Watch as plutocrats mold us into a New America, a nation more pleasing to their sight

Summary: Increasing wealth creates positive feedback, much like a hurricane moving over warm water. A more powerful 1% allows them to command the political and economic high ground of America, so that they can gain further wealth — and shape a New America more to their liking. This process has run for several generations; now the results are plain to see — for all that wish to look. Today we have first of three tales of New America.

1st Rule of Plutocracy

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A three-part series: tales of New America

  1. Today – mad ideology: gunplay on our streets
  2. Mad ideology: billionaires play with our businesses
  3. Billionaires mold our schools to produce better help

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Mad ideology: gunplay on our streets

“Well in the first place, an armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. For me, politeness is a sine qua non of civilization.”
— From Beyond this Horizon, a science fiction novel by Robert Heinlein (1942).

Despite few precedents for widespread public carrying of guns in developed nations — and no good historical precedents (compare Somalia & Japan) — our plutocrat leaders have funded a movement to overturn a century-old legal regime. They know this will work well, a faith-based public policy.

We will see the results in coming years. Will the streets run with blood, a rising tide which so far worries neither them nor our apathetic citizens? Will we see more article like this: “Pair of men with concealed-carry permits engage in shootout“, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 July 2013 — Excerpt:

Two Milwaukee men — each with a state permit to carry a concealed weapon — traded dozens of shots in a rolling shootout through two sides of town and down a freeway, the kind of scenario concealed-carry opponents feared would turn road rage incidents deadly. … the gunfight is bound to spark more debate over concealed carry.

… “I can assure you, he was definitely the aggressor,” said Eric Adamany, 27. … Adamany said he had just left the Taco Bell … and had pulled over to send a text message when a gold Dodge Magnum pulled up. A passenger said, “What are you looking at, white boy?” showed a chrome handgun and fired at Adamany’s car, hit the driver’s side mirror and then sped off. Adamany {said} he reached for his gun immediately but the safety was on. He said he called 911 and began following the Dodge as it headed for the freeway and said that someone in the Dodge fired a few more shots at him. He said the two cars were swerving around other traffic before the Dodge left the freeway briefly at McKinley Avenue, then re-entered, still heading north.

That’s when Adamany began emptying the magazine of his gun, shooting out the window with his left hand while driving and using the phone with his right hand, he told police. “My radiator was hit, and the car was starting to overheat, so I aimed low to shoot out the tires,”

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… According to the complaint, Roy Scott {age 27} said that he and a friend were driving near South 27th Street and West Morgan Avenue when a blue car passed him. The other driver, Scott said, “mean mugged” him and showed a black handgun. Scott grabbed his gun and displayed it before speeding away. Soon the blue car was chasing him, Scott said, firing shots. So Scott fired back out his driver’s window, pointing backward over his shoulder with his right hand, while steering with his left.

Scott said he finally had to exit I-43 at North Avenue because all of his tires had been shot out, and his car came to rest on King Drive. He said the other man was still shooting, so he and his passenger ran away until they saw the deputy on North Fourth St.

Even towns in the Wild West had laws restricting carrying guns.

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For More Information

(a)  Strongly recommended:  “On the Decriminalization of Private Violence“, Andrew Kydd (Assoc Prof Political Science, U WI-Madison), 18 July 2013

(b)  “Did Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law Increase Firearm Homicides?“, Eric Voeten (Assoc Prof Justice, Georgetown U), The Monkey Cage, 17 July 2013 — Conclusion:

So, compared to a group of states that had similar homicide rates prior to 2005 {when the law was signed}, Florida’s homicide rate shot up unusually after 2005 (and in a way that cannot easily be accounted for by observed variables).

(c) Click here for a list of mass shootings since 1982.

