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The American Conservative: Who Governs?

suplex3000

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To what extent has academic political science has caught up with contemporary power in America? Certainly neither Dahl, nor Mills nor Domhoff had room in their conceptualizations for phenomena like this, in which billionaire George Soros invested $33 million to turn Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson from a small police blotter item to a national cause-célèbre. Of course the story is slightly more complex than that (Snopes gives it a mixed partially true rating); what it means is that the Soros-funded Open Society Foundation streamed $33 million to “grass-roots” activist groups from all over the country which then engaged efforts to take the Ferguson protests national and keep them at the center of national attention. The Open Society Foundation had given money to such groups before, and according to its director did not directly supervise their agitation over Ferguson. But anyone curious how hundreds of professional activists could decamp from New York and Washington and elsewhere and stay for months in Ferguson (don’t they have jobs to get to? who pays for their meals?) now has an answer.

Thirty-three million dollars, even if allocated to groups which have other agenda items than Ferguson, goes a long way in paying salaries, producing media content, organizing bodies to show up at demonstrations, etc. One blogger suggested that it will be interesting if the people whose businesses were burned down in the social justice looting which followed the non-indictment of officer Darren Wilson were to depose the people whose funds kept the Michael Brown affair at boiling point for months. So, too, the family of the Bosnian man beaten to death with hammers on a St. Louis street because he was white.

But America really is in a new era. The much-vaunted separation of the 1 percent, or 1 percent of the 1 percent, from the rest of society doesn’t mean simply that some people have many more homes and cars and planes than the rest of us; nor does it mean they can simply finance an insurgent candidate who might not otherwise be viable (as was the case with some antiwar Democrats in the late ’60s). It means they possess a truly enormous power to shape perceptions in our society, to bend democracy more than was possible before. What can we call such a system? Clearly Robert Dahl’s “polyarchy” concept needs serious revision. Who might undertake it?

Who Governs The American Conservative

You know, sometimes I think George Orwell was so right that we can make him our prophet, because that's what is happening now in the United States more and more looks like a dystopia.
don't you think so?
 

Missouri_Mike

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To what extent has academic political science has caught up with contemporary power in America? Certainly neither Dahl, nor Mills nor Domhoff had room in their conceptualizations for phenomena like this, in which billionaire George Soros invested $33 million to turn Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson from a small police blotter item to a national cause-célèbre. Of course the story is slightly more complex than that (Snopes gives it a mixed partially true rating); what it means is that the Soros-funded Open Society Foundation streamed $33 million to “grass-roots” activist groups from all over the country which then engaged efforts to take the Ferguson protests national and keep them at the center of national attention. The Open Society Foundation had given money to such groups before, and according to its director did not directly supervise their agitation over Ferguson. But anyone curious how hundreds of professional activists could decamp from New York and Washington and elsewhere and stay for months in Ferguson (don’t they have jobs to get to? who pays for their meals?) now has an answer.

Thirty-three million dollars, even if allocated to groups which have other agenda items than Ferguson, goes a long way in paying salaries, producing media content, organizing bodies to show up at demonstrations, etc. One blogger suggested that it will be interesting if the people whose businesses were burned down in the social justice looting which followed the non-indictment of officer Darren Wilson were to depose the people whose funds kept the Michael Brown affair at boiling point for months. So, too, the family of the Bosnian man beaten to death with hammers on a St. Louis street because he was white.

But America really is in a new era. The much-vaunted separation of the 1 percent, or 1 percent of the 1 percent, from the rest of society doesn’t mean simply that some people have many more homes and cars and planes than the rest of us; nor does it mean they can simply finance an insurgent candidate who might not otherwise be viable (as was the case with some antiwar Democrats in the late ’60s). It means they possess a truly enormous power to shape perceptions in our society, to bend democracy more than was possible before. What can we call such a system? Clearly Robert Dahl’s “polyarchy” concept needs serious revision. Who might undertake it?

Who Governs The American Conservative

You know, sometimes I think George Orwell was so right that we can make him our prophet, because that's what is happening now in the United States more and more looks like a dystopia.
don't you think so?
Conservatives don't need to be governed. We just want basic rules that make sense.
 

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