Home Main Forums 2018 Elections The End of the Republic and the Coming of the Neo-Kinship World

  • bemildred (5083 posts)
    Profile photo of bemildred Donor

    The End of the Republic and the Coming of the Neo-Kinship World

    I say this sort of thing is what Citizen’s United was handed down to enable, and I give Trump (or his minions) credit for seeing it, because I pointed it out in 2011 (I think it was) and Trump & his minions are the first billionaire crowd to use it and win.  Now we need to use it to end Citizen’s United and get private money out of elections for good.

    The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States signals a revolution in American politics. For the first time in American history an oligarch has succeeded in buying his way directly into the highest office in the land. By reaching out directly to voters in a self-financed campaign, Trump managed to by-pass the traditional paths to power. Running nominally as a Republican, his independent, direct appeal in the primaries allowed him not only to dispense with the support of the party apparatus and the special interest donor class behind it, but to ridicule and scapegoat them.

    Rather than the party establishment dictating their choice of a presidential nominee, Trump effectively dictated to the establishment that he would be the nominee and that they would have to support him, and most have, even if reluctantly, and even as furious efforts to discredit him continue. Trump saw that he could win without the support of other elites. No need to build a coalition. He would appeal directly to the people in rallies and social media. Along the way, he coupled his self-financing with a shrewd instinct for free news, based on his ability to speak, unlike others, freely outside the confines of polite political discourse. He called out the system in general, as a corrupt machine no longer serving the national good, and voters responded. Put a hold on globalization, he said; instead let’s put America first. In the general election, he outmaneuvered the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, who was almost entirely a creature of her party establishment fatefully wedded to what Trump denounced as the insider elite politics of corruption. Yes, he is a member of the wealthy elite, but a rogue member. He is our first magnate, the Don, a wholly-owned, independent power source.

    This means the end of the republic as we have known it. Trump will not be the last oligarch to buy his way into the highest office. Ambitious magnates no longer need work behind the scenes as king-makers when they can be king themselves. The vastly inflated wealth of the one per-centers guarantees that those among them who wish to do so can establish their own political infrastructure and appeal directly to voters. This means the end for traditional political parties and the donor support system which has driven them. The new era will be one of demagogic mass politics, where the new leader will relate directly to voters. With the power of Supreme Court appointments in his pocket, our new leader has potential opposition only in Congress. But the leader’s electoral coattails, his ability to mobilize over 20 million followers on Twitter, plus the power of federal patronage and executive orders, will ensure that most politicians will fall in line.

    What we face is an elective monarchy, or dictatorship. The American Constitution was modeled on the Roman Republic, and it seems destined to share its fate. In ancient Rome vast wealth, particularly after the Punic Wars, created a powerful plutocratic class. Obscenely rich magnates—the Grachii, Sulla, Lucullus, Pompey, Crassus, Caesar–competed for political power. Their struggles turned into civil wars, which ended in the one-man rule of the Emperors. We too are likely to drift into increased conflict among magnates focused on advancing their personal power, which brings with it the temptation to override precedent and the law, even if the outward forms, as in Rome, remain in place.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/15/the-end-of-the-republic-and-the-coming-of-the-neo-kinship-world/

    OzoneTom, Spanish Devil, libodem and 3 othersKoko, Two way street, arendt like this
    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

▼ Hide Reply Index
16 replies
  • arendt (1432 posts)
    Profile photo of arendt

    1. Reminds me of something I wrote in 2015

    Your OP uses Rome as the model. That is a good analogy.

    I used the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (P-LC) of the 16th century as my model.

    Just wanted to point people at it to support your point.

    Adelson and Kristol attempt the first Liberum Veto in US history    warning: link is at TOP. Everything below is a snip.

    2. How did Golden Liberty undermine the P-LC? What are the US parallels? For starters, the nobles behaved like nobles, by reducing everyone they could to serfs tied to the land with minimal rights:

    the nobility tightened their control of the production, trade and other economic activities,… limited the rights of the cities and pushed most of the peasants into serfdom. Such practices were increasingly sanctioned by the law. …Polish towns, lacking national representation protecting their class interests, preserved some degree of self-government (city councils and jury courts), and the trades were able to organize and form guilds. The nobility soon excused themselves from their principal duty – mandatory military service in case of war….As the peasants, the townspeople and ordinary szlachta each lost their economic base, the magnate class had become the only social group capable of significant economic and political activity, which led to their more total domination of what was left of the Commonwealth politics….The masses of ordinary szlachta competed or tried to compete against the uppermost rank of their class, the magnates, for the duration of Poland’s independent existence.

