Cloward Pivening

Once upon a time in the mad 60’s a pair of mad lefty (but I repeat myself) socialist sociologists refined a strategy for bringing about the blessed socialist utopia by overloading and bankrupting the welfare system. This, they confidently hoped, would crash the capitalist system and bring about the longed-for socialist utopia. Essentially, they drafted the poor and unprivileged into an army demanding services which the state ultimately could not provide; somehow, this would crash the system and bring about radical social reform. The whole thing sounds rather like the Underpants Gnomes theory of economics or the cartoon showing a pair of white-coated scientists examining a complicated mathematical sequence on a chalkboard with a notation in the middle of it which says, “And here a miracle happens.”

Somehow the miracle would happen! One can be forgiven for suspecting that progressives in our federal government are having a serious go at Cloward-Pivening the entire nation by deliberately overloading and crashing every existing support system, from energy production to transportation networks, law enforcement and the courts. Deliberate plot, or merely the result of towering incompetence at every level in the federal bureaucracy? While sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from active malice, I’m coming down more and more on the side of active and deliberate malice in all sectors.

The powers that be in the Biden administration actively want gas to be at $10 a gallon, just like Europe, where in the space of a half an hour drive you can be in another country or two (or three). Sky-rocketing inflation and gas prices at the pump have their own part to play in this farrago of fail. They want the grocery store shelves empty and the economy crushed. They want ordinary citizens to freeze or swelter in the dark (depending on the season), thinking this will force adoption of sustainable energy sources, which are anything but reliable. They want to see our urban centers burn, while local law enforcement stands around with their finger in their ear, for fear of being victimized by headline hunting racial agitators or backstabbed by a district attorney who will let the miscreants out with a pat on the back and a kiss on the cheek almost the minute they were arrested.

The results of our elections are sometimes questionable, our national news media can’t be relied on for a true accounting of events, and it is perfectly obvious that the administration of justice is decidedly biased, when participants at a rowdy protest in the nation’s capital eighteen months ago are still locked up awaiting trial, whole those who were caught red-handed burning, looting and otherwise wrecking property in other cities were let go without much of a penalty. They want to see small independent businesses go bankrupt and have us purely dependent for goods and services on a handful of big corporations – because it is easier to control half a dozen national corporations, than half a million small business. They want Western forests to burn, and California orchards and farm country to wither up for lack of water – not the wineries though, because they are super important to someone like Nancy Pelosi. They prefer that homeless drug addicts make our cities dangerous and feces-paved places. They prefer to welcome a tidal wave of unscreened illegal immigrants. They want to see our profitable industries outsourced to places like China. They want to see our elementary schools teaching students to hate each other based on the color of their skin, with a side order of sexual deviancy. They want higher education to forego teaching the classics of Western literature, or history, or anything else which might clue students into the responsibilities of citizenship, and what an experimental and daring form of government that a democratic republic was as first conceived two hundred years ago. They seem to want, in fact, a kind of modern feudalism, with powerless and obedient serfs, ruled by a handful of nobles connected by marriage and kinship bonds. It’s Cloward-Pivening, all the way down. It’s happening because they want it to happen this way.

They want the collapse, so they can be left, squatting on, and ruling over a pile of ashes. They don’t care, they really don’t care, preferring to rule in Hell than be a citizen in heaven.
Comments, suggestions, observations?

31 thoughts on “Cloward Pivening”

  1. For all those bad things to happen, the electorate has to consent. Long term, that is… You can do this BS for an election cycle or two, blaming the “other guy” and denying that your ideas caused the problem in the first place. However, after it is made apparent that you and your ideas are the problem, and the electorate is on to your BS…?

    That’s the point where you run into problems with Cloward-Pivening. When you tell someone that you’re taking a few cents out of their wages for the indigent, that’s one thing. Tell them that you’re gonna literally take food out of the mouths of their kids to do it?

    They’ve been doing what they have been doing mostly using the margins of people’s attention and well-being. You start really getting their attention and impinging on their well-being? Baby, you’d better have one convincing-ass song-and-dance routine going, because they’re going to be paying close and careful attention to you, and once that happens? Good luck with the Cloward-Piven act.

    The one mistake these idiots have made is in getting everyone’s attention. Most people don’t care about politics. It’s a huge mistake to make them care, which is something the oligarchy should have paid attention to with Trump. Trump wasn’t something that happened because of Trump himself; he and his election were a warning shot across the bows of the oligarchy that thinks it doesn’t necessarily have to run this country for the benefit of the tax-paying productive citizenry thereof. Instead of heeding the warning, they doubled-down on the stupid, and here we are with BidenCo. running the show, incompetently.

