America: The “Indispensable Nation”

Hi, This is a quote from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright that I like to use in my debates. You can taste the arrogance: SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, let me say that there are, a couple of dozen countries that are with us on this that are providing a variety of equipment, support and are willing to …

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A Summary of “The Great Leveler” by Walter Scheidel

Walter Scheidel, an Austrian historian from Stanford University has taken time off from his main interest (the Romans) to write a powerful, and pretty depressing, book on inequality. His book is called The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the 21st Century. Its argument is: For thousands of …

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United Way Study: 44% of Americans Cannot Make Ends Meet

Hi, In October 16, 2005, Citigroup came out with a brochure for investors called “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances”. The brochure was an honest assessment of the world where it explained that there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”... There are rich consumers, …

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John Adams On Reasons for Restricting Democracy

26 May 1776, Philadelphia, USA. Letter from John Adams to James Sullivan (Lawyer and politician of Massachusetts) Adams is responding to Sulliavn's claim that "Laws and Government are founded on the Consent of the people, and that consent should by each member of Society be given in proportion to his Right. Every member of Society …

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Plato on the Evils of a “Government Resting on a Valuation of Property”

Hi. Here is a very interesting and timely exchange between Socrates and Glaucon in Plato's The Republic, ~360 BCE, Book 8:   GLAUCON: And what manner of government do you term oligarchy? SOCRATES: A government resting on a valuation of property, in which the rich have power and the poor man is deprived of it. GLAUCON: …

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Aristotle on the Inequality of Property

Politics by Aristotle. Written in 350 BCE Book 2 Our purpose is to consider what form of political community is best of all for those who are most able to realize their ideal of life. We must therefore examine not only this but other constitutions, both such as actually exist in well-governed states, and any …

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Defending the Welfare State: “Expanding The Floor Of The Cage”

Understanding Power (2002), Pgs. 344-346, "Defending the Welfare State": Question: Noam, since you're an anarchist and often say that you oppose the existence of the nation-state itself and think it's incompatible with true socialism, does that make you at all reluctant to defend welfare programs and other social services which are now under attack from …

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