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August 27, 2012

Economic privation, up to and including starvation,

is not necessarily a hindrance to the exercise of power.
As the Bolsheviks demonstrated in 1917, the Somali warlords during the 1990s, and North Korea for the past two decades, starvation benefits a totalitarian party ruthless enough to employ it as a weapon of social control. Reports from Egypt indicate that Morsi has begun rationing of daily essentials, reinforcing the Muslim Brotherhood's grip on power. -- Spengler -- North Korea on the Nile

Posted by Vanderleun at August 27, 2012 9:01 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Haile Mariam Mengistu did exactly this in the 1980s in the Ethiopian Civil War. Remember the Great Ethiopian Famine and the Hollywood response in "We Are the World"? What these smug, overpaid idiots didn't appear to realize was that there was plenty of food in Ethiopia. Mengistu made sure it went to his army and supporters, and deliberately kept it away from rebel areas. That was the real cause of the famine, not lack of food, or even lack of transport, which also had a part in it. But there would have been plenty of trucks if Mengistu had used them to move food instead of soldiers.

Posted by: waltj at August 27, 2012 8:12 PM

I think, too, this goes back to the fact that the origins of the "Arab Spring" uprisings had more to do with inflation of commodity prices than with a move toward democracy.

The democracy and openness themes played well in the American media and suited the narrative of our Nobel-prize President, but these were bread riots in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. As the world's reserve currency, the dollar has spared America the worst of its inflation toll -- so far. We have exported inflation to China and, particularly in rising prices for food grains, to the Middle East. With the drought and inflating commodity prices here in the States, it has, as the song says, only just begun for the Third World.

Posted by: mushroom at August 27, 2012 8:22 PM

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