    As that election in Texas just showed, I don’t think they’re going to like having everyone’s attention focused on them. Not. At. All.

  2. a sad recounting of this reality, but these world controllers (see brave new world) want to twist the world into their fantastic conception, this is the proof of the steal, which is bipartisan, the turtle enabled the worst of these creatures, mayorkas austin garland, so as Lenin famously said ‘what is to be done’ he also said ‘the worse the better’ so a grinding war in the steppes would bring the whole system down,

  3. Antifa gets to take over and destroy whole neighborhoods of Seattle, Portland, and DC, straight up murder people in other places like Denver, Austin, etc., but don’t you dare take a walk for five minutes in the Capitol when it’s “closed” or you’ll go to jail for years. (Of course, if you want to go into closed areas to harass GOP Senators before votes on Supreme Court justices, that’s totally ok, no harm done.)
    And now they get to intimidate and threaten justices at their homes, and firebomb pregnancy centers and threaten to continue, with zero repercussions, but you can bet that anyone who dares to stand up to them will get the full force of the feds thrown against them.
    Yeah, this ain’t gonna last.

  4. A nation rich in money and historical underpinnings can tolerate a lot of foolishness.
    Why they assume a continuation of tolerance while removing the margin of safety might be a question for historians.

  5. @Frank,

    They have a certain set of expectations based on past experience, which is that they can get away with their BS because nobody is paying attention to them. They think that “as before, so on into the future…”, signally failing to register that they’re now skylining themselves while simultaneously making everyone aware of what they’re doing. It’s like the Soros prosecutors; you could operate in the shadows, doing your thing, eroding the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. The minute you get yourself elected, put in charge, and everyone can see the things you do, and the results? Boom.

    All this crap has the minor little issue that they have to eventually take the stupidity mainstream and grab everything. When they do that, they then break it all, draw everyone’s attention, and then the counter-reaction starts. The thing a lot of these idiots never think about is “What happens when we piss everyone off, with this?”

    Cloward-Piven is a perfect example: Sure, you can crash the system doing that with welfare. Or, on the other hand, what happens when you instead convince everyone that welfare is a waste of money, and those lazy bastards better get off their asses and start contributing? What happens when you finally reach a point where those nice people who were cheerfully paying taxes say “BS… I’m not paying for someone else to live off the sweat of my brow… F*ck ’em, I’m not gonna do that any more…”

    Which is actually the more likely outcome of it all. End of the day, the productive can only be bled for so much, and only be put upon so much, and then you’d better be prepared for the backlash.

    In a way, I think that we’re in the process of this happening. Trump was basically those people saying “Enough. No more.”, and I think that we’re only seeing the beginnings of the repudiation of the idiot class and its efforts. For one damn thing, there isn’t enough “fat” left out there for them to be leaching off of. Something they’ve actively been working at, for decades. The end state of that isn’t going to result in what they have been daydreaming about, either.

    People are fed up. They’re tired of being victimized by petty criminals who go in and out of jail to no effect, they’re tired of being panhandled, they’re tired of not being able to let their kids use the parks they pay for, they’re tired of it all. This thing with Biden saying he’s going to undo all the “anti-LGBT” laws that the states have been passing? LOL… Dude, quit playing with matches in a goddamn empty gas can; it cannot and will not end well. The LGBT types are vocal, but they do not have the numbers or the morals to make this shit stick. Once people have had enough of the BS, the backlash is going to be immense. And, it may not take that long to reach, either…

    I fully expect to see the current licentiousness getting shoved, probably forecefully, back into the closet within my lifetime. The Democratic Party will likely go with it.

  6. It’s almost as if the Democrats want to be taken out, and thrown to the sharks. You have to work at it to be as arrogant and foolish as they are showing themselves to be.

  7. Scott: “It’s almost as if the Democrats want to be taken out, and thrown to the sharks.”

    Alternatively, it is almost as if the Democrats know that they count the votes. The only Democrats who get thrown to the sharks will be the ones into whose backs other Democrats decide to sink the blade.

    Fraudulent elections remove accountability — to echo one of Kirk’s points. Hence a Democrat Party that no longer has any concern for what citizens think or want.

  8. The thing about Cloward-Piven is that it’s basically a fantasy created by some fundamentally stupid people.

    Premise is, “We’ll bankrupt the Man by making him pay for welfare benefits until it crashes the system…”

    OK, suppose that you manage that: WTF happens if “The Man” just up and decides it’s too damn expensive, and all those dependent types are gonna have to fend for themselves?

