Foreign Affairs has a post on the “psychology of food riots.” The argument is that it isn’t the high prices that are dangerous but the sense of injustice felt by the poor towards hoarders and profiteers that leads to riots. They note that most of the time people suffer in silence as their ability to purchase food dwindles to nothing. Yet they fail to give us any account of why sometimes we might see this sense of injustice arise and sometimes not. The subtitle is “When do price spikes lead to unrest?” Their only answer is when a sense of injustice comes to the fore. And when might that be, one might ask. Alas, we are given nothing. Only that governments should look out for feelings of mass injustice amongst their populations. I’m sure that the dictators of the world thank the authors for this suggestion.
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