Is democracy — a system of decision- and rule-making that encompasses the collective wisdom of the group — a survival system every bit as important as technology, science, & economics?
Excellent post, Thom. It's interesting what one discovers when they open themselves to asking new questions.
Hey Thom, loved your Report today. It has motivated me to find and read the full text of Biden’s Chicago speech. Thank you.
Today's the day we outlaw the Republican party as an undeclared foreign agency serving the enemies of the US. Then we arrest the Supreme court minus 3.
Thom, Thank you so much for your passion for Democracy and your acquired knowledge of history. My prayer is that all Americans read it and get with the program of cleaning up our Supreme Court and political leadership . My dad, Grant Stockdale, was appointed Ambassador to Ireland by President Kennedy and 10 days after Kennedy was assassinated, was pushed out of a thirteen story window and killed. I know how these things go. Time to bring the bad boys (and their ideology) down.
Outstanding post. President Biden is doing a great job governing and steering the economy. Mr. Hartmann is matching him stride for stride in documenting and posting truth, facts and sense.
This was notable:
"Just the past two years have seen over $490 billion in private investment in US business, creating a building and manufacturing boom that rivals Franklin Roosevelt’s and Dwight Eisenhower’s."
Two Presidents from our past were from different parties, yet both agreed on how a proper economy is ordered and it grew healthily under both. The economic perversion of Reagan hobbled the middle class. Our country has continued to innovate despite that. Who can tell how much the innovation ceiling was lowered, compared to what it might have been without trickle down fiction funneling funds to the financial sector?
These supporters of a dictatorship just want to get in on the gravy train. They are willing to lie steal, cheat and murder their fellow countrymen, for their leader. Most leaders throughout history have not even known what the purpose of government is, or what the duty of a man is, or what the duty of a woman is. Without altruism one cannot lead, only destroy. When the countries resources run out, the poor are the first to be disposed of. Eventually the whole nation will become a failed third world hell hole under autocracy. Getting money out of the election process is the only way a democracy can work. There is no future with an autocracy. The poor always out number the rich, so the rich do not like democracies. The richest capitalists hating their workers was never taught in public or private schools. The middle class capitalist respects a good worker when they find one. A strong middle class keeps the American dream alive and provides much more creativity and motivation which brings more happiness. The right just wants to steal your stuff. Unlimited capitalism is not sustainable, unless all the extra money over a needed maximum wage (350k ?) Per year, goes back into the government coffers. The purpose of being a human is to end as much human suffering as possible and to have fun. It is not to worry about finances constantly.
So Biden's tired of waiting for the "trickle-down". How interesting to hear from a wealthy man who's managed to acquire several homes and live affluently. There are many others who are tired of waiting, and their distaste in waiting is resulting in anarchy in the streets. I'm referring to what's going on in France right now, which is what we'd consider to be a democracy. People today, like Biden, are tired of waiting for democratic politicians to make their lives better. That's a problem for democracies who only hold elections every two or four years. These rioters are tired of waiting, and very upset with how democracies use police-style force in an attempt to make people wait for the next election, and they're tired of having to choose from a field of politicians who have all been bought and paid for by corporations and by industry. Democracies are in for some tumultous times.
The richness of our diversity has overcome so much in the best way possible. I feel fortunate to have lived to see it, and I salute all that fought and did not.
The struggle to keep moving forward will never end. The mentality of wanting to "return" to the old ways will always try to creep in. We can't let that happen, because science and solidarity is the only thing that will save us from the climate crisis. That's the only way to freedom. That's truly choosing life. We decide what the "American Way" is, and it is democracy.
Thank you Thom. Excellent article. The Hopium Report by Simon Rosenburg and Chop Wood, Carry Water by Jessica Craven are also excellent sources for us to gather the intellectual and pragmatic tools to keep working toward a more perfect Union.
