What is our political system?

In a December 7 Substack podcast, Richard Spencer says: “People who are enraged against the current system, those people who will bring it down, whether it is January 6 or Yeism or the aggressive stupidity on Tucker Carlson… These people who feel that the world is beyond their control and they rage against it from a lower status.”

In a video released November 30, Eric Alterman at 16:40 tells Robert Wright that the United States is not a democracy but an oligopoly.

I find this analysis shallow. The United States is an oligopoly, and a democracy, and the country also contains dictatorship (the president has the foreign policy powers of King George III), socialism, capitalism, and many other things.

What strikes me as more likely than a revolution is that the relative value of these components of America changes so that the country becomes more or less democratic, elitist, socialist, dictatorial, capitalist, etc.

And what will cause these changes? Events, dear boy, events. When the situation changes, the state will have to change. To survive a nuclear war, for example, Dwight Eisenhower said America will have to become a dictatorship. To get through Covid, most democratic states curtailed basic rights. To get through its war with Russia, Ukraine has curtailed rights.

Israel is sometimes called an apartheid state. There are elements of Israel’s reign over parts of the West Bank that does recall apartheid while life in Israel proper is generally far away from apartheid.

Am I an honest person? In some situations, I am honest, and in some situations, I am dishonest.

Am I a righteous person? In some situations, I act righteously and in other situations, I don’t.

Everything we stand for is contingent. I stand for free speech, but in a time of war, I understand the need for some censorship. I stand for the free practice of religion, but in the case of dangerous contagion, I understand there might be a case for restricting attendance at religious services. I believe in God, but I understand that for many people, belief in God is impossible and they are better served by a different worldview. For other people, believing in God makes them worse. For other people, such as myself, we believe in God, but we sometimes need different words for God such as “reality” to keep God real. If you, like me, get tired of hearing you need a relationship with God, you might benefit from developing a positive relationship with reality.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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