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25 February 2013


Ben Emery

I would substitute your description of Individual Liberty and self-reliance to corporate control.

There is nothing stable about freedom and liberty within a society.

Here is where you and yours fail to understand. Without a government setting the rules of society and markets those few with the most money/ wealth oppress the rest of the people. It has been proven over and over and over again. That is why a democratic republic is the best form of government up until this point in history. The question becomes who do we want controlling our government and the rules; We The People or Accumulated Wealth. You tend to side with Accumulated Wealth under the false idea that wealth equals high intelligence, innovation, good work ethics, and among other false attributes. Generally throughout history wealth accumulation has been based on tyranny, theft, who a person knows, and lineage.

The control of the market place graph should be much simpler. Lets face it what we are arguing about is what type of society and culture do we want to set up as a nation. One where government represents the interests of the people and regulates the markets in their favor or a government that represents the will of market place and corporate interests. We are debating the size and scope of government intervention in the market place. Being against the minimum wage isn't about the minimum wage it is about government mandating onto business what they have to pay.

A rectangle with a line from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner. Under the line is Government power and over the line is Corporate/ business power. The further we go left the more Government powers comes into play. The further we go left the more Corporate powers come into play.

Bill Tozer

Ben, it is true there is a reason we have stop signs. It is for the common safety of the general population and are needed for health and safety concerns as well as to stop the hazardous ones. (Pun intended).

What gets your goat more than anything is that more and more money is going into the pockets of a few. Somehow this imbalance must be stopped and the wealthy must be punished. Its not fair, or you think the outcome is not fair. Wish I had a dollar for every time someone thinks opportunity is the same as outcome.

The former Soviet Union tried that. Everybody had a job and a doctor made the same as the high risk truck driver in Siberia. Every body except the party politicians driving around in Mercedes and living in country estates seized from the former evil capitalists.

The Commie bastards even went so far as to control production and distribution in the name of Utopia. Tons upon tons of wheat rotted on the docks while lines a block long were seen in the early mornings at Moscow bakeries as people endured harsh conditions to buy a loaf of bread before they were gone for the day.

The Soviets had one factory for men's underwear and one factory for womens underwear. Each produced the exact amount. The outcome was there were tons of unsold mens underwear piled in warehouses and a constant shortage of womens underwear. Why? Because women buy 5x as much underwear as men do...I know I don't feel the need to replace my tattered underwear, but the women folks see things differently. That is outcome. You want it, you may get it. Dumbing down, everybody sitting together on the pity pot.

Obama's obsession with punishing the rich continues. Just 6 weeks ago he got his 600 billion tax increase on the wealthy (over 10 years per government speak). Now he wants more. A lot more. Cut the loopholes, cut this and that deduction, bring them down to your level.

What you really propose is chained heat. Please forgive me for straying off the topic at hand.

George Rebane

re BillT's 131pm - the communists (and others of their ilk) could never see the economic benefit in two trucks each loaded full of new shoes passing each other on the road headed in opposite directions.

BenE's 1256pm - without commenting on what continues to be a total disconnect in our worldviews, I would point out that a rapacious corporate/government state cannot long exist if it seeks to pauper its customer base. And when the relationship between government and corporations becomes so intimate that such paupering is possible, then we have the functional equivalent of a completely controlled collective government, no matter how the corporate stock certificates are printed up. In any case, such a future portends migration to the left and NOT the right in the diagram and arguments presented above. That 'progress' is anathema to all conservetarians.

Joe Koyote

"Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be labeled as "extremists". Didn't Bill Clinton hand a surplus budget to Duhbya? Does that make Bill an extremist? Greenspan did label Ole Bill the greatest Republican President of modern times. I would disagree. The more I learn, the more I am beginning to think that the greatest man of the 20th century was Dwight Eisenhower.

Barry Pruett

George: Do you know why I like reading your blog? I learn something almost everytime. Be it for you, or Ben, or someone else. I am going to read this article again more slowly and comment in detail. Just a couple of days ago, I was thinking of the "line" we were taught in college, as more of a circle where the points of communism and fascism met...

Brad Croul

I would say that, in the bottom graph, Terra Incognita could be eliminated. I think "a government" has to be, at least, semi-stable to continue. At the semi-stable-to-zero government side of the spectrum we would see places like Somalia, Afghanistan, Ruanda, Mali, controlled by the barrels of guns, wielded by warlords, druglords, religious ideologues; and bribery, graft corruption, etc.

Alternatively, the graph could show layers running below the surface of the various forms of governance to indicate that bribery, druglords, religious extremists, etc. exist concurrently with our existing governments of choice.

Add a heading above "Level of Government Control" entitled "Individual Weaponry Ownership". That curve would mirror the Government Control curve, but in the opposite direction. In a Totalitarian government, the government controls the weaponry. In the Anarchist, Wild West, everyone has a gun (or, at least, the men do).

