Yesterday afternoon I found a lengthy piece by Sidney Blumenthal dissecting what is happening to our country, and he dubs it "Republicanism." I did a search of dkos and didn't find any reference to it, but this deserves a lot of attention.
[Please forgive the structure of what follows - I don't know all the fancy formatting.]
"For 30 years, beginning with the Nixon presidency, advanced under Reagan, stalled with the elder Bush, a new political economy struggled to be born. The idea was pure and simple: centralization of power in the hands of the Republican Party would ensure that it never lost it again. Under George W. Bush, this new system reached its apotheosis. It is a radically novel social, political and economic formation that deserves study alongside capitalism and socialism. Neither Adam Smith nor Vladimir Lenin captures its essence, though it has far more elements of Leninist democratic-centralism than Smithian free markets. Some have referred to this model as crony capitalism; others compare the waste, extravagance and greed to the Gilded Age. Call it 21st Century Republicanism."
Blumenthal lays it all out - how this new "-ism" is based on corruption, because its foundation is politics, not philosophy or policy. It's all about getting and holding power, solely for the purpose of accumulating wealth:
"Corporations pay fixed costs in the form of legal graft to the party in order to suppress the market, drastically limiting competitive pressure. Then they collude to control prices, create cartels and reduce planning primarily to the political game. The larger consequences are of no concern whatsoever to the corporate players so long as they maintain access to the political players."
But, Blumenthal argues, this ism is foundering:
"In stable systems, individuals are replaceable parts. Republicanism as constructed under Bush is a juggernaut that cannot afford to scrape an iceberg."
Read the whole thing (it's long). It's a masterpiece of analysis.
If words provide food for thought, this is a veritable feast.