This past weekend, something quite remarkable happened in Sri Lanka.
Fed up with out of control inflation, energy costs, and corruption, tens of thousands of civilians rushed the sprawling estate of the president. They had no guns, and they were non-violent. But the president fled the country by boat within hours and announced his resignation.
What’s so fascinating is that this incident proves the idea that the power held by governments is mostly an illusion. It’s a bluff, reinforced over time until those under that power just assume it to be a law of nature.
Let me give you an analogy to help further illustrate this point.
There was a time many years ago when the circus was a popular attraction. One of the most entertaining parts of the show was the lion and the lion tamer.
The reason this attraction was so popular and entertaining is because spectators knew the lion tamer really had no real power over the lion. The lion could simply decide to kill him in an instant. But the entertainment value was in the fact that the lion tamer had created the illusion of power. The illusion that he could control the much more powerful lion, even though this was all built on bluffs.
Most governments around the world operate the same way as the lion tamer. They have no real power if the people unite and demand change. It’s all a bluff. This is why governments pick off one person here and there to make an example of. It’s to maintain the bluff.
But that’s also why they must have constant division among the people. They know when the people truly unite, the government’s power instantly vanishes.
As we saw in Sri Lanka, sometimes it all takes less than a few hours.
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