George Rebane

BarryP 714am - Thank you for the good words. I contemplated circling the plane of 'governance types' to almost meet at the two described versions of anarchy. But that would have made the graphic to complex, and absent any citations for such an ending to communism, the collectivist anarchy of Marx remains a hopeless/ful myth, depending on your orientation. We look forward to your comment.

BradC 733am - A graphic can only hold so much information before it becomes an unrecognizable blizzard. Your add-ons are contained in the multi-dimensional plane of governance types and their attendant characteristics.

However, terra incognita can only be eliminated by specific designs and successful experimentation - today it exists as shown. The challenge of terra incognita is to design a form of governance that permits even more individual liberties while promoting enterprise that is both benevolent and beneficent to mankind. Your assigning the countries mentioned to the region between democratic republic and anarchy misses an important feature of the graphic, and the governance semantic that I am trying to convey. The cited examples examples indicate no-brainer versions of tribalism and near-anarchy that have provided neither individual liberties or beneficient enterprise. In the diagram, these countries need to be split between the extreme left and right parts of the plane depending on how much control the (say, tribal) governments inflict on the individual.

Barry Pruett

Analogy. Politics is like a football field. People as chattel of the state on the left endzone and people with complete on fettered freedom on the right endzone. Until greed (taking advantage of the working class - a la Ben's argument) and jealously (class envy as promoted by our president) are removed from each and every person's psyche, neither endzone is desirable or advantageous. For this reason, I think all of us seek a balanced approach. The American public are used to the ball being "between the 40's." The great myth is that facsism is closer to the right endzone when in fact fascism is a leftwing ideology which is all about authoritarian rule which again leads to a stable yet under performing system. Today, our government pushes the ball closer and closer to the left endzone. As the ball is moved to the left, we see a more under performing system which leads to higher unemployment and decreasing productivity - or as Obama calls it - "the new normal."

An interesting insight into communism and the Russian mind set. In the USA if your neighbor remodels his home in a way that makes is home more appealing, the other neighbor is likely to think that they should do the same thing thus making both homes better. In Russia, the remodeler is viewed as "not modest" and should be made to keep his house like everyone else's thus leading to a lack of progress.

An amoral society (greedy or jealous as the case may be) eventually leads to one extreme or the other. Therefore, our system of government is a product of our collective psyche.

Account Deleted

re Ben E at 12:56 - "Without a government setting the rules of society and markets those few with the most money/ wealth oppress the rest of the people."
That would be anarchy, Ben. The conservatives here have never advocated that. We have always stated quite clearly the need for govt standards for weights and measures, truth in advertising, and contract law enforcement.
"You tend to side with Accumulated Wealth under the false idea that wealth equals high intelligence, innovation, good work ethics, and among other false attributes."
There are lots of ways for a person to accumulate wealth in this country. Conservatives applaud hard work and thrift. We have railed against cronyism.
I would love to see some proof that conservatives believe " wealth equals high intelligence". And please let us know what is wrong with hard work and industry. If there are crooks, then present your proof. Stop slandering hard working folks wholesale because they have money.
"Being against the minimum wage isn't about the minimum wage it is about government mandating onto business what they have to pay."
Well, duh - the govt has no business whatever having any say as to the financial agreements between two parties, as long as it doesn't involve criminal activity.
"One where government represents the interests of the people and regulates the markets in their favor."
That statement is typical left-wing pap. It sadly is seen as the gospel truth by the left, but it's really just a meaningless bunch of words. Just who are "the people"? If you would care to open your eyes and look around, "the people" don't seem to have one unified idea of what their interests are. The interests of businesses and corporations and the govt and the citizens are all one in the same as far as I'm concerned. You are free to believe otherwise, but it's nonsense to think there is one true way for the "people" and another for business. They are not in opposition.


Collective/control/elitists/central planners/hate/evil VERSUS individual/liberty/freedom/choice/love/good

Ian Random

re Ben "Without a government setting the rules of society and markets those few with the most money/ wealth oppress the rest of the people."

Hello, government is required in some step to do the oppressing. How does Walmart oppress me? They have to offer me incentives to shop there like being open 24 hours for odd shifts like me. Team it up with a government that says I only can buy from them and you get it. That is such a worthless statement, because the monopoly of force is granted to government.

The biggest change I see, is the entrenched corporations and people, teaming up with the left and unscientific environmentalism. Look at GE, Barffet(Buffet) and Obama. I want my chu-chu trains to haul oil and not have to compete with a pipeline, bingo Buffet and Obama with opposition to the Keystone. Through in a few environmentalists for good measure. Coal is too cheap might actually allow steel to be profitable, let's push intermittent wind. You got Obama and GE.

The thing that bothers me the most, is smart planning by moronic architecture majors. Cheap land for homes and businesses, bad thing for existing ones. So environmentalists push preserving unprofitable farmland, artificial suppressed supply and no one can afford a home. Through in an obsession with dry swampland, so no one can build anything. Now you can shoehorn people into narrow expensive hovels next to Costco like in Eugene, Oregon. I saw someone build 2 houses in their front yard in Beaverton, Oregon.


