NYTimes.com: The Republican Party Is Succeeding Because We Are Not a True Democracy

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John Clark

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Jan 4, 2022, 6:42:06 AMJan 4
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From The New York Times:

The Republican Party Is Succeeding Because We Are Not a True Democracy

What’s often called the crisis of American democracy is  the result not of too much democracy but of too little. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/03/opinion/us-democracy-constitution.html?smid=em-share

Telmo Menezes

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Jan 4, 2022, 7:46:21 AMJan 4
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Isn't this an international mailing list for discussing the hypothesis that everything exists? Doesn't seem like the appropriate place to keep posting about local political issues. I would even dare say that it is a bit impolite to us non-USAians.

The Portuguese general elections take place at the end of this month, shall I start posting about that? Or if you think it's a matter of size, maybe you want to discuss the minutia of European Union internal affairs?

Telmo
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John Clark

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Jan 4, 2022, 9:06:56 AMJan 4
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On Tue, Jan 4, 2022 at 7:46 AM Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.net> wrote:

> Isn't this an international mailing list for discussing the hypothesis that everything exists?

That has always been my understanding, and the strong possibility that the most powerful economic and military entity on planet Earth is drifting into totalitarianism and fascism certainly exists. So that doesn't seem off topic for the EVERYTHING list,

> I would even dare say that it is a bit impolite to us non-USAians.

Politeness be damned. If non-USAians believe that Donald Trump becoming a dictator would have no effect on "non-USAians" then "non-USAians", whatever that means, are not very bright.
 
> The Portuguese general elections take place at the end of this month, shall I start posting about that?

I wouldn't mind one bit, in fact I might even read it if you could convince me that Portugal has a huge effect on the world's economy and has control of thousands of Thermonuclear Bombs and 14 ballistic missile nuclear submarines. And if I found I wasn't interested in your post I'd just delete it, I wouldn't take the time to write another post protesting it, and I certainly wouldn't repeat every single word of the post that I'm protesting about. 
 
John K Clark
 
Am Di, 4. Jan 2022, um 12:41, schrieb John Clark:
From The New York Times:

The Republican Party Is Succeeding Because We Are Not a True Democracy

What’s often called the crisis of American democracy is  the result not of too much democracy but of too little. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/03/opinion/us-democracy-constitution.html?smid=em-share

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Telmo Menezes

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Jan 4, 2022, 10:09:21 AMJan 4
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Am Di, 4. Jan 2022, um 15:06, schrieb John Clark:
On Tue, Jan 4, 2022 at 7:46 AM Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.net> wrote:


> Isn't this an international mailing list for discussing the hypothesis that everything exists?

That has always been my understanding, and the strong possibility that the most powerful economic and military entity on planet Earth is drifting into totalitarianism

"Totalitarianism" is a type of regime where any sort of private experience is ideologically opposed to, and where the state has total control over the lives of its citizens. In other words, in a totalitarian regime there is no such thing as "non-state". I would claim that the only contemporary regime that fits the bill is North Korea. The government of China seems to like the idea, but I doubt they can implement it at that scale. Even with all the creepy technology.

The USA is possibly drifting towards autocracy. It is starting to show worrying signs of being a failed state. Totalitarianism is very unlikely due to extreme ideological polarization and lack of national unity. Fragmentation is much more likely.

and fascism certainly exists.

Not really. Fascism was a flavor of totalitarianism that existed in the context of XX century Europe. I don't think it makes much sense to use this term now. But I see what you mean and I agree that the political situation in the USA is worrying.

So that doesn't seem off topic for the EVERYTHING list,

Nice sophistry.


> I would even dare say that it is a bit impolite to us non-USAians.

Politeness be damned. If non-USAians believe that Donald Trump becoming a dictator would have no effect on "non-USAians" then "non-USAians", whatever that means, are not very bright.

Non-USAians could try to live under a rock to avoid being exposed to this discussion and they would still fail. You don't have to worry about that.

