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Neil Howe: 'Civil War Is More Likely Than People Think'
(07-23-2017, 01:06 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: [Image: 3132_23_07_17_9_36_59.jpeg]

Source: http://rpubs.com/ianrmcdonald/293069

My comment in another political chat line:

In the 1960s the Democrats had some right-wing Dixiecrat pols I might not discuss the House for personalities, but the Senate has some memorable figures. The Republicans had Charles Percy and John Chaffee -- and the Democrats had John Stennis and Strom Thurmond. There were relatively-liberal Republicans, and they would show that they could accept the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They might have been pro-business, but they had no use for a cause associated with terrorism.

So there were "Rockefeller Republicans"... but by 2017 most of those (or those whose demographics suggest that they would have been such in the 1960s) are now Democrats. But at the same time, white Democrats in the South have given up on their old antipathy for Big Business, They consider the industrial jobs an improvement over tenant farming or other ill-paying activities of the old agrarian South. They may still be racists, but the Republican Party has a big-enough tent for those.

As late as the mid-1960s the Democrats had a bimodal distribution of Representatives with a peak around -.032  and another, smaller peak near zero. By 1995 the Democrats had a distribution with a single peak around  -.037 with a distribution resembling a bell curve. By 2013 the single peak for Democrats was around -.040, likely the result of the hammering of somewhat-conservative Democrats in the Tea Party election of 2010.

Meanwhile the Republican Party went from having a peak of about  0.22 in 1963 to about 0.45 around 1997 (but it was a bell curve). By 2013 the Republican Party had a three-humped curve resembling the profile of an atoll-lined sinking island with a large peak around 0.8 and lesser peaks at 0.55 and at 0.92. The scary point is what people might believe if they are at the range of 1,00 on either side. Marxists on the Left? Genocidal fascists on the Right?

Now here's a cause for much political distress: if one was in the range of -0.05 to about 0.30, the center-right, you had no representation like you. Democrats may be closer to the center, but they do not have the center. A President like Barack Obama might need to triangulate to the center after his Party gets clobbered in the 2010 Tea Party election. Donald Trump so far suggests that he can completely neglect people to the left of about 0.45 and must appeal to people close to 1.00. And who are around that level?

Donald Trump may act as if people to the left of about -.030 are now politically irrelevant, but there might be people on the far-right end of the Republican distribution who would like the Left eliminated from political life. Shut down the opposition, make it permanently irrelevant, or eliminate it? That could be the debate should the Republicans consolidate even more power in 2018 and 2020.  And that would be an ugly America.

I am surprised that this got no comment. So what happened to the politicians of the Center?

What were they? I am guessing that they were the sorts elected to do good for their districts. Get some federal funds for roads. Keep the farm subsidies flowing in rural areas.  Avoid saying things offensive to more than about 20% of the people in the district. Get along with other members of Congress so that you can get something done. Be able to explain any vote to constituents, and not only to lobbyists.

Gerrymandering ensures that most districts can support either a politician suitable to an R+30 district or a politician suitable to a D+20 district. So such are the politicians that we get, and with the majority-of-a-majority politics that Lee Atwater initiated and Karl Rogue refined, we can end up with a 51-49 split of power and, if the 51% is adequately ruthless, entrench itself and marginalize everyone else. One election that gives that side of the political spectrum that level of power is enough to entrench that unsustainable clique forever because it will then reshape the electoral practices to fit its agenda.  

How long can this last before we get torture chambers and labor camps? When one part of the electorate has the means and will to subjugate a minority  and no conscience, then that is what happens.

Maybe we can avoid a Hitler -- but we can easily get a Franco or a Milosevic.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool" -- William Shakespeare, As You Like It, V.i


Reply
(07-25-2017, 06:00 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(07-23-2017, 01:06 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: [Image: 3132_23_07_17_9_36_59.jpeg]

Source: http://rpubs.com/ianrmcdonald/293069

My comment in another political chat line:

In the 1960s the Democrats had some right-wing Dixiecrat pols I might not discuss the House for personalities, but the Senate has some memorable figures. The Republicans had Charles Percy and John Chaffee -- and the Democrats had John Stennis and Strom Thurmond. There were relatively-liberal Republicans, and they would show that they could accept the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They might have been pro-business, but they had no use for a cause associated with terrorism.