George, conservative-resources.com seems offline, and if that top graphic is any indication of its quality, good riddance. Fascism at the far right is only one of a number of howlers, the main one being Libertarians to the right of conservatives, and a dishonorable mention of the equating of conservatism to classic liberalism. Madness.

While it does have the charm of apparently being original, I'm afraid your replacement doesn't have much value compared to the Nolan Chart and its variations.

A classic Nolan chart:

A competing version:

George Rebane

Gregory 220pm - Yes, we all did the Nolan Chart dance on RR already some years ago.

And I'm sorry that I wasn't able to communicate to you the other dimensions of governance (i.e. stability, endpoints points of migration, a unifying attribute for labels, and the unexplored areas) that the second graphic captures but are not addressed by the Nolan chart. Additionally, the Nolan chart has some gross errors in its conception and design. For example one has to be a complete naif to believe that Left Liberals are proponents of maximum 'Personal Freedoms'. These are people who maximize government control of behaviors at every turn; their work product is visible all around us. And I have yet to be introduced to any self-avowed conservatives who want to minimize personal freedoms. In short the chart's dimensions are misattributed.


I'm sorry you so misunderstand the Nolan Chart, George... Those on the left guilty of the coersive behaviors you correctly dismiss aren't on the far left of the 'diamond' tilted chart, and would be mapped either near or even in the authoritarian quadrant. Plus, I've met a number of evangelical conservatives in the past who do believe everyone should have the right to live exactly like they do. And only that way.

As far as "stability, endpoints points of migration, a unifying attribute for labels, and the unexplored areas", I caught what you were trying to do but didn't think it effective, accurate or particularly usable.

Regarding Stability, it must be a usage of the word of which I was previously unaware. I don't know of any stable totalitarian states, especially when compared to, say Switzerland, which has been fairly stable for something like eight centuries.

I look forward to news of your conceptual framework being used by anyone outside your blog.

Bill Tozer

The famous economist Karl Marx believed that class warfare would eventually result in a classless, nation less world. One of which society would be broken down to small autonomous groups after the State stopped crushing its own. Maybe he was a liberation at heart, as in don't touch me or my stuff. Or maybe he was of the tribal mentality.

The world famous economist Karl Marx knew that the ruling class had to punished with excessive taxes and property confiscation as well as the State controlling all production and distribution until the State became unnecessary and pure, unadulterated communism followed. Hard to find many examples of true Communism since so many of enlightened ones worship the State relentlessly. Hard to let it go I suppose. Would turn the State worshipers' world upside down. Me thinks Marx was a good historian, but a bad judge of human nature and its weaknesses. He was just an optimist when it came to the human condition. Do like the idea of autonomous groups superseding The State and central control. Reminds me of something...oh yeah, the Constitution.

George Rebane

Gregory 503pm - you misunderstand the dimensions of the 'types of governance' manifold. Totalitariansim as a type of governance is very stable as any student of history will tell. The governments of that type of governance may change and have changed often and catastrophically, but the type of governance itself does not. I am not talking about "states" here; I hope this helps.

I hold no great hope for such graphs being broadly understood - I know of none that are as the widely misunderstood Nolan graph illustrates. Nevertheless, the historians, social philosophers, and political scientists with whom I've had the pleasure of speaking understand it perfectly, no matter how differently they each may judge the utility (i.e. benefit to society) of the various forms of governance cited. All I wanted to do here is to explicate to the reader my own, hopefully cohesive, structure of governance when I talk about issues like collectivism, individual liberties, government control, and the location of the various 'isms' in the framework. Batting a thousand in comprehension was never my dream.

BTW, your "evangelical conservatives" are an aberration and a prime reason why my graphic did not cite 'liberals' and 'conservatives' but focused on the level of government control. Your acquaintances are merely misunderstood authoritarians who have no notion of individual freedoms.


"Totalitariansim as a type of governance is very stable as any student of history will tell"

As a onetime student of history (my minor), I disagree. A citation of a totalitarian state with the same stability as the Swiss confederation would be extremely persuasive.

