Violent Revolution Never Makes Better Futures; Copiosis Can

Photo by Kayle Kaupanger on Unsplash

History teaches us that violent uprisings virtually never produce lasting positive change. That’s why we designed Copiosis’ transition as an evolution. Not a revolution. Has fundamental change ever come from revolution?

“The Revolution Eats its Own”

Journalist Jacques du Pan wrote those words at the height of the French Revolution. They describe virtually every nation born from violent rebellion. France stood in turmoil for decades. Despite Haiti’s exceptionally bloody 1803 revolution it is still among the poorest and most dysfunctional nations in the Western hemisphere. Russia’s 1917 Revolution brought about the Soviet Union, successor to the Tsarist regime. It lasted barely seven decades before it collapsed.

The U.S. is No Exception – or Is It?

One could argue the United States, born from a violent rebellion against the British Empire, exemplifies how revolutions consume their own. Unlike the late Soviet Union however, the United States – gripped by dysfunctional politics in which Big Corporate Money dominates – still stands. Consider U.S. history, which includes:

  • A major Civil War (the aftershocks of which are still being felt nearly 160 years later)
  • An oligarchy relentless in its control of government
  • “Forever wars” profiting a few
  • Racial and cultural unrest and conflict
  • Periods of quasi-fascist oppression
  • An economic system that chains people to jobs, debt, consumerism and frequent boom-and-bust cycles.

Yet, the country still exists. What’s differentiates the United States from other empires such as the Soviet Union?

The Real Reason

Most will say it’s because “America has freedom.” But do we? Are people who must afford food and shelter really free?

Growing numbers of people say “no, they’re not.”

We know Americans aren’t free until they can live like this.

Yet the U.S. government and society keep running. Some would say the U.S. has escaped what many other countries faced. Despite the violence characterizing the U.S. War for Independence, one could say the rebellion of 1775-1783 succeeded.

However, many differences exist between the Russian Revolution and the American War for Independence. One in particular stands out: how each revolution dealt with private property.

Alisa Rosenbaum’s Story

During the early years of the 20th Century, Zinovy Zakharovich Rosenbaum and Anna Borisovna – an upwardly-mobile Jewish couple living in St. Petersburg –enjoyed benefits and comforts of an upper-middle class lifestyle.

This was rare for most Russians living at that time, but especially for Jews. Rosenbaum was a successful pharmacist, and his wife was a shrewd and ambitious social climber. At least one of their three daughters, Alisa, enjoyed fruits from an excellent education.

The Bolsheviks ended all that. Their new government confiscated the Rosenbaum’s business and assets and forced the family to flee to Crimea.

The Rosenbaums returned to St. Petersburg a few years later with nothing. They nearly starved. Later on, even though the new Soviet government allowed women in universities, young Alisa found herself “purged” just prior to graduation because her family had been part of the “bourgeois” class.

These experiences impacted Alisa’s beliefs and philosophies her entire life. Eventually, she made her way to the United States, where she began writing under the name of Ayn Rand (pictured below). No wonder she stridently championed her vision of The American Way…..

Black and white photo of a white woman facing the camera with her body turned to the side.
Ayn Rand in 1943 (public domain).

The Right to Private Property

The aftermath of the American War for Independence played out much differently. Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, British Loyalists who held property in the former Colonies were either compensated, or their property was restored to them.

This respect for private, individual property continued after the Mexican-American War. Terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildago made certain Mexican landowners who became U.S. citizens retained their property, even though enforcing this often required litigation. Even slave owners in Washington D.C. were compensated in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation (Union slave states and the Confederacy rejected the idea).

Acknowledgment and respect for private property rights has been enshrined in the Constitution – and Americans of all backgrounds today fiercely protect those rights. That’s why Americans are most likely to support Copiosis.

The Copiosis Difference

Unlike Marxist or Populist revolutions, those who own private property lose nothing when their nation “goes Copiosis”. Assets such as stocks, securities and other debt instruments are transitioned into Copiosis on a dollar-per-NBR basis. This way, everyone with private property keeps their property in Copiosis, leaving them as wealthy as before.

In Copiosis landowners decide what they do with their land. (photo by Warren Wong)

One thing does change in Copiosis: landowners can no longer bank on land value as an appreciative asset. The only way property owners can increase their wealth through land is by stewarding it so it benefits society and the planet.

How Property Owners Get Rich in Copiosis

Consider the case of Rita, who owns prime beach front property. Some coastal states have passed laws preventing beach front property owners from restricting public beach access.

No such laws exist in Copiosis. Rita has every right to wall off her property and keep the pubic out. However, unless she uses that property for the benefit of others, she won’t increase her wealth through that land. If Rita is ok with that, then all’s good. If she want’s NBR associated with her land, she must find a way for it to benefit others.

Here is another example. Prior to the Transition, Joe bought up several housing units. He did little to maintain them, figuring that he would just wait for the value of the land to rise – and in the meantime, tenants would be grateful simply to have a leaky roof over their heads, antiquated heating and cooling and rusty pipes.

In Copiosis, there is no excuse for being a “slumlord,” since regular maintenance and improvements costs Joe nothing. Unless Joe produces Net Benefit by providing people with decent homes, those tenants will go elsewhere — and all he’ll have are some empty buildings with no real value.

The Bottom Line

In Copiosis, private property stays with those who owned it before the transition, no matter how they use it. They won’t even be taxed or regulated. But if they use their property to benefit others, that property becomes an income generator.

And this is why it is likely that the U.S. will lead the way into this new, human-centered economic system we’re calling Copiosis.

By K.J. McElrath

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