    – Wikipedia
    This is the exact same process that has been going on as our “magnates” have destroyed the middle class over the last 35 years. And what were the social and political consequences?

    ..war and economic pressures intensified the already present fragmentation processes and class conflicts between the social classes and within each of them. Xenophobia and intolerance became prevalent…The nation building efforts of Renaissance era reformers was undone. The fragmentation of szlachta deepened the decentralizing tendencies in the large state…The magnates established networks of szlachta supporters and national loyalty was being replaced with loyalty based on regional ties, as for the nobility the weak state institutions provided neither attractive career opportunities, nor sufficient protection.

    The magnate control over the lesser or petty szlachta (szlachta zaściankowa), a group whose members possessed little or no property and were poorly educated, has long been recognized. The lesser szlachta was useful, as it provided crowds of armed men able to influence various public events, such as…elections, according to directions given.

    – Wikipedia, P-LC

    The consequences were the same as today: xenophobia, conflict, armed mobs threatening people and politicians at the behest of magnates.  But, worse than that, the pressure on the non-magnate nobles induced the kind of ghost-dance purity that is often seen among marginalized groups – such as US small businessmen.

    The prevalent ideology of the szlachta became “Sarmatism”, named after the Sarmatians, alleged ancestors of the Poles.This belief system was an important part of the szlachta’s culture, penetrating all aspects of its life. Sarmatism enshrined equality among szlachta, horseback riding, tradition, provincial rural life, peace and pacifism;… and served to integrate the multi-ethnic nobility by creating an almost nationalistic sense of unity and of pride in the szlachta’s Golden Freedoms.[56]In its early, idealistic form, Sarmatism represented a positive cultural movement: it supported religious belief, honesty, national pride, courage, equality and freedom. In time, however, it became distorted. Late extreme Sarmatism turned belief into bigotry, honesty into political naïveté, pride into arrogance, courage into stubbornness and freedom into anarchy. The faults of Sarmatism were blamed for the demise of the country from the late 18th century onwards.

    The lack of legal distinction among various ranks of the nobility gave many noblemen a false sense of equality and opportunity…

    – Wikipedia, P-LC

    Are we seeing the parallels yet? Belief into bigotry. Pride into arrogance. Freedom into anarchy. Chosen nation. No nonconformity. Just like then, white folk cling to their “noble” status, lionizing the magnates, even though the magnates continue to loot them.

    • bemildred (5083 posts)
      Profile photo of bemildred Donor

      2. I thought you might like it. It fits in with what we were talking about.

      I read your piece last night, still chewing on it.

      I’ll read that.

      Edit: I think about Rome all the time now. I was pleased in the OP that he brought it up.

      It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
    • bemildred (5083 posts)
      Profile photo of bemildred Donor

      4. Yeah, that's well put together.

      That is the kind of thing I want to figure out how to  prevent. A sort of political immune system that prevents misuse of the facilities, notices misbehavior and stops it. Our current arrangements are designed to be corrupted.

      It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
    • FanBoy (7985 posts)
      Profile photo of FanBoy

      12. I read the essay at your link.

      I followed it for a while and then got confused.  forgive the long winded explanation below, but I took the trouble because of genuine interest in what you were saying.

      Italics = Wikipedia text

      Underline = your comments

      Plain text = my understanding/questions

       

      anyway, I was following you until:

       

      …As the peasants, the townspeople and ordinary szlachta each lost their economic base, the magnate class had become the only social group capable of significant economic and political activity, which led to their more total domination of what was left of the Commonwealth politics….The masses of ordinary szlachta competed or tried to compete against the uppermost rank of their class, the magnates, for the duration of Poland’s independent existence.

      combined with your comment:

      This is the exact same process that has been going on as our “magnates” have destroyed the middle class over the last 35 years. And what were the social and political consequences?

      The fragmentation of szlachta deepened the decentralizing tendencies in the large state…The magnates established networks of szlachta supporters and national loyalty was being replaced with loyalty based on regional ties, as for the nobility the weak state institutions provided neither attractive career opportunities, nor sufficient protection. (Wikipedia)

      …the pressure on the non-magnate nobles induced the kind of ghost-dance purity that is often seen among marginalized groups – such as US small businessmen.