George Rebane

Gregory 605pm -


Ancient Egypt - (3150 BC - 30 BC)
Kingdom of Kerma - (2500 BC - 1520 BC)
Carthage - (1215 BC - 146 BC)
Kingdom of Kush - (1070 BC – 350 CE)
Kingdom of D'mt - (c. 700 BC - c. 400 BC)
Ptolemaic Kingdom - (305 BC – 30 BC)
Kingdom of Numidia - (202 BC - 46 BC)
Kingdom of Makuria - (350 - 1276, 1286–1317)
Makurian Kingdom - (5th century – 1517)
Kingdom of Nekor - (710 – 1019)
Kingdom of Nri - (1043 - 1911)
Kingdom of Sine - (1100 - 1969)
Mankessim Kingdom - (1252–1873)
Kingdom of Makuria - (350 - 1276, 1286 - 1317)
Kingdom of Kaffa - (c.1390–1897)
Kingdom of Kongo - (1395–1914)
Kingdom of Mutapa - (c. 1450–1698)
Kingdom of Fez - (1472–1554)
Kingdom of Loango - (15th century - 19th century)
Kasanze Kingdom - (c. 1500-1648)
Kingdom of Koya - (1505-1896)
Denanke Kingdom - (1514–1776)
Kingdom of Baguirmi - (1522-1897)
Kingdom of Matamba - (1530 - 19th century)
Cayor Kingdom - (1549 - 1879)
Kingdom of Luba - (1585-1889)
Dendi Kingdom - (1591–1901)
Igala Kingdom - (16th century - 1901)
Kasanje Kingdom - (1620–1910)
Kuba Kingdom - (1625–1900)
Ouaddai Kingdom - (1635–1912)
Kénédougou Kingdom - (c. 1650-1898)
Yeke Kingdom - (c. 1856 - 1891)
Kingdom of Libya - (1951–1969)


Kingdom of Kish - (c. 2900 BC - 2296 BC)
Van Lang - (2879 BC - 258 BC)
Kingdom of Uruk - (c. 2600 BC - 2048 BC)
Kingdom of Ur - (c. 2500 BC - 1940 BC)
Kingdom of Lagash - (c. 2500 BC - 2046 BC}
Gojoseon Kingdom - (2333 BC - 108 BC)
The Chinese Dynasties - (2070 BC - 1912 CE)
Amorite Kingdom - (c. 2000 BC - 1595 BC)
Kingdom of Assyria - (c. 2000 BC - 605 BC)
Kingdom of Larsa - (1961 BC - 1674 BC)
Babylonia (1830 BC - 732 BC)
Mitanni Kingdom - (c. 1500 BC - c. 1300 BC)
Kingdom of Arzawa - (c. 1500 BC - c. 1200 BC)
Kingdom of Phrygia - (c. 1200 BC - 696 BC)
Phoenicia - (1200 BC - 539 BC)
Kingdom of Lydia - (c. 1200 BC - 546 BC)
Philistia - (1175 BC - 732 BC)
Sabaean Kingdom - (c. 1100 BC - 275 CE)
United Kingdom of Israel and Judah - (1030 BC – 931 BC)
Kingdom of Ammon - (c. 1000 BC - 332 BC)
Kingdom of Israel - (930 BC – 720 BC)
Kingdom of Judah - (930 BC – 586 BC)
Kingdom of Edom - (c. 900 BC - c. 600 BC)
Kingdom of Urartu - (858 BC – 585 BC)
Orintid Armenian Kingdom - (c. 600 BC - 335 BC)
Bosporan Kingdom - (c. 600 BC - 443 CE)
Pandyan Kingdom - (c. 600 BC - 1345 CE)
Scythia - (c. 600 BC - c. 100 BC)
Kingdom of Tambapanni - (543 BC - 505 BC)
Kingdom of Upatissa Nuwara - (505 BC - 377 BC)
Odrysian Kingdom - (460 BC – 46 CE)
Dian Kingdom - (c. 300 BC – 109 BC)
Kingdom of Rajarata - (377 BC – 1310 CE)
Kingdom of Armenia - (331 BC – 428 CE)
Kingdom of Iberia - (302 BC - 580 CE)
Kingdom of Pontus - (291 BC - 62 CE)
Kingdom of Au Lac - (258 BC - 207 BC)
Kingdom of Pergamon - (282 BC – 133 BC)
Kingdom of Nanyue - (204 BC - 111 BC)
Kingdom of Sophene - (c. 200 BC - 94 BC)
Twipra Kingdom - (c. 200 BC - 1858 CE)
Indo-Scythian Kingdom - (200 BC - 395 CE)
Indo-Greek Kingdom - (180 BC – 10 CE)
Nabataean Kingdom - (168 BC – 106 CE)
Kingdom of Commagene - (163 BC - 72 CE)
Hasmonean Kingdom - (140 BC – 37 BC)
Himyarite Kingdom - (110 BC – 525 CE)
Buyeo Kingdom - (c. 100 BC – 494 CE)
Kuninda Kingdom - (c. 100 BC - c. 200 CE)
Silla Kingdom - (57 BC - 935 CE)
Goguryeo Kingdom - (37 BC - 668 CE)
Baekje Kingdom - (18 BC - 660 CE)
Indo-Parthian Kingdom - (12 BC – 130 CE)
Kingdom of Khotan - (56 – 1006)
Kingdom of Funan - (c. 1 - 628)
Langkasuka Kingdom - (c. 100 - 1516)
Tuyuhun Kingdom - (285 – 670)
Sixteen Kingdoms - (304 - 439)
Taruma Kingdom - (358 - 669)
Kamarupa - (4th century - 12th century)
Melayu Kingdom - (4th century - 13th century)
Deira - (6th century AD)
Kedah Kingdom - (630-1136)
Kingdom of Sunda - (669 - 1579)
Kingdom of Champa - (7th century - 1832)
Mataram Kingdom - (752–1045)
West Frankish Kingdom - (843 - 987)
Pagan Kingdom - (849-1287)
Mon Kingdoms - (9th - 11th, 13th - 16th, 18th centuries)
Hubaekje - (900 - 936)
Hugoguryeo - (c.901 - 918)
Dongdan Kingdom - (926 - 936)
Kediri - (1045–1221)
Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia - (1080–1375)
Kingdom of Jerusalem - (1099–1291)
Sutiya Kingdom - (1187 - 1673)
Jaffna Kingdom - (1215–1619)
Singhasari Kingdom - (1222–1292)
Ahom Kingdom - (1228–1826)
Sukhothai Kingdom - (1238–1438)
Majapahit Kingdom - (1293–1527)
Ayutthaya Kingdom - (1351–1767)
Joseon Kingdom - (1392–1897)
Kingdom of Mysore - (1399–1947)
Garhwal Kingdom - (c.1400 - 1814)
Kotte Kingdom - (1412–1597)
Ryūkyū Kingdom - (1429–1879)
Kingdom of Sitawaka - (1521–1594)
Kingdom of Middag - (17th century)
Kingdom of Kandy - (1581–1815)
Kingdom of Tungning - (1662–1683)
Kingdom of Nepal - (1768–2008)

