What are the conditions that cause a rebellion?
Oppressed societies do not automatically rebel. Perhaps contrary to intuition, oppressed populations have a tendency to keep their heads down. Despite their misery, they continue their increasingly dismal lives, until something shocks them into action.
The United States did not automatically rebel against the tyranny of King George. As the Declaration of Independence tells us, "all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable[.]" And suffer the colonists did, for many years, complaining and protesting. The Boston Massacre occurred in 1770, and the Tea Party in 1773, but not until 1776 did the rebellion finally break out.
If we are so predisposed to long suffering, then why do rebellions occur?
Rebellions occur when three internal conditions are met, along with at least one external factor, for a total of four elements. I will list them here, not necessarily in order of importance.
There must be a leader, a population of followers, and a defining moment. These are the three internal factors. There must also be an external factor. In the American Revolution, that was the king of France, whose navy tipped the scales at Yorktown, where the British finally surrendered.
The leader must have a number of qualities, including charisma, competence, and courage. When the general public recognizes these qualities, they will follow that leader to the gates of Hell, but only when the other conditions are met.
The second factor, the followers, are already motivated before the leader appears. The Declaration of Independence describes these motivations. The description includes, "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, [which] evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism ... a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states."
The third condition is the defining moment, a triggering event, that provides the spark, the incitement, whereby a very large portion of the aggrieved population becomes abruptly motivated to overcome its fears, and to take the grave risk that is inherent in all rebellions against an ensconced power structure. There must be a "shot heard round the world," a point of no return.
In the United States of 2021, we have met the first two conditions but not the third. We have potential leaders, most notably President Trump. We have the long-suffering population, angry and motivated. We have not, however, had that one defining moment of final and irreversible decision to launch a rebellion. Even the violent incident in the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was not enough.
The fourth condition, an external one, might well involve communist China. Whereas Biden and his family view China as their cash cow, other factions, even some within the Dark State, recognize it as the dangerous and existential enemy it is. If China invades Taiwan, or cuts off access to the South China seaways, or is found to be sabotaging our infrastructure through non-military acts of war (such as hacking the power grid to shut it down), certain sectors of the establishment may very well find their hand forced and respond with a military counterattack, despite any and all objections from the White House.
While another American Revolution does not seem likely at the present, the four factors leading to one either already exist or are in the making. History repeats itself, yes, but always with a twist.
Image via Pixy.