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The New Class Conflict
  • The Status Quo around the world--from France to China to the U.S.--is optimized to protect its Elites and the sprawling Upper-Caste of academics, managers, think-tank toadies, technocrats, apparatchiks, functionaries, factotums, lackeys and apologists who serve the Elites, and are well-paid for enforcing the Status Quo on the disenfranchized castes below.

    Oligarchs are assisted in their control by what Kotkin calls the "clerisy" class — an amalgam of academics, media and government employees who play the role that medieval clergy once played in legitimizing the powerful, and in implementing their policies while quelling resistance from the masses. The clerisy isn't as rich as the oligarchs, but it does pretty well for itself and is compensated in part by status, its positions allowing even its lower-paid members to feel superior to the hoi polloi.

    Because it doesn't have to work in competitive industries, the clerisy favors regulations, land-use rules and environmental restrictions that make things worse for businesses — especially the small "yeoman" businesses that traditionally sustained much of the middle class — thus further hollowing out the middle of the income distribution. But the lower classes, sustained by government handouts and by rhetoric from the clerisy, provide enough votes to keep the machine running, at least for a while.

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  • AKA New World Order.

  • AKA New World Order.

    It is not new world order, it is failed state. System can't exist for prolonged periods if it is based on lie and PR.

  • The inmates are running the asylum.

  • assuming this is true, is it conspiracy? Or is it just the way things naturally trend?

  • ...hehe...this is absolutely classic !

    ...and here's kotkin -

    ps..and the real question is...will knowledge spread ?

    @brianl...."things naturally trend" least using human history as a guide. So you're right on both counts !

  • In all honesty though, at least we get to say what we want without worrying about getting thrown in jail

  • A very interesting story "The secret Goldman Sachs tapes" that was published today:

    (HTML audio tag not supported. You can download the podcast instead.)
  • Regulation hits large business the hardest, which is why the dominant class is so virulently anti-regulation. The dominant class has done an impressive job of convincing the middle class to blame the lower class. I think this book was written by someone in the middle class who has woken up enough to realize that they are being exploited by the upper class, but not enough to acknowledge how deeply embedded systemic exploitation is and that the lower class is not in fact to blame, but are even more victimized than they themselves are.

  • Regulation hits large business the hardest

    Wrong. Large enough businesses benefit from creating rules (regulations or extra taxation) that small businesses cannot afford. The ones who can afford it, usually then take a hit in overall innovation and/or product quality, and thus, lose their competitive edge.

    I don't see how this isn't more obvious to people and why they continue to believe regulation works in their favor. Once a company reaches a certain profitability and size... the most cost effective way to increase profit margins further, is to lobby government to make harder rules for others to play by. It's the oldest economic play in the book...

    Large business LOVES regulation.

  • Regulation hits large business the hardest, which is why the dominant class is so virulently anti-regulation.

    May be it can hit it, in theory, but this guys (according to their own reports) pay no taxes (most corporations actually got last year money from government, not in reverse, you can find topic about it here). And almost all their cash is in special funds located in offshores :-)

  • Is that the "GE Doesn't Pay Taxes" myth?

  • Is that the "GE Doesn't Pay Taxes" myth?

    It is not about myths, it is about facts, if you search a little you'll find post with numbers for most big corps for last year.

  • the goldman story !

    @bwhitz nails it ! Laws are for "little people". Read the article I posted, then karl reposted, about the fed and goldman-sacks-the-people.....regulations are hypothetically applied by corrupt gov's to punish certain entities which challenge the cartels hegemony. Kotkin outlines the ptb's current dynamic perfectly. By demonstrating that there is an overclass, regardless that it morphs over time, their very existence ...and it's obvious privileges exhibited to these extremes, who's end result is wars , demands the class conflict widen to force back the elites, or totalitarianism will win.

  • @bwhitz Then why is the oil industry (all big business) lobbying so aggressively for deregulation? Timber, fish, and large-scale agriculture? These are all some of the biggest businesses of all, and they are also the most aggressive lobbyists for deregulation.

    This is so transparently pro-capitalist, Randian propaganda. Surprised that you people fall for it.

  • This is so transparently pro-capitalist, Randian propaganda. Surprised that you people fall for it.

    ...well how are you so sure "Randian" views are wrong? Cause it's a big-meany-head philosophy that says people should just pay for their own crap?

    BTW, Ayn Rand is not the "inventor" of this philosophy. She just wrote a book about it. Just like Karl Marx did not "invent" communism. They're both opposite ends of human biology. They've always existed. By saying "Ranidan propaganda" you're only making an "appeal-to-popularity" based on many people's dislike for her writing. Opinions of the masses do not prove or disprove theories. Reality is not a consensus.

    Then why is the oil industry (all big business) lobbying so aggressively for deregulation?

    Anyways, more on topic... Usually "deregulation" is only rhetoric. What they really mean by "deregulation" is nothing more than re-writing existing rules.

  • It's not a question of right and wrong, it's a question of who an ideology serves. This view that I characterized as "Randian" serves people proportionately to their wealth, which is to say, it serves the dominant class by a huge margin, the middle class much less, and it completely screws the lower classes.

    Regulation in the 21st century primarily concerns itself with environmental degradation and pollution, anti-trust legislation, and workers' rights and safety standards for those workers.

    • Environmental degradation and pollution mostly affects poor people living in rural areas, as well as the populations of countries that are host to the neoliberal/neocolonial practices of the ruling elite. It is here that the externalized costs of global capitalism are dumped, and the perpetrators are primarily large industry, done by large business, which themselves are pawns in the games played by global finance.

    • Anti-trust legislation only affects large, established businesses. By definition, it exists to make room for new or small businesses to enter the broader marketplace.

    • Safety standards and workers' rights legislation, obviously, serves to protect the working class from exploitative labor practices instituted by the capitalist class.

    Deregulation is not rhetoric, it is a very real phenomenon. Perhaps you have not visited coastal towns where local fishermen are living in abject poverty because of overfishing by large commercial enterprise. Perhaps you have not seen a massive sprawling clearcut, an oil spill directly caused by deregulation of safety standards, or talked with a worker that is subject to exploitative labor practices.