These are not debates. They are staged events and they are a complete waste of time.
Don’t watch them.
Concentrated wealth doomed Democracy from the start in the USA. Indeed the very reason they wanted a Republic rather then a Democracy was so as to protect the concentrated wealth of the 1 percent and the fact the 1 percent wrote that Constitution did not help. The Constitution was a property rights document designed so as to ensure all those ill gotten gains could not be touched by what was referred to as “the mob”.
All that crap about Liberty and Freedom being the core of the US Constitution was exactly that and the only reason the people got a semblance of that is because they (the people) fought for it and the 1 percent needed them to a degree.
Now with the way jobs evolved wherein work can be outsourced to foreign lands and where “free trade deals” are designed to ensure the Capital of that 1 percent always untouchable even if invested abroad , the 1 percent is deciding they do not need the rest of you anymore.
From Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page:
“When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
Yay, Blue Team, yay Red Team.
The last time that formal POTUS debates came close to being actual debates was when Ross Perot was able to present his graphs and charts during the 1990s. Since then they have been 100% reality TV and 0% substance.
After Occupy Wall Street (OWS) DID “start debating what dooms democracy” in 2011 Obama’s DOJ made everything OWS did illegal so they would not re-emerge in spring 2012. Obama realized the threat that OWS’ easily understood framing of the issue (99% verses 1%) posed to the fortunes of his Wall Street paymasters just as the DNC did when they sidetracked Sanders in 2016 and 2020.
As SCOTUS Justice Louis Brandeis observed more than a century ago: “you can have concentrated wealth or you can have democracy, but you CAN’T have both”.
It’s not “concentrated wealth” that is the problem. It’s wealth.
There is no justification whatsoever for wealth. We can make some justifications up, as in we can articulate reasons, but they will all be lies.
We live on planet Earth. Life is a biological construct. No species alive evolved to take thousands of times more “resources” from its habitat than that which is necessary for vibrant, healthy life. That’s how the whole planet works.
We can keep fighting these truths, and tell ourselves that “we can make it work,” but there is zero evidence that we grasp reality on this score.
If you allow wealth at all, the unscrupulous will use it to gain power over others for selfish reasons. There is zero evidence to the contrary. Like ZERO. Unscrupulous people will try to gain power even without wealth, but wealth in a society is like adding nuclear bombs to warfare. It means there are no real winners. Eventually there are only monsters and victims.
Capitalism and Democracy are not parallel lines, in fact perpendicular, where they cross for a brief moment you can have Democracy. Highly regulated capitalism, strong unions, labor on every board of directors and FDR tax rates you have a chance. Otherwise the Democratic experiment has run its course.
Precisely why that until ALL of FDR’s New Deal regulations and programs that were dismantled during the past 42 years are restored we will not see a reversal of the half century trend of increased wealth and income concentration.
If the political will existed all of those regulations and programs could be restored in a matter of weeks seeing how not only do the templates enabling their creation still exist, they also have 45-75 year track records confirming how well each component of the regulation or program worked.
People still under estimate the effect Karl Marx and Marxism had on our daily lives. Virtually all of that social program spending has its roots in Marxism.
Europe underwent a series of violent revolutions during the mid to late 1800s and those in power recognized that if they did nothing they risked losing power. These were workers revolutions all of them with peoples depending more favorable terms for the working class. These lead to a number of Social reforms from England under the King to Russia under the Tsar. Even Otto Von Bismark saw the writing on the wall and while he was fiercely right wing , he helped introduce things like old age pensions to Prussia.
When the Monarchy collapsed in Russia , Western Nations realized that in order to protect Capitalism they had to implement reforms. The newly formed USSR then became Capitalist enemy number 1.
These reforms came later to North America but even FDRS initiatives were implemented so as to protect Capitalism and keep Socialism and Marxism at bay.
USA!! USA!! USA!! USA!! USA!! USA!! Chant it with me! Chant it belligerently while pumping your fist in the air! Chant for the degenerate oligarch ratfuckers and their overinflated egos and sense of entitlement… their total ignorance and lack of education… their comfortable numbness… nihilist indifference to others… smirking and condescending. Where will they be sitting when the shit hits the fan and splatters all over their smug faces? In their absolute ignorance they’ll be flabbergasted to realize they are doomed to the same exact fate as the rest of us. Meanwhile the patriots keep chanting and the war heroes keep splattering innocent lives and the banksters keep grinning. The human animal deserves so much better than the nihilistic ratfuckers shoving their faces in the dirt.
Where it has generated spontaneously and insofar as it has indeed existed, democracy has arisen when groups of agrarian societies with some commonality of culture and trade have federated. This was true for the Iroquoi, for the Attic Greeks, and for the fledgling United States–each of which managed some measure of democracy and failed in some measure.
The form of government native to early capitalism was fascism. There seems to be something else evolving these days that is as autocratic, but less nationalistic and more subtle in the specifics of its operations. I don’t know that we really have a name for it, since the coinages neoliberal and neoconservative do not describe a form of government, and client state or oligarchy are too general in their various ways to really be adequate. Things like “banana republic” do not really serve to describe the faults closer to the center of power.
So, for instance, we witness the so-called “trade agreements” that are not agreements nor about trade, but documents to curtail local economy and autonomy. These approach the state of reducing every society to something like a “banana republic,” at the behest of capital interest.
Maybe Marx’s analysis of late capitalism was better than it is credited, and we have just not been as far along that road as we imagined.
you’re a troll.
Perhaps I have misunderstood what you mean by “troll.” Do you mind? Could you sketch out a brief definition of “troll”?
Georgesimmel’s comment strikes me as entirely in line with the thoughts and analyses of a large plurality of CommonDreams commenters. It seems difficult to reconcile this observation with the notion that georgesimmel is a “troll.”
It is probably unwise to toss out the epithet “troll.” It is probably better to confine ourselves to critical analysis of our interlocutor’s comments, and to refrain from ad hominem attacks.
Think more deeply. Please.
The rich are literally planning their luxury bunkers, staffed by servants and goon squads wearing shock collars to keep them in line:
You may think we’ll all go down together. I think we’ll have to drag them kicking and screaming from their underground mansions and work them to death on our farms.