 

> The Portuguese general elections take place at the end of this month, shall I start posting about that?

I wouldn't mind one bit, in fact I might even read it if you could convince me that Portugal has a huge effect on the world's economy and has control of thousands of Thermonuclear Bombs and 14 ballistic missile nuclear submarines.

The EU certainly has a huge effect on the world's economy (it's the second largest one), and at least one of its member states has Thermonuclear Bombs and a seat at the security council. And yet, I bet you are not interested in the latest drama from Brussels.

And if I found I wasn't interested in your post I'd just delete it, I wouldn't take the time to write another post protesting it, and I certainly wouldn't repeat every single word of the post that I'm protesting about. 

Nice sophistry part 2.

Telmo

 
John K Clark
 
Am Di, 4. Jan 2022, um 12:41, schrieb John Clark:
From The New York Times:

The Republican Party Is Succeeding Because We Are Not a True Democracy

What’s often called the crisis of American democracy is  the result not of too much democracy but of too little. 


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John Clark

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Jan 4, 2022, 12:04:20 PMJan 4
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On Tue, Jan 4, 2022 at 10:09 AM Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.net> wrote:

> "Totalitarianism" is a type of regime where any sort of private experience is ideologically opposed to, and where the state has total control over the lives of its citizens. In other words, in a totalitarian regime there is no such thing as "non-state".  I would claim that the only contemporary regime that fits the bill is North Korea.

And President Donald Trump publicly said he fell in love with North Korea's murderous dictator Kim Jong-un and waxed poetic about how beautiful the letters Kim sent to him were. Call me crazy but I found such behavior from a man who had the power to kill you and me and everybody we know and destroy our entire civilization in just 20 minutes to be disturbing. 



> The government of China seems to like the idea, but I doubt they can implement it at that scale. Even with all the creepy technology.

Kim Jong-un is the pinnacle that every wannabe dictator strives for, that's why Trump fell in love with him.

> The USA is possibly drifting towards autocracy. It is starting to show worrying signs of being a failed state.

Could be. When Mozambique turned into a failed state it was very bad for the people of Mozambique, but if the USA turns into a failed state it would be very bad for the entire human race. And you think there is no reason non-US citizens should be interested in that possibility?   

> The EU certainly has a huge effect on the world's economy (it's the second largest one), and at least one of its member states has Thermonuclear Bombs and a seat at the security council. And yet, I bet you are not interested in the latest drama from Brussels.

Then you'd lose your bet because I am interested in what's going on in Brussels.  And if there was an imminent danger of an ammoral man who was as dumb as a sack of rocks and didn't have an empathetic bone in his body becoming the dictator of Europe then I'd be even more interested; but fortunately for Europe, as far as I know, there isn't.  America isn't so lucky. 

> Non-USAians could try to live under a rock to avoid being exposed to this discussion and they would still fail. You don't have to worry about that.

I don't have to worry about this discussion dying as long as I have you as an ally, without you this "off topic" discussion that is of no interest to anyone who is outside of the borders of the USA would've ended after one short post, but thanks to you it has been stretched to 5, and you'll probably respond to this and make it 6. I hope you do because I'm enjoying this.

John K Clark    See what's on my new list at  Extropolis
alo

 


Lawrence Crowell

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Jan 4, 2022, 8:22:53 PMJan 4
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You need to remember that both the Dems and the Reps take campaign money from the same financial and corporate entities. They are both beholden to the same people, as latter day forms of vassals. The republicans are just more direct in their insistence on promoting banks, financial companies (which own most corporate shares) and the corporations. The Reps have in recent years gone off into some sort of psychotic mania. The Dems are more willing to use Keynesian tools, which the corporations like when the economy goes into the tank. Note how Obama got more campaign dollars than McCain. The whole system is really F#*&k'd to the core.