      I am interpreting what you wrote as paralleling modern “small business” to “non-magnate nobles”, but I’m not sure that’s what you meant, because it implies a growing divide.  Yet you segue back to the Wikipedia text:

      The prevalent ideology of the szlachta became “Sarmatism”  …This belief system was an important part of the szlachta’s culture, penetrating all aspects of its life. Sarmatism enshrined equality among szlachta….served to integrate the multi-ethnic nobility by creating an almost nationalistic sense of unity and of pride in the szlachta’s Golden Freedoms. In its early, idealistic form, Sarmatism represented a positive cultural movement: it supported religious belief, honesty, national pride, courage, equality and freedom…(wiki)

      and then back to the divide:

       Late extreme Sarmatism turned belief into bigotry, honesty into political naïveté, pride into arrogance, courage into stubbornness and freedom into anarchy. The faults of Sarmatism were blamed for the demise of the country from the late 18th century onwards… (wiki)

      which confused me — I lost the sense of the time sequence you were describing.

      and from there you seem to conflate a class based distinction between magnates and less nobles into a color based distinction in modern times:

      Belief into bigotry. Pride into arrogance. Freedom into anarchy. Chosen nation. No nonconformity. Just like then, white folk cling to their “noble” status, lionizing the magnates, even though the magnates continue to loot them.

       

      So my questions:

      1. what time period are you talking about in the us in parallel with the polish history?
      2. what is the significance or parallel with small businesspeople in the us, and why ‘ghost dance’?  I know what the ghost dance was in the us — just interested in how you see it being paralleled by small businesspeople here, and why “the kind of ghost-dance purity that is often seen among marginalized groups”?
      3. Why the segue from class to color and implicit equation of small business with whiteness?

       

      Thanks, appreciated the essay and just want to understand; not a combative request.

       

       

    • Two way street (2576 posts)
      Profile photo of Two way street Donor

      13. We need to get rid of the current electronic voting machines with software

      changing our decisions in elections.

      https://www.thenation.com/article/house-republicans-just-voted-to-eliminate-the-only-federal-agency-that-makes-sure-voting-machines-cant-be-hacked/

      https://www.datalounge.com/thread/12062504-retired-nsa-analyst-proves-gop-is-stealing-elections

      It may be too late to vote out the Nobility Party Candidates.  We have sat back and let it come to a point that Repubicans have voted to remove voting machine audits.

      Draft Bernie for a people's party becomes Draft Bernie for a people's single-payer party-Medicare for All.
  • Koko (4175 posts)
    Profile photo of Koko Donor

    3. Sounds interesting….

    but very fanciful given the complexity and interdependence of our whole society on goods and services that small communities can’t produce for themselves and the domination of globalization of our trade for goods and services,

    The only way this could work is if the whole system collapses under some tragic series of events and people have to learn to cooperate in foraging to try to make do with what they have left after the collapse.  There’s also the factor of declaring that no one should have too little or too much land.  Who would decide that portioning of land and some of the other idealistic policies he mentions?  It sounds like the “Back to the Earth” movement which has been successful for many individuals but no models for “Commons Communities” have seemed to come out of that movement.

    Anyway, this is just my simplistic quick reply to what seems a very idealistic prescription for the future.   We are definitely going to have to make some drastic changes in the coming years, though, given the Politicians we have elected who have F’d up for so long now and given us two of the worst candidates imaginable in a time when Climate Change has begun to affect us all and a Global One Percent rules the world.

    ,

    • bemildred (5083 posts)
      Profile photo of bemildred Donor

      5. There are a number of commons type communities on the record.

      The results are mixed, and it’s hard to do against the prevailing culture, but it’s usually the monkey politics that does them in, people can’t get along.

      The most durable cultures I am aware of are village cultures, small, self-sufficient, and stable. But you need a stable ecology for that. Ha ha.

      I don’t know what we will do now, I just know we won’t be where we are long, things are changing fast, like it or not. And I think what he calls “neo_kinship” is part of the answer, people belong in clans or tribes or something, we need other people, to be healthy and sane.

      Your comments are to the point, and I expect we will be talking about this for a while, what we might do INSTEAD of what we have now. The problem is what you point out, how to make sure everybody gets what they need, and nobody has too much, and everybody gets along, and nobody feels left out, and everybody gets a hearing.

      It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
      • Koko (4175 posts)
        Profile photo of Koko Donor

        6. This is the problem….

        people can “get along” in a group effort for awhile, but then things begin to break down as Arendt mentions in his Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth example.

        When I think of Groups banding together for Commonality it also brings to mind the dark side like the “KKKlan” and others who rise up in times of strife.  You can get the Good (Idealists) vs the Tribe Klan Groups who work for a Commonality that doesn’t do anything but divide,  The Good (Idealists) meeting up with a KKK Group will never be able to work together.