(d) Other posts about guns in America:

  1. The Founders talk to us about guns for a well-regulated militia,
    24 July 2012
  2. Yet another mass killing in America. Watch the reactions on the Right, and learn., 17 December 2012
  3. “The right to shoot tyrants, not deer”, 11 January 2013
  4. But Hitler confiscated guns, leaving Germans helpless!, 11 January 2013
  5. Guns do not make us safer. Why is this not obvious?, 14 January 2013
  6. Let’s look at the Second Amendment, cutting through the myths and spin, 15 January 2013
  7. Myth-busting about gun use in the Wild West, 16 January 2013
  8. Second amendment scholarship (using money to reshape America), 19 January 2013
  9. Do guns make us more safe, or less? Let’s look at the research., 23 January 2013
  10. Guns in the wild west: regulated, with no fears about ripping the Constitution, 25 January 2013

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Game of Plutocracy

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19 thoughts on “Watch as plutocrats mold us into a New America, a nation more pleasing to their sight

  1. Maybe the Koch bros. are at it again, but I don’t see how this advances plutocrat interests or that plutocrats generally are behind it.

    What would be more interesting would be to monitor how the praetorian class responds to this. I get the impression that the same sorts of rural / blue collar / former blue collar types that enlist in the military, become cops, or work in prisons likewise would be more apt to carry firearms. I’d need to do some research on this, but I suspect this is pretty much the case.

    In the interests of snark, may I point out that in most aristocratic societies, only aristocrats are permitted to carry weapons.

    1. Duncan,

      “Maybe the Koch bros. are at it again, but I don’t see how this advances plutocrat interests or that plutocrats generally are behind it.”

      The opposition to gun control laws is very well-funded, hence my belief that the 1% supports it (not that they’re a singular entity). As for why, we can only guess. A small tight aristocracy needs no central planning or coordination, no administrators writing memos. It’s the perfect open-source insurgency, like minded individuals acting independently.

      My guess: gun owners are their kind of peons Easily influenced, guilible, obedient, eager to use violence, conservative. Eager to supress minorities. Potential brownshirts.

      “in most aristocratic societies, only aristocrats are permitted to carry weapons.”

      Citations? Esp about counter-examples, such as the English 13th century Assize of Arms laws requiring yeoman to train and equip themselves for military service.

    2. Duncan,

      I do not consider either of these books a study of the subject. From a very brief look, they both incidentally mention a few places and times when carrying swords was limited.

      We’re these examples characteristic of their times — or noted because they were unusual? How many nations allowed anyone to carry weapons?

      Also, some of these references seem to indicate ceremonial or display purposes, rather than allowing effective use of weapons by the nobility. The patricians of Venice were allowed to carry swords and have a feather in their hats.

      Most important, how widespread was gun control, once pistols became relatively cheap? That tests the State’s willingness to let nobles pack firepower. Louis XV said “nope”, banned them in 1728 (or so I have read, but I have not seen a study of this).

      You raise an interesting and relevant issue, worth studying!

    3. Duncan Kinder is right regarding carrying weapons in aristocratic societies.

      Possessing and carrying weapons, especially in public, was a privilege of the nobility in Ancien Régime France — abolished only at the Revolution.

      In Germany, detention and carrying of weapons was reserved to nobility and duly established militias — till the 1848 Revolution.

      One should not forget that the prohibition to commoners of possessing arms was not so much linked to war as to hunting — which was a major privilege reserved to nobility or those people granted the right to hunt (such as official huntsmen). Hunting seignorage and the attendant prohibition of carrying weapons was enforced through extremely harsh measures, and universally hated by commoners.

    4. guest,

      Thanks for the additional color on this! Still, I’d like to see some analysis of this. For example, the nobility carried swords — prohibited to the common folk — in some societies, such as Ancien Regime France and pre-Menji Japan. But was this a sign of status or effective display of force? To what extent were these weapons used? To what extent could they be used?

      This is not something I know much about. I’ve read that once real weapons (hand guns) became available, some nations banned them for civilian (i.e., non-government) use. Such as the 1728 edict by Louis XV of France.

      These things are complex.

  2. Where this plutocratic trend you describe is leading us, given enough time to fully develop(let’s say 50 years), is very nicely presented in movies “Hunger Games” and “In Time” with Justin Timberlake. “In Time” has monetary system nicely described, where money is living time of a person. At birth everybody is given only 25 years of life trough some genetic engineering, work is paid in hours of life and drinks and food is paid by minutes. Everyone is equiped with chips that count time and central accounting that is controlled by plutocrats secured behind 7 gated walls. Plutocrats behind walls and guards have unlimited lifetimes while majority of populace has limited lifespan due to prevention of pollution and earth resource conservation.

