I Don't Have to Tell You Things Are Bad

Written by Ryan Stancil
Posted October 26, 2019

Chile, Paris, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Haiti.

On the surface, these places have little in common. But recent news headlines have tied them all together under one common theme.

Unrest.

Look at news coming out of any of these places in the past few months. You'll see that frustrated citizens have taken to the streets in the tens of thousands for a variety of reasons.

In some places, the reasons are economic. In others, they're political. In others still, it's some murky combination of the two.

Whatever the case, people around the world are growing increasingly angry with their governments and are doing something about it.

Protesting is hardly new, but the fact that so many are happening at once for similar reasons is something to take notice of.

The What and Why

You've no doubt heard about Hong Kong. Since June, protestors have been fighting against an extradition bill with mainland China. That bill was killed earlier this week, but the protests have since evolved into a pro-Democracy movement.

It's spread beyond Hong Kong's borders and become visible on an international scale. This is thanks in part to the NBA and American video game company Activision Blizzard. Both companies have quelled pro-Hong Kong speech to protect their business ties with Beijing. And those actions have not only caused those companies to be boycotted by segments of American consumers, but brought those companies attention from American lawmakers.

In Indonesia, mass protests are being carried out against a criminal code that, among other things, penalizes sex outside of marriage and criticizing the president. The code is seen as heavy-handed by opponents and an attempt to weaken anti-corruption measures in the country.

Haiti is also in crisis, with oil, power, and food shortages crippling the nation. The value of the country's currency has fallen and people are protesting to have President Jovenel Moïse removed due to alleged corruption.

In Chile, protesters are fighting against inequality, among other issues. It started with an increase in transit fares. This led to mass fare evasion by students, and when police responded, the unrest took to the streets. Protestors vented their anger by burning metro stations, supermarkets, and seemingly anything else in their path. Protestors want President Sebastian Pinera to resign. They see him as the face of rising inequality characterized by low pay, lack of education rights, and a terrible public health system.

And do you remember the Yellow Vest protests in Paris?

Because they're still happening.

They've been happening for almost a year at this point. They’ve also spread to other parts of France. 

Like other protests around the world, rising inequality is at the core of the movement. Likewise, the removal of the country's president is one of the demands.

In all of these cases, protests have been known to turn violent. Citizens have found themselves confronting police, and the results have been fatal in some cases.

Still, the fact that these protests and others like them around the world are growing shows that people are frustrated.

They're frustrated with corrupt, do-nothing leaders who only seem interested in pushing their personal agendas.

They're frustrated that their countries' economies have spiraled out of control thanks to decisions that were completely out of their hands.

They're frustrated that they seem to have given up so much, and are still having more demanded of them by their governments.

They're frustrated by what they see as a failing system.

These are hardly the only incidents like this happening in the world. They're just some of the most visible.

And because they only seem to be gaining steam, you can be sure others will follow.

The Era of Unrest

This trend of unrest is just one symptom of a world that's spiraling into chaos. While people demand accountability from their leaders, those same leaders put on a smile and ignore what's happening around them.

While the streets fill with angry citizens, superpowers inch closer to war.

While everyday people turn their anger on elected officials, central banks continue trying to stop the bleeding from self-inflicted wounds.

While crowds swell and chants get louder, economies continue to tank and flirt with widespread fiscal crisis.

It will be up to you to do what you can to protect yourself as these things happen. That includes making sure you have something that's going to hold value as world economies continue to stumble.

The foundation is crumbling, but there are ways to make sure you'll be protected when it all comes crashing down.

Keep your eyes open,

Ryan Stancil
Contributing Editor, Outsider Club

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