LC 

John Clark

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Jan 5, 2022, 4:19:31 AMJan 5
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On Tue, Jan 4, 2022 at 8:22 PM Lawrence Crowell <goldenfield...@gmail.com> wrote:

> You need to remember that both the Dems and the Reps take campaign money from the same financial and corporate entities. They are both beholden to the same people, as latter day forms of vassals. The republicans are just more direct in their insistence on promoting banks, financial companies (which own most corporate shares) and the corporations.

Money in politics is a bad mix and yes both sides do it but it's been going on for a long time and we can survive that but the Republicans have come up with something new, a difference not just in degree but in kind.  No matter how contentious a presidential campaign had been every previous time in the nation's history, the certification of the presidential election results by the House and Senate had just been a formality, but it was vastly more than that on January 6, 2021. Nearly every Republican member of Congress cooperated with Trump's coup d'état attempt and tried to overturn the election. And they nearly succeeded. That's why I say there are now only two political parties, the Democratic Party and the Antidemocratic Party, and if the Antidemocratic Party ever takes back control of the House and the Senate there will never be another Presidential Election, at least not one that means anything, Congress will certify that Trump will become president in 2025 regardless of how many votes he gets in the election, and he will remain president until the day he dies. After that Donald Trump Junior will take over.

John K Clark

Telmo Menezes

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Jan 5, 2022, 7:34:32 AMJan 5
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Am Di, 4. Jan 2022, um 18:03, schrieb John Clark:
On Tue, Jan 4, 2022 at 10:09 AM Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.net> wrote:


> "Totalitarianism" is a type of regime where any sort of private experience is ideologically opposed to, and where the state has total control over the lives of its citizens. In other words, in a totalitarian regime there is no such thing as "non-state".  I would claim that the only contemporary regime that fits the bill is North Korea.

And President Donald Trump publicly said he fell in love with North Korea's murderous dictator Kim Jong-un and waxed poetic about how beautiful the letters Kim sent to him were.

Yes, I also strongly disapprove of Trump and think that he is a symptom of something sinister or dangerous. But just because he would like to yield the level of power that Kim Jong-un holds over the North Koreans, doesn't mean he have a chance. Societies are too complex for such straightforward inferences.

Call me crazy but I found such behavior from a man who had the power to kill you and me and everybody we know and destroy our entire civilization in just 20 minutes to be disturbing.

So does Putin, so does Macron probably, and Boris Johnson (the British Trump), and Modi, and others.



> The government of China seems to like the idea, but I doubt they can implement it at that scale. Even with all the creepy technology.

Kim Jong-un is the pinnacle that every wannabe dictator strives for, that's why Trump fell in love with him.

Kim Jonh-un is a prisoner as much as he is the dictator. He must follow a very narrow path to avoid assassination. I wouldn't be surprised if he secretly wishes he could be just some normal guy in a normal country. I find it much more likely that Trump would like to be Putin, who he believes (according to Michael Cohen) to be the "real richest man in the world".


> The USA is possibly drifting towards autocracy. It is starting to show worrying signs of being a failed state.

Could be. When Mozambique turned into a failed state it was very bad for the people of Mozambique,

I actually know a lot about this. I have family there and several of my older relatives had to fight the Portuguese colonial war in the 60s/70s. Mozambique is a gigantic territory that was never not a failed state. To this day, there are populations and tribes living in remote locations, that do not even know that they are supposed to be in a country called "Mozambique" (or care). Nobody knows how many. Nobody ever did. My relatives tell war stories of being surprised by attacks from tribes that were not known to exist. Many of them did suffer from European colonialism, and then from the stupidity of their own political leaders, that is for sure. Things are not simple.

but if the USA turns into a failed state it would be very bad for the entire human race.

It would create a lot of chaos, that is for sure. Russia was a failed state in the 90s, but still there were no rogue nukes being fired. So maybe not as catastrophic as you think. I would still prefer to not have to live through those "interesting" times, I give you that.

And you think there is no reason non-US citizens should be interested in that possibility?

