson in the 18th Century French tax system is provided as a demonstration of how a wealthy nation can destroy itself economically through hubristic overreach to support its ruling classes.
Could it be that the financial geniuses of the Obama Administration studied the pre-Revolutionary French tax system in order to replicate it in achieving their utopia of hope and change?
The tax burden, therefore, depended on the peasants, wage-earners, and the professional and business classes; (these hapless characters known as ‘workers’ in Obama’s America), and these taxpayers did not include any member of the royalty, the nobility, nor of the church. The economic situation of the nation further deteriorated when it was made impossible for anyone from the less-privileged walks of life to acquire any sort of a position of power in the regime (i.e., the bureaucracy), and institutional bureaucratic waste increased and prevailed, to the further detriment of the non-seigneurial classes. France was not only in significant financial difficulty because of this increasing inequity of taxation, but also due to its increasing and eventually crushing debt.
It was in fact the debt of the French government that led the long-running fiscal crisis to explode in the late 18th Century. Extravagant expenditures on luxuries by the series of Bourbon monarchs who ruled France were compounded by debts that were run up during these monarchs’ reigns to conduct various wars, among them, the Seven Years’ War, of which the American French and Indian War was a part. The significant French contribution to the American Revolutionary War turned out to be a major part of this debt.
It was in 1789 that France reached a state of virtual bankruptcy. No one would lend the king money sufficient to meet the expenses of the royal court and the government. In effect, the government had no credit.
The parallels just keep on coming, don’t they?
So what did the hapless leader of the French do? Louis XVI, a young man who was not known for his leadership ability nor his fiscal acumen, nor, for that matter acumen of any kind, (again, sound familiar?), made the decision to – you guessed it -.increase public spending in order to buy the country’s way out of debt! An historian of this period opined the following regarding this monarchical blunder: “unsurprisingly, this curious policy also failed.”
It is this same ‘curious policy’ that is helping to destroy the American economy today. Could Barack Hussein Obama be channeling Louis XVI?
The King was then forced to convene the Assembly of Notables (18th Century version of our Congress) to discuss drastic new fiscal reforms. When the decision was made to finance the debt at almost twice the interest rate elsewhere in Europe, which resulted in a much higher level of taxation for the already overtaxed French population, accompanied by less flexibility in raising money, the national situation deteriorated even further. The burden of this new taxation did not, of course, reach any members of the nobility, the royalty nor the church, as it was only these individuals were actually voting on those to be taxed to maintain the corrupt status quo. Hmmm…the similarity is quite eerie, don’t you know?
It turned out to be a mistake of gargantuan proportions on the part of the elevated, and as yet untaxed, levels of French society. As a result of this final nail in the coffin of the ancien regime, and the Revolution that resulted, an incalculable number of French notables, well-meaning or not, lost not only their homes, their status, and their fortunes, but eventually their heads, in the ensuing catastrophic meltdown of their civilization.
It was also at this time that a growing proportion of the French citizenry had absorbed the ideas of ‘equality’ and ‘freedom of the individual’ as presented by Voltaire, Diderot, Turgot, and other philosophers and social theorists of the Enlightenment. They later observed the success of these ideas as implemented in the American Revolution by George Washington and his fellow Founders of the United States of America.
As Edmund Burke wrote in 1790: “the public, whether represented by a monarch or by a senate, can pledge nothing but the public estate; and it can have no public estate except in what it derives from a just and proportioned imposition upon the citizens at large.”
The financial crisis thus became a political crisis, resulting in the French Revolution, which started in 1789 when a mob of enraged and hungry Parisian rebels stormed, and ultimately destroyed, the Bastille, the hated political prison in the center of the city. The decade-long orgy of destruction of the nation of France and its people had begun, and though the French Revolution had at one point attempted to emulate what brought freedom to America, it eventually degenerated into anarchy, a heartbreaking and bloody terror, and ultimately, the return to power of a dictator, one who was more despotic than any of the Bourbon Kings ever dreamed of being: the self-crowned Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
Is America under Obama going down this same trajectory until we fail, and then fall, too?
The answer, tragically, is yes, if the left is maintained in power. We have been taken over to such an extent that there is little or nothing we can do to stop the power-hungry Socialists/Communists/Marxists that currently control our government. They do not care about the consent of the governed; they do not care about the will of the people; they do not care about the Constitution; they do not care about the approaching destruction of the United States of America.
It is, actually, their goal.
They are doing whatever they want in this regard, and we can do nothing to stop them, except vote them out of office in November. That is, if they even let us do that – remember ACORN voter ‘registration?; remember Black Panther Party voter intimidation; remember ‘Senator’ Al Franken;’ always remember the MSM supporting and justifying whatever illegal, unconstitutional and unethical means the left employs to stay in power.
What we do know is that overtaxation of the ‘small people,’ those, and their generations unborn, oppressed by the government, does not work in the republic founded by George Washington and the others, nor in any republic. Likewise, unsustainable debt does not work; tyrannical rule does not work; and telling the American people what to do without their consent does not work.
It never works, and it never will work. Not in a monarchy, not in a Communist regime, not in a social democratic state, not in an aberration of a republic. These policies did not work in ancient Egypt, nor in republican nor imperialist Rome, and not in monarchical, Revolutionary, nor Bonapartist, France.
Ruling without the ‘consent of the governed’ – that extraordinary gift that was first given to the people of the United States of America from our Founders and our God – does not work.
It is our current and quite onerous obligation, in 21st Century America under the despotism of “hope and change” in America, to make sure that it will never work.