    As one of my very enthusiastic teachers in community college put it, it’s basically “weaponizing compassion”. The idea is that they can persuade you to beggar yourself through taxes because you feel sorry for all the poor people… The idiots think that there’s no way that won’t work, ‘cos the taxpayers have always been up for paying people to do nothing, right?

    What the dipshits forget is a little thing called “reality”. You can have a certain amount of people’s discretionary spending for the poor and lazy; they won’t mind giving you that. When you then come after them for their rent money, or the food money for their kids? LOL… Baby, compassion just done went and flew out the f*cking window.

    Cloward-Piven won’t crash squat, because before it gets to that point? People are going to go “Yep, nope… Not paying for that bullshit”, and that’s the end of “weaponized compassion”. Compassion is an option, a luxury good you pay for so you feel good about yourself. You put what you can afford to pay into the cup, and there’s nothing to keep you from stopping when you don’t have the spare cash to spend on making you feel good about yourself. Then, there’s also the not-so-minor point that leaves out “what happens when most people don’t feel compassion, looking at the indigent drug addicted dumbass?”

    Cloward-Piven fantasizes that things will just keep right on going until it spins out of control, like nobody is going to notice all their money being taken from them to pay the sick, lame, and lazy. Which they will, and when they recognize that, kiss goodbye to welfare.

    The real deal with Cloward-Piven is that it’ll induce what could be termed “compassion exhaustion”, and drive the average person to start accepting and advocating some draconian things. Like, oh, say… Banning Narcan from being given to addicts, and subsidizing free fentanyl. I don’t know what the idiots think is going to happen when the spending on welfare gets to the point where everyone besides welfare recipients is getting screwed to pay for it, but the real deal is that will be the point that welfare just… Stops. It’s a luxury good, one that is paid for out of the kindness of the average person’s heart. Once they start feeling real economic pain to pay for good ol’ Stevie to indulge his heroin habit…? LOL; Stevie becomes a luxury good, and we all know what happens to luxury goods in an economic downturn. The money goes elsewhere.

    The further effect of this will be felt if some bright light decides to force continued welfare benefits for the indigent drug addicts of the nation at gunpoint; people will just cease participating in the system. You can’t force the productive to enslave themselves to support those who won’t support themselves; they’ll opt out and go into the underground economy, and then where will you be?

    Cloward-Piven presupposes that everyone is as stupid as the people who came up with it, and that the compassion of strangers for the indigent is an infinite resource. Which it is not. Watch what happens when the “coming Hispanic majority” gets asked to pay for all those black welfare mothers and gang-bangers; you will not like what they tell you.

  9. Taking comfort in the possibility of turning the Lefties out in elections is dicey at best. They’re working hard to assure elections no longer matter. A few setbacks such as in South Texas may prove to mean little.

  10. At the rate they’re going with the stupid, elections won’t matter at all. It’s pretty hard to “fortify” an election, when you’re dangling by your neck from a lamp post…

    I really don’t think they’ve thought all this through as carefully as they think they have. They want to run everything, but their ideas on how it all works are not just massively flawed, they’re completely at odds with reality. Look at the way they’re now writing angry letters to the oil companies… After spending the last two years telling them that they were going to shut down the oil industry. So, the oil companies took them at their word. Now what?

    I think that the idiots running things behind the scenes of BidenCo. really only know one thing: How to cheat the electoral system. Past that, they’re clueless. They really think it’s just a matter of telling the oil companies that they should be doing their “patriotic duty” to make more gasoline. Out of what? All the oil leases that were cancelled? How’re they going to transport it? Through the cancelled pipelines?

    The problem they have is that they built up this fantasy world where all these things were true, and now they’re trying to enact them in real life, only to discover that not only are those things false, they blow up in their faces.

    “Winning” the 2020 election was the worst possible thing that could have happened to them, and I’m not at all sad to see them suffering from it.

  11. Kirk, the problem, unfortunately, is how much will WE all suffer before the correction happens? Most everything that is happening right now is a self-inflicted room. Sadly, I think it’s a dangerous mix of malice and stupidity. Cloward and Piven are real people, with a really stupid idea. The folks that advocate for this sort of thing often have sufficient wealth to be insulated from their stupid policy choices. And therein lies the problem…

  12. as Kirk and Gavin (and maybe others) have said, it’s like they think elections don’t matter anymore.

    that.

    and, alternatively, they’re thinking/expecting/hoping that there will be a real insurrection that they can declare martial law and thus rule forever. since their attempts at a capitol fire have so far failed.

    i sometimes think we’re living (sleepwalking) through 1789 or 1918 or 1933 again.

