Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Downton Abbey for Everybody

Downton Abbey; a glimpse of Britain's past ... and America's future.

According to the BBC this morning, you're better off being middle class in Canada now than in the USA.

As the USA makes the transition from democracy to oligarchy, we enjoy less real liberty and social mobility now than the formerly rigidly stratified societies of Europe.  If we can still do or say whatever we want, it's only because it doesn't matter.

The right complains about the USA looking like Europe these days, and they're right.  The USA does look like Europe, only it's the Europe of 100 years ago on the eve of WWI when very small ruling classes owned and ran everything for their own benefit.  Soon, our own Genius Overlords will find a way to save us all the bother of voting.

Speaking of transitions to oligarchy, Paul Krugman's discussions of Thomas Pinketty's much talked about new book are very much worth reading here and here.


There's a subway ad in New York that says "The French Aristocracy didn't see it coming either."
Maybe so, but I'm afraid that when the uprising finally happens, people will turn on each other and not on the people running the whole show.  Ours is a very easily divided -- and ruled -- people.


As Paul Krugman points out often, race is the Rosetta Stone of American politics.  So much that appears so strange and contradictory in our politics can be explained by race.

Ta-Nehisi Coates asks what would be different about the Nevada stand-off if Cliven Bundy was Black.  Here is his very instructive take on Bundy and on federal, state, and local governments seizing land.

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