Daily Reading #72

If they had started listening to the Libertarian Party 30 years ago, they could have avoided all of this. Centralization in systems of power is the same as a degeneration of the society, so many geriatrics in power indicates a terminal condition :


This is a good comparison of the 1930s society and conditions for the Great Depression vs today. Totally different world, even the nature of the economic disaster is different :


Interesting, a solid argument for the CIA having been penetrated by soviet moles who went undetected because the CIA trusted the wrong defector. Speculation that the CIA continues to do that :





I spent an hour reading George W. Plunkitt’s book, practical politics in a Tammany Hall 1900 era context. Chapter 6 is a good place to start and get a sense of the man. That is what every growing political power in the world does, takes care of the people in their local community. We moved all of that caring into the bureaucracy ruled by the civil service, resulting in much less caring and no less graft, honest or dishonest, e.g. watch “The Wire” or “House of Cards” for modern versions. “The Wire” is written by a guy who has lived the politics of Baltimore and did one of the books ‘A year with a homicide squad’, he is pretty authentic from what I read. People can get by with even more in a system of complex laws and division of responsibility than they can in a ward system with ward bosses having to keep people happy. If we add more information flow directly to people, the system will balance itself :


I learn more from comments than the articles most of the time. E.g. today on ZH :



I’m a bit of a stickler on that

before the 17th, the elected State legislatures sent two (recallable, if I remember correctly) delegates in the Senate. so let’s say a treaty had to be discussed… first the discussion was in the States, then the orders were given to the Senators how to vote

the difference is profound. it is on a continuum that goes like that:

(A) Confederation of Sovereigns (B) Federation of States (C) Unitary State

it’s not the only difference between A, B and C, but it is a very important one, and placed the trajectory of the US of A from B to C a step further in the direction of C

further main differences: tax base and military units. the more they are local, the more it’s (A)

note that you can have a Confederation of Oligarchic Republics. a good example for that was what Sparta set up in various different formats across time. so no, democracy is not necessarily a part of all that. this is only about de-centralization versus centralization

Yes, we keep centralizing power in this country, and it has gone far too far to support a modern economy, whatever a modern economy turns out to be after we get this sorted out. As hopeful as I am about Trump, he is the center of a central power, and with the best understandings, best intentions and strongest will in the world, would nevertheless need a mass of support to turn that trend to centralization around.

The reason is that the entire Stasis Quo is built on top of that centralization. To go back to a Representative Democracy, even to repeal the 17th Amendment, breaks many rice bowls. All of the wars in this country have had a strong economic-interest behind them, stasis always rests on coalitions of strong economic interests.

Trump has wide support, but we don’t know yet how that transfers to getting Capital Hill to go along. I will give him the strong will and good intentions, but this fight is still between oligarchs, it seems to me.  Tight with the Deep State financial interests and financial interests dependent upon government power like Big Pharma, Big Ag, academia, Military Industrial Complex, vs some of the rest who are being hurt by all that. Currently coal companies, oil companies, pipeline, rail, non-big agriculture, and middle America everywhere, including Democratic strongholds in blue states. There are a lot of empty store fronts even around here in our very wealthy area, so many businesses have gone out of business in the last few years. Chains are closing stores all over the US now.

Those trends at the same time as there is more building in our deep blue area than ever, the malls and city centers continue to move upscale at the same time as more dollar stores and massage parlors, both genuine (low cost of setting up a business, not a great way of making a living) and ones providing sexual services.

All are aspects of the shift of power and income to the high end of the society and away from the low. There is a huge power imbalance, and thus protection for criminals that prey upon the low end of society, and that boundary keeps moving upwards. People in the lower middle class have problems getting jobs even in our area, and kids in less well-off areas have worse and worse choices for life.

Trump is, we hope, opposing the economic and political forces moving the boundary upward. There is a great deal of social-financial-interest and power-in-institutions momentum behind those forces, now also in the ecosystems around those. Easy to conclude ‘civil war’, and I would, except for the hope of the internet and the new worlds that makes possible.


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