If we’re going to have a corrupt political system — and we are, since no political system anywhere will ever be more honest than the people it governs — we might as well have one that produces leaders more capable than the airbrushed marionettes who infest the American political scene these days. (Never going to happen-Washington is a magnet for the corrupt and the inept, most of them all controlled by powers far removed from the citizenry and the common proleteriates–and that is what most of us have become in this former democratic republic)
==Decline and Fall: The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America (John Michael Greer)
The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith described what he called ‘the stationary state’: the condition of a formerly wealthy country that had ceased to grow. What were the characteristics of this state? Significantly, Smith singled out its socially regressive character. First, wages for the majority of people were miserably low: Though the wealth of a country should be very great, yet if it has been long stationary, we must not expect to find the wages of labour very high in it . . . It is in the progressive state, while the society is advancing to the further acquisition, rather than when it has acquired its full complement of riches, that the condition of the labouring poor, of the great body of the people, seems to be the happiest and the most comfortable.
It is hard in the stationary, and miserable in the declining state. The progressive state is in reality the cheerful and the hearty state to all the different orders of the society. The stationary is dull; the declining melancholy. The second hallmark of the stationary state was the ability of a corrupt and monopolistic elite to exploit the system of law and administration to their own advantage: In a country too, where, though the rich or the owners of large capitals enjoy a good deal of security, the poor or the owners of small capitals enjoy scarce any, but are liable, under the pretence of justice, to be pillaged and plundered
==The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die (Niall Ferguson)
If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
Shall not be wink’d at, how shall we stretch our eye
When capital crimes, chew’d, swallow’d and digested,
Appear before us?
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, an Obama appointee, should have pondered King Henry’s advice before he demanded jail time for conservative author Dinesh D’Souza. Campaign finance laws that do not apply to everybody should apply to nobody, while laws that apply to some must apply to all. D’Souza’s felony conviction makes it necessary to bring up Barack Obama’s own participation in equally illegal fundraising practices during his 2007 and 2008 campaigns.