So there were "Rockefeller Republicans"... but by 2017 most of those (or those whose demographics suggest that they would have been such in the 1960s) are now Democrats. But at the same time, white Democrats in the South have given up on their old antipathy for Big Business, They consider the industrial jobs an improvement over tenant farming or other ill-paying activities of the old agrarian South. They may still be racists, but the Republican Party has a big-enough tent for those.

As late as the mid-1960s the Democrats had a bimodal distribution of Representatives with a peak around -.032  and another, smaller peak near zero. By 1995 the Democrats had a distribution with a single peak around  -.037 with a distribution resembling a bell curve. By 2013 the single peak for Democrats was around -.040, likely the result of the hammering of somewhat-conservative Democrats in the Tea Party election of 2010.

Meanwhile the Republican Party went from having a peak of about  0.22 in 1963 to about 0.45 around 1997 (but it was a bell curve). By 2013 the Republican Party had a three-humped curve resembling the profile of an atoll-lined sinking island with a large peak around 0.8 and lesser peaks at 0.55 and at 0.92. The scary point is what people might believe if they are at the range of 1,00 on either side. Marxists on the Left? Genocidal fascists on the Right?

Now here's a cause for much political distress: if one was in the range of -0.05 to about 0.30, the center-right, you had no representation like you. Democrats may be closer to the center, but they do not have the center. A President like Barack Obama might need to triangulate to the center after his Party gets clobbered in the 2010 Tea Party election. Donald Trump so far suggests that he can completely neglect people to the left of about 0.45 and must appeal to people close to 1.00. And who are around that level?

Donald Trump may act as if people to the left of about -.030 are now politically irrelevant, but there might be people on the far-right end of the Republican distribution who would like the Left eliminated from political life. Shut down the opposition, make it permanently irrelevant, or eliminate it? That could be the debate should the Republicans consolidate even more power in 2018 and 2020.  And that would be an ugly America.

I am surprised that this got no comment. So what happened to the politicians of the Center?

What were they? I am guessing that they were the sorts elected to do good for their districts. Get some federal funds for roads. Keep the farm subsidies flowing in rural areas.  Avoid saying things offensive to more than about 20% of the people in the district. Get along with other members of Congress so that you can get something done. Be able to explain any vote to constituents, and not only to lobbyists.

Gerrymandering ensures that most districts can support either a politician suitable to an R+30 district or a politician suitable to a D+20 district. So such are the politicians that we get, and with the majority-of-a-majority politics that Lee Atwater initiated and Karl Rogue refined, we can end up with a 51-49 split of power and, if the 51% is adequately ruthless, entrench itself and marginalize everyone else. One election that gives that side of the political spectrum that level of power is enough to entrench that unsustainable clique forever because it will then reshape the electoral practices to fit its agenda.  

How long can this last before we get torture chambers and labor camps? When one part of the electorate has the means and will to subjugate a minority  and no conscience, then that is what happens.

Maybe we can avoid a Hitler -- but we can easily get a Franco or a Milosevic.

Although I am promoting Militant (Apolitical) Nationalism, I am classic Center dweller. I'm nauseated by the Trump-loving, Duginist Neo Nazi Totalitarians. For the first time in my life, there exists a political group who incite me to potential violence. If a People's Army were to form up to combat them, who'd take a 54 year old (but still fit) old fart, I'd join.

Meanwhile, the Left? They don't nauseate me, but at times they do annoy me. Witness my keyboard mini debates with EtG.
#ImpeachTrump
#ProsecuteTreason
#HUAC2.0
#RealNationalism
#NaziPunksFOff


Mark 13:22 - "For there shall rise false Christs and false prophets, and they shall give signs and wonders, to seduce, if possible, also the chosen."


Reply
(07-26-2017, 11:36 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: Although I am promoting Militant (Apolitical) Nationalism, I am classic Center dweller. I'm nauseated by the Trump-loving, Duginist Neo Nazi Totalitarians. For the first time in my life, there exists a political group who incite me to potential violence. If a People's Army were to form up to combat them, who'd take a 54 year old (but still fit) old fart, I'd join.

Meanwhile, the Left? They don't nauseate me, but at times they do annoy me. Witness my keyboard mini debates with EtG.
Interesting way to put it, apolitical nationalism and the "left" doesn't nauseate you (I assume the "right" does) but they do annoy you.