And then we may add Rome after Julius Caesar, until the Visigoths came over the wall, and then ... . But this is getting tedious, and we haven't even gotten to Europe in the Middle Ages. All were totalitarian states where subjects were chattel to their liege lords, and absolute power was by the word of a man, not codified law subject to interpretation and intercession by an independent judicial office, even as a charade.

PS. and you continue to miss the distinction between governance and a specific government as witnessed by your continued reference to the relatively short-lived form of governance that the inhabitants of the European Alps have enjoyed. Their success is that they have found a so far stable format of governance that is of economic utility to their neighbors who are the real guarantors of their state, and therefore their form of governance.

Account Deleted

re Ian R at 2:17 - My friend, I have asked that of the lefties that post here many, many times and get nothing but crickets. Those terrible rapscallions of industry seem to have many secret powers that are only known to the left. The govt has only the power to "ask" the wealthy to "invest" a "fair" portion of their money, but private industry can bend all of us to their will and force us all to hand over every last cent to their coffers. Not once has the left offered any proof of how this works, but who are we to doubt?

George Rebane

ScottO 642pm - Well said Scott. How it works is a truth not revealed to all. At their pleasure, they will disclose what we need to know.


George, just pasting a chunk of text from Wikipedia is Keachie's modus operandi. Had you just provided the link

we could have dealt with your misunderstanding more efficiently. That's a "List of kingdoms" not a list of totalitarian states. The terms are not synonymous, and while some reigns could certainly be considered totalitarian, those tend not to last all that long. For example, the Roman Empire lasted many centuries, but Caligula lasted but four years.

Sorry George, you're off on this one.

George Rebane

Gregory 819pm - "... we could have dealt with your misunderstanding more efficiently." Greg, you have me at a disadvantage. I have shot my wad in the attempt to connect, and my skills there are clearly wanting. Let's leave it at that.


Regarding the 'short lived' self governance of the Swiss, their confederacy has been remarkably stable since 1291. Had it not been for Napoleon's conquest with a 16 year gap, and then a Restoration period of 33 years that backed off Napoleon's changes, leading to the modern Swiss state that looks a hell of a lot like the old but for a stronger central government, I'd say they'd been pretty damn stable.


Then there's the caricature of feudal society you possess. No, there was a semblance of law, and serfs weren't slaves. For example:

"Serfdom represented a stage between slavery and freedom and therefore the oppression of serfs. A slave belonged to his master; he was bought and sold like other chattels. Medieval Serfs had a higher position, for they could not be sold apart from the land nor could his holding be taken from him."

In short, there were bad kings and good kings, bad lords and good lords. Those that reigned as totalitarians weren't all that common or that long lived.

George Rebane

Gregory 846pm - I guess this is a new thread. To call Switzerland a single country since 1291 boggles the mind (at least mine). According to what might be called a nation-state, Switzerland did not achieve that until the 19th century. Until then it was a loosely bound dynamic of cantons and city states that continually swapped members who from time to time fought with each other, and other members of the Holy Roman Empire, its putative government and form of governance over the centuries. In any event, within the cantons and city states that occupied the Swiss Alps, the actual forms of governance that came and went were even more dynamic and changing. Bad example to address any point that is considered in my post, which is not about nation-states but ideologies and forms of governance.

Gregory 908pm - "Then there's the caricature of feudal society you possess." Don't have clue about what you are talking here, or its relation to my post.


"To call Switzerland a single country since 1291 boggles the mind"

I called it a "confederacy". Is that not accurate?


The caricature I was referring to was "this is getting tedious, and we haven't even gotten to Europe in the Middle Ages. All were totalitarian states where subjects were chattel to their liege lords, and absolute power was by the word of a man, not codified law subject to interpretation and intercession by an independent judicial office, even as a charade."

