I want to share with you an interesting piece of information I swirled around in my mind for the last few minutes. This relates to the global nature of our world, global (*wink*) warming, revolutions and evil geniuses.
Hopefully this hook is enough for you to stay. If not -
[Racism, Imperialism, Communism, Liberalism, Monarchism, Sexism, Dictatorships, Pizza]
There. Hopefully it's enough.
This one starts from several ideas that I had in mind. The first one is the role of food in our society and everyday lives. We internet folk almost unanimously consider food to be something that is static in our life. It's everywhere - from markets to restaurants, and it's also shamelessly affordable. Shame on you - eating that third cheeseburger in a row while an African child dies of starvation. But we're not talking about that (or the increasing problem of obesity that is just comically ironic when you look at how many people die a year from starvation), are we?
Nowadays food is mass produced by a smaller than ever 'farmer' population. Using new technologies the farmer can increase its yield and create more tortillas for us to eat. We have advanced food-supplying networks, from the land to our local supermarkets.... And no, I'm not going to describe that chain. It's too damn long. Actually... one other reason for this low food cost, perhaps in SOME countries *cough* USA *cough* are government subsidies of certain agricultural goods to steer farmers towards growing crop A or B. This is mostly harmful because land processing isn't designed in that way (to keep using the same crop year after year with no variations). In fact, the reliance on corn, wheat and soy as our basic foodstuff cause me to draw some worrying comparisons with the Irish potato famine of the 19th century. Sorry, no jokes here.
So we have food aplenty and sophisticated ways to transport them. Great, that's why we're number one! So what happens when we start having less food? Hmm... 'How is that possible?', you might ask. Here comes Global Warming to ruin your day. Even if nearly scientists agree that this phenomenon occurs, we can be safe in our assumptions that droughts do occur, right? They did occur way before the steam engine. Because of said phenomenon, a large scale event can lower yields of certain foodstuff. Even though we've conquered the genetic code, we never got around to taming that darn weather. Recently we've seen freak weather and food prices affected by it.
Alright, so food prices go up a bit, what's the problem? Oh. Then you've never lived a life where the second or first largest expense in your budget is your food. This ties to a trend of rising energy prices (woo, Oil!) that make food prices even higher (remember that sophisticated way to transport food we have?), and make living expenses higher.
This in turn makes us more aware to food and its availability. Said drought reduces the amount of food in stock, and drives up the price. Some people who once took food for granted now have to be careful with their money, or else... Then the resentment starts to settle in. General anger directed at anything that could withstand the impact. Your life is getting harder, and there's always someone else to blame. Who is that someone? Maybe it's the government! They control it all, why not impose a monopoly on it? Why not subsidize food and energy? Well, why not elect a government that promises us that? [That said, this a democracy we're talking about.]
Secondly, We are all hobbits. Err, I meant to say - Creatures of Habit. We have our schedules in our day, what to do and what not to do during that time. We like it because it brings us comfort - we control our destiny and we will know exactly what we will do two days from now on 3:20 PM (barring an alien invasion, or an underground mole-people expedition).
When the future is uncertain, we get nervous. Some of us like to revel in the thought of existence after death, while others have to face the damning emptiness that is the end. Fear is a force to be reckoned with, and it can drive people to do extreme things.
Your schedule shatters when certain events come into place - you lose your job, you move into a new place, your girlfriend found out you were cheating her with her mother you and she tried to stab you, you know - the usual stuff. To try and prevent that you have safety nets. Some are natural - from your family and friends, but others are not - like the almighty government.
A government, like any other depressed alcoholic treasury bureaucrat would say, operates similarly to a bank. It collects money from people, keeps it for itself, uses it to build infrastructure or anything else it's responsible for (Some countries have state sanctioned electricity monopolies, water monopolies, prostitution monopolies, corruption monopolies, and so on and so forth) and also controls certain programs. These programs most commonly named as Welfare and Defense. They are state sanctioned monopolies that in some cases are only partial and can be met with 'free market' ""competition"" (all of those insurance companies lining up to receive your money and walk away the moment they spot trouble, or those mercenaries... *shudders*). As a bank, it is also required to do a few things - turn a profit for their investors, and keep that money relatively safe.