        Also I think of our Native Americans and Tribes and Clans since Time Began who managed to be self sustaining and getting along in cooperation even through difficulties for many centuries…Until their Invasion.  In recent times examples of Tribal Cultures who were Sustainable but who were invaded by our Conquerors of the New World and South America, Pacific Islands, etc. who were not able to survive in their Tribal Clan Sharing State when that onslaught of a New Culture was brought to them.

        Sadly, not even the best examples of Humans Working Together seem to manage to hold together and survive when faced with Other Cultures or Greed From Within manage to intervene.  It seems to be the way the World Works.

        IMHO: To be born in one of the “Good Times” in Culture is a Blessing….to be Born When the Culture Breaks Down is a Curse.   I think we are approaching being here in USA in the time of the of the Curse and won’t manage to make it to the Backlash where the Good Times come again.  But, that’s why we have to work hard for the Future as a Legacy for why we are here in this time!

        It’s  been so depressing lately with the state of the world that I drift off into thinking about What Was, What Could Have Been and What IS the Reality of Our Times.  It’s up to us.

         

        • bemildred (5083 posts)
          Profile photo of bemildred Donor

          7. Well, to be fair to us now, we've never been very good at it.

          Killing people and taking their stuff is popular all the way back. And strangers have always been fair game. At best you could rely on fair treatment with your “own people”. Ahrendt’s democracy was just for the nobles, so was ours, but we broadened it. And our “nobles” just fucking hate that, and are trying to get back to when they ran everything. Most of them are not very noble either.

          But I think we can deal with it organically, the monkey politics, build it into the structure of society. People are also very adaptable, But it’s a very different sort of society.  So the bootstrap problem, how to get there, which you mention, needs to be solved too, but first you need to figure  out where you want to go.

          It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
          • Koko (4175 posts)
            Profile photo of Koko Donor

            8. And, those choices are not often clear in Times of Strife

            as we live in now.  We can Dream of “Common’s Projects” but we’ve been doing this since Vietnam left it’s ugly stain and the Dot Com Bust of 2000 and Banking/Wall St. Crash of’08.  We can Dream of Sustainable Agriculture and Return of Family Farms, Bartering for Goods and Services and other Sustainable Environmental Actions that people like William Kuntzler have advocated positively about for years.

            Plus, lets look back on the Mighty Consumer Movement that Ralph Nader worked so hard to get out there that did for a couple of decades protect us from so many faulty Consumer products. He funded and encouraged Young Activists to join “Nader’s Raiders” which got some up and coming young people involved in the legal system with promoting good Consumer Protection Legislation passed at that time along with creating “Consumer Reports” that was a Bible for many of us at that time. This was of course until the 2000 Election where he was tarred as a Spoiler and the PTB in Corporate World couldn’t wait to discredit him and work to end his movement.

            Since then, the PTB have managed to dismantle and discredit both Nader and his Movement in the decade and a half since by using Character Assassinations and Legislation promoted by the Wall Street  Corporations, and so many others of their ilk, leaving USA Consumers who have been forced by loss of jobs, low wages, housing debt and low interest rates on savings to buy cheap, environmentally and corporately unregulated chemically toxic goods from China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and elsewhere where low wages, lack of environmental guidelines in production and worker’s substandard salary and little or non-existent health regulations reign.  The very same low quality exported goods that may have long term effects on their health (and those of us who purchase the goods in the USA) with toxic chemicals used but not monitored because they escape some new USA Regulatory Commerce Guidelines instituted to bypass safety regulations abroad and here at home.

            But, here we are today.  Some Dreams weren’t Practical and others need More Work for the Future.  It’s up to us still here observing and fighting….in maybe the waning times of our lives, to leave some kind of Legacy, a Pattern for the Future with our past experience as Elders to try to keep at it.

            As you say:

            Ahrendt’s democracy was just for the nobles, so was ours, but we broadened it. And our “nobles” just fucking hate that, and are trying to get back to when they ran everything. Most of them are not very noble either.

            But I think we can deal with it organically, the monkey politics, build it into the structure of society. People are also very adaptable, But it’s a very different sort of society.  So the bootstrap problem, how to get there, which you mention, needs to be solved too, but first you need to figure  out where you want to go.

             

  • FanBoy (7985 posts)
    Profile photo of FanBoy

    9. I'm not buying this because it seems to me that elites don't want to be the

    public face of government; they much prefer working from the shadows where they won’t take the fall if anything goes wrong.

    Even when elections didn’t cost a fortune, you rarely saw the super-rich leading the country, and they could certainly have afforded it.   Only in the early years of the republic, I think — e.g. I believe Washington was rather well-off, but he was also the guy who led the revolution.

