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Forum Post: A coorelated cause of RIOTS and price of food (MIT complex systems institute)

Posted 1 year ago on Aug. 24, 2012, 12:29 a.m. EST by kaiserw (211)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

<p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.technologyreview.com/view/425019/the-cause-of-riots-and-the-price-of-food/"><img alt="Incoming" src="http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/files/68282/Riots.png" /></p>

What causes riots? That's not a question you would expect to have a simple answer.

But today, Marco Lagi and buddies at the New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge, say they've found a single factor that seems to trigger riots around the world.

This single factor is the price of food. Lagi and co say that when it rises above a certain threshold, social unrest sweeps the planet.

The evidence comes from two sources. The first is data gathered by the United Nations that plots the price of food against time, the so-called food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN. The second is the date of riots around the world, whatever their cause. Both these sources are plotted on the same graph above.

This clearly seems to show that when the food price index rises above a certain threshold, the result is trouble around the world.

This isn't rocket science. It stands to reason that people become desperate when food is unobtainable. It's often said that any society is three square meals from anarchy.

But what's interesting about this analysis is that Lagi and co say that high food prices don't necessarily trigger riots themselves, they simply create the conditions in which social unrest can flourish. "These observations are consistent with a hypothesis that high global food prices are a precipitating condition for social unrest," say Lagi and co.

In other words, high food prices lead to a kind of tipping point when almost anything can trigger a riot, like a lighted match in a dry forest.

On 13 December last year, the group wrote to the US government pointing out that global food prices were about to cross the threshold they had identified. Four days later, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia in protest at government policies, an event that triggered a wave of social unrest that continues to spread throughout the middle east today.

That leads to an obvious thought. If high food prices condition the world for social unrest, then reducing the prices should stabilise the planet.

But what can be done to reverse the increases. Lagi and co say that two main factors have driven the increase in the food price index. The first is traders speculating on the price of food, a problem that has been exacerbated in recent years by the deregulation of the commodities markets and the removal of trading limits for buyers and sellers.

The second is the conversion of corn into ethanol, a practice directly encouraged by subsidies.

Those are both factors that the western world and the US in particular could change.

Today, the food price index remains above the threshold but the long term trend is still below. But it is rising. Lagi and co say that if the trend continues, the index is likely to cross the threshold in August 2013.

If their model has the predictive power they suggest, when that happens, the world will become a tinderbox waiting for a match.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1108.2455: The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East

TRSF: Read the Best New Science Fiction inspired by today’s emerging technologies.

From: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/425019/the-cause-of-riots-and-the-price-of-food/

21 Comments

21 Comments


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[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20544) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Interesting.

So.

We should expect right wing think tanks are this moment, plotting food price rises nation by nation, in an attempt to identify those areas most ideally suited to the kinds of social unrest they deem most useful.

This would include a detailed examination of the various political structures at risk, the ideology behind them, the cultural narratives in place that either support or oppose those structures.

Such analysis is designed to do much more than support arms industry investment - it also supports the export of both philosophy and infrastructure designed to foster dependence on their theory and practice of economics and the projection of power.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Ever think about the fact that these assholes want people to die off? Everything in their actions points to that. Their support of the MIC and stupid wars around the planet on a more or less continuous basis for decades is but one example.

I have a theory that they want to bring about global planetary destruction, famines, pestilence, etc. because it aligns with their biblical beliefs about end-time Revelation horrors. They want to hasten it because they think they will be raptured out of here ASAP. They are so wrapped up in this mental illness that they will oppose any sane opposition to reverse the current horror trends because they fervently believe their Lord is coming soon to take them away...and they therefore don't care about us "lost" souls. Too bad for you sinners...you should have repented.

Ya get it? They are INSANE!!!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

And someone really should take them away.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20544) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

They are insane - I get that.

I think the ideological divide is somewhat different from what you present.

I think that at or near the top of Christian ideological thinking there is a fairly pervasive and significant die off of actual faith in God.

I also think that where Christian ideology intersects with politics and policy there is nothing more than lip service to the ideology and tradition for the sake of appearance and nothing more.

As for the rapture - I speculate that at some point the MIC will use the cover of this story to implement military technology to reduce the total population while at the same time reinforcing the Christian message with the intent of maintaining control over the population that remains.

It is just speculation - but it seems likely when / if water and or food shortages reach critical levels.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

I live in the South, and I can tell you without any question or doubt whatsoever that my personal experience from occasional interactions with them supports 100% what I have previously indicated. They are looking up at the sky and praying ceaselessly for the 2nd coming. Might be different where you live, idk.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20544) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I don't doubt that what you are seeing is generally rank file supporters behind the repelican machine.

There may be some elected officials who fit that mold - one example has been in the news this week for insisting that some form of rape might in some way be legitimate - and I don't really care how he intended his comments.

Generally I believe once you get to actual policy making levels you won't find many actual believers in Jesus, the second coming, or anything like it. Rather what you will find is the acceptance of such systems of belief for harnessing to policy measures in an effort to control both the mind of the public, the public dialog, and so control the shape and trajectory of national policy.

I'm speaking primarily of repelicans

and yes things are different up here.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Yes I agree with you on that point about RNC leadership...probably not religious at all, or negligible, and thus just parasitic users of the believers for their own political agenda. A guaranteed voting block they can always count on that they probably couldn't care less about except during election time.

Is there anything more (R)epugnant than the (R)epugnacons???

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20544) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I believe population control and management has been an artform perfected over millennia . . . .

[-] 1 points by sandysterling (10) 1 year ago

Are you a full time poster here? My name's Sandy and I'm working on an article for a small magazine called the Boston Politician.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20544) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Hi sandy - I just left a completely revolting comment that is entirely self promotional on your forum post.

I hope you enjoy it.

I'm not sure you can call my participation full time - I'm on and off, depending on time available.

[-] 1 points by ediblescape (235) 1 year ago

Agree.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4024) 1 year ago

Good Post

The 'Reign Of Terror' started because people could not afford flour.

Saw article today about sales in oranges (food futures) up today because of threat by Hurricane Issac. Sales of food futures should not be allowed.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Shows how absolutely sick unrestrained capitalism can be. Driving up the price of food. Pathetic.

[-] 1 points by kaiserw (211) 1 year ago

That's not capitalism that is driving this trend, really at all. Inflation is driven by monetary policy (FED) who is printing to try to keep the US from crashing like greece (impossible in the end) and to keep the TBTF banks alive. In a word, it's soft fascism.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4024) 1 year ago

Agree. Totally sick, totally cruel, most extreme selfishness.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Actual profits over people - it can't be any clearer then that.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4024) 1 year ago

Are the elite trying to start conflict? Excuse to kill?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Conflict has always been viewed as somewhat of a population control. But not very effective if you look at results. After conflict people breed like rabbits - it is life affirming.

Now as far as the Elite are concerned - it is good business. Arms manufacturing and sales as well as all the sundry equipment necessary to wage war/conflicts.

[-] 1 points by kaiserw (211) 1 year ago

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists. – Ernest Hemingway

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4024) 1 year ago

Good Points

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

thx - ghastly horrific monstrous business all the way around.

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