A new post from Jim The crisis
It looks as though the 2020 election is going to be decided by which side puts the other side’s leading candidates in jail, which is not all that democratic and is on trend for the end of democracy very soon.
If Trump being impeached or arrested means that the Lenin-like corpse of democracy can finally be buried, maybe that is a good compromise. I think the problem is many are looking at this from the mistaken framework of trying to restore or preserve American democracy, but they system was flawed from the start. Replacing a broken cog of a machine that is otherwise obsolete doesn’t do any good.
What I hope for is that at some point in the process, Trump has his people do dawn raids on the Democrats, ending the matter (and rendering the election largely irrelevant). But Trump has not got people, so this could get sticky. The FBI, the state department, even the DOJ (despite Barr) has been dragging its feet on the crimes of the Democrats.
That is because when the others side regains power, which given demographic trends almost seems like a certainty, they will return the favor, ad infinitum. There is an implicit understanding by both sides to look the other way, or to go easy, similar to how professional wrestlers create the illusion of inflicting harm and pain on their opponents, yet take care not to. America , unlike China, has a political system and politics, but it’s mostly theatrical. The ‘deep state,’ similar to China’s own deep state equivalent or politburo, runs things. These are entrenched institutions and courts that have existed since the founding of America, mostly in the East Coast, dating back to America’s colonial and progressive-era past.
On the flip side, America’s hybridized constitutional-republic/democracy in conjunction with a strong corporate sector and a ‘deep state’ has a major advantage, that being stability and redundancy, similar to how China has been so economically and socially stable since its revolution (Tiananmen Square and the 2019 Hong Kong protests, not withstanding). All of the productive capability has been outsourced to the private sector, which is relatively autonomous to the public one. Yet the public/government sector is also very big and powerful, but it’s main function is promoting stability and enforcing individual property rights rather than interfering in the private sector too much, although court rulings have expanded such powers and have enabled the government to increasingly encroach on businesses.
Second, redundancy is important, because a system of government that is too centralized may be at risk if the leader is popular but inept. In practice and in theory, economic crisis and social unrest can engender change of leadership, but this can take many decades and the result is prolonged periods of stagnation and great boom and bust cycles. So having periodic elections and redundancy in the form of sprawling but decentralized government and a strong private sector, mitigates the harm any one individual can do, but it also makes such a system impervious to much change either.