In many ways I find myself agreeing with the apolitical nationalism, but both the "left" and the "right" nauseate me in different ways and for different reasons. There are some aspects of the platforms on both the "left" and the "right" that I support and some that I vehemently oppose.

In fact, I consider both the Pugs and the Dims to be two polar facets of one uni-party, neither of which represent a large portion of the people. It is almost comical that it came down to a Clinton versus Trump, the former epitomizing much of what I and many other people despise about the "left" and the latter I believe is the result of people's despise of the "right" and he rode more of the natural pendulum that would have made it very difficult for the D's to get a 3rd term.

One way to consider myself would be a "small government liberal", or to put it another way one who thinks we have too damned much government, getting too involved in our lives, passing too many damned "laws" that they have no business getting involved in. I am fiscally conservative and while I believe in the benefits of a safety net, I am tired of working to fund legions who sit on their backside with their handout; and no I do not believe they are entitled to anything - be it a basic income or health care at other people's expense. I am absolutely sick of being "taxed" (stolen from) to fund either the handouts both to the "poor" and the "corporate welfare" on the left and the "crony capitalism" on the "right". On the other side, I am socially liberal. I don't believe the "government" or the "church" should be telling me what I can put in my body or who I do what sex act with, or anything of the sort, as long as I am not putting the public in danger by my behavior or actions they need to butt out.

I have seen a growing number of people like me and more and more we find ourselves saying there is only one way to put a stop to the nonsense that is getting to be overwhelming - a violent revolt.
Reply
(07-25-2017, 06:00 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(07-23-2017, 01:06 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: [Image: 3132_23_07_17_9_36_59.jpeg]

Source: http://rpubs.com/ianrmcdonald/293069

My comment in another political chat line:

In the 1960s the Democrats had some right-wing Dixiecrat pols I might not discuss the House for personalities, but the Senate has some memorable figures. The Republicans had Charles Percy and John Chaffee -- and the Democrats had John Stennis and Strom Thurmond. There were relatively-liberal Republicans, and they would show that they could accept the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They might have been pro-business, but they had no use for a cause associated with terrorism.

So there were "Rockefeller Republicans"... but by 2017 most of those (or those whose demographics suggest that they would have been such in the 1960s) are now Democrats. But at the same time, white Democrats in the South have given up on their old antipathy for Big Business, They consider the industrial jobs an improvement over tenant farming or other ill-paying activities of the old agrarian South. They may still be racists, but the Republican Party has a big-enough tent for those.

As late as the mid-1960s the Democrats had a bimodal distribution of Representatives with a peak around -.032  and another, smaller peak near zero. By 1995 the Democrats had a distribution with a single peak around  -.037 with a distribution resembling a bell curve. By 2013 the single peak for Democrats was around -.040, likely the result of the hammering of somewhat-conservative Democrats in the Tea Party election of 2010.

Meanwhile the Republican Party went from having a peak of about  0.22 in 1963 to about 0.45 around 1997 (but it was a bell curve). By 2013 the Republican Party had a three-humped curve resembling the profile of an atoll-lined sinking island with a large peak around 0.8 and lesser peaks at 0.55 and at 0.92. The scary point is what people might believe if they are at the range of 1,00 on either side. Marxists on the Left? Genocidal fascists on the Right?

Now here's a cause for much political distress: if one was in the range of -0.05 to about 0.30, the center-right, you had no representation like you. Democrats may be closer to the center, but they do not have the center. A President like Barack Obama might need to triangulate to the center after his Party gets clobbered in the 2010 Tea Party election. Donald Trump so far suggests that he can completely neglect people to the left of about 0.45 and must appeal to people close to 1.00. And who are around that level?

Donald Trump may act as if people to the left of about -.030 are now politically irrelevant, but there might be people on the far-right end of the Republican distribution who would like the Left eliminated from political life. Shut down the opposition, make it permanently irrelevant, or eliminate it? That could be the debate should the Republicans consolidate even more power in 2018 and 2020.  And that would be an ugly America.

I am surprised that this got no comment. So what happened to the politicians of the Center?