Trojan words. ( first, thanks, Thom )
There’s nothing liberal about ‘neoliberalism.’ It’s a compound Trojan word, like calling nazis ‘conservatives.’ There’s nothing neo about nazis either, come to think about it.
Lawrence O’Donnell recently revived some speeches and an op ed by Senator Moynihan, bringing some academic work on misleading names and titles to the public in the early 1970s, calling it ‘semantic infiltration.’ I had been striving to name it, but failed.
That’s a powerful idea and tool for discussion and debate, but it’s too academic, in my assessment.
‘Citizens United’ comes to mind . . . should be ‘A Few Rich Fascists’ for truth in advertising.
So I propose ‘Trojan words’ as a common term to call out these misleading monikers planted to trick the public and the media into giving compliments to fraudulent and destructive forces. ( Even better, the ‘Trojan’ horse was Greek, not Trojan! )
‘Right wing’ and ‘The right’ boil my blood every time, like ‘conservative.’ There’s nothing right about them, not good, not correct, but everywhere in the press corrupt and destructive forces are called ‘right’ in the process of criticizing them and identifying their lies and corruption.
But too late! You already called them ‘right!’
let’s call them out, best luck to US -- b.rad a Roma
Quite correct Thom. Political and economic systems are intertwined, however it is a mix, and the mix depends on the dominant culture and the proclivities of the leaders.
It is believed that communism is a competitor to capitalism, but China proves that notion wrong. So does Russia, while it ostensibly abandoned communism, with the collapse of the short lived democracy, Putin had a garage sale, where he sold industries and assets to trusted friends at bargain prices.
And if they don’t toe the line, he takes back the assets which he “gave” away.
A missive for those who mistakenly believe, or were influenced by that proto libertarian Marx, That it is a military industrial complex that is responsible for wars. While they have no seen a war that they don’t love, or make money off. They are not responsible for war. War is a result of a nation, or its leaders, ambitions to expand its reach and control of resources (including human resources).
Native nations in America did not have hereditary chiefs, the early colonists called them Kings, because that was their only point of reference. However tribes had chiefs for different functions, like Agriculture, defense or war, moving, hunting parties. Each chief was a specialist, we would call them cabinet heads. Their were Chief of chiefs, like Jenghis Khan means King of Kings.
A war chiefs job was to prepare for war, either in defense, or to attack another tribe. Their wars were fought over resources, just like dogs will fight over a bone
They lived off the land, and a tribe soon depleted the four legged resources, and if the need for land expanded as the tribe expanded.
So the needs of the tribes often brushed up against one another. The somehow intuited the need for introduction of fresh genes, to increase the survivability of the tribe, thus the custom of adopting
Young and malleable captives, or kidnapping women, which was a custom of the natives of the Pacific NW, they would put together raiding parties just for that purpose.
The state of Kentucky was no mans land. Anyone who settled there, forfeited their lives. It was used by surrounding tribe as a hunting preserve. Judge Richard Henderson, hired a scoundrel who had been before his court, an unstable personality with wander lust, to survey the land which he has “bought”
From a Cherokee chief, (Treaty of Watauga) however the Cherokee didn’t own the land, Richardson knew that, it was all a charade the royal edict that forbid colonists from claiming land “owned” by the natives, as he was since King James, afraid of a French and Indian war, which came in 1754, thanks to the lack of leadership by George Washington, when he captured a French Platoon outside of Fort Duquesne, (Ft Pitt, Pittsburgh), and his native auxillaries, brutally massacred the platoon.
As a result of this scam, Richardson informed the King’s Representative, Governor Tryon, that the deal did not violate the kings order as the Cherokee sold (land they did dnot own) to him, using Daniel Boone to “survey” (and a surveyor he was not, as his surveys for what became Boonesboro, were subsequently invalidated. Colonists were induced to move in and buy land from Richardsons surveys.
The neighboring tribes resented this intrusion, as they had respected the tradition, and thus the tribes like Shawnee and Fox, waged war against the aggressors. The Fox captured Boone and because of his knowledge and skills they adopted him. At first opportunity he escaped.
