I will not get around giving some personal details: I live in Germany, we came here 1999 when we emigrated from South Africa, our two daughters were small at the time and our main motive for coming here was a fear for their safety in South Africa.
I felt the our decision to leave South Africa confirmed by a trilogy of books , written by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg that I read during our last two years in South Africa.
The influence of the Internet, as far as it existed at all at the time of writing of the last Book, “The Sovereign Individual”, would have been negligible, still the authors have managed a series of predictions about the first twenty five years of the new millennium that are amazingly accurate and they present a perspective of history, that to me was entirely original and has remains useful, especially, the second book in the series,” The great reckoning”. The authors predict the break-up of Belgium, Yugoslavia, Spain and perhaps the UK itself into the component countries. They predicted a large immigration wave from Africa and the middle East into Europe, they predicted a return of terrorism and the painful demise of the Welfare State. As far as predictions go,they got an amazing amount of hits, although they share with other sages that they underestimated the time frame somewhat.
According to the authors, society experiences major upheaval about every five hundred years, brought about by inventions, they also consider logic of force separately to show how the art of warfare changes at the beginning of each phase of human development to adapt to the new reality. Around the year 1000, the invention of the stirrup had a profound effect on society, previously wars were fought with large armies of foot soldiers, the knights took over from here. One man in armor, could threaten anybody that came within reach of his sword tip, foot soldiers were suddenly obsolete. With this age came an age of individual style, as well as influence, the king had to negotiate with his knights, often sons of, or soon to become nobility, the farmers came to an agreement with the king, he would give them protection, in return they would give him part of their produce, the Feudal System was born. A feature of the Feudal System was that a degree of co-operation was necessary between king, nobility and knights. This is in contrast to the arrangement in the Industrial State, where a central authority simply draughted young men and sent them to war.
The next paradigm shift happened in the beginning of the 16th century, driven by the invention of gunpowder and the printing press. I know, gun powder was available since the mid 13th century, but it was only in 1497 when an Arab General won a battle with soldiers armed only with muskets. The printing press, the first instrument of mass production as well as of mass media launched what would become known as the industrial age, but first it was instrumental in bringing about the Reformation as well as the Renaissance, it also meant knights days of glory were coming to an end, since bullets could go straight through their armor. Wars were again fought with foot soldiers, now armed with guns.
The demand of the common people to participate in their own destiny, that the spread of knowledge, that the printing press made possible, resulted in the civil war in England in 1642 and eventually brought about the Glorious Revolution, that gave England a Parliament in 1688. The Industrial Revolution started with efforts to mine coal in England and made Britain the worlds wealthiest power as well as the most powerful colonial power during the 19th century.
In France the French Revolution, as well as the Russian Revolution of 1918 were the result of the spread new ideas made possible by the printing press, as well as the inability of the ruling class to understand, let alone to deal with the new circumstances.
The current upheaval of 2000
Microelectronics is the development shaping the next 500 years. Telecommunications, computing power, navigational skill, broadcast of voice and pictures, all went from the control of the privileged few, to small enterprises, to individuals in the course of the 20th century. A production line based on Automation is build for a specific item to be manufactured, a robot can be re-used for new applications, while keeping most of the investment and modern communication makes it easy for manufacturers to specialize.
I have tried to anticipate developments that my children and grandchildren will experience, I have concentrated my attention to the developments that happened in France just before the French Revolution, recently I noticed great similarities between developments in France before 1798 and Russia before 1918 and Germany today. In all cases the country was bankrupt. In all cases the leaders of the country did not understand what was going on and were convinced they could stop the changes by fighting the people trying to peacefully motivate change in their society. In all cases the rulers were hated by the population.
Germany a unique case
Vassal states tend to have corrupt and ineffective governments. The government of the dominant state will let the government of the vassal get away with anything, as long as they remain loyal, while any atrocity by the vassal Government will be blamed on the dominant state.
Germany came into being in 1871, with the king of Prussia becoming emperor, or Kaiser of the new united Germany. It had 49 years of sovereignty, followed by a century of Allied dependence.