What were they? I am guessing that they were the sorts elected to do good for their districts. Get some federal funds for roads. Keep the farm subsidies flowing in rural areas.  Avoid saying things offensive to more than about 20% of the people in the district. Get along with other members of Congress so that you can get something done. Be able to explain any vote to constituents, and not only to lobbyists.

Gerrymandering ensures that most districts can support either a politician suitable to an R+30 district or a politician suitable to a D+20 district. So such are the politicians that we get, and with the majority-of-a-majority politics that Lee Atwater initiated and Karl Rogue refined, we can end up with a 51-49 split of power and, if the 51% is adequately ruthless, entrench itself and marginalize everyone else. One election that gives that side of the political spectrum that level of power is enough to entrench that unsustainable clique forever because it will then reshape the electoral practices to fit its agenda.  

How long can this last before we get torture chambers and labor camps? When one part of the electorate has the means and will to subjugate a minority  and no conscience, then that is what happens.

Maybe we can avoid a Hitler -- but we can easily get a Franco or a Milosevic.

Polarization is a proxy for intra-elite competition/conflict. Such conflict is a normal occurrence during secular cycle crises eras.  Last secular cycle we went into crisis around 1907, this time it was 2006. Polarization peaked during the first decade of the 20th century and remained high afterward until the crisis was dealt with around 1940. Similarly polarization is high today and will remain so until the crisis is dealt with this time.

I would argue that intra-elite conflict was high in 1860 (even though it does not show up in the measure you cite) because Civil War broke out the next year.  I would suggest the elite-led insurgency developing in the 1760's and 1770's is strong evidence of polarization then too.  Similarly, developing insurgencies in the 1640's and around 1450 show the same.  Each of these periods saw the beginning of a secular cycle crisis that terminated in a 4T. 

Note: a secular cycle crisis is not the same thing as a 4T, they are related, but there are 4Ts (e.g. Armada) and many of the pre-1435 4Ts that are not in secular cycle crisis periods. 

Since inequality is historically high (this indicates a secular cycle crisis), and most of us believe it is a 4T now, isn't this sort of expected?
Reply
(07-26-2017, 11:36 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(07-25-2017, 06:00 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(07-23-2017, 01:06 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: [Image: 3132_23_07_17_9_36_59.jpeg]

Source: http://rpubs.com/ianrmcdonald/293069

My comment in another political chat line:

In the 1960s the Democrats had some right-wing Dixiecrat pols I might not discuss the House for personalities, but the Senate has some memorable figures. The Republicans had Charles Percy and John Chaffee -- and the Democrats had John Stennis and Strom Thurmond. There were relatively-liberal Republicans, and they would show that they could accept the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They might have been pro-business, but they had no use for a cause associated with terrorism.

So there were "Rockefeller Republicans"... but by 2017 most of those (or those whose demographics suggest that they would have been such in the 1960s) are now Democrats. But at the same time, white Democrats in the South have given up on their old antipathy for Big Business, They consider the industrial jobs an improvement over tenant farming or other ill-paying activities of the old agrarian South. They may still be racists, but the Republican Party has a big-enough tent for those.

As late as the mid-1960s the Democrats had a bimodal distribution of Representatives with a peak around -.032  and another, smaller peak near zero. By 1995 the Democrats had a distribution with a single peak around  -.037 with a distribution resembling a bell curve. By 2013 the single peak for Democrats was around -.040, likely the result of the hammering of somewhat-conservative Democrats in the Tea Party election of 2010.

Meanwhile the Republican Party went from having a peak of about  0.22 in 1963 to about 0.45 around 1997 (but it was a bell curve). By 2013 the Republican Party had a three-humped curve resembling the profile of an atoll-lined sinking island with a large peak around 0.8 and lesser peaks at 0.55 and at 0.92. The scary point is what people might believe if they are at the range of 1,00 on either side. Marxists on the Left? Genocidal fascists on the Right?

Now here's a cause for much political distress: if one was in the range of -0.05 to about 0.30, the center-right, you had no representation like you. Democrats may be closer to the center, but they do not have the center. A President like Barack Obama might need to triangulate to the center after his Party gets clobbered in the 2010 Tea Party election. Donald Trump so far suggests that he can completely neglect people to the left of about 0.45 and must appeal to people close to 1.00. And who are around that level?