The point is that war is not a result of militarism and conquest, but the result of fearful, greedy and needy men who need to enrich themselves and their “tribe”,or even if for protection. Push out your boundaries, and you protect the homeland.
Eventually if the aggressor is not stopped, he has you surrounded and can starve you into submission, even with two oceans acting like a moat. In a world that is interdependent for trade and resources.
Especially then you can b e forced into submission.
BTW, in my opinion the drift away from Democracy can be traced to religion. In Rome the Republic and Empire were held together by competing cults of gods, they even had one for the itch –Scabies.
This favored the state, because there were many priesthoods clamoring for attention and favoritism, and the masses were effectively divided.
Then along came the ideologist from Jerusalem, each one vying for attention and leadership of their own cult. The market place of the Roman Empire had to be noisy and chaotic, but unlike under the Republic and the Empire at the time. These ideological evangelicals were claiming that they were speaking for the same god..IHSus (Dionysos.. the word means son of God). Constantine gathered them all together and told them to come up with a single coherent doctrine or it was to the lions. Thus the Trinitarian Nicean Creed. It then spread throught the Roman world, and it’s only enemies were those at the far reaches of their borders.
Religion became the source of power for Kingship (cause god done it and you can’t argue with god)
So the king, the autocrat, waged war on his neighbors to secure safety for himself, gold, silver and jewels for his treasury, and land for its resources, animal, mineral and vegetable (I remind you that we are animals, in behavior as well as genetically)
Rome under the Republic as militaristic and expansionist and they didn’t have a capitalist military complex. They conquered their neighboring cities,like the Etrucans, Sammites, Latins, because they perceived them as potential competitors and threats (preemptive strikes), and needed their land for resources (animal, mineral vegetable)
Even peoples who are of the same religion, war with each other (ex: Sunni v Shia).
Catholic England v. Catholic, Catholic Europe had internecine wars. And there was no military industrial complex using financial power to elect kings. There were independent contractors who made cannon, weapons, helmets, mail, armor but they were not organized, like the modern industrial complex.
What was responsible for 9/11. Religion.
What is ultimately responsible for the current crisis of maggots corrupting our government, media, politics and courts. Religion, or fearful people using religion as an excuse.
Religion is superstition and does not create a moral, ethical and sane society, just the opposite.
Religions are underpinned by sacrifice, often human, and in the case of Catholics and some Protestants, symbolic sacrifice and (amusingly cannibalism, as Catholics actually believe in transubstantiation, that they are actually eating the blood and body of IHSus.
I enjoyed reading your comments on what life would be like in an autocratic style of government. However, I think one thing that was left out is what likely ( past history) life will be like for the white majority after the system firms up. That will be when the reality smacks one in the face and who cares about you ever.?
We have had at best a representative republic that represented the interests of the rich and powerful to the detriment of everyone else. With a two-party duopoloy there is no opposition party to inject the power of the American workers with the purposeful death of the unions. With the attacks on the unions by people like Reagan and Clinton, both parties must bow to the interests of special interest groups and the wealthy elites that have filled the vacuum.
We have sham politics where the party bosses largely determine who workers get to vote for in elections. The party bosses pushed three-term VP Henry A. Wallace in 1943 to insure their man, Harry Truman would be the next president. In 2008, 2016, and 2020, Bernie Sanders had massive popular support by Democratic Party voters but not the party bosses and so was repeatedly pushed aside.
Party bosses and their donors determine what legislation comes to the floor for a vote and studies have shown that during an entire Congress there is not a single piece of legislation that would benefit the underclass in the United States.
Gore Vidal accurately stated "It makes no difference who you vote for - the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people." Today it would be 0.1 percent of the people that benefit.
Every group is a democracy. Some do it a hell of a lot better than others.
Thanks for the fine and good points, and the background, Thom, and more -- b.rad a Roma