A Conversation for The Forum

I Predict A Riot

Post 1


There are currently riots ongoing in Brazil involving about a million people protesting about (broadly) rises in the cost of living. Perhaps the surprising thing about the protests is the background of those involved. These aren't the poor and downtrodden, they are reportedly profoundly middle class. Similarly many of the protest movements around Europe - Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey etc are well-educated middle class people taking to the streets to protest losing what they see as their right to a certain standard of living.

I seem to recall a leaked report some years ago from within the UK government that predicted a rise in Marxist/Far Left movements as the middle classes were taxed heavily and brought closer to poverty whilst the very rich remained untouched.

My question is, are the Brazilian riots and the European protestors the first straws in the wind presaging major political upheavals?

I Predict A Riot

Post 2

McKay The Disorganised

Traditionally the left lead the way in organising civil disturbances, but if the middle classes do cast off the yoke of subservience then it will be a hell of a riot ~ ain't nothing like a good ol' boy gone bad.

Certainly there is a lot more discontent with many political decisions, and the rise of UKIP is the currently most visible manifestation. However if it's coming, it'll come first in France.

smiley - cider

I Predict A Riot

Post 3

Otto Fisch ("Stop analysing Strava.... and cut your hedge")

Well, I think it's difficult to generalise, and it's likely that local factors are far more significant.

I've probably said here before that I don't think the notion of the "middle class" is a particularly helpful one - it's just too big a range, and would appear to cover people (in a UK context) doing white collar work for circa £25k through to people being paid six figure salaries. While there's a sense in which the former probably are "middle", the latter aren't, and they shouldn't be in any doubt about this.

But it's certainly true that the cost of living is going up and up, that most people's wages are static or declining in real terms and that the richest seem intent on taking an ever greater share of the resources, regardless of their actual contribution to the creation (or destruction) of those resources.

We can't carry on like this indefinitely.

I Predict A Riot

Post 4

Otto Fisch ("Stop analysing Strava.... and cut your hedge")

Interesting BBC Newsnight article from 2011:
Twenty reasons why it's kicking off everywhere


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