Donald Trump may act as if people to the left of about -.030 are now politically irrelevant, but there might be people on the far-right end of the Republican distribution who would like the Left eliminated from political life. Shut down the opposition, make it permanently irrelevant, or eliminate it? That could be the debate should the Republicans consolidate even more power in 2018 and 2020.  And that would be an ugly America.

I am surprised that this got no comment. So what happened to the politicians of the Center?

What were they? I am guessing that they were the sorts elected to do good for their districts. Get some federal funds for roads. Keep the farm subsidies flowing in rural areas.  Avoid saying things offensive to more than about 20% of the people in the district. Get along with other members of Congress so that you can get something done. Be able to explain any vote to constituents, and not only to lobbyists.

Gerrymandering ensures that most districts can support either a politician suitable to an R+30 district or a politician suitable to a D+20 district. So such are the politicians that we get, and with the majority-of-a-majority politics that Lee Atwater initiated and Karl Rogue refined, we can end up with a 51-49 split of power and, if the 51% is adequately ruthless, entrench itself and marginalize everyone else. One election that gives that side of the political spectrum that level of power is enough to entrench that unsustainable clique forever because it will then reshape the electoral practices to fit its agenda.  

How long can this last before we get torture chambers and labor camps? When one part of the electorate has the means and will to subjugate a minority  and no conscience, then that is what happens.

Maybe we can avoid a Hitler -- but we can easily get a Franco or a Milosevic.

Although I am promoting Militant (Apolitical) Nationalism, I am classic Center dweller. I'm nauseated by the Trump-loving, Duginist Neo Nazi Totalitarians. For the first time in my life, there exists a political group who incite me to potential violence. If a People's Army were to form up to combat them, who'd take a 54 year old (but still fit) old fart, I'd join.

Meanwhile, the Left? They don't nauseate me, but at times they do annoy me. Witness my keyboard mini debates with EtG.

It's always possible they could educate you, Mr. X Smile

One reason for no comment, brower, may be the title "DW - nominate" What does that mean? If that's the title of the chart, what does the chart refer to?

"if the 51% is adequately ruthless, (it could) entrench itself and marginalize everyone else. One election that gives that side of the political spectrum that level of power is enough to entrench that unsustainable clique forever because it will then reshape the electoral practices to fit its agenda."
It seems only the right-wing is capable of this ruthless strategy so far. Perhaps that will change.

"we can easily get a Franco or a Milosevic"

We got a Mussolini.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
(07-28-2017, 02:59 PM)noway2 Wrote:
(07-26-2017, 11:36 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: Although I am promoting Militant (Apolitical) Nationalism, I am classic Center dweller. I'm nauseated by the Trump-loving, Duginist Neo Nazi Totalitarians. For the first time in my life, there exists a political group who incite me to potential violence. If a People's Army were to form up to combat them, who'd take a 54 year old (but still fit) old fart, I'd join.

Meanwhile, the Left? They don't nauseate me, but at times they do annoy me. Witness my keyboard mini debates with EtG.
Interesting way to put it, apolitical nationalism and the "left" doesn't nauseate you (I assume the "right" does) but they do annoy you.

In many ways I find myself agreeing with the apolitical nationalism, but both the "left" and the "right" nauseate me in different ways and for different reasons. There are some aspects of the platforms on both the "left" and the "right" that I support and some that I vehemently oppose.

In fact, I consider both the Pugs and the Dims to be two polar facets of one uni-party, neither of which represent a large portion of the people. It is almost comical that it came down to a Clinton versus Trump, the former epitomizing much of what I and many other people despise about the "left" and the latter I believe is the result of people's despise of the "right" and he rode more of the natural pendulum that would have made it very difficult for the D's to get a 3rd term.

One way to consider myself would be a "small government liberal", or to put it another way one who thinks we have too damned much government, getting too involved in our lives, passing too many damned "laws" that they have no business getting involved in. I am fiscally conservative and while I believe in the benefits of a safety net, I am tired of working to fund legions who sit on their backside with their handout; and no I do not believe they are entitled to anything - be it a basic income or health care at other people's expense. I am absolutely sick of being "taxed" (stolen from) to fund either the handouts both to the "poor" and the "corporate welfare" on the left and the "crony capitalism" on the "right". On the other side, I am socially liberal. I don't believe the "government" or the "church" should be telling me what I can put in my body or who I do what sex act with, or anything of the sort, as long as I am not putting the public in danger by my behavior or actions they need to butt out.