  13. They want to see small independent businesses go bankrupt and have us purely dependent for goods and services on a handful of big corporations – because it is easier to control half a dozen national corporations, than half a million small business.

    I disagree. What we have now is a potential oligarchy of billionaires. The tech industry and the financialization of the economy have created quite a few of them.

    Here are 14 of them.

    A group of roughly 14 Republican donors who billed themselves as “life long Republicans,” will reportedly send a letter to Republican leaders in which they stated that coming to an agreement with Democrats on the status of Dreamers “makes economic sense.”

    Here are a few names. “John Rowe, Exelon chair emeritus and a longtime GOP proponent of immigration reform,” “Craig Duchossois, executive chair of the private investment firm Duchossois Group and another GOP donor who signed the letter,”

    What do they have in common? Rich and in favor of cheap labor by illiterates. I used to review workers comp applications. Most were illegals (about 2/3) and most claimed “a second grade education in Mexico.” Many did not even speak Spanish. They spoke Indian dialects from the interior. A friend who worked as an investigator for the largest workers comp insurer in CA told me that many injuries were from missing or inadequate safety gear,

    Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have made a lot of money from the pandemic and are funding the Democrats. They are part of the oligarchy.

  14. Mike K…how many illiterates would a company like Exelon want to hire, though?…I’d be willing to bet that the wages for that category of employees represent a very small % of their total wage bill.

  15. David…when I did some IT contract work for Lowes, back when they were still headquartered in Wilkesboro, NC, I went to a team luncheon at a local restaurant. Sitting around the table with me were three people from India, one each from Australia, Nigeria, and Laos, and two from South Korea. Almost a mini United Nations. Even the high tech world has international pressure on the wage world.
    Before that, I worked for a large IT shop that handled credit card transactions. The administration was busy in DC lobbying for more H-1Bs because they ‘could not find enough programmers in the US’. At the same time they were laying off lots of US citizens to make room for the H-1Bs coming in.

  16. Frank…absolutely–H-1Bs exert downward wage pressure on many jobs in the IT field. These people are by no means illiterate, though.

    A perhaps-even-greater source of downward wage pressure is (or will be) offshoring of work to people in lower-wage countries who do not need to physically move to do the job. See my post on Telemigration:

    https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/59860.html

  17. No, they are not illiterate. But I wonder about the business and political leaders that enable this. It appears that the business leaders have a social and historical illiteracy, while the political leaders have all that as well as innumeracy.
    As an aside, when the Koreans went to a street fair and found a booth selling homemade sauerkraut that include hot peppers, they got really excited.

  18. Mike K…how many illiterates would a company like Exelon want to hire, though?…I’d be willing to bet that the wages for that category of employees represent a very small % of their total wage bill.

    Oh, I agree but they may be interested in filling menial jobs like janitors and other menials. The electrical engineers they hire might be interested in yard care or child care. The real illiterates are employed in dangerous occupations such as roofing.

  19. They don’t have to want to hire the “illiterates” themselves, they’re all just liberals, regardless of if they donate to the GOP, i.e., the GOPe, of course, and I guarantee you to white candidates, I bet they think Mitt Romney was just dreamy, when he’s the sort of candidate stopping the GOP from becoming a multi-racial party.

  20. Well, It looks like Amazon is worried they may run out of people that can’t get a job anywhere else:
    https://nypost.com/2022/06/17/amazon-could-run-out-of-people-to-hire-in-us-by-2024-report/

    It’s hard to trust media stories about working conditions but the stories have been so consistently negative while including details about things like the relentless monitoring of every employee move that I tend to believe them, at least in outline.

    I don’t buy as much from them as I did, but I’ve noticed that every part of the experience has deteriorated. Shipping takes longer and there are often delays from what was promised or just outright failures of the package to make it at all.

    I ordered something last week, the package was a day late and when I opened it, I found that one of the items I had bought as “open box, like new” had had the item switched for a cheap piece of junk, probably by whoever returned it for credit, but it had passed through whatever process they use to vet returns and on to me.

