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View Diary: Totally Non-Confrontational, Positive Meta Diary (NOT Snark) (87 comments)

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  •  depends (4+ / 0-)

    we could go the historical discontinuity route and say that things concentrate and then explode.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:05:16 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  But the explosion does not reverse the trend (4+ / 0-)

      but merely punctuates it, again in the absence of diligent effort to the contrary.  Non-homeostatic (i.e., explosive) politics always ultimately serves gravity.  Jacobinism and totalitarian Communism just reiterated the excesses of monarchy and capitalism in new and more hypocritical forms.

      Then there are "bifurcation" phenomena, like the alliance of plebs with Emperors with the latter trading a constant food supply in return for absolute power in all other political matters.  I wouldn't call that situation progressive or liberal despite the social welfare aspects of the bread allotment.

      •  not necessarily (4+ / 0-)

        i tend to think that the more violent the revolution, the more violent and repressive the new government. relatively peaceful revolutions have been more successful.

        the bifurcation phenomenon is why some radical leftists hated the new deal- they thought it defused a more revolutionary dynamic. but yes- from dostoyevsky to burgess, it's a recurrent theme that people will trade freedom for food and quiet.

        in this country, things have generally moved forward, although on economic issues, the overall trend has been backward since reagan.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:24:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I agree with that. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laurence Lewis, Dragon5616, Reggid

          Peaceful or at least humanely-fought revolutions are not explosive, but gestalten.  They come together and release creative energy rather than destructive energy.  They involve diligent effort rather than cathartic violence.

          I would say that bifurcation phenomena only apply to undemocratic situations, because otherwise it's just a normal compromise between civilized people rather than a Faustian bargain between a tyrant and a mob.  The left erred in seeing the New Deal as diffusive - actually Communism was a bifurcation reaction, and people like Stalin and Mao were basically pharaohs.  Things like the New Deal were the right approach and still are.

          We can restore economic progress, but we have to start with ourselves and our local communities.  There was a recent diary about a small town bucking the trend of small government idiocy that really illustrated that.  

          That was how the New Deal began - not as an arbitrary federal-level program, but as a copycat to numerous state-level and local programs that had been going on since the Teddy Roosevelt administration.  America was progressive locally and on the state level well before it trickled up to the feds.

          •  but when the new deal was established (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Troubadour, 3goldens

            it was swift and large. and it received all the usual criticism. but millions were put to work, quickly. that first 100 days was amazing. and i would say the bifurcation phenomenon does take place in ostensible democracies. that was burgess's point.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:53:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bifurcation in democracies takes the form (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              of right-wing populism, but that's not a major problem in the United States where the right is plutocratic.

              Part of what made the New Deal possible was that they were able to start from scratch: There was no huge, preexisting infrastructure that had to be greatly reformed or expanded.  The federal government went from being a small, conservative fantasy to being involved overnight, and I'm sure that was very exciting.  It's a different matter to redirect existing, large institutions to be more effective.

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