I have seen a growing number of people like me and more and more we find ourselves saying there is only one way to put a stop to the nonsense that is getting to be overwhelming - a violent revolt.

You may have to choose which side to revolt against, and which to join. I don't know if the rebels in this 4T will be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. The vast 30+ percent of Americans who are fundamentalist and racist will be the heart of any right-wing rebellion. See the article I posted about those very socially-conservative folks. On the left, there will be plenty of social-justice warriors and fiscal liberals who militantly disagree with your classic and typical conservative views about taxes as theft and legions of freeloaders. However, if somehow the revolt were to be sparked by another bailout of banks too big to fail, then at least temporarily it could come from people on both sides.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
(07-31-2017, 06:45 AM)Mikebert Wrote: Polarization is a good proxy for intra-elite competition/conflict. This is a normal occurrence during secular cycle crises eras.  Last secular cycle we went into crisis around 1907, this time it was 2006. Polarization peaked during the first decade of the 20th century and remained high afterward until the crisis was dealt with around 1940. Similarly polarization is high today and will remain so until the crisis is dealt with this time.

I would surmise that intra-elite conflict was high in the 1850's, even though it does not show up in the measure you cite, because Civil War broke out in 1861.  I would suggest the elite-led insurgency developing in the 1760's and 1770's is strong evidence of polarization then too.  Similarly, developing insurgencies in the 1640's and around 1450 show the same.  Each of these saw the being of a secular cycle crisis that terminated in a 4T.

Since most of us believe it is a 4T now, isn't this sort of expected?

...I wonder what sort of polarization existed in France before 1789, in Russia just before 1917, and in Germany in 1930. Do we have any parallels?

When Generations came out, I expected the Crisis to be mostly cultural and not economic. Dictatorship and racism were clearly outmoded throughout the industrial West, and expecting those to revive in America seemed impossible. Maybe there would be some sort of economic transition due to technological advances. Of course there was the possibility of a 1929-style Crash, and for a year and a half the economic meltdown beginning in late 2007 looked much like that beginning in late 1929. I could not see any Evil Empire rising that could make the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union seem a cause of nostalgia.

But we got out of the Panic of 2008 seemingly unscathed. There's a big difference in effect. The three horrid years beginning in late 1929 set America back about twenty years in economic progress and created a political climate in which people insisted upon institutional change.  Americans, including even what had been the ruling elite in the 1920s, abandoned the brash every-man-for-himself individualism  because such proved a failure. Americans had tolerated booms and busts, like pollution, as necessary characteristics of an economy in growth and an economy delivering technological advances that made life richer and fuller. People found out the hard way that such economic progress as America had had since the Civil War was so uneven that many people were still living as if it were still the 'Forties. The Eighteen-Forties, that is. 

But America in 2008 was no longer the America of 1929. America didn't react the same way to the economic meltdown. The political system rescued the shady actors of the Double-Zero Decade (the New Roaring Twenties) on the assumption that their capital and bureaucratic power had to be protected. But those people recovered the means in which to buy the political process -- which is exactly what those elites did. Our nation is the frog that took the scorpion for a ride through the floodwater.

Anyone who thinks that Trump's America is a democracy is a fool. But the election of Donald Trump is the last phase of salami slicing that has transformed America into a Republic in Name Only. It is entirely possible that the economic leadership will allow us to have an illusion of free elections that just fall short of giving people a government responsive to people other than big agrarian landowners, urban rent-grabbers, the shareholding elite, the executive nomenklatura (America's bureaucratic elites in Corporate America act much like the their counterparts in the Soviet Union -- they found ways in which to exploit the masses severely while not owning the means of production), sell-out intellectuals, and organized crime. These people prefer that politicians be either fanatics on their side or be pliable 'empty suits'. It's only a matter of time before America becomes the Evil Empire. Those elites are not at all in conflict

(OK -- so is the 'Russian' Mafia the American equivalent of the pre-WWII Black Dragon Society in Japan?)