Of course I am interested, and I am pretty sure I will be able to read about it (let me check my notes)... everywhere!

My point is: do we really need to drag American politics into every single corner of the Internet? Because I have been reading part of the discussion here, and they add nothing. Feels more collective psychodrama than anything else. It is not interesting or entertaining.


> The EU certainly has a huge effect on the world's economy (it's the second largest one), and at least one of its member states has Thermonuclear Bombs and a seat at the security council. And yet, I bet you are not interested in the latest drama from Brussels.

Then you'd lose your bet because I am interested in what's going on in Brussels.  And if there was an imminent danger of an ammoral man who was as dumb as a sack of rocks and didn't have an empathetic bone in his body becoming the dictator of Europe then I'd be even more interested; but fortunately for Europe, as far as I know, there isn't.  America isn't so lucky.

Ok, I believe you and concede the point.


> Non-USAians could try to live under a rock to avoid being exposed to this discussion and they would still fail. You don't have to worry about that.

I don't have to worry about this discussion dying as long as I have you as an ally, without you this "off topic" discussion that is of no interest to anyone who is outside of the borders of the USA would've ended after one short post, but thanks to you it has been stretched to 5, and you'll probably respond to this and make it 6. I hope you do because I'm enjoying this.

I know, I know. I have nothing against you John, I am just nostalgic for more interesting times in the list.

Telmo

John K Clark    See what's on my new list at  Extropolis
alo

 



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John Clark

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Jan 5, 2022, 9:34:45 AMJan 5
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On Wed, Jan 5, 2022 at 7:34 AM Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.net> wrote:

>> And President Donald Trump publicly said he fell in love with North Korea's murderous dictator Kim Jong-un and waxed poetic about how beautiful the letters Kim sent to him were.

> Yes, I also strongly disapprove of Trump and think that he is a symptom of something sinister or dangerous. But just because he would like to yield the level of power that Kim Jong-un holds over the North Koreans, doesn't mean he have a chance.

The only good thing about Trump is that the man is stupid, if he was half as smart as Kim Jong-un he'd be dictator of the US today.

>> Call me crazy but I found such behavior from a man who had the power to kill you and me and everybody we know and destroy our entire civilization in just 20 minutes to be disturbing.

> So does Putin, so does Macron probably, and Boris Johnson (the British Trump), and Modi, and others.

On the other hand stupidity can have its downside in the leader of a military superpower. I wouldn't call any of the people you mentioned in the above intellectual power houses but they're all considerably smarter than Trump and smart enough to know that launching all your nuclear missiles will not help you achieve your lifetime goal of becoming a dictator; but I am not at all certain Trump is smart enough to know that.  

> Kim Jonh-un is a prisoner as much as he is the dictator.

I agree. I would estimate that Kim has about one chance in 10 of dying of old age in his bed. 
 
 > I find it much more likely that Trump would like to be Putin

I see your point, but there was always been a certain Monty Python type ridiculousness to Trump that Putin doesn't have; Mussolini also had that sort of ridiculousness, but Mussolini didn't have Thermalnuclear Bombs to play with.  

>> if the USA turns into a failed state it would be very bad for the entire human race.
 
>  It would create a lot of chaos, that is for sure. Russia was a failed state in the 90s, but still there were no rogue nukes being fired. So maybe not as catastrophic as you think.
 
So maybe the human race can survive the USA becoming a failed state, and maybe it cannot. So you have to ask yourself one question, do I feel lucky today? Well do you Telmo?

> My point is: do we really need to drag American politics into every single corner of the Internet?

Yes, at least as long as there are people like you and me around.

> Because I have been reading part of the discussion here, and they add nothing.

Maybe, but if so at least they subtract nothing and can be deleted, if you wish, in a fraction of a second by a simple flick of your finger . 

> Feels more collective psychodrama than anything else. 