    Same is today except 7 gated walls and genetic engineering. Plutocrats today have unlimited money but there is no Social contract on earth resource preservation by population control, yet.

    Social Contract. We have a social contract to take care of our helpless like sick and old. Working populace gives a part of their production into common account in order to share it with needy and as they grow old they get to receive the production and services from next working population. That is what Social Security and Medicare is. It is a social contract between working population to share their fruits of labor with the whole society and as they become unemployed they become recipients. Distribution within society is done trough money accounting/ wages, sallaries, SS contribution and division.

    From such construct it becomes clear that SS and Medicare can not go bankrupt unless society decides not to share. Should society become so callous not to share products of labor now that production of one person is becoming cheaper and cheaper and smaller and smaller part of the society needs to work to provide for all of the population thanks to robotization?

    Today, only 1.5% of employees work in agriculture, bringing food to all 100%. Compare that to century ago when 75% had to work to feed 100%. Today only 15% work in productive capacity and bringing all computors, smartphones and medical instruments and drugs. Lets forget about military production which is about destroying instead of creating something usefull for society. Robotization will bring that there will be only a need for 1% of populace needed to work to provide for 100%.

    Why we should decide to stop sharing with all when production is allmost free, with full blown robots, productions will be free, it is only a distribution of such production that is becoming a problem. We are deciding not to distribute such free goods and services, we are breaking down our most precious Social Contract with alarming talk about deficits and bankrupt SS and Medicare. They can not go bankrupt, unless we decide trough Congress to make it so.

    That is where plutocrats come into the play. They have been taking larger and larger share of productive capacity for themselves; 1% is taking 40% of productive capacity of employed populace and trough robotization they will need less and less of us which are only taking the planet resources from them, “the real owners of the earth” and spoiling their environment with our needs (global warming). This is nicely presented in “Hunger Games” Plutocrats are breaking the Social Contract and taking larger and larger share for themselves while we are only ruining their environment.

    Gun ownership is part of the population control which will lead into global wars while plutocrats are hiden and secured behind high walls. There is no conspiracy to produce such outcomes, this comes from our human nature and it developes on its own not as a part of some conspiratorial planing. It is what humans with their fears and natural tendencies to form groups and defend against other groups while competing for limited resources do all the time in some or other form.

    I got this link “The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight” from comments on this site and i am gratfully returning it back.

    Plutocrats are breaking our Social Contract and leading us into the world of “Hunger Games” and “In Time”.

    1. Thank you for the provocative essay. I had not thought about the changes — the New America — in the context of our social contract.

      More broadly, I don’t understand the social contract as other than a story justifying our social structure, a just-so story of the sort most societies have. This is worth some thought!

    2. FDR’s New Deal comes out as New Contract within US Society. Deals are made in contracts.
      Bottom line, Social Contract means that we as a society give our leaders the power to organize and lead us for a common goal that we as a society decide on and when our Congressman do not take us into the right direction we replace them. It is their job to keep us together, not divided, because larger our numbers (bigger the country) larger difficulties we can overcome, but only working together.

      Investment in social cooperation is the costliest and time consuming but it provides the largest payoff in life happyiness/ satisfaction/ prosperity of all in total. We are in period of division and tighter grouping together along the race determinants caused by economic panic and suffering. That is where our leaders are taking us today. Right is slowly chipping away at our society attempting to create a tight consentual group by chipping away blacks, hispanics, LGBT, immoral (abortion, whores, all they perceive as immoral) from larger society lessening the numbers that can share in New Deal.
      They fear that New Deal is in danger so they lessen the number for distribution of benefits we should enjoy in such prosperous society. But they do not understand that New Deal works better when the numbers are larger. Economies of scale work with the Social Contract too.