As my earlier post noted, serfs were not chattel, and the feudal English had the manorial courts where even serfs had rights and the lord had responsibilities.

George Rebane

MichaelA (1051pm from 'The Status of American Education') - The right/left situation with Estonians' (and other east Europeans') view of fascism is a bit more complex than the revised history taught in America. We lived under both regimes - communism and fascism - and saw first hand that fascism was just another form of collectivism with slightly less government control. No one believed the communists mistake the fascists to be on the right. We all knew what really drove the Nazis and communists apart in the 1920s.

Gregory 1010pm - yes, the Swiss cantons and city states did join in various confederacies over the centuries. As in my 917pm, I have a hard time looking at a confederacy as a nation-state (our Founders had the same problem). To me they are a political 'some time thing', or more formally "states more or less permanently united for common purposes".

Your 1023pm exercising on things feudal and serfs etc still has me puzzled since I didn't cover them in my dissertation, and used 'chattel' only as an attribution of the leftmost region of overwhelming government control. But you do seem to have a somewhat limited yet common view when the condition of chattel occurs. Chattel occurs formally, but historically it has mostly occurred what lawyers call 'constructively'. For example, in the USSR (and other communist states of the 20th century), their citizens were constructively chattel - virtual property of the state.


Well,,, Ca. and N.Y. have pretty much offshoots of Europe thanks to government.
I guess the up side of that is,,, we are not quite N. Korea. Somehow I get the feeling the Governors of said states are working on that little problem.
Just what in our government mandated, miserable lives doesn't have a law or restriction attached to it? ( I think I found one.... The number of breaths we take in a single day.)

Wayne Hullett

I think what George means by stability relates to the higher amount of energy needed to change the system away from its "stable" state, where energy in his analogy might be measured by "lives lost". While it is true that totalitarian regimes contain the seeds of their own destruction (although I'm still waiting hopefully for North Korea under Kim Jong X to implode), that change usually requires a violent revolution with attendant deaths. In our current "less stable" system, change merely requires a vote in congress, or even nothing more than a presidential edict when the consent of congress cannot be obtained.

George Rebane

re WayneH's 1133am - exactly so, and that observation underlines what I'm talking about here, namely that even when such 'energy cost' are taken into account, the autocratic forms of governance have readily replicated themselves through succeeding rulers/elites who can bring in a new government without changing the form of governance one whit. That is the stability semantic that I'm attempting to introduce/convey here when highlighting the major dimensions of ideology along the 'level of government control' and 'type of governance' axes. It is along those dimensions that the Left/Right schism - labels and all - should be viewed and debated.

And in that framework, I belong to the cohort of ideologues who want to proceed to the right (less government control) in the ongoing search for a 'sweet spot' of stable governance that may lay hidden in Terra Incognita (else we can always remain as a democratic republic). Most certainly I resist going toward more collectivism and its inevitable ratcheting up of government control.

Joe Koyote

George: there seems to be a glaring omission from your chart, one that surely needs to be included in this day and age -- Plutocracy. I think it should be placed on the same plane as monarchy, as plutocracy is another form of monarchy.. instead of feudal system of rule by tracing your bloodline to divinity, it is a feudal system of rule by inheritance. Given today's tweedle-dee/tweedle-dum two party system, the Citizens United decision, and now possible weakening of the voter rights act by the pro-corporate supreme court majority, I would say we are well on the way there. Your thoughts?

George Rebane

JoeK 505pm - The labels on the 'types of governance' plane are not meant to be comprehensive, but only contain the more well known ones. Plutocracy may well belong there also, but I'm not certain that plutocracy is not an adjunct to almost every other type of governance. For example look at its influence in today's White House and those gone by. The ones cited and displayed in the figure have published and defended ideologies, especially as they call for levels of government control in the affairs of a nation and its people. Can you give us examples of any plutocrat acknowledged tenets of a plutocratic ideology?

Ben Emery

How does Walmart oppress us? Let me count the ways. Have you ever witnessed a town where a Super Walmart has devastated the local economy? I have and it was a brutal thing to watch.

Walmart Encourages Public Assistance For Employees

Walmart In Bangladesh

Walmart In China


Joe Koyote

George 5:18

“plutocrat acknowledged tenets of a plutocratic ideology?” -- not too sure what you mean here, but if "plutocrat acknowledged tenets" means direct quotes from a plutocrat laying out their ideas, have you ever read "Propaganda" by Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud and the father of the public relations industry? He pretty much lays out the reasoning behind why a small elite group of people should exercise control over the masses through the art of public relations by manufacturing consent in order to "guide" them to the right decisions at the ballot box and in their personal lives. He also lays out how the two party system is a tool in that respect by limiting choice. Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud was the first to use the phraseology around “spreading democracy" as it is used to justify war to the masses so they will donate their bodies. Written in 1928, it is a very informative insight into the mindset of one of the most influential men of the 20th century.