    With trump you can kind of understand why he might want to be the boss.  1) he’s not as rich as all that and might like the access to $$ it gives him  2) he likes being the frontman

    But I don’t see this leading to a new age of really rich people being president.  I mean, no more than usual — by ordinary people’s standards, I believe they’ve all been pretty rich since at least carter.

    Plus: what are the advantages of dictatorship v. fake democracy?  Open dictatorship = no more ‘go along to get along’ for the average joe and an obvious target whenever anything goes wrong.

    I just don’t see how it benefits the ptb more than current arrangements,

    • bemildred (5083 posts)
      Profile photo of bemildred Donor

      10. They don't always get what they want.

      They prefer amiable puppets, but they’ve been up there more than once: Roosevelts, both of them for example, G.H.W. Bush for another. JFK was somewhat nouveau riche when he won, like Trump, and a pretty good orator like Obama. In the beginning you had to be rich to vote. You are right that it is unusual for a guy like Tillerson to be up there, but I think he had to, he’s there to protect Trump, like the generals. TPTB are more like a collection of whiney, bickering socialites than an evil cabal, most of them, they just buy things. Half-smart crooks and dilettantes with a lot of hired help.

      Trump is not the first rich insurgent, he is the first to do it with no help from either of the Major parties, against the active opposition of both major parties (which are esentially private clubs) and the MSM. He took over the Republican party, something I’ve wanted to do to the Democratic Party since I realized how they sandbagged Carter. That means the parties are no longer the doorkeepers they once were, and it means we could take over a party too, we just need enough money, and Bernie among others has shown us how to raise money.

      It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
      • FanBoy (7985 posts)
        Profile photo of FanBoy

        11. you may be right; i've often speculated about fdr's 'real' position

      • Koko (4175 posts)
        Profile photo of Koko Donor

        14. Yes….Bernie showed us that and

        I think that many in the Establishment have discounted it or are very afraid of it.  While the Hillary Camp blames Russia for “Hacking” their “win of the election” it covers up what Bernie achieved with individual donors and that he got so far that the AP had to call CA for Hillary the day before the CA vote.  That was a big Tell about the fear they must have had for Bernie winning enough votes in CA that even with her sown up Super Delegates there would be questions that would have been uncomfortable for the Clinton Campaign.  With the Trump win…all they’ve got is Russia.  Pitiful if it wasn’t so bad for the country that they gave us Trump.

        Your pointing out his election funding is important,  because it showed if you have a Twitter account and are a bombast with an entertainment media presence you can get elected without Citizen’s United.  I really hope there’s a way to get rid of CU, though,  It opened another door for corruption and we have had enough of it by now in the Down Races to know it has to be gotten rid of for the future health of the country.

         

        • bemildred (5083 posts)
          Profile photo of bemildred Donor

          15. How to Run a Rogue Government Twitter Account With an Anonymous Email Address an

          One of the first things Donald Trump did when he took office was temporarily gag several federal agencies, forbidding them from tweeting.

          In response, self-described government workers created a wave of rogue Twitter accounts that share real facts (not to be confused with “alternative facts,” otherwise known as “lies”) about climate change and science. As a rule, the people running these accounts chose to remain anonymous, fearing retaliation — but, depending on how they created and use their accounts, they are not necessarily anonymous to Twitter itself, or to anyone Twitter shares data with.

          Anonymous speech is firmly protected by the First Amendment and the Supreme Court, and its history in the U.S. dates to the Federalist Papers, written in 1787 and 1788 under the pseudonym Publius by three of the founding fathers.

          But the technical ability for people to remain anonymous on today’s internet, where every scrap of data is meticulously tracked, is an entirely different issue. The FBI, a domestic intelligence agency that claims the power to spy on anyone based on suspicions that don’t come close to probable cause, has a long, dark history of violating the rights of Americans. And now it reports directly to President Trump, who is a petty, revenge-obsessed authoritarian with utter disrespect for the courts and the rule of law.

          https://theintercept.com/2017/02/20/how-to-run-a-rogue-government-twitter-account-with-an-anonymous-email-address-and-a-burner-phone/

          It’s easy, anybody can  do it. Trump did it.

          :-)

          It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
  • rampart (110 posts)
    Profile photo of rampart

    16. how long until they start issuing titles of nobility?

    our corporate feudalism is obviously hereditary.

    will ivanka be the heir or is one of the boys on tap?

    one joke on the constitutional convention supporters will be when the 22nd amendment will not find a way into the new document.