      That is what creators of EU idea understood and why they worked on creating larger united society that could compete with other large societies in the world; China, US, Russia.
      But, new generations have lost the sight of the larger picture i describe here and went with selfgrandaising and selfishness not understanding where will it take them and all of us with it, creating divisions and while larger problems, impossible to solve with smaller groups are accumulating untill the societies burst at the seams all over the globe and start WWIII (local wars all over the globe are more likely given the loss of institutional power to keep society together (balkanizations everywhere instead of unifications)).

      Use of money is part of the Social Contract, how it is distributed trough national accounting is decided by our leaders as long as we give them the legitimacy in doing so.
      But if we, as a group, had such picture clarity at all the times we would not let them manipulate us into group forming which fight over smaller resource pie (arteficially created scarcity where there is plentifull thanks to robotization and renewable energies).

      Money/ currency (distribution accounting) is whatever we decide to and how we should distribute it as a society is the most crucial point on which the plutocrats have spent exorbitant ammount of money to confuse and divide society.
      MMT gives the clarity of what such money system could be. Not really what it is, but what it could be if we could only get the concept right. No monetary laws need to change, no accounting need changing, only the Congress perceptions of what really matters.
      MMT says that goods and services really matter and the money is only a system of distribution of goods and services to population’s benefit. Do we lack natural resources to get to the full employment or it is only our accounting that prevents us from having all goods and services that we need. Krugman says; “Lets made up an allien invasion and see how resources of the world get moved and organized and employment gets to full, and then say;” Sorry, there is no invasion” and be left with full employment”. That would be only thing that could crystalize politician’s mind and concepts of possible.
      In “In Time”, money is hours of life with central accounting done in Central Bank computors tightly controled by plutocrats.

    1. Mikyo,

      I think you don’t quite get it. The rich and powerful have always had access to concealed weapons permits via discretionary issuance by senior police officials. But they’re well-protected by police and (increasingly) private security — who now outnumber the police.

      Arming the lower middle class has many desirable results, as they’re an effective tool to oppress the lower orders. And they’re easily mobilized, if it becomes necessary, to use on a broader domestic stage. As the 1% say, they’re useful pawns.

      Since they don’t suffer the consequences of the resulting gunplay, it’s a clear win.

  3. Oh by the way, pure curiosity moves me to ask, what is the best grip to use when emptying your magazine through the window of a swerving auto, while driving and using the phone with your right hand? Do they really teach THAT in those concealed carry classes? Sign me up!

    1. Mikyo,

      I think you need to spend more time out of the burbs and classy urbanite playgrounds.

      These kind of people don’t worry about such things. It’s like asking them what their health care professionals say about their overuse of booze and street drugs. They live in a different world. Time, life, relationships run on different lanes than for the suits.

  4. Strongly recommended: “On the Decriminalization of Private Violence“, Andrew Kydd (Assoc Prof Political Science, U WI-Madison), 18 July 2013 — Excerpt:

    The United States is now embarked on an unprecedented experiment, in that it is a strong state, fully capable of suppressing private violence, but it is increasingly choosing not to. Freely elected state legislatures are enacting laws to encourage people to own and carry guns. New ‘stand your ground’ and self-defense provisions are being passed and interpreted to make it much easier to kill someone without legal penalty. It is now possible to arm oneself, pursue a stranger in a public place, engage in a confrontation with that person, and then if they throw a punch, possibly in response to one’s own, to shoot them dead with impunity as far as the state is concerned. By encouraging private armament and weakening the penalties for private violence, the US is entering new territory, as a strong state that no longer chooses to prevent private bloodshed.

    … What this will look like in the context of a state that could but doesn’t prevent violence is uncertain. Perhaps the state will step in to curb larger scale organizations. However, it seems unlikely that the armed individual will have much ability to defend him or herself. Instead, predation by one organization will be kept in check only by an equally strong opposing organization. Gang warfare in urban areas is a harbinger, but street gangs will find the terrain contested not just by other gangs, but by vigilante groups, clans and the private security firms of the rich. Retaliatory killing will be the primary deterrent to murder, and indeed it will be all quite justifiable as self-defense because the organizations will pose real and imminent threats to each other. Hobbes thought an absolute sovereign preferable to such a condition. A well-functioning democracy that outlaws murder would be better than either.

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