That's what a lot of people in Germany said about another political loudmouth in 1932. And this discussion is more informative about the nature of the reality we actually live in than some other very common topics around here. There have been literally thousands of discussions about the nature of consciousness on this list and you will find they all add up to precisely nothing. Zero nada zilch goose egg.

> It is not interesting or entertaining.

Apparently it was interesting and entertaining enough to warrant spending your valuable time replying to it.

John K Clark    See what's on my new list at  Extropolis
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Brent Meeker

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Jan 5, 2022, 4:23:57 PMJan 5
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On 1/5/2022 4:34 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:


Am Di, 4. Jan 2022, um 18:03, schrieb John Clark:
On Tue, Jan 4, 2022 at 10:09 AM Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.net> wrote:


> "Totalitarianism" is a type of regime where any sort of private experience is ideologically opposed to, and where the state has total control over the lives of its citizens. In other words, in a totalitarian regime there is no such thing as "non-state".  I would claim that the only contemporary regime that fits the bill is North Korea.

And President Donald Trump publicly said he fell in love with North Korea's murderous dictator Kim Jong-un and waxed poetic about how beautiful the letters Kim sent to him were.

Yes, I also strongly disapprove of Trump and think that he is a symptom of something sinister or dangerous. But just because he would like to yield the level of power that Kim Jong-un holds over the North Koreans, doesn't mean he have a chance. Societies are too complex for such straightforward inferences.

He not only doesn't have a chance to do that, he doesn't have the slightest motivation or idea of doing that.  He didn't even want to do anything when he was President except look important and be praised and sucked up to.  BUT he does have a good chance of becoming President again, because a lotnof cynical narcissistic Republican politicians see him as a vehicle to keeping their own comfortable seats.  The political danger is not Trump himself, who is incompetent and ineffectual, but those that will organize around Trumpism in order to keep their power; people like Michael Flynn, Bill Barr, Steve Bannon, David Nunes,...



Call me crazy but I found such behavior from a man who had the power to kill you and me and everybody we know and destroy our entire civilization in just 20 minutes to be disturbing.

So does Putin, so does Macron probably, and Boris Johnson (the British Trump), and Modi, and others.

But those people are pretty smart.  When being told that nuking North Korea would be a bad idea Trump, in all seriousness, asked, "What good are nukes if you can't use them?"





> The government of China seems to like the idea, but I doubt they can implement it at that scale. Even with all the creepy technology.

Kim Jong-un is the pinnacle that every wannabe dictator strives for, that's why Trump fell in love with him.

Kim Jonh-un is a prisoner as much as he is the dictator. He must follow a very narrow path to avoid assassination. I wouldn't be surprised if he secretly wishes he could be just some normal guy in a normal country. I find it much more likely that Trump would like to be Putin, who he believes (according to Michael Cohen) to be the "real richest man in the world".

Trump has no idea what it's like to be Putin or Kim.  He wouldn't survive six months in their position. He just wants to be "a winner" and "a very stable genius".  He doesn't want to have to do anything except be admired and grab pussy.  He's more like Berlusconi than Putin.

Brent

Telmo Menezes

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Jan 6, 2022, 11:50:46 AMJan 6
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So maybe the human race can survive the USA becoming a failed state, and maybe it cannot. So you have to ask yourself one question, do I feel lucky today? Well do you Telmo?

We both bet on the MWI so...



> My point is: do we really need to drag American politics into every single corner of the Internet?

Yes, at least as long as there are people like you and me around.

Fair enough.

That's what a lot of people in Germany said about another political loudmouth in 1932. And this discussion is more informative about the nature of the reality we actually live in than some other very common topics around here. There have been literally thousands of discussions about the nature of consciousness on this list and you will find they all add up to precisely nothing. Zero nada zilch goose egg.

I disagree, I learned a lot here.

Telmo.

spudb...@aol.com

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Jan 7, 2022, 12:46:10 AMJan 7
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Telmo, 

As one US rightist politician (Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan) said, "We do have a right to our own opinion, but we do not have a right to our own facts." In the past I have done the pushback on JC and Lawrence the physicist even, because they go whacky on hating their opposition, to the point of a coming split in the US. This being, a political split and perhaps a physical one. 

