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I have a different take - or maybe am looking at a different facet of where we are and how we got there.

This is going to require me to unleash my inner snob.....

First, I think we always have had an elected monarchy of a sort. However, there was a huge qualitative difference between what was and what is.

What was; a group of well educated WASPs in Congress and a well educated WASP as POTUS. They were all members of the same club and they saw things pretty much the same. They didn't enter public service to gain power because they already had it. The bureaucracy of the federal government was also populated in the lead positions by members of the club.

These men (b/c they used to be almost exclusively men) truly believed in a duty to their country. They saw it as their responsibility as the cream of the crop. Many had been through the military academies or had been commissioned after completion of an Ivy League program. They served in uniform, then went into business with family or other club members and then moved into public leadership. Of course, exceptions can be noted easily, but what I describe was common, if not the norm.

What we have today is a mishmash of rift-raft entering the public domain as a means to gain wealth and power because they are not members of the club and because pop culture and a new cultural emphasis on egalitarian values has opened the venue. These are the low bred river boat gambler types, the car salesman types, the prospector types. They came of age during or after the 1960s; a time when belief in the country and service to it was replaced by cynicism and egotism.

Mob rule (true democracy without the republic filter layer of the WASPs) combined with mass marketing. Now it is more important to the voting public that Hilary Clinton could be the first woman POTUS than her record and her platform. Even examining her platform (or Obama's for that matter) we see emptiness where important matters are concerned and much promise of government imposed social change in the areas that appeal to the worst instincts of the mob.

The old WASPs knew better. They didn't serve raw meat to the masses because they knew the masses didn't have the background or innate ability to make wise and responsible decisions. And it would be beneath the WASPs to go there.

So now we have a bunch of shallow power hungry rabble in Congress, in the federal bureaucracy and in the white house. Not having the proper background, not being members of the same old money club, not being truly interested in service, they fight incessantly and are unable to lead the country coherently. It seems natural that POTUS, also of the same ilk, would seize the opportunity to create a unitary and more powerful executive branch.

In sum, with the 1960s came the idea that everyone is equal, that this is a pure democracy and that a saleable image is more important that substance. The WASPs were replaced by power hungry, but otherwise common, individuals more representative of the general populace - and this was a bad thing.

Furthermore, socialists and their ideals of the 1960s took over the education system and their notions and re-writes of history now permeate the minds of the most recent two generations. Most young people of voting age cannot tell you what the Constitution says, they can't even identify the states of this country on a map;let alone point to places like Syria or the Ukraine. Yet they vote. The liberal socialists created this educational poverty on purpose to aid their grab for power with the support of the ignorant masses.

All of the above combined with an earlier demographic change that saw urban populations increasing and rural populations decreasing. The urban/rural breakout is one of the most important in understanding the stalemates in Congress that lead to executive being issued.

So, yes, it is a mess. BTW,I suspect that if the country is going to catastrophically fracture, it will be along the rural/urban fault lines and it will be over the 1A, the 2A, religion and immigration.

Common people need to be ruled. It's nice that they get a say in the rulers' decision making process. However, when they become the rulers, we have a problem.

Michael,

I would not go gentle into that good night. Men are fundamentally neither good nor evil and our founders understood man's predispoistion for bad action and the production by society of bad actors. Our latest version of the presidency is one that has indicated great inclination for imperiousness and bad actions. We need the other branches of government, i.e., checks an balances, to reign in the bad actors we occsaionally elect.

Michael,

I am not so very much opposed to what you have written except for one significant: I don't think the president has all that much power outside of his role as Commander in Chief. I don't think Bush shredded the Constitution, but he was able to do a lot of stupid stuff militarily. I really don't see Obama as having done that much, either for good or ill. The two big things that spring to mind are the withdrawal from Iraq and the Affordable Care Act (the latter of which required Congress's approval, of course).

I agree about the huge unaccountable bureaucracy. I also agree that we are no longer a Republic. More like an oligarchy that is not actually run by the oligarchs but somehow or another run mostly for a variety of vested interests. I'm not particularly happy with the status quo, and I think the number of Americans who are, whether on the Right or Left, is vanishingly small.

If you're happy with a return to a sort of monarchy (a banking oligarchy really), and a betrayal by stealth of your fine constitution, then you'd also best be happy to accept the new feudalism that is arriving fully formed alongside your new set up.

It will go like this: a small number of people will own everyone else, who will be debt slaves with limited social mobility, kept firmly in place by an increasingly militarised police force, and kept ignorant through a mendacious media and fairly useless education system, then occasionally exhorted through brutish propaganda and outright lies to lay down their lives in wars for control over the world's dwindling resources.

Hey, maybe it's here already.

Could you please explain to a foreigner (me!) what the acronyms WASP and POTUS stand for?

no one: What you say has a lot of merit, IMHO.

I think that a government is no better or worse than the people that it governs. That is, governments reflect the mores, education, interests and energies of the majority electorate. Once a poorly-educated, frivolous, amoral, immoral, and entitled group of people becomes the majority, then all is lost. It is an erroneous belief to think that the success or failure of a government is the result of the actions of one man or woman in the presidency. No, failure of a government is the end result of a populace gone awry. - AOD

"No, failure of a government is the end result of a populace gone awry."

Exactly.

The government consumes 1/3 of US GDP in the form of taxes.