George Rebane

BenE 808pm - I know that you have to periodically get rid of some Walmart vitriol, but how did Walmart enter into this comment stream. Was it that you just couldn't control yourself any more and needed some relief?

Except for the steady progressive drumbeat of workers being exploited and jobs lost, the actual statistics of Walmart's business activities tell a different story about jobs created and value added to middle and lower class budgets. One wonders how they could be so big and popular if all they did was screw people.

But we digress. Talk to us instead about the stability of socialism as a form of governance Ben.

George Rebane

JoeK 825pm - fair enough, I think you got the gist of my question. I didn't want you to launch into what YOU presume plutocrats believe, instead of hearing from one of them. From your description though, are not those tenets the very same ones that Orwell promoted in his '1984', BF Skinner in his 'Walden Two', and most recently Cass Sunstein in his 'Nudge'?

Recall that Sunstein is still Obama's consumer affairs guy. He runs the 'hidden persuaders' office in the administration with a name that would have made Goebbels proud - Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. More here -

Ben Emery


"Hello, government is required in some step to do the oppressing. How does Walmart oppress me? They have to offer me incentives to shop there like being open 24 hours for odd shifts like me"

George Rebane

BenE 829am - Amazing. Offering incentives to convince someone to do something is a form of oppression?! If so, then oppression in humanity is omnipresent, uniformly widespread, and has been with us forever.

Yes, even when not required, government in many steps does oppress - e.g. incentivizing me to follow its dictates, else it will kill me. Now I understand that enterprises like Walmart incentivize through a slightly different approach - e.g. I can share my personal experience, their incentives have not worked with me, yet I detect no move on their part to harm me or mine. Then again, perhaps it is not yet my time since they too have limited resources.

But with 'incentives = oppression' you have definitely contributed to my understanding of progressive thought, and suggested a new addition to RR's 'The Liberal Mind'. Thanks.


Joe Koyote

George 8:45 I don't know if anyone actually claims to be a plutocrat, at least in public. Plutocracy only occurs in systems that allow a small number of people to accumulate vast amounts of wealth and thus power. A true marxist society would not and could not evolve into plutocracy as the assets are held by the people at large rather than a few individuals. I would say monarchies are plutocratic institutions and as the gap between rich and poor increases in capitalistic societies the propensity toward plutocracy increases. Many progressives will argue that the west in particular has already reached that status.

Ben Emery

What is it about other peoples rights that you and yours don't get? What incentives does Walmart, Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, ect.. give that aren't made from theft of other human beings rights and well being? What I see repeatedly on RR comment board is people talking of their own personal liberty but to hell with others. Here is the thing not everybody is lucky enough to live in the US or western societies. Just in case you haven't noticed most transnational corporations (big business) are no longer manufacturing in these nations because they cannot get away with overt flagrant oppression of the poor/ workers. The nations these corporations migrate to are nations that have very little government services for their subjects and have no problem oppression if a small few at the top receive their payoffs.

I will post this very accurate cartoon again for your amusement. We have a one world government and it has zero to do with democracy.

Economic Hitmen

George Rebane

JoeK 912am - As I have argued and history has shown, there is no "true marxist society". If "plutocracy only occurs in systems that allow a small number of people to accumulate vast amounts of wealth and thus power.", then the existential marxist societies have ALL been plutocratic in the sense of the Gini Index (cf RR).

But your denying that plutocrats want to advertize their tenets is akin to today's progressives reluctance to put out their tenets for all to see. To impress and attract the ignorant voters, they correctly stick to "issues activism" (q.v.) instead.

BenE 933am - Now you expand your apologetic to global human rights, and introduce the notion of 'incentives made from the theft of other peoples rights'. Is this a special category of incentives that is so derived (I notice you ignored my 847am)? And so that you may understand, no one on RR talks about their own liberties existing in a vacuum. The liberties we wish upon ourselves cannot be had without our neighbors enjoying the same.

And I'm not sure that you know your own definition of a 'right'. You, like many people and all progressives fly fast and loose with that term. Tell us, what in your view is a right? And inform us about that kind of rights that can can be stolen transnationally by private enterprise; specifically, what is the mechanism of such theft?

My definitions and the way I use rights and privileges is on record here -

Ben Emery

To continue from Feb 28 9:33 comment.

It is not a coincidence that the western societies have more rights recognized by governments, which in turn forces corporations/ business to recognize those rights as well. Prior to the movements of abolition, universal suffrage, labor, and civil rights the oppression of others in US was systemic. 12- 15 hour work days, 7 days a week, dangerous work conditions, sustenance wages, and zero say in work conditions by those who had to toil under those conditions.