  21. Sarge,

    Nice understatement of our situation. It is and will be worse. Just in passing, I have another thing I write every week, elsewhere. The last one I submitted had a bunch of overlap with you. Something I had, which I have not seen particularly elsewhere, is that by next Spring, in parts of this country it is going to get real hungry out. I will not go through all the details I did in my own piece, but our food production in this country is dependent on widespread use of chemical fertilizer. Which fertilizer is a byproduct of the petrochemical industry, which is being shut down. No industry, no byproducts. Hungry people, regardless of political ideology, are testy and unpleasant. Most of those supporting this collapse are “dazzling urbanites” in a limited number of cities. Rule of Three’s. I would avoid cities at that time. Not everybody in the cities is the enemy, but most of them are. Those who are not, best be making evacuation plans. But there is always collateral damage in what is functionally a civil war.

    Another thing that is going to make it hungry out, sooner, is the EPA. As of 2010 all diesel engined trucks have had to meet enhanced standards limiting particulate and other emissions. This has been done with a compound called “Diesel Exhaust Fluid”. Short form, it is a urea compound that . . . is a petrochemical byproduct. It is already starting to run short and the price is going up. You know that the EPA would rather shut the entire logistics system down rather than be defied. No trucks, no food or other goods shipped.

    I do not depend on elections saving us, because their integrity is questionable in fact and perception. That last is key because it is possible to fix facts, but fixing beliefs is a lot harder. Keep thine codpieces buttoned.

    Subotai Bahadur

  22. Yep, SB – I see food shortages ahead, and a bad harvest this fall, on top of whatever comes out of the mid-term election cycle. It’s been something that will hit the oblivious hard, but those of us who have been paying attention, will not be surprised at all. Right now, I think we are coasting on last year’s harvest… but things are starting to tighten up, badly. I hit the grocery store yesterday for some basic essentials: cooking oil, a bag of frozen shrimp, a packet of deli turkey, some cake mixes that we like, some bread and bagels … and it all added up to $90! I could carry all the bags in one trip!
    We’re going to Costco today – might as well buy at wholesale prices…

  23. Subotai Bahadur,
    A few quibbles. Fertilizer production in the U.S. is a fair sized industry in it’s own right, not some sort of byproduct. Ammonia, as a source of nitrogen is the only component of fertilizer produced directly from petroleum, or the be pedantic, natural gas supplies the hydrogen that is combined with atmospheric nitrogen to form ammonia. We are, despite the worst efforts of Bidden and Co. abundantly supplied with natural gas and the ammonia producers are located where the supply is greatest. The U.S. produces 92% of the phosphate rock that provides the phosphorous that makes up one of the other major component of fertilizer. Unfortunately, the U.S. produces only 9% of the potash that provides the potassium that makes up the third component. Most of the shortfall seems to come from Canada.

    Phosphate and most potash is mined, so they are certainly dependent on energy, usually diesel fuel for their extraction and transportation and, in the U.S., natural gas and electricity for their refinement. The quantities of fertilizer in use makes them especially dependent on rail and barge transportation. Barges are especially at the mercy of the weather.

    The exceptional increase in cost will affect farmer’s crop planning. These will become apparent in the fall as they purchase both seed and fertilizer for the coming crop. This year’s crop is already planted and mostly fertilized, the rest will be up to the weather that has already proven problematic in some places.

    Agriculturally caused food shortages from this year’s production are possible as early as next spring but unlikely. Acres planted are in line with previous years. In this, we are lucky that it depends on the decisions of millions of separate individuals mostly trying to make a buck rather than the proven incompetence of government. These same individuals have every incentive to work through and around whatever obstructions appear in their path. It’s not a perfect system, just the best that anyone has been able to come up with to date.

  24. }}} They want the collapse, so they can be left, squatting on, and ruling over a pile of ashes. They don’t care, they really don’t care, preferring to rule in Hell than be a citizen in heaven.
    Comments, suggestions, observations?

    Their intended victims are armed, and fully intend to stay that way…

    “We live in interesting times”, per the apparently apocryphal Chinese curse…

  25. Over the entire span of things that have been going on over the last few generations, I observe that an awful lot of it can be viewed as the various wannabe aristos realizing that there’s no place for them in a world where most people have agency and the ability to utilize said agency. As such, they’ve gone all-in on wrecking the things enabling that general state of affairs, and have done an excellent job of it. They destroyed the mental health system that kept the inevitable nutters under control, they wrecked the criminal justice system through multi-pronged attacks, utterly devastated the educational institutions, and have triumphantly created a new client class that buys whatever bullshit their captured media outlets spout.

