The Death of Civilization

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
By Paul Martin
Mar 26 2013

As the long, slow death of economies and countries plays out there will be many twists and turns.

Cyprus was a shock to those who didn’t believe that the sanctity of private property and the rule of law could so easily and brutally be cast aside. It should not have been. History is replete with similar examples.

When history is written fifty or one hundred years from today, Cyprus will likely be, at best, a footnote. Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination preceded World War I just as Cyprus preceded the coming worldwide turmoil. Neither caused the events that followed (will follow). Both were effects rather than causes. Had neither happened, history would not have been altered.

Government has no conscience, but it does have a monopoly on violence and plunder. When its position is threatened, it protects itself. No incentives or barriers prevent it from unleashing violence when it is in its interest to do so. We are at just such a point in history. Government is increasingly seen as responsible for the mess we are in. Likewise, it is increasingly seen as inept, corrupt and self-serving.

Like a cornered, wounded animal, government will do anything to survive and retain its spoils. The brutality of this survival instinct is beginning to become obvious. Cyprus was a minor, first example.

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