The expenses in a government's budget can be offset by income made from collecting taxes and traffics. If some expenses still remain, no worries - more money can be borrowed. After all, if you're a large country with a strong economy, no lender would refuse to give you money for a loan - you're a sure bet! Certain programs the government runs secure your future as a citizen. They allow you to put some money away - just a little every month, so that at the end of the line you will have some money hoarded and you could retire happily. There's just one problem - the money that is in the system, like in a bank, is mostly virtual. For example - if a large amount of people come to a bank where they have an account and demand to close it and withdraw their money, the bank will shut its doors. That's because while it is holding money it is also making bets with it. Money it only has 'in theory'. The same can be said with the government, its changing leaders, and its changing policies.
In an unknown political climates, fear reigns supreme, and people cling to stability of any kind.
Thirdly, dissent and unrest can boil over and cause an overthrowing of the ruler if the right terms are met. Dissent descends from dissatisfaction with government policies, past failures, financial insecurity, limited or no political and/or civil rights, the right to freely smoke dope, and so on and so forth. If your habit is disrupted, you feel something is amiss. Rising living costs alarm you of some problem and make your life harder to handle. Economies that are slowing down have high unemployment ratings, and a lot of people who can't find work and support themselves are a lot of angry folk. Furthermore, when a country finds itself in a financial tight spot, it can keep on borrowing or make some changes (cut spending or increase revenue). It always hurts the population in one way or another. A country can amass so much debt it could not hope to return it, and might even default on its loans. This can throw the local financial market into a deep black pit of despair and wetness.
Protests can be subdued by the rulers if they so please by using their armed forces (the police or the military). However if this force is not loyal to the administration, they could turncoat. It is, after all, made out of people. Issues such as political reform can arise, but other groups can also take momentum - nationalists, fascists, communists, religious fundamentalists and a range of other solutions (ideologies, ho!) to a problem that the people think it is quite excellent before they start to implement it.
An example to this can be France. Yes, France had suffered for years of income inequality, oppression and financial misfortune. Their expeditions in other countries had made them indebted to creditors that want their money back, or else... Ideas of reforms start to pop up, but it's either unfeasible or too little and too late. A wave of droughts and hailstorms floods causes food supply to be irregular. The transportation systems of said food to the population urban zones had become much more troublesome...
Does it sound familiar? If it does, then you know what's next...
The Guillotine! Aye, I'm talking about the 1789 French revolution that lasted for around an extremely bloody decade. This is what happens when you let the mob lead by intellectuals rule the country.
Murder. Lots and lots of murder.
This, though unfeasible nowadays, can occur in other countries who are not that well off as yours. Most internet dwellers don't come from countries such as Niger, Ethiopia, Cambodia or Syria, and in those and similar countries the chance for a violent change of a regime is likely if the necessary terms are met.
A recent example can be Syria. Sure, you can say that it's 'the Arab spring', which is a fancy word for an overall spectacular failure (compared to European, USA and commonwealth standards) and change of local geo-politics... but what caused this? Well, the country had been suffering for a long time beforehand. The economy was mostly in the shitter, with unemployment ratings at around 20-25%, and a state run economy that was so tied up with red tap it kept tripping over itself. Add to that the oppressive government system and the solidarity movement to revolutionary anti-government protests in other nations, people were inspired and so they took to the streets...
And then they got shot. I can understand people who want to still have Assad. He symbolizes stability, in a way - after he is defeated, the parties involved will start to fight over the rights for this land and their ideologies often come to an impasse when trying to find common ground between each other. Foreign nations will interfere to try and reshape the new Syria, and it will turn into a bloody mess (again).
Obviously an evil genius could by now be able to make a weather machine, create localized droughts in key places around the world for a decade and just see how it all falls like a house of cards. On the other hand he could also blackmail the world's governments to avoid giving them bad weather, and get some money for hitting enemy nations hard.
With that said, now I can explain to you why Evil Geniuses can control the world's governments... with the use of weather machines!