Here is why I dislike Walmart and companies like them so much. They will oppress, violate rights, and cut corners for the bottom line for their shareholders but at the expense of the stakeholders. Profit is fine but excess profit stolen from the labor and rights of others should never be accepted by those who even pretend to believe in liberty and natural rights. At this moment in time patrons of Walmart around the world are contributing to slave labor and oppression of fellow human beings, period. Slavery might have officially ended within US borders and civil liberties expanded with the 13th/ 14th/ 15th amendments but the US still supports slavery and oppression worldwide through the business policies of our transnational corporations. It is that simple and for you guys to make claims otherwise is extremely naive or extremely misleading by mixing theory and actual practice as fact. Lets deal with reality not what it should be. Governments set the rules of business along with supporting/ building infrastructure to support the market. Those rules should be determined by the citizens of those nations through representative government. Now the reality of it is that signatories of WTO, GATT, World Bank, and IMF deals circumvent democracy by handing over the sovereignty of the nations ability to set the rules of the market.

I fight against oppression of all people and especially those people who either directly or indirectly are being oppressed by my action or inaction. Outside of educating others, pressuring our government, and my direct purchasing habits there isn't much I can do to prevent the Walmarts of the world from their tyrannical business practices. When money is equivalent to free speech and corporations are considered human beings and are granted Constitutional rights our government becomes anti-democratic due to the costs of running for public office, especially at the federal level.

Joe Koyote

Plutocracy looks like this - "When money is equivalent to free speech and corporations are considered human beings and are granted Constitutional rights our government becomes anti-democratic due to the costs of running for public office, especially at the federal level."

George Rebane

BenE 1034am & JoeK 1046am - Without any attempt at responding to my 1017am, I take your comments to be an harmonious coda to this thread. And as a compliment to you Ben - I know you didn't cut/paste/edit out of established Leninist literature - instead, in your own words, you have managed to sound as an authentic and heartfelt Marxist. I salute the clarity of your message.

Ben Emery

From the fact that you blanket me into a Marxist camp is not only ignorant on your part but irresponsible. It shows more and more that a good education and normal to high intelligence doesn't make a person immune to being ignorant. I am very busy this afternoon and will try once again to give you a the meaning of "rights", especially human rights.

Universal Human Rights Declaration



Hear the latest? The Repubs have passed a Bill that basically tells "O",, " OK,, you think you have all the answers, and know where to spend and or cut,, well,,, here's your chance to play King." Funny how he is saying he's going to veto that.... Isn't this the power he wanted? Along with the rest of the Progressives?

Yup,,, it took some real balls from the Right to even suggest this option.
Stupid,,, but ballsy none the less.
I have to say,,, sometimes you just have to throw up your hands and say " Screw it.. You think you can do SOOOO much better? OK,,, Here ya' go... And when things blow up in your face, there will be no one to blame but YOU...Have at it.."
NOW all of a sudden,, "O" doesn't want the responsibility. So what would the excuse be then? " Don't blame me,,, Blame Bush and the GOP... They put this burden at my feet. I am to be held blameless. THIS was THEIR hot idea."

Now we have ICE cutting illegals loose wholesale. They just walked into the jails and opened the doors. ( and if you believe the "supervised release" your dumber than I thought) And at the vary same time, cutting criminals loose because of "overcrowding".
Don't forget... The same people that are setting these people free, are working on taking our guns....

This must be that "forward thinking" we keep hearing about.

Joe Koyote

George 11:35 -- I didn't respond to your 10:17 because I didn't understand your point and I went out to prune my grapes, but thought I would leave a quick comment on Ben's post. Having said that--. What is the Gini index, that's a new one to me? By definition the Soviet and Chinese version of Marxism could be labeled plutocracies, as well as, capitalistic societies and monarchies like Saudi Arabia. However, I would wonder, by comparison how much wealth a Russian commissar could accumulate versus a ranking Chinese party member, versus a Texas oilman or Wall Street banker, but it is all relative. I am not sure what the connection between plutocrats and progressives was about other than to indict both persuasions for having hidden agendas, perhaps.

George Rebane

JoeK 538pm - You correctly gave your grapes priority in the grander scheme of things.

I'm disappointed that so many of my references to detailed explanations go amiss or are ignored by the readers. The Gini Index has come up quite a bit lately, and here's a complete explanation of it.

Oh, would that this blog be read as an expanding and comprehensive body of thought instead of as happenstance, topical, and standalone posts (translation - use the goddam RR search function).

Your understanding of "the connection between plutocrats and progressives" is correct - they both hide their belief systems and agendas, and plutocrats also inhabit autocratic regimes regardless of the particulars of their beliefs.


Some choice tweets from during Today's 'class warfare' press conference by 'our' President:

The Mad Hatter‏@themadh lumber futures limit up again. are central bankers printing THAT much?

MIKEY MCD‏@THEMIKEYMCD #sequester price of BullSh!t will likely drop as supply increases exponentially and demand drops precipitously @BarackObama

Thomas Crown‏@ZH_Crown Peeps remember: tax hikes don't impact the economy, but govt spending does

Keith McCullough ‏@KeithMcCullough 1954 Miss America Pageant, questions #1 "What's your view on Karl Marx?"

Keith McCullough ‏@KeithMcCullough The Communist Manifesto starts with #ClassWarfare too

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