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Flour power: why every revolution begins with a piece of bread

From Sudan to Versailles, Cairo to Tehran, protests have always begun with the price of bread rising. And in 2018, it's still the best barometer we have for class, capitalism and power

By Ella Risbridger  

It’s 1789 in Versailles; it’s 1863 in Virginia; it’s 1977 all over Egypt; it’s simultaneously 1942 and 2017 in Arak and Tehran and Mashhad. It’s Sudan right now. The price of bread is rising, and the people are rioting in response.

This is what people do. From The Flour War (France, 1775) to the Bread Riots (Southern USA, 1863), when food is scarcer, the price of bread goes up—and the…

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