For you, the politics of JC advocate are what you drink at morning Fika, I knew some Swedes, so I understand how different your political thinking is from the traditional US mindset. For the rest of us yanks, it's not like we are going to well-tolerate the current governance of Malmo,(example)  here, on a national scale. But this is my guess here and I could easily be wrong?  My only advice is that the EU not rely on the unreliable Americans, even Trumpo, Because too much is at stake, and we may be busy splitting, in a world where the US (the party in power and the billionaire funder$), have ceded national safety in place of a globalist world view that sees China and Putin, at the helm. I am interested in EU and world politics because I like to see what succeeds, but yeah, a forum on Cosmology, may not be the most rational place to argue this. ?

For Europe, (piling on) yeah, I'd like to see IF you guys can power yourselves with renewables, like wind power at sea, or solar, or must you rely on nuclear fission, which highlights  the division between France and Deutschland. In such an argument I could learn something of the engineering involved in say fixing nuclear power, or abandoning it altogether, because  of safety? So, for me, I could handle the EU niceties, just fine.  

But for sanity's sake, yes, continue on with dark matter, or the accelerated expansion of the Hubble Volume, or even the more prosaic discussion about the capabilities of the James Webb telescope. It can't hurt, plus, in a national environment that is getting arguably worse, this might be form of actual information exchange. Party on!



spudb...@aol.com

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Jan 7, 2022, 1:36:10 AMJan 7
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Agreed. Its a oligarchy in the form of a plutocracy. I sometimes wonder if it hasn't been this way since the Civil War, or is it fully an oligarchy because of the Citizens United Supreme Court Ruling around 2011? For psychotic mania, as an example, all I need to do is look at the riots of 2020 tolerated deliberately in democratic party cities. For codification of this,  all I need to quote is the declaration of the new Manhattan DA on prosecutorial policy. 
https://news.yahoo.com/manhattan-da-apos-halt-prison-234002324.html

Keynesian economics can work if there is an intellectual ROI. So if we printed money and invested in something with huge benefits to ourselves, such as pushing tissue engineering achievements, energy triumphs, AI, and pollution abatement technologies, we couldn't lose. 

As you suggested in your previous epistle, us serfs don't get to choose. 

Spud. 
  
 

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John Clark

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Jan 7, 2022, 6:57:31 AMJan 7
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On Fri, Jan 7, 2022 at 1:36 AM spudboy100 via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

> Its a oligarchy in the form of a plutocracy. I sometimes wonder if it hasn't been this way since the Civil War,

Plutocracy is nothing new and so cannot be the root cause of the difficulties we've been having in the last five years or so. Plutocracy exists in every society except for pure communism, and there we see a total concentration of power with the state having every bit of it, there are no secondary power centers around rich private citizens. So in communism the politicians have all the power, especially the top guy, thus the politicians don't need money, they can do whatever they want without it. For that reason I prefer plutocracy to communism, although I recognize that when the poorest 50% of Americans possess less wealth than the poorest half of China's citizens, as is the case today, and when the world's richest 2,750 billionaires have more wealth than the poorest 4,600,000,000 fellow inhabitants of planet Earth it's an unstable situation and you're really asking for trouble.
 
> all I need to do is look at the riots of 2020 tolerated deliberately in democratic party cities.

Oh for Darwin's sake!!  Every riot in the USA that occurred in the last century or more was absolutely trivial compared with the riot that happened in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, the day the House and Senate and the Vice President were meeting to certify the 2020 election and decide who the next president of the republic and commander in chief of the most powerful military on the planet should be. And none of those rioters were Democrats, they were members of the republican party, or I should say the Antidemocratic Party, and they were encouraged to do so by politicians who also belonged to the Antidemocratic Party.

John K Clark    See what's on my new list at  Extropolis
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