Smithy, POTUS = President of the United States. WASP = white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

A short article on the WASP leadership:

http://spectator.org/articles/34941/missing-wasps

This sounds like Fukuyama's "End of History" tripe all over again. Sure, it looks like the pseudo-republic is doing fine, if you ignore $18 trillion in debt; $250 trillion in unfunded liabilities per GAAP and the CBO; and $1.5 QUADRILLION in outstanding derivatives losses that nobody has gotten around to eating just yet. But when China stops vendor financing America's bad habits - and the establishment of the AAIB is a huuuuuuuuuge step in that direction - clowns like Garbarino are in for a rude awakening about the true status of the tattered shreds of American civilization.

interesting post. I think Rome is the wrong historical analogy. From a political economy perspective Venice is a much closer parallel I think. I think we have been for most of our history a mostly oligarchic republic and we in the process of it evolving into one in which a limited number of corporations and wealthy families control federal office holding. Some kind of ossification of what we have been. BTW The history of Venice is a fantastic read. 1000 years of stable government. I strongly recommend John Julius Norwich's A History of Venice.

"Shine, perishing republic."

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/12/the-obama-climate-monarchy/
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To Smithy: WASP = White Anglo-Saxon Protestant; POTUS = President Of The US

Smithy, WASP = white Anglo-Saxon Protestant
POTUS - President of the United States

I think what no one and Spanky wrote have a lot of merit. Yes, we're increasingly seeing the riff-raff type in Congress, and we're increasingly ruled by a banking oligarchy. Upward mobility right now is actually less than that in many socialist Western Europe countries.

To me at least, I'm reminded of a Western European feudal society. There's the monarch and the aristocracy who make all decisions. The little people have little say. Poll after poll shows that those in charge today do the opposite of what the majority want (for instance, the constant desire of elites to do away with or curtail Social Security. No matter in your opinion on Social Security, the majority want it left alone.)

As in feudal society, the monarch gets replaced, usually on a regular basis. The new monarch brings in a new crew of elites. If you're lucky and brilliant enough as a Thomas Cromwell, you just might make it to the top, but it's hardly likely.

Overall, the culture has become very coarse, and unless you're in the elite, you tend to be ignorant and not care much either, which is probably by design. Not a good recipe for democracy.

I think a reading of Kunstler or Dimitri Orlov ( cluborlov) will give a clearer indication of where the USA is now and where your heading .

Michael, thought you'd want to see Sudduth's recent comments on Carter:

http://michaelsudduth.com/chris-carters-challenge-survival-vs-super-psi/

Eventually we will graduate into free humans, self sovereign, response able, compassionate, respecting all.

When any of these history choots do not mention money, they miss the mark....when the dollar loses its reserve status...goodbye superpower status no more paper for property/goods.

btw I do not subscribe to the notion of the holy constitution Thomas Paine was against it for good reason, and the antifederalists predicted the monstrosity that is the current federal gov with relative accuracy were the sacred constitution passed.../sarc off

YMMV

http://www.thetruthaboutthelaw.com


Interesting and thought-provoking comments from everyone! Here are a few of my reactions.

"What we have today is a mishmash of rift-raft entering the public domain as a means to gain wealth and power because they are not members of the club and because pop culture and a new cultural emphasis on egalitarian values has opened the venue." - no one

I agree that the culture has coarsened, but I'm not sure the phenomenon of riffraff in places of high power is anything new. Look at Andrew Jackson, for instance. He was despised for opening the White House to riffraff – on Inauguration Day, he let the public at large into the White House and they proceeded to trash it in a drunken frenzy – but today he's on the $20 bill. (At least I think it's the 20; I don't feel like checking right now.)

"I really don't see Obama as having done that much, either for good or ill. The two big things that spring to mind are the withdrawal from Iraq and the Affordable Care Act." - Matt Rouge

Another example of Obama's overreach is his attempt to negotiate an arms control deal with Iran as a "sole executive agreement," rather than as a treaty, so that he could avoid the necessity of Senate ratification. And then there's his executive order – or actually, an executive memo, not even formalized as an executive order – legalizing millions of illegal aliens with the stroke of a pen. He has also been slapped down by the courts several times for executive orders that exceeded his authority. And he has repeatedly amended and rewritten Obamacare by executive fiat because the original legislation proved impractical. And the EPA, under his authority, has pushed to make carbon dioxide a pollutant and to shut down coal-fired plants, etc. But all of this is consistent with the idea of an elective monarchy, even though it is anathema to those who still uphold the standard of a constrained executive branch and a constitutional republic.

"... a small number of people will own everyone else, who will be debt slaves with limited social mobility, kept firmly in place by an increasingly militarised police force, and kept ignorant through a mendacious media and fairly useless education system." - spanky

In my more pessimistic moments, I see the future this way. But I doubt it will really play out like that. The most dystopian forecasts usually turn out to be incorrect. Take a look at the movie Soylent Green, which tried to predict America's future circa 2022. It's a good movie, featuring Edward G. Robinson's final screen performance (made even more moving when you realize that he knew he was dying), but it's in no way accurate. We're not that far away from 2022 now, and whatever our problems, we have a considerably higher standard of living than Charlton Heston & co. enjoyed in that film.

"Sure, it looks like the pseudo-republic is doing fine, if you ignore $18 trillion in debt; $250 trillion in unfunded liabilities per GAAP and the CBO; and $1.5 QUADRILLION in outstanding derivatives losses that nobody has gotten around to eating just yet." - Dammerung

$1.5 quadrillion? I don't know where you got that figure. I doubt there's $1.5 quadrillion of wealth on the entire planet. (A quadrillion is 1000 trillion.)

"I strongly recommend John Julius Norwich's A History of Venice." - RHC

I'm not familiar with the history of Venice, but if I get the chance, I'll look into it. Venice is pretty interesting.

History of Venice is a fantastic read. You could take the highlights and change the settings to a galactic empire and in the hands of a good writer have a killer series of Science Fiction books. Read Norris, you will thank me. :) Better yet go there, hole up in tiny apt for 2 weeks and read it, as I did. A peak life experience.

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