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Jedediah Purdy @JedediahSPurdy
, 5 tweets, 1 min read Read on Twitter
Thread (prompted by Amazon, etc.): Of course taxes >philanthropy in a working democracy. But the closer you get to oligarchy, the more many will in practice prefer direct spending by *their* oligarchs to taxes for the *other* oligarchs' wars, vanities, & skimming.
The de-funding, de-capacitating, and ideological discrediting of the democratic state make an interlocking pattern. Re-funding & re-capacitating it pushes uphill w/o stronger democratic legitimacy, & so on in a vicious cycle. 2/5
This feels like one of the ancient or early modern political theories of political time--the rise of virtue, then the descent into decadence--updated for mass democracy & late capitalism. 3/5
I don't think we're there yet; but it does feel like the political task of the time is to rebuild strong democracy before it's out of reach. The anti-democratic features of the US Constitution are among the biggest barriers, esp with one party now totally reliant on them them.4/5
As the last few elections have suggested, there is an incipient American majority. But will it make a party-movement to speak through, a state to act through, the conditions for self-rule rather than oligarchic largesse? It's the question of our time. /fin
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