If you're of a certain age as I am, you saw this transition happen in real time. The social contract got tossed on the scrapheap in the 80's, when manufacturing was deliberately off-shored and the economy became financialized. The Oliver Stone movie Wall Street absolutely captured the ethos of the times. Our economy, which also drives our politics, has been upside down for nearly four decades. This brand of greed produced the opioid crisis, the housing crisis, and contributed to climate change. And guess what? The CEO class isn't about to change. Life is always good for them.

“The Trump Republican sedition has far from ended, and the worst may be yet to come.” Sean Wilentz

I didn’t closely follow the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the young man who shot three people, killing two, in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020. I had no specific expectations of the outcome of his trial. What I knew about the case I learned from media accounts, namely, that Rittenhouse, 17-years-old at…

“A considerable portion of the population, perhaps as much as a quarter, lives in lethal unreality.” Paul Street, Counterpunch, November 12, 2021

Well, Steve Bannon has been indicted for contempt of Congress. The road to justice is rarely short or straight, and how this two-count indictment plays out remains to…

We should return to our conception of anti-trust that existed before Robert Bork; it's not only about prices for consumers, it's also about concentrated power, economic and political. Too much wealth and power rests in too few hands in America, with predictable results. Big Tech's size and influence is potentially dangerous.

“The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible.” Abraham Lincoln

As more information trickles out, it appears the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol was the culmination of a premeditated effort to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. This helps to explain…

It is wrong to encourage a man or a people in evil-doing; it is wrong to aid and abet a national crime simply because it is unpopular not to do so.” W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk

The GOP strikes again, this time voting in lockstep against the Freedom…

Great article. How I wish more Americans understood how our economy and society was transformed by deliberate policies. We exalted the rich and bought into the myth of trickle down; we abandoned our manufacturing base for finance; and allowed our political system to be warped by wealth. I wonder if we would see the deep social divisions we see today if Americans had gotten hip to this con decades ago. Now it's too late.

Truth and power can travel together only so far. Sooner or later they go their separate paths. If you want power, at some point you will have to spread fictions. If you want to know the truth about the world, at some point you will have to renounce power.”

What is the human and financial cost? What are the benefits? How and when does it end? The original sin of the Afghan war — one that would never be expiated — was the failure of American political institutions to meet these most basic standards of scrutiny.” …

“All wealth and power might be concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite, while most people will suffer not from exploitation but from something far worse — irrelevance.” Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Anyone who pays reasonably close attention to national politics knows that the…

Brian Tanguay

Brian Tanguay writes about politics, culture, and books. Co-founder of the California Review of Books and the long running blog, Shouts from the Balcony.

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