Don't fool yourself. The economic elites like things as they are, except that they would like to privatize anything that can turn a profit, like the Interstate Highway System, to monopolistic gougers. But we will hear the gougers call themselves benefactors, the bringers of the best of all possible worlds. If you wonder whether the worst abusers and exploiters in American history, the slave-owning planters, had any feelings of guilt about what they did to slaves -- they thought themselves the best thing that ever happened to their chattels. That may be more marked in Idealist generations who can believe that their scummy behavior serves some great purpose (the enrichment and pampering of themselves). The pampering of the elites is so important that people may need to be worked to exhaustion on starvation rations for it -- to those elites such is a logical consequence of their narcissism.

The Great Depression had its positive effect in dashing the narcissism of people in Veblen's Leisure Class. In the 1930s America would have to grow its way out of the worst point of the Great Depression to the point that America was materially better than it was at the start. By the late 1930s people had more cars, telephones, radios, phonographs, ovens, refrigerators, and furniture than it had in the late 1920s. Those would be very useful when Americans had to endure the loss of the consumer society after the Pearl Harbor attack.

For the economic elites, times have never been better. The middle class is living on the past. The poor? They are scraping along. The system still offers welfare -- a way to ensure that there will be plenty of workers for munitions plants and in the fields for provisions for soldiers when the Master Class decides upon a war for profit in war machines and for resource-grabs in victims of American aggression.

America's economic elites are as rapacious, arrogant, and demanding as ever. They now have nearly total power. You are an optimist if you believe that they will allow any election to curtail their power. They need only get a 55-45 split in State legislatures and both Houses of Congress, and a pliant President to get what they want -- a society of extreme polarization in economic results.

...Just consider the antithesis of narcissism: humility. Nobody does humility for the fun of it. It is a survival tool, deference to others' power over one or about realities beyond one's control. In the 1930s, America's economic elites feared the masses who had lost so much between 1929 and 1932. Today's elites have nothing to offer us but fear -- and some stupefying entertainment to keep us from doing something so subversive as thinking.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool" -- William Shakespeare, As You Like It, V.i


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I read Neil Howe's WaPo op-ed from recent months, which didn't necessarily suggest he thought some kind of war was inevitable, but did say: well, hey, it happened repeatedly before.

I'm kind of still of the opinion that this Crisis is more like the Glorious Revolution (in a certain way) than any other, coming as it did after the Cycle that made England into Britain (much as I think the Depression/WWII made America a superpower). There was certainly violence abroad and in particular the colonies (King Phillips War and all that) but nothing like a total war in the UK.

I also think (having started but not yet completed Stephen Skowronek's "the Politics Presidents Make" - which should be of interest to any 4ters) that Donald Trump may be most like Andrew Johnson, a "wild card" president who succeeded a major, reconstructive liberal one and was unable to undo Lincoln's warrants for disruption and reordering. Trump is like the zombie Reaganite to Johnson's zombie Jacksonian (no wonder Bannon likes him). (The Trefousse bio of Johnson just dropped on my doorstep - am reading because precisely this; day off because f***ing hot out there.)

Re: violence: sadly, maybe more, I think, but of the kind we've seen and continue to: lone wolves, mass shootings, conspiracies involving small numbers of people acting out their crazy.
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(08-03-2017, 02:58 PM)linus Wrote: I read Neil Howe's WaPo op-ed from recent months, which didn't necessarily suggest he thought some kind of war was inevitable, but did say: well, hey, it happened repeatedly before.

I'm kind of still of the opinion that this Crisis is more like the Glorious Revolution (in a certain way) than any other, coming as it did after the Cycle that made England into Britain (much as I think the Depression/WWII made America a superpower). There was certainly violence abroad and in particular the colonies (King Phillips War and all that) but nothing like a total war in the UK.

I also think (having started but not yet completed Stephen Skowronek's "the Politics Presidents Make" - which should be of interest to any 4ters) that Donald Trump may be most like Andrew Johnson, a "wild card" president who succeeded a major, reconstructive liberal one and was unable to undo Lincoln's warrants for disruption and reordering. Trump is like the zombie Reaganite to Johnson's zombie Jacksonian (no wonder Bannon likes him). (The Trefousse bio of Johnson just dropped on my doorstep - am reading because precisely this; day off because f***ing hot out there.)

Re: violence: sadly, maybe more, I think, but of the kind we've seen and continue to: lone wolves, mass shootings, conspiracies involving small numbers of people acting out their crazy.

Welcome back to the fray.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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