So many fantastic insights here, thank you

My $0.02, Putin and gang seem to have innovated this new power structure and breed of authoritarianism echoing some previous forms. He has attempted to export it by various means, to kneecap hegemony of Western liberality encroaching East. As far as I can tell, the fascism bit is certainly there, but it is a con. The far right leadership Putin has advantaged throughout the free world, like mentioned here are fake populists, all easily corrupted strongmen.

It is not about the nation or the people first. Its about the kleptocrats milking the system, capturing resources and impunity. It is therefore kleptocracy first and foremost.

Put it all together: neofascist predatory kleptocracy. Fascistic oligarchy is another term that resonates.

Thank you for the excellent analysis as usual - helps keep me sane!

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This is spot on (as usual).

Among the most important issues it reinforces for me is

“How to effectively disseminate this data to those most susceptible to buying into these strongman messaging (and those already indoctrinated)?”

While those of us who who see through the smoke & mirror song & dance of Trump et al are shielded from such mind control, those who are susceptible reject essays and podcasts that “don’t speak their language”. In my opinion, THAT is the fortress wall which must be scaled in order to turn the tables on Trump and his enablers.

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My newest fever are lists. This post a perfect start to

#1) who these conmen/strongmen/fascists/populists are , and their backers. The devils in details, right!

Thanks Ruth ever so timely AND informative.

#2) The names of the not even close to innocent for OUR ( my 😏) suggested *CDH: closed door hearings * - who are ‘the coup complicits ‘ -those blatant shirking oaths of protecting our country and who will NEVER EVER hold office again -at least here ! ( long list already)

#3) are those screamers , no longer caring Dreamers , who waved the false flags following #1 &#2 of that dying GOPers. (That list is also long already)

I am particularly interested in what overthrows the US GOV participated in that went bad-for research ...it’s confusing to me...and any confessions...that’s important. .

All in all we know the task ahead...holding our winning team to the now broadened scope ‘feet to the fire’ furthers OUR commitment


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A Better Class of People

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“Vote the complicit out” is a simple but really good strategy! Liz Cheney, in her new book, identifies those in Congress who need to “spend more time with their families!”

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When I was a college student taking American history courses, "populism" was a movement started by working people that had similar economic interests who were motivated to achieve a lifestyle that was in the various least sustainable. Shared goals included the opportunity to own some property, fair wages, public education, and other social benefits. Populist movements were not stagnant; over a period of years participants included farmers (the Grange), the Knights of Labor, the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies), the CIO, and other organizations that supported equality, fair incomes, safe working conditions, and the opportunity to gain a reasonable standard of living.

Now it seems "populism" is a cult movement, organized around an authoritarian personality, supported by masses who are acting against their best interests. Truth, facts, fair play, and justice don't seem to have a place in this environment. Casting blame seems to be the style. Lack of civility is the modus operandi.

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Thank you Ruth for today's essay on patterns. We are our brothers/ sisters' keeper. Somehow with a global focus, the patterns and repercussions we should be aware of become crystal clear, more easily seen.

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This article reminds me of what Steven Brill said in his book, " Tailspin", that elites build a fortress for themselves and then seek to protect it with a moat, so that their power is preserved. They become untouchable. Their economic power then translates to politcal power, to the point that they can choose politicians who favor their agenda. Democracy becomes superseded by the newly formed corporatocracy. But they need to perpetuate the appearance of a democracy while actually being a corporatocracy. Our elitist neoliberal order had tRump as their facade to do their bidding, all the while convincing the electorate that he was working for them. This is classic misdirection and devious.

Our Libertarians, CIA and elites have shown that they do not favor democracy. It is no accident that Libertarian Charles Koch and former CIA director, Allen Dulles are/were sociopaths. These type of people are not fans of democracy.

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Thank you so much Ruth for this much needed important and comprehensive analytical expansion........with many doors, windows and possible connections for us to look for, use

and cultivate......we’re headed there!!! 💪✊🫶

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It would be helpful if commentators used a world map in these discussions with experts -- as they do on Election night. Color coding democracies, and autocracies. We need to better educate fellow Americans/ world citizens on governance styles using multiple learning methods. Visuals may help cement concepts, and the threat.

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Nov 29, 2023·edited Nov 29, 2023

Just an observation; economies troubled by depression and especially high inflation are ripe for the picking by strongmen and authoritarians. We can see many historical examples where dictators and fascists rise to power during hard economic times with high inflation. Germany after WWI experienced hyperinflation and the Nazis and Hitler pounced. Italy had economic hardship after WWI as well and Mussolini pounced promising to restore prosperity. Other examples include Greece in the 30s where Metaxas dictatorship arose. There was a fascist movement here in America (Father Coughlin /Sen. Ernest Lundeen) during the late 1930s when FDR battled the great depression. In Argentina in the 70s and once again in Argentina we see a chainsaw wielding faux populist Milei ride to power on a wave of hyperinflation.

And finally, we have an example here in our own midsts of an antidemocratic authoritarian and would be fascist Donald Trump (also a faux populist) riding a wave of division and resentment in a climate of abnormally high levels of inflation that are hitting everyday Americans hard at the grocery store and gas pump. But as of late gas prices are trending downward and lets hope they don't rebound next year just in time for the election in the fall. Only the survival of American democracy is at stake.

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Unfortunately, people do become attached to self satisfying narratives while elites pick their pockets and rescind their rights to protest the theft of wealth and power they seek to hold. Ruth is right, "libertarian" populists represent elites not the people. Homo Sapiens being a greedy species will concentrate power either in public or private institutions. Sincere libertarians do not understand this historical dynamic, but cynical ones will do the libertarian "freedom" dance to capitalize on the electorates frustration with government institutions to then seek to dismantle (or chainsaw?) them to then feed kleptocracy that supports and funds them.

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