The incredible idiocy of governance currently happening in Germany, can probably be, at least partially, be explained by this vassal state phenomenon, much as good governance is not the first thing that comes to mind when discussing the subject of recently freed colonies
How did employment evolve since the War?
1959 – 1960, industrialization peaked, in the US 35% of all employees worked for a company with a thousand or more employees. By 1980, this figure had fallen to 20%. 1992, it had fallen below 10% and between 1992 and 1997, the Fortune 500 companies had halved the number of their employees. Same time, by 1997, 8% of Americans earning money, conducted a business from home, in previous surveys, the number of people working from home was found to be negligible and that category was dropped. I do not have exact figures, but I guess Germany`s development over this period is very similar.
By 2003, the number of people working for corporates had also dropped to below 10%. At the time of the Germany´s reunion in 1990, the DGB, the union of German unions had 7,94 million members in the west, after the reunion, it had 11,8 million members. After that the DGB took over a further 24 unions and merged all member unions into 8 major unions, it had 6 Million members by 2014, which is the lowest number since they were formed in the early 50 s. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutscher_Gewerkschaftsbund
At the same time, the Social Democratic Party, SPD, that had depended on support of the unions, started losing members in a big style at around 2005, after Gerhard Schröder, leader of the SPD and German Chancellor from 1998 to 2005 had sought a new clientele for the party by supporting a business friendly agenda. The Linke, the leftover of the ruling party of the old East Germany tried to offer traditional socialism in a traditional package, without spectacular results, while Merkel soon took her party, the Christian Democrats, CDU, to the left to give a new home to the many socialists leaving the SPD same time upsetting her mainstream Christian Democrat supporters. Somehow one is reminded of Merkel in 2015, when she opened all borders letting 2 Million plus migrants into the country, while simultaneously neglecting Germany`s own poor and further reducing the pensions of Germans that had contributed into the worlds most expensive pension fund for their entire working life, to generously fund people that never contributed a cent to the German social security systems and probably never will.
Today, the SPD has about 12% support, Merkel and her CDU has taken over most of the SPD policies, while her own party is about where Macron is in France, at about 25% and the new party, the AFD has taken over most of the CDU policy with which Merkel led her party into elections in 2005 and the media as well as all mainstream parties are limited to calling the AFD , led by a lesbian, Nazis, Right Wing Extremists, Anti Women, Homophobic, but they are unable to offer a constructive criticism of the party that is offering the CDU`s traditional policy.
In England Nigel Farrage pointed out that there are 5,8 Million small enterprises in England and there is not a single member of parliament on their side. I have reasons to believe the situation in Germany is about the same. The reason being that we ran a small enterprise from home for 9 years, there were supposed to be 2 Million such enterprises in 2005, growing at a rate of 300 thousand a year.
What is obvious, is that in the last forty years the way we earn our bread has changed dramatically, with it our lifestyle.
Where do we go from here?
History tells the story of Louis the 16th and his Family, facing conditions that they did not understand, we also know that already Louis the 15th was attempting to improve his finance with paper money, that caused prices to rise, while not helping wages much, this was inflation as we still see it today. Factories arose, attracting young men, that were offered better wages than they had on the farm, as well as a workplace protected from the elements. The able bodied left the land, the dependent stayed behind. In short, a system designed to put land to the best possible use, thereby generating maximum wealth for the people controlling the land, did not stand up well, to informed peasants and competing factories, royals and nobility remained convinced that all that was needed was an effective way to put these peasants in their place, until the royal couple was fleeing from the peasants.
A century later the same situation reached Russia and again the royal family, the nobility and the officers blew any chance of dealing successfully with the changes that had occurred among the ordinary people, as they felt that any concession made to the peasants would be a personal setback.
Another century later, an even greater change has taken place in society and again the ruling class seem to believe they can go back to how it was, simply by fighting or ignoring the new contenders for the power over the nation.
I will not attempt to make predictions about the rest of Europe, for Germany I would say that the AFD will at its best be an intermediate phenomenon, perhaps the Union (CDU/CSU) will be replaced by the Greens which will make matters even worse, but ultimately I predict that Representational Democracy will not survive.
Will the changes happen in a peaceful way? I`m afraid that with every day these clowns stay in power, the likelihood of that happening decreases.