    It’d be wonderful, if only they had a f*cking clue what they were about. The end state of their machinations is going to basically amount to “killing the Golden Goose”, and while they may wind up in power, what is that power going to be over…? A second- or third-rate nation, without even the ability to control things within its own borders?

    You have to acknowledge the brutal truth: None of the “elites” in any of the major power nations are acting in the best interests of their citizens, in any way, shape, or form. The US elites are fundamentally insane, as are the Chinese and Russians. So too, are the Europeans; about the only sanity I see anywhere are in the smaller European nations like Finland and Slovenia, and a couple in Asia like Singapore. The rest? You could line the “leadership” of all those nations up, eliminate them in a bloodbath of justice-taking, and we’d all be a hell of a lot better off within mere months. They’re really that stupid.

    What I find really daft and darkly amusing is that so many look at the various economic and political moves made by the idiots in Beijing and Moscow as being somehow indicative that their leadership is ever so much smarter than ours. It’s like admiring Iran for its efforts at destabilizing the Middle East; oh, wowsers, look… They’re getting nukes! How admirable!

    Meanwhile, Iran’s people are in a demographic decline, the economy sucks, and their quality of life is derisible. China is suffering the first tremors of the earthquake that’s going to hit, once all of those economic buffooneries they’ve been papering over become clear, and Russia is immersed in a failed invasion that’s eventually going to be seen as being as destructive as the Winter War to their reputation and actually may destroy their military in the process.

    Don’t even get me started on the US. I don’t have the ability to pay for that much blood pressure medication.

    Supposing we come through this BS, I suspect that this period of history is going to be known as “The Great Stupidity”, because that’s exactly what it is. Stupid. It ain’t like the basic principles of economics aren’t known; it ain’t like you can’t do the math as a grade-schooler and see that the entire premise of shutting down the oil industry without first building something capable of taking its place is insane simply on the raw facts of it all…

    Swear to God, none of these people we have running much of anything, worldwide, have the necessary brains to get in out of the rain. If they were farm animals, they’d all be classed with turkeys, as far as intelligence and ability to foresee the consequences of their actions go.

    I would really like to know just WTF these idiots are thinking… They live off the excess fat and energy of civilization, so once they get done cutting things down to the bone, where do you suppose that excess is going to come from? Do the Hollywood weirdos really think that people who don’t have any discretionary money left over after paying for food and fuel are going to be spending that non-existent money on going to the movies? Will they be buying BS from “celebrity spokespeople”?

    The idiot class are just like the infamous South Park Underwear Gnomes, with their business plan: “Step One: Take over the world; Step Two: No idea; Step Three: Profit!!”. The reality is that Step Two contains an entire universe of unknown unknowns, that will likely include a whole lot of “elites” becoming a lot less “elite” and a whole lot more “dangling from lamp posts”.

  26. The only parallel in history that I can think of, off the top of my head, is what the Roman oligarchy did to the yeoman farmers of the countryside, upon which they had based Republican Roman military power.

    Without heed, they expended those yeoman in incessant wars of conquest and civil war; that turned the countryside from a vast set of smallholdings run by those yeoman into vast latifundia run by slaves and absent landlords. Which left them with no base for manning the legions, and an immiserated class of urban poor they had to support.

    Where did that end up? Oh, yeah; the legions came to be manned not by citizen-soldiers, but professionals who were beholden to whatever general was put over them, because without that general being able to get them land and money for their retirement, they had no futures. Worked out really well, over the long haul, didn’t it?

    The idiots who started that process and profited the most from it had a few generations of immense wealth and prosperity. Their descendants inhabited a Rome that had been raped by various invaders, civil wars, and a host of other ills that might never have come to pass, had they simply left things the hell alone. They’d have never gotten those palaces they built, but they’d have never been subject to the whims of an Octavian or Nero, either…

    It’s rather odd to recognize that one is living in the midst of a similar process, and wonder at how nobody else is noticing it going on around them. I do wonder where and when our Rubicon will be crossed, and from what source our Caeser will arrive. I doubt it will be the Pentagon; perhaps the model I should be considering is what happened in the Roman successor states like Venice and the other Italian peninsula city-states of medieval times…

  27. “The idiots who started that process and profited the most from it had a few generations of immense wealth and prosperity.”

    Sounds like you have answered your own question there about what the idiots are thinking, Kirk. The guys & gals who are enriching themselves today are … enriching themselves! And they don’t care about future generations. How many children did Mrs. Merkel give birth to? The idiots have no stake in the future.

    As a French royal idiot once said — ‘Apres moi, le deluge’.

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