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Private Property as a Principle of Social Terrorism

James Radcliffe offers a UK perspective on Trump’s presidential candidacy. I offered this context.


There’s an aspect of the American political trajectory that is perhaps worth highlighting to those outside the country, because it is developing steam in other places.

Fundamentally, government is concerned with negotiating the rules that control the distribution of power in a society. For all of human history, it has been either at odds with or coopted by the concept of “private property,” which most often is allocated arbitrarily from the commons, and held by force even when mismanagement of resources leads to preventable social suffering.

What has happened in America is that, since the ’80s, the conservative branch of our political system has adopted an extremist view of this conflict supported by the economic proposition that the only legitimate means for redistributing power is the free market. That actual markets, with their privileged knowledge and contractual Arcana, are by no means “free” in the theoretical sense has not impeded the propagation of policies, laws and political planks that uphold this principle as the foremost goal of all governmental action.

They are blind to the contradictions of their program: the use of government to supplant government with the free market. Karl Rove, conservative talk radio, the Koch brothers and Grover Norquist are the political terrorists driving the implementation of this program. The consequence is that conservative candidates for president have become progressively less qualified to run the government. Their understanding of government has become atrophied because they actually question its legitimacy.

Trump is simply the inevitable consequence of this divorce from reality.

2 thoughts on “Private Property as a Principle of Social Terrorism

  1. We say: “Make money off the value of your product, not your power to set the rules of the rigged game to your advantage.” The fee market requires regulations to prevent this, where oligarchy slides into tyranny, rule based on power. The billionaires have taken millions into Congress, financed their communication with the voters, and set the rules so that only they make money, destroying the middle class. Book publishing is just a case in point. Everything was starting to work this way, especially the internet, though we are beginning to wake up.

    I am happy that the Kochs and the Bushes are siding with the sane Republicans against this monster they created in their econ lab. The Trump-suck-up Republicans and those truly convinced are done politically if America